Last week gamers across the country were struck a blow with the seemingly out-of-nowhere disbanding of Gametrailers.com. A website dedicated to not only the trailers, but coverage of video games and the industry itself from top to bottom. Gametrailers had been struggling for years with acquisitions, budget cuts, layoffs and office relocations that crippled the once strong gaming journalism outlet. It was a slow and painful death for Gametrailers, but unfortunately it’s a reflection of the state of video game media coverage as a whole.
There was a time that doesn’t seem so long ago that video game websites like videogames.com, 1up.com and IGN were prime spots for getting your latest news on the industry. In addition to the popular websites we had a wide swath of game magazines like EGM and Game Fan. We even had G4, an entire cable network dedicated to gaming. Spike TV got in on the mix too with game award shows as well as shows like Game Head. So what happened? Where did it all go?
It seems like as the days go on there are fewer and fewer high end outlets that cater to us gamers. This year the longest standing and arguably best show for gamers, The Electric Playground, signed off after 25 seasons on the air. Host and creator Victor Lucas still produces his podcast and some YouTube content for us, but it’s simply not the same. There’s a change in the air and it seems like us gamers are left with fewer options to find our gaming news.
What we’re left with is a slew of social media feed sites like Kotaku and Giant Bomb and a small handful of quality game focused websites. Our once bountiful supply of game coverage has been withered away to a handful of hipsters who post click bait on Facebook and call it ‘journalism’.
Are we, as gamers to blame for this shift? Did we do enough when these great shows, magazines and websites were around to show our support and patronage? Or were the corporate penny pushers that are behind these larger network happenings simply done cutting us in on the greater media pie? I’m in no position to say, but I will say this: I will continue to show my support for the men and women who create and produce content that aims itself at our seemingly quite-voiced demographic. I will continue to watch and support Geoff Keighly’s Game Awards, I will continue to plug and recommend small operations like The Dadcade and Nintendo Dads.
We owe it to all the people who work hard to bring us our game coverage. The big guys and the little guys. We’re all in it because of our love of video games. So let’s stop ‘Liking’ and ‘Retweeting’ so much and actually show our support. Tell your favorite game outlet in an email or a forum post how much you value their work. Make our voices heard so that it doesn’t get drowned out.
Thank you to everyone who continues to provide us with coverage of video games. We appreciate you and we want you to stick around.