First Impressions: Giantbomb.com – Willy105
If you even payed attention during November last year, you would have heard the unfortunate event now known by the press as “Gerstmanngate”. In November of last year, Gamespot fired their longest emplyed reviewer, Jeff Gerstmann, their editor-in-chief. He has been on Gamespot since it’s launch in 1996. Why would he be fired? The actual answer was never confirmed to the public, but popular belief is that it was from preassure from a publisher, in this case Eidos.
Eidos payed a lot of money to advertise their latest blockbuster big budget game, Kane and Lynch, on Gamespot. Banners and ads were all over the front page, and it had special coding so that that you could choose which Gamespot background you wanted to see, from Kane, or Lynch. Ironically, the game turned out to be not so good. As a proffesional game reviewer, Jeff Gertmann had to write what he thought of the game, and he score it accordingly. This created a series of events that led to the firing of Jeff Gerstmann. Here’s Gamespot’s official response to the event.
Whatever did happened, Jeff Gerstmann was out of a job, and he didn’t see anything else to do than to do what he does best, and that’s tell everyone what he thinks of stuff. He and some of his friends from Gamespot have started up a new website, Giantbomb.com, and it has now been officially launched (before it was just a small blog going over the development of the website). The main selling point of the website is obviously Jeff, but is the website itself something to get excited about? I ventured there to find out myself.
Giantbomb is taking things differently from Gamespot, deciding to be both a place for game reviews and a full blown Wiki. Users can edit the game pages and add more info on the game that the staff might have missed. The more edits you make, the more points you have, similiar to Gamespot’s leveling-up system. You might think this will be abused easily, since gamers aren’t exactly the most credible source for un-biased facts, but everythinghas to be approved by the staff, so it’s balanced out.
Now on the part most of you are excited about, the community. There are good stuff and bad stuff about these forums from my short experience there. First, the good things, and that is the community engine themselves. They have far more features than the humble Gamespot forums have. In your user profile alone, there are tons of useful things to take advantage off, inculding a user wall where you could leave comical messages to a user’s wall for everyone to see. A feed is there, showing every single thing you have been doing, from uploading a picture, to forum posts or comments, when you add a user review or a Wiki edit, or when you are now friends with someone.
The forums are organized very nicely as well, my favorite part is now you can see every single board in the site put up in one place, where all the topics can be shown in one place, instead of browsing individual board. This is a great idea, because no matter what board you post a topic on, people can always see it and reply to it, and you don’t have to worry about someone not seeing the topic because nobody goes to that particular board. The forums are full of activity, and you can expect a conversation to pop up instantly, and it’s amazingly usually on topic.
But there are some bad things about it. Because it’s a new site, there’s a distinct lack of mods. There have been many imposters pretending to be other users (like Casey) and create flamebait on the forums. It can get annoying when you are used to the order that Gamespot is in. Also, there are no smilies on the forums, andthere are no sigs, but for some that may be a good thing. Also, you can only use WYSIWYG editors on the forums, so if you are using an incompatible browser, like Opera or the Wii browser, you will not be able to post on the forums or make Wiki edits.
And that’s about it for now. The site is growing every day, but it’s up to you if you want to stay here on Gamespot or make the move. You should only go there if everybody you know has gone there. There is now System Wars on Giantbomb, and people you have grown to like here on Gamespot may not be there, so there’s plenty of reason to stay here on the homeland. Besides, we will miss you if you leave us here. We Gamespotters stick together.