The lights are on
Power Member - Level 6
I originally posted this in the forums, but then I remembered no one would read it, so in the blogs it goes.
So after hearing and reading about Smackey's demotion I began to reflect on Game Informer Online as a whole. I started thinking about the people that have been on here in the past and who is on here now. I've been reminiscing about the good ol' days while at the same time just shaking my head in disgust at what it's become now. I look at what began here in mid-2003 and see where it's wound up ever since October 2009. And let me tell you, it ain't a pretty sight, now isn't it.
I first joined GIO in late 2004 under the screen name xenosaga_freak. At the time I was only 12 years old but there were a lot of folks there who I would come to respect, admire, and befriend. Old guys like Halbred, GCNMatt, Bao, Erkenbrand, and even some people who I still talk to to this day like Blade. Back in those days, there was a sense of camaraderie and togetherness that you could not find anywhere else on the Internet. I had looked at the forums on Gamespot and IGN but they just didn't compare to GIO in those days. It was a place of great discussions, great laughs, and great friendships.
Now look at what the site's become. All it seems to revolve around now is blogs and articles. Bollocks to the forums completely. It's bad enough that the forums themselves are poorly-functioning beta-stage forums, and it's worse yet that they're completely dead. But to completely segregate an entire section of the community just so you can boast about how many article views and blogs you have on the site is completely idiotic. There's a good reason why a lot of the good GIO vets either migrated to OTI or just jumped ship completely. They were smart enough to note how horrendous this site has become. Hell, it's why I haven't posted legitimately here in almost two years. I created OTI for two reasons: one is a reason that's a bit drawn-out if you don't know the story behind OTI, and the other is the fact that I was completely fed up with the horrendous community that has remained here.
Worse yet, it's come to the point where Game Informer as a brand has completely lost its professionalism. Not to beat a dead horse around here, but just look at everything that Game Informer has posted on this site in regards to Mass Effect 3. It all started with the thing with the User Ratings on Metacritic and how "they were getting trolled." Didn't it seem almost like they were pleading for people to just boost the User Ratings by giving the game 10's? First off, who the hell cares about User Ratings for any game anywhere? Secondly, GI, you already gave Mass Effect 3 a 10, as did over forty other critics. Do you really care THAT much about User Ratings when people just pay attention to critic reviews first and foremost anyway?
And don't even get me started on this crap with the ending to Mass Effect 3. Whoever wrote the ME3 review (I forget who it was; I think it may have been Reiner) wrote that the ending was a satisfying conclusion to Commander Shepard's story, and yet, it seems that about ninety-five percent of the Internet will disagree with you. Now, if you find a way to like the ending, or if you find something that's mentally stimulating to you, then all the power to you. That's fine. But don't shove your beliefs down people's throats and expect them to be accepted as fact, because that's not how it works. You act high and mighty that your opinion as a critic is right and anything that is in contradiction is wrong and the cries of "self-entitled, whiny fanboys." And you know what, this is where I throw off the diplomatic gloves and get serious.
Ever since the public outcry about the ending to ME3 started, the guys at Game Informer have subtly and not-so-subtly been calling out any haters of the ending as the previously stated. The "While You're At It, BioWare" article they posted is somewhat of a tipping point. If you guys were trying to maintain any sort of credibility and professionalism, then you definitely lost it.
Even the great Andy McNamara, the editor-in-chief, one of the first gaming journalists, has squandered away all professionalism he had. Take a look at Smackey's Twitter conversation with him, when he calls out whether or not GI actually saw the ending to the game, at which point Andy just calls Smackey a blatant troll. Or, how about when Andy states that "the tears of these crying fanboys taste so good?" Dude, come on. You're a godd*mn professional.
And I'm not complaining just because of what Game Informer says about Mass Effect 3. I'm not complaining because I may disagree with a good deal of the ratings they give games. This is about not only the lack of professionalism that this place has been left with, but also the fact that much of who's left of the community here is a mirror image of what Game Informer as a brand has become. You state your opinion, and it differs from someone else's, and you're essentially flame-bait. Not to use Smackey as an example again, but I'm using Smackey as an example again. Every single thing that Smackey said in that conversation on one of the articles a few days back reflects exactly what is wrong with this site. Smackey is entirely right.
It's sad, because this is what this site has devolved to. You don't like something that someone posts, and you just b*tch about it to GI or even Andy himself on Twitter. Which is what I'm sure will happen here. And you know what? I don't give a sh*t. There's a reason why I haven't posted a lot since the redesign. There's a reason why I haven't even so much as looked at the forums in close to two years. It's for the same reasons why all of the other great GI vets left years ago. They were all very aware of what the site was turning into, and they all knew it was not for the better.
For the past two years, I've run OTI and with it, I've created a strong community that filled with plenty of GIO vets, both old and new, both people I talked to before the redesign and people I've become good friends with since they migrated to OTI. From old vets like Blade, to people I never really talked to until they joined OTI like Throwme1, Stubbs, and yes, even Smackey; these are all people with whom I'm glad to say I'm friends. There isn't a single person here who, after reading their posts, I could ever share any sort of camaraderie or friendship with them. There's just no way. The site's basically devolved into a place where people blog about whatever and others race to get the first comment on an article.
If you had told me five years ago that this is what GIO would turn out to be, I'd have thought you were crazy.
But such is the case. Now, I'm sure pretty much no one will read this because, frankly, who actually reads the forums anymore. But I'm sure those of you who do will probably go tweet Andy or something and say what a horrible person I am because I'm speaking out against some sort of authoritarian regime. I'm sure I'm just messing up this place's artistic integrity. And you know what?
I'm totally fine with that. Get mad.