As an aspiring video game journalist my interest in blogs naturally revolves around several sites that cover different aspects of gaming culture and news. As much as I would love to tell you I frequent political blogs of important figures, I would be making it all up. Let’s examine my top three gaming blogs.
The name itself is derived from the japanese word otaku, meaning unhealthy obsessed. In Japan otaku refers to people who are obsessed with games, anime, manga (comics), and singers. In the United States the word usually does not apply to fans of video games. However, Kotaku is unique in its coverage of games because it frequently posts multiple articles a day on subjects related to Asian Culture and news
An example of one of their crazy stories is their recent one about a policeman who is in trouble for forcing people to eat too many burgers in Japan. While stories like this are not video game related, it gives Kotaku a unique edge in that you never know what to expect when visiting this site. Other sites handle hard gaming news a bit more reliably than Kotaku does, but no other gaming site gives you an in-depth look into the Asian countries that have such a heavy hand in the video game industry today.
One other feature I really like about Kotaku is how they use a comment system that highlights posts by the articles author. So when you stumble upon a story which may be filled with comments from readers on a controversial topic, you can easily tell where the author has been replying to comments, both good and bad, to get their followed up perspective on the issue at hand.
Speaking of hard news, I consider Joystiq to be the leading site when it comes to breaking stories, reviews, previews, industry news and whatever else pertains to the industry. This is the first video game blog I started visiting on a daily basis, so naturally it is the site I look up to the most and aspire to write for a site like this someday.
Unlike Kotaku’s scattered and hectic appearance at times, Joystiq uses a very mellow and typical blog format that does not overwhelm in its appearance. Stories often contain videos in the article preview over pictures, which I find very important since video games are such a visual medium, seeing them in motion is far better than just a picture.
Joystiq’s popular “WRUP” (short for wrap up) series, which they post every week, invites a lot of reader interaction in the comments section by simply asking what games everyone is playing this weekend. While it may seem redundant, it is important to recognize your audience, and as a hard news site it is important to break from that mold once and awhile and invite discussion about less urgent topics covered elsewhere on the site.
Now we are getting down to the really niche and specialized gaming blog, Siliconera. As someone who has a strong interest in Japan and the gaming culture that goes with it, Siliconera is the go to site when I need my gaming news from the land of the rising sun.
This blog is dedicated solely to the coverage of Japanese games. Many of their articles are exclusive interviews with developers offering unique insights into the industry and game development as a whole. When it comes to reading about breaking news stories out of Japan, Siliconera is one of the only translated sources on the internet for such material, making it a highly prized blog for those who have an interest in import video game news.
The site is very by-the-books, with a simplistic layout that only contains a small thumbnail preview image for the story, in contrast to Kotaku’s overly flashy design or Joystiq’s use of large images and videos. One of the sites biggest strengths however is its community. Since it is a highly specialized blog, the readers form a strong support around the site, often leaving hundreds of comments on some of the more prominent news stories.