: Edtiorial: Why Video Game Blogs Suck

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Edtiorial: Why Video Game Blogs Suck

This isn't a direct attack on any one gaming blog, nor do I intend to insult anyone who works hard at such sites. This is more of a logical observation and realization: the blog format just plain sucks for an information and content-based website.

Arnold and I were talking about this a little while ago, not long after some readers mistook PSX Extreme for a "blog." This is one of our biggest pet peeves because we are most certainly not a blog and we never will be. And after researching sources for several years in the industry, I've come to the conclusion that I absolutely despise looking for info on video game blogs. They're just awful. It's not the content or the writing (although both can be suspect in certain cases), but it's the layout; the structure that fails to deliver what anyone would call a "browser-friendly" experience. Let's face it: despite the insane popularity of the blog, what we all know - deep down - is that it's the poor man's version of a legitimate website. Any dope with a keyboard can have a blog, and that should be a clue right there... And yes, while there are more professional blogs out there now, they all still hold a similar style and it really, really, sucks.

Now, I have nothing against people writing about their own opinions, nor am I about to insult those who work diligently every day as an entertainment journalist to provide readers with what they desire. This remains true whether the venue is a blog or a website. However, can anybody honestly tell me a site like ours (or any other gaming website) is more difficult to peruse than a blog? I find that downright impossible. You can't find anything on a blog. Where exactly are the videos? ...do you have any? What about reviews or previews or features or editorials or whatever? Even if you do have them, they can oftentimes be extraordinarily difficult to find. I'm willing to bet that new visitors will simply give up after a few minutes of scrolling down...and scrolling down...and scrolling down...and finding very little. Post a picture, a snippet of an article, a link to the source, and bam, you have a blog. I'm not in the least bit impressed.

It's a particularly bad format for the world of video games. There are more than a few different pieces of content that gamers are looking for on a daily basis, and without a standard website format, they're going to go wanting. It's not just about news or other quick pieces of content tossed up there in a linear fashion, one after the other like they're lining 'em up for a firing squad. It's about providing your readers with as much as they could want in one place, without having to bounce around to other sites. This is - or should be - the purpose of a successful website, and I know we go out of our way to keep things diverse and fleshed-out. Sure, we lack in a few areas here and there; I'm perfectly willing to admit our shortcomings, especially when no game site is perfect. We can all improve in a variety of different areas, but in my opinion, there's only one way to improve a gaming blog: overhaul the whole damn thing, step out of the trendy but impractical, and rejoin the rest of the functioning, useful Internet in regular website land.

Lastly, I think it's very difficult to be in the least bit professional on a video game blog. The articles are rarely full pieces, there's a whole lot of subjectivity and bias injected into the updates, and the entire format just looks low-rent. I completely understand the idea of creating a good community, and many would argue that blogs allow the readers to become more intimately acquainted with the writers and with other viewers. I actually used to believe this until we started to create a great community here with our Comments section. We know many of our avid readers and they know us, and that's probably more than most any gaming blog can claim. So in the end, I fail to see any benefit of the blog format whatsoever; all I see are negatives and downsides. The bottom line is that I find them to be a waste of a reader's time. Again, no offense to those who frequent the gaming blogs out there, but come on...what is the attraction?

11/5/2008 Ben Dutka

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Comments (37 posts)

Cavan
Wednesday, November 05, 2008 @ 3:57:51 PM
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couldn't agree more, i bloody hate blogs, the thing that gets me is blogs are very opionated, however since theyve wrote it down or done a video, they believe its gospel just because its on a blog, and they forget that its just their opions and their not always right.

Last edited by Cavan on 11/5/2008 3:58:13 PM

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ceedot
Wednesday, November 05, 2008 @ 8:53:29 PM

Has anyone else noticed that every first comment on articles like this always say 'couldn't agree more' or 'couldn't say it better' or some sh** like that?

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Fabi
Wednesday, November 05, 2008 @ 4:05:04 PM
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I don't care for them, but also don't mind them. Too much other stuff to worry about, plus all I need is this site for my news.

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FLYING_APE
Wednesday, November 05, 2008 @ 4:07:25 PM
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Don't go to blogs waste of memory.

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tlpn99
Wednesday, November 05, 2008 @ 4:19:54 PM
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I don't go to blogs either, only come here for my gaming needs, gives me more than enough info. This site has been very helpful when im choosing my games as reviews are good if a game sucks you guys say so and don't sit on the fence.

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LunaticFringe
Wednesday, November 05, 2008 @ 4:22:26 PM
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I come here to get my news, and if I feel like voicing my opinion, I can do that too.

