As you may have noticed, the content on VGW has slowed significantly over the past couple of weeks. While this would normally be a cause for alarm, as VideoGameWriters.com’s new Editor-in-Chief, I want to assure you that in our case, it’s a sign of a transformation taking place (Consider these past few weeks our Metapod/Kakuna phase). Ever since I was a part of the two-man team that launched VideoGameWriters.com in 2010, the site’s mission has always been to provide a unique twist on news coverage, as well as some of the most thought-provoking feature articles on the web. At its peak, VGW achieved that goal. And it worked. Readers flocked to us and we enjoyed relatively large traffic spikes thanks to the support of our community.
Recently, however, the editorial staff has decided that it’s time for a change. We’re tired of the climate where our writers sit around in our digital newsroom, read news pieces written by other reporters and then rewrite them, only adding a small amount of unique content to the end of each news article. As our Staff Writer Russell Jones stated when we first brought the idea of change to our staff, “It’s time for us to stop being Video Game Rewriters, and start being Video Game Writers again.”
So we’re doing just that.
Look, we know that a site our size will never be able to keep up with the Polygons, Joystiqs and Game Informers of the world when it comes to across-the-board news coverage. It is for that reason that VGW will be discontinuing news coverage on the site. Instead, VGW will offer editorialized news pieces such as this one on inFAMOUS 2, or this one on EA’s Origin. One of our initial missions was to “improve the signal-to-noise ratio,” and this will help us achieve that.
We also recognize that most people get their news from Twitter, rather than actual news sites. We understand that our community wants to remain in the know regarding news, and rather than us rewriting news and crediting those who actually break the stories at the bottom of our regurgitation of said story, we’re just going to tweet the actual story from one of the original sources. This way, we won’t be stealing traffic away from those who do the real journalism and, at the same time, we’ll be able to keep you, our readers, up to date with the latest news in the industry we love. If you want to be a part of that, follow our feed on Twitter.
Reviews will also see an enormous format change: We won’t have any.
Instead, VGW will begin offering honest critiques that defy the normal conventions associated with the word “review.” The first step we’ll be taking will involve the removal of scores from all future critiques. While typical review-like articles that touch on the positives and negatives of a game as a whole will continue to appear, they will be unchained from limitations caused by our previous set of review rules. In addition, not unlike what our PostScript column has done in the past, we will begin seeing more focused critiques of games. For example, one of our most recent entries in the PostScript column was looking directly at the story of Dishonored. Going forward, you will begin to see more articles like this one in lieu of traditional reviews. Also included in this change will be the production of more critiques of games upon second play or critiques of older games that have been clogging up our backlogs.
Of course, when looking at VGW, I sincerely hope the first thing you think about when you hear our name is our section full of awesome feature articles. With the site becoming more feature-centric, this will actually be the area of the site that experiences the least amount of change. You can continue to expect entries from popular columns such as Eleven Things and Essential Gaming, as well as new, exciting feature articles from our writers and editors. I’m thrilled for you all to see the expansion that this section of VGW will see in the coming months.
Also remaining fairly untouched will be our podcasts, “Unlimited Ammo” and “Your Franchise Sucks.” These podcasts play a major role in our vision for VGW and it would be foolish for us to abandon them now.
The tl;dr version
Unfortunately, there is no tl;dr version for VGW anymore. Our new format is all about encouraging our readers to read beyond the headline and to forget about assigning a numeric value to one’s enjoyment of a game. If you’re the kind of person who clicks on a review and does nothing but scroll to the bottom to see a score, VGW’s new experience might take some getting used to. But for those who enjoy reading intriguing angles on news, honest critiques on video games and unique feature articles, I want to be the first to welcome you to the new era of VideoGameWriters.com.
Thank you for reading and I hope you’re as excited about this new direction as I am!