Online gaming journalism takes the isolation out of video games

Alex Krefetz ('10)/For Eastside

Those who consider the act of playing video games a solo activity have likely not picked up a controller in years. Nowadays, gamers are perhaps more connected than those in any other art medium. No longer does a player sit in a room and play alone: today, the modern gamer plays online with thousands of allies and enemies. Services like Xbox Live and Playstation Network offer a way for these virtual gladiators to meet in games. However, not every gamer wants to interact through online competition alone. Some gamers only want to meet other people with similar tastes, or read about news on upcoming games. Today, many websites such as 1up.com, Gamefaqs.com and Joystiq.com exist to cater to the needs of all types of gamer.

Say a person recently purchased a game like Gears of War 2. After completion, the player may want to learn more if the company’s next project will be a sequel, and where to find information on it. A new phenomenon of “gaming journalism” has flourished online. Websites like Joystiq.com and IGN.com offer news on the gaming world, much like dedicated sports and movie news websites. In addition to general news, most of these sites write their own reviews or link to reviews on other websites. By providing the reader with information before he/she purchases the game, a review may save a consumer from purchasing a product he/she wouldn’t like. From time to time, the news sites also include specialty stories such as interviews with game designers or focus stories on independent game makers. Through all of the different news articles and features, these websites are dedicated to providing an individual with all of the information they need about the gaming industry.

Playing videogames is like every other activity: some people are more talented than others. Gamers who seek help in completing a game can find resources online to help them finally win.

Websites such as Gamefaqs.com specialize in offering help to gamers in need. Gamefaqs is composed of helpful tips and even complete walkthroughs of games, constructed by site visitors. Besides guides, every individual game is given its own message board where gamers may ask for help or discuss every part of the game, from the story to the best tactics for use online. By signing up for a user name, any person is free to contribute guides or post comments on discussion boards.

For some, matches over Xbox Live simply aren’t enough. These gamers crave a more organized, civil way of destroying their enemies. For those who take competition seriously, websites like Gamebattles.com exist. Here, gamers can form teams or “clans” and interact through their own portals to set up matches with other clans. Gamebattles.com is also an official partner with Major League Gaming, also known as MLG, allowing members to play with professional gamers. Gamebattles and MLG often sponsored tournaments where clans can win new gaming gear or even cash. For the majorly competitive gamer, Gamebattles.com and MLG is the best way to find likeminded gamers.

Today, a gamer can do more than simply play the games he/she loves. With the internet, gamers can find out information on upcoming games. They are able to get help in order to complete the most difficult of challenges. Gamers are even competing against others all over the world to win money. With such a variety of different websites, gamers are never at a loss of information or friends. Anyone who believes the game ends when the power turns off doesn’t realize how gamers socialize in this new millennium.