Game Informer Online is more than just a place to go for game reviews and news.  As many have pointed out it also has elements of social media embedded in it, and it genuinely feels like a welcoming community.  

I have a confession to make now that I've been blogging here a few months:  I am an IGN refugee.  And not just an IGN refugee.  I've dabbled in other gaming sites like Gamespot in the past, but I ultimately left them all because I never felt welcome.  The comments sections of those sites often felt like battlegrounds, and stating my opinion more often led to me having to defend it against ruthless console war participants than rational and polite discussion.  All the articles I wrote there?  Got on average 5 views.  The editors of those sites don't engage in their community and don't encourage visitors to check out the content the people who use their sites work so hard to produce.

Never again will I log into my account in that dreaded place...

None of this applies to Game Informer Online.

Sure, a few articles bring forth temporary spurts of nastiness, and the site occasionally suffers from some technical shenanigans, but overall this is one of the most active, welcoming, and polite communities I've ever had the pleasure of engaging in.  I quickly met fellow gamers who were keen to introduce me to like-minded people, and these past few months I've had an incredible amount of fun getting to know the people here and putting down my thoughts and opinions in various blog posts.  Simply put, joining this community is one of the smartest decisions I've made all year.

Yet, while we are a strong community I feel there are ways we can improve.  In particular it seems the entertaining and informative blog posts the community puts out don't receive as many comments as they once have.  It's not uncommon to see an article get 600+ views (meaning a little over 500 people likely skimmed through it at the very least) but only 1-3 comments.  It's a little sad to see that this site is full of great ideas and great thinkers, but some members don't want to engage those ideas - countering them or agreeing with them with a quick comment.

This is what has motivated me to launch my biggest project yet - the Community Discussion blog series.  Inspired by the "Reader Discussion" posts The RedQueen of Space and Trenchmace once launched prior to me joining this site, these blogs will pose a unique question regarding gaming that will likely spawn a myraid of personal and shocking responses depending on who is answering it.

I will then reach out to as many active and engaging community members as I can via private message to cordially ask them if they'd like to participate in this project by answering the question.  The answers of all those that consent to partake will then be compiled in a lengthy blog post full of pictures and eye candy that will embrace the diversity of gaming tastes, opinions, and personalities among the various members of this site.  So don't be shocked to see me send you a Friend Request in the coming weeks, and don't be shy either - if you'd like to participate in this project, I'll gladly accept a Friend Request of your own.

These questions will not be simple or trite like, "What's your favorite gaming console?"but rather deep and thought-provoking ones that will require participants to think through their answer and truly make it personal and meaningful.

The questions this blog series will pose to community members won't be simple to answer, and will require participants to genuinely provide a heartfelt response.

At this point in time, work has already gone underway for the first installment in this series, and I've already compiled a few interesting responses to the first question so far.  My goal is to receive as many responses as I can by September 2nd and then begin work on the finished blog.  So if you'd like to participate, you've got time to think about your answer and get back to me.

I wouldn't launch such a time-consuming campaign if I didn't truly enjoy being a member of this community, so let me just thank you all once again for making these last few months enjoyable ones for me.  I greatly look forward to your input and responses if you're interested in this project!