In the past couple of years no other site has made a bigger impact in the gaming (news) community as News 4 Gamers (N4G). Being more of a news portal than a traditional gaming news site, in a very short time it has become the one-stop-shop for those in need of a gaming news fix. On it you’ll find news, previews, and editorials of gaming sites both large and small. From giant, corporate publications like IGN and 1UP. To the smaller, keeping-it-real blogs like Destructiod, Kotaku, and yours truly DualShockers. With all of the different gaming outlet’s stories and so much information on one page, it makes you wonder why it took so long for something like this to come about.
With so many sites out there, and the demand for gaming news rising at a rate what seems like every minute, it appears to be clear sailing for N4G and other gaming news portals like it. The questions are: How long will it be like that? What will loosen N4G’s grip of the gaming news community? The answer is that the next best thing is already here. This “N4G killer” usually has nothing to do with gaming and more with social networking and its name is … twitter.
I know what you’re thinking “yeah right, twitter is for stalking egotistical professional athletes and celebrities” and it is, but it’s also the ultimate way of staying on top of all of the latest gaming news. Just about every video game company on the planet is making or already has twitter accounts not just for their company, but individual titles as well. With their accounts constantly providing tasty morsels of information on a 24/7 basis, it’s a never-ending supply of gaming news. It’s isn’t like N4G (and other news portals) don’t get updates all day and night as well, it’s just that the information that comes in through twitter is not at the mercy of an overweight-living-in-his-parent’s-basement-never-felt-the-touch-of-a-woman-nothing-better-to-do-with-his-life-than-moderate-on-N4G-forum-troll.
This is not so much an attack on N4G’s moderation system, because for the most part it’s quite fair. The best example of positive moderation is when a story is reported for being a duplicate or having been previously posted. If someone beat’s you to the punch and posted a story first then you just have to cut your losses. However, when you put thought and effort into something original like an editorial piece just for it to be reported as “Lame” because the person moderating only likes articles about certain titles (because they aren’t real fans of gaming as whole) then the system needs changing.
With twitter, not only is that form of bullshit moderation non-existent but also all of the news is truly up-to-the-minute (or second rather). Being that this current want and need of instant gaming news information is at an all-time high with an end nowhere in sight, the evolution of news traveling through twitter is more of a logical step than anything else. Not only is it instant, but also you can choose who and what kind of news that you follow without all of the filler.
The temperature system in N4G is the coolest thing that they have going for them. The more views and discussion an article receives, the hotter it gets. The problem is that it’s quickly deemed null and void when you hit the page and the top story is usually a bias piece that all it did was manage to spark a fanboy war in it’s comments section.
Most of the time on N4G the people are arguing just for the sake of arguing, they read the headline or title of the article then decide whether or not to go to town in the comments section. On twitter no one will have to deal with it, unless of course they decide to follow the fanboy assholes as well. These are just some examples of how and why N4G (and sites like it) will soon go the way of the dinosaur and twitter will reign supreme. Now if you’ll please excuse me, I have to go send out some tweets.