Ever since the video game industry came into existence it was no surprise that it would gain a journalistic following to some degree. It wasn’t until the 90s when video game journalism began to spread around more and more across the world. Back then though, it was all about magazines in a stark contrast to today where the internet has the vast majority of the video game journalism around. In the last decade more websites dedicated to video game journalism appeared than magazines have. In fact, over the last decade several video game based magazines have closed their doors and stopped their printers for good or to make a transition to the internet. This article will be all about one of the latter companies that did so, Game Informer.
An Overview of Game Informer
Entering the scene of video game journalism on August 1991, Game Informer http://www.gameinformer.com/ has been one of the long lasting providers of video game information in North America for 25 years and going. Originally, Game Informer released an issue every two months until November 1994 where it was decided that the magazine would be released monthly. The parent company behind Game Informer’s ownership and publishing is GameStop Corp., the very same company behind the GameStop video game retail stores. This is partly why Game Informer has had a leg up compared to its competition as GameStop members are also given a year-long subscription to Game Informer and being a GameStop member gives a good share of in-store benefits. Over the last few years, physical copies of Game Informer have vanished from the racks of stores and GameStops while digital ones have gone out in their place, although physical copies still exist and subscribers can request to be given physical copies instead of digital ones.
Speaking of digital, the Game Informer website has some interesting history behind it. Originally launched in August 1996, the site only lasted until January 2001 where it was closed down. However, the site was then relaunched in September 2003 where it gained many new features in comparison to its original iteration. Then in March 2009 the site was given a complete overhaul and hasn’t changed at all since.
Features of the Site
Upon loading up the site completely, the first thing Game Informer’s site greets its visitors with is a collection of news and features stories at the center of the page while below that is a long column listing news articles or blogs written by the members of the site depending on if one clicks “The feed” or “blogs.” On the right side of the screen is a column filled with list of things including: an entire series of articles dedicated to one particular game, more featured articles, a poll, previews for upcoming games, reviews of recently released games, editor blogs, user blogs, and several other items as well. At the top of the home page is a row of categories in a black bar labeled “Home,” “Platforms,” “News,” “Reviews,” “Previews,” “Explore,” “Take Part,” “Magazine,” and “Hubs.”
The bottom of the site contains a row of headers reading “Cover Stories,” “Shows,” “Columns,” “Must Read,” “Magazine,” and “Service” with each one having links beneath them that direct users to other sections of the website. In addition to all of this, the site also has a forum for all members of Game Informer to converse and interact with each other.
Game Informer updates on a more than daily basis as there’s on average three major news articles posted on the site throughout a single day. However, that’s just news articles as blogs by the editors and users can outnumber the amount of articles posted. Content such as previews and reviews are updated in accordance to what has been released in order to produce them. If no new games have been released, then there can be no reviews.
Game Informer possesses a great deal of variety within its web site. All of the news, reviews, and previews it has in regards to games is also combined with the amount of blogs made by its editors and members of its community. Not all of its articles are text with pictures, some of them are text with a video included and some articles even focus on presence of the pictures in them than the text itself. Furthermore, they have content for everything currently happening in regards to the 8th and 7th generations of console gaming with PC included as well.
Initially, Game Informer is a site with black text, white backgrounds, and grey sub-headers. The white background isn’t blinding at all and perfectly contrasts the black text so it can be read with ease. If for whatever reason a white background is found unfavorable it’s okay because there’s a switch at the top right corner of the site next to the search bar that can change that. Pressing the button styled like a light switch inverts all of the colors turning the text white, the white background black, and the grey into a tint of black. This color scheme can be easier on the eyes for some and is still just as easily readable as the default color scheme. If this color scheme isn’t preferred, then another click of the light switch button will bring back the default white background and black text scheme.