I love all press in video games journalism, Bitmob.com especially (wink wink). I read everything from everywhere and rarely go flaunting the content of one journalistic outlet verse another, but Giant Bomb has done something that may have raised the bar for press outlets across the industry. Dare I say, all web sites across the Internet. The implementation of a Quest system for their users. See a synopsis of my most recent online addiction after the jump…
Games journalism is changing. Year after year, new advents in technology have evolved the landscape for press and readers alike. Now after years of waiting, the ideas behind reading about video games and playing video games may have found harmony thanks to one media outlet, Giant Bomb.com. Their recent implementation of a Quest system has become my new Internet addiction. Like most platforms and many new games, achievements/trophies have become the new standard for increasing replay value and driving competitive gaming everywhere. Now, it has migrated to the way we learn about games. This lends itself extremely well to a site like Giant Bomb specifically, for a few different reasons.
First and foremost, the site itself has much more to offer than your average journalistic outlet and the way the quest system is designed, it encourages exploration of all the content the site offers. Sure they have your usual article posts like: reviews, previews, features, news and various editorials. The x-factor though comes from their database and user-managed wikis, which basically is looking to catalog the video game industry in its entirety. If any person, place, or thing may have had something to do with a video game, there is a place for it here. Many people who frequent Giant Bomb may not have been utilizing this, so the quest system has quests designed to have users scourer the various pages for that one piece of information the quest was hinting at. Which brings us to the second point; the hints behind each quest only help so much. A lot is trial and error and from my own experience, I have spent more time crawling through Giant Bombs database over the past few weeks, than I have in the past 2 years. It is incredibly smart and also incredibly annoying of those guys, but I have to give them credit. This may be the single smartest marketing effort of 2010 by any website. It drives people to not only interact with the site, but to build the site by; adding reviews, posting blogs, updating wikis, communicating with other users, etc.
Last, I feel that this has potential to do a lot for the community on Giant Bomb. First off Quest Sets like Vanity Smurf or Sonny Listn’ require users to fill out their personal information, connect their profile to external sources of social media and add some individuality to their profiles. Quests have caused me no end of frustration, but thanks to the forums and the community that makes them great, I was able to get a few more hints and complete a couple quests that were giving me a hard time. Again, another example of increasing the communication among users. Limited Edition quests add to the pressure by being time sensitive or limited to a certain number of people before the quests are no longer available. Lending a sense of urgency to some quests. So far, I have made it to level 11 and am doing pretty well, but with new quests coming out every week, the possibilities are endless.
If you are interested in participating in this meta-game, go to www.giantbomb.com
and if you liked this post by Sean Hinz, visit his blog for more content www.speedracerunt.blogspot.com