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Joe_III
Wednesday, November 05, 2008 @ 4:29:29 PM
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i generally hate blogs, and mine is a pos, but one of my top 3 vg sites uses a blog format. It's not great when looking stuff up, but that one in particular does have its benefits.

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Wage SLAVES
Wednesday, November 05, 2008 @ 5:25:31 PM
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I LOVE this place. Easy navigation and news WE want to know and we dont have to scour the Earth for it. The community is awesome and the tiny arguments here are usually semantics rather than flame wars. Love it. (A blog could only wish)

Last edited by Wage SLAVES on 11/5/2008 5:26:18 PM

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jonny_bolton
Wednesday, November 05, 2008 @ 5:26:30 PM
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I cannot understand blogs or the people that read/worship them. There's so much crap on the internet already without a million people telling me their, frankly worthless, opinion on things they've done or seen. They are the most tediously boring reads and that they can often be passed off as genuine news is like saying the general crap I spew in the pub amogst freinds derveses a place on the 10 o'clock news...

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DragonSphere
Wednesday, November 05, 2008 @ 7:16:18 PM
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Wow so much blog hate here...lol. I guess I'll be the first here to support it then.

To be honest, I spend a HUGE chunk of time perusing a few gaming blogs daily, though I admit most of my gaming news is done through Kotaku. The thing is, I don't go to it expecting a full fledged gaming website - as was pointed out in the article, the structure of such blogs couldn't possibly organize all those features anyway - but rather see it as a quick update on the pulse of gaming world/culture. Yea it is annoying sometimes to try and find articles or reviews of games that have been driven down to other pages, but it doesn't bother me much. I use gaming blogs as a primary source of news anyway, so I don't care if they lack "full featured" items like consistent videos, previews, editorials what have you. If I find something interesting via the headline, I'll just bookmark it for later reading.

This is where I think blogs shine: a lot of them update at least every hour of the day, so there's always something to read. Sure, some of these are filler, such as sales statistics and whatnot, but most of the time they're genuinely interesting (for me at least) to read. With Kotaku, I particular enjoy the writers and their individual styles - I don't see why there's so much objection to subjectivity since that is the purpose of blogs in the first place (plus, there are plenty of other sources for objective game news as it is). I don't find their opinions overbearing either, but I think it adds some entertainment value to complement the constant news updates - a style and flair, if you will. If I don't happen to agree with one writer, then Hell, I don't agree with him. No harm done - it's no different from reading a review and arguing over whether the author's opinion was right or wrong (which is an exercise in futility anyway).

Also, sometimes on blogs you'll find information/updates that genuine video game sites wouldn't be able to cover outside the norm of news, reviews, etc. For example, one of the weekend writers for Kotaku primarily provides links/comments on various academia articles about gaming scoured from the web - ie, the significance of the "silent protagonist", game design philosophies of MMO's, etc. just to name a recent few. These kinds of things won't appeal to everyone obviously, especially those just looking for screenshots or hard facts about particular games, but again, to me it's pretty interesting stuff.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that you can't go into a blog thinking to expect the same features as say PSXE here, IGN, or Gamespot, since as Ben noted, it just doesn't work that way - and to those blogs that try to do it, well all the more luck to them. Places like Kotaku/Destructoid/Joystiq/etc. tend to encompass an entertaining look at video game culture as a whole, which I find highly addicting to read about. Of course, they are not the end-all source for gaming information, so that's why I frequent sites like PSXE and the others I mentioned to get a bigger glimpse of everything.

Well I hope that made some sense to why I enjoy reading game blogs. Don't quite understand where the hate is coming from, but hey, to each his own.

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the_importer
Wednesday, November 05, 2008 @ 7:23:52 PM
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Hate to burst your bubble, but this is a blog just like Kotaku is a blog. I seem to recall a few rather negative articles on Wii and XBOX360 here, these are usually a good example of modern gaming blogs.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Wednesday, November 05, 2008 @ 7:33:49 PM

Not a blog, chief. Look up the definitions.

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the_importer
Wednesday, November 05, 2008 @ 7:45:42 PM

@Ben Dutka PSXE

I would if it was a real word, but it's not, it's one of the web words with no official definition, meaning that people associate them with that they feel best.

In my case, I see this blog to be no different from Kotaku or GoNintendo. I come to this blog for PS3 news for the same reason why I go to GoNintendo for Nintendo news, because they group news from multiple real gaming websites (official sites and news sites like GameSpot and IGN).

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Wednesday, November 05, 2008 @ 7:56:00 PM
Reply

I'm not about to battle semantics. We're not a blog and please don't call us that. The idea that every website on earth is a "blog" has to die.

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the_importer
Wednesday, November 05, 2008 @ 8:19:18 PM

Show me concrete evidence of what a blog is ( a real official definition, not Wikipedia) and I won't call your site one.

Case and point, your site doesn't have the content of GameSpot or IGN, hell, you don't even have the kind of exclusives that Kotaku does and I consider that last one a blog.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Wednesday, November 05, 2008 @ 8:37:37 PM

A Blog is such, it lacks true editorial comment. You fellows lured to this community by failed attempts cannot mar reality.

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DIsmael85
Wednesday, November 05, 2008 @ 8:03:36 PM
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Kotaku is a blog, best definition, this is a news site. If some of you cant get the difference then you've got issues. Kotaku is the worst case of how a blog sucks.

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AceTatsujin
Wednesday, November 05, 2008 @ 8:09:39 PM
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VG247 considered a blog? I think they are. But they keep me updated on some important things that are happening in the gaming divison while I'm at work. I can't access PSX or N4G.com or GameTrailers.com (or the rest of the websites I look at).

I just know that whatever you guys grab, they grab. Usually you beat them, or they beat you. But once someone gets a hold of a source, or information and post them on the Internet ... it spreads like a virus in less than 24 hours. So I'm glad it happens that way.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Wednesday, November 05, 2008 @ 8:25:40 PM
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It's actually been awhile since I was pushed by my own mind to comment before I read the entire article and all comments (indeed since I signed up to this site) but I was a tad motivated in this way tpday. I've seen PSXE reviews picked up (with little credit) as excellent and shown elsewhere of course; but certain VG blogs indeed have reached the Jerry Springer category. Some of the bottom feeders have even profited on it, but I have faith it will be a lunatic fringe group and am not troubled by it's particular brand of madness.

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AceTatsujin
Wednesday, November 05, 2008 @ 8:36:19 PM
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One more thing, I come to PSX because it focuses on PS3, PSP, PS2 and whatever other PS information relatively. Reviews are well made and articles make sense.

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Reccaman18
Wednesday, November 05, 2008 @ 8:45:45 PM
Reply

Main Entry: blog
Part of Speech: n
Definition: an online diary; a personal chronological log of thoughts published on a Web page; also called Weblog, Web log
Example: Typically updated daily, blogs often reflect the personality of the author.
Etymology: shortened form of Weblog
Usage: blog, blogged, blogging v, blogger n

That what you're looking for Importer? That is a definition from dictionary.com and it seems like it IS a word. That should prove to you that this site is clearly not a blog.

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ceedot
Wednesday, November 05, 2008 @ 8:52:37 PM
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lol, wouldn't you call this article a blog? It's your opinion, therefor a blog. That's what I thought a blog was. A writers opinion on something. Seems a big ironic to Me.

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the_importer
Wednesday, November 05, 2008 @ 9:04:42 PM
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@WorldEndsWithMe

"A Blog is such, it lacks true editorial comment. You fellows lured to this community by failed attempts cannot mar reality."

Proof, where's your proof of that, I see no proof, only your POV.

Failure

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Wednesday, November 05, 2008 @ 9:31:05 PM

You can stop now. Otherwise, I'll just send you on your way. Being purposely obtuse is a disgustingly adolescent trait. WE'RE NOT A BLOG.

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the_importer
Thursday, November 06, 2008 @ 6:01:02 AM

@Ben Dutka PSXE

"You can stop now. Otherwise, I'll just send you on your way. Being purposely obtuse is a disgustingly adolescent trait. WE'RE NOT A BLOG."

You realize the irony of calling me immature (I'm 28 BTW) when your only line of defense is "I'm not a blog because I say so and if you don't agree then I'll ban you"?

I asked you to provide me with actual evidence of what is a real gaming site and what is a blog and you failed to do so, I guess this discussion is over now. Banning me would only prove my point in this case, so go headed, knock yourself out, I only subscribed to show you your place anyway.

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food86
Wednesday, November 05, 2008 @ 9:42:50 PM
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I can't believe how naive people are. As a matter of fact psxextreme is not a blog. A blog is a place where a person puts in his personal thoughts and updates throughout the day with links and opinions. If this place was a blog then everything they would say here would be in first person and not given to people as a matter of opinion. Please read adequately and reason within your minds. When they give out articles and give out the daily news they handle it with profesionalism. Whereas a blogger only comments on his opinion and anything else becomes insignificant in his eyes. Pretty much a blog is like a diary. Excuse me, but a diary does not contain news. Great work to ben and the rest of the people behind psx definetely not a blog.

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Joe_III
Wednesday, November 05, 2008 @ 10:16:06 PM
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this is not a blog. