By now, everybody has heard about the continuously breaking and updating news about plagiarism within the games industry. A quick recap, IGN recently fired their former Nintendo Editor and host of Nintendo Voice Chat Filip Miucin over proven allegations of plagiarism on the content he made while employed. This included a review for the newly released Dead Cells, and possibly other editorial content that is being uncovered more and more. While Filip’s employment with IGN came to an abrupt end, deservedly so, the ripples from the entire situation are going to felt for a long time everywhere. No matter how professional and admirable IGN staff has approached dealing with the controversy and cleaning up the mess Filip made, this level of plagiarism has affected everyone that makes content about video games in the worse way possible.
The biggest takeaway from Filip Miucin’s saga with IGN is that a person can deceive everybody for a long time and make their way into arguably the biggest outlet within our industry. A large outlet’s trust in someone was broken to a very public extreme, leaving everyone else to clean up the mess and feel the consequences afterwards. It was nearly impossible for IGN or anyone to catch this deep level of plagiarism by any sort of traditional means, mainly because Filip lifted sections of videos he watched online and implemented them into his compiled body of work.
There’s no system or method for spotting this kind of thing, so it enabled him to do so unnoticed for so long. At least until the source of what he copied came back around to him full stop, karma can work in a funny way like that. The worse consequence from this however isn’t Filip’s firing or IGN’s damaged reputation, but now the growing need to question everybody’s work through a more scrutinizing lens. Everyone now has to be checked with a deeper level of scrutiny.
This is something that worries me personally, because places like IGN and other outlets will now have to be heavily suspicious of anyone moving forward. This is understandable given the circumstances, but now those that have worked for years within the industry, without having any sort of issue like this come up, need to deal with an extra layer of hardship. Does this mean a person’s entire YouTube history needs to be checked meticulously for fear of them having listed ideas from others online? Is somebody going to make a speech-to-text program to transcribe any video for plagiarism checks? Are questions about plagiarism going to be asked more often during job interviews at every major outlet from now on? Is everybody a suspect now?
This might seem overzealous, but after everything that has happened it really isn’t beyond thinking about. People who’ve done no wrong have nothing to worry about, but the fallout from this saga will force everyone new or looking to break into the industry to be called further into question.
The only positive to come out of this is the start of a conversation many media outlets will eventually have, which will hopefully lead to means to prevent this kind of thing from ever happening again. It was a very loud wake-up call, but one I feel comes at a very taxing price to everyone hoping to get their start in the industry moving forward.
As someone who has been part of the gaming industry over the last seven years (FULL DISCLOSURE: I’ve freelanced for IGN for nearly 3 years and many other outlets outside of The Koalition throughout my entire career), it saddens me to see someone be given a golden opportunity many have dreamed of (myself included) and throw it away so carefree. Seeing Filip get further ahead after hearing he plagiarized multiple times (most of which are still being discovered even now) into a large website like IGN is demoralizing for anyone, not just me. But I fear that I and others like me who’ve worked hard throughout our careers now have to partially pay for Filip Miucin’s deeds.
The easiest comparison I can make is to the way the TSA handled security checks when boarding a plane, where in the past it was less of a hassle than before. It sucks and doesn’t feel good to know that everyone is on edge because of one person’s very poor choice to get over. It sucks even more for us now knowing someone did so and got into the biggest outlet within our industry, then left behind a giant hardship for all to deal with afterwards.
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