Rev3’s Adam Sessler Discusses the Ethics of Review Journalism

Adam Sessler, a popular gaming reporter and former host of Attack of the Show on NBC’s now-defunct G4 (now known as the Esquire Network), has built his career on giving honest reviews of entertainment and tech products for his longtime, gaming-obsessed fans. As the host of online TV show network Revision 3’s weekly segment  “Sessler Something,” he’s successfully bringing his same upfront and magnetic personality to Youtube. But, his normally ardent fans felt Sessler hit a sour note last week, placing a Slim Jim ad that promoted a contest with Electronic Arts — right before a review of Dead Space 3. Immediately, viewers cried foul of his ethics.

In response to the accusation of a “pay for play” review — hinting that he could have taken a kick-back for a positive review of the game by EA — Sessler tackled the issue head-on in this week’s video, titled, “Publishers, Game Journalists, and OTHER EVILS!” In it, he firmly denies that the EA logo before the review was anything more than an honest mistake, and adds that he and his producers decided not to fix it because “The horses were out of the barn.”

Entertainment and technology reviews have long come under fire by readers who question the ethics of the technology world — especially as “sponsored posts” in places like Gizmodo, Mashable and TechCrunch become more of a regularity. Furthermore, critics are offered a shiny gadget for absolutely free, and readers have long suspected that accessibility to new gadgets deters reporters from speaking their minds and offering constructive critiques of the gadgets in their possession.

When speaking on his own ethics and the behavior of many of his coworkers, Sessler explained:

“There were some incidents involving the assumed lack of integrity of certain journalists. I’ve been doing this a long time, I have many people that have been my colleagues and they’ve never struck me as being unethical in any way. Obviously, yes, there’s advertising that comes from game companies,because if you open up a copy of Car and Driver, you’re going to see ads for cars because you kind of know what the interest of the reader might be. The same thing happens for gaming companies.”

See the video below:

What do you think of Sessler’s mishap and reviewer ethics? Let us know in the comments below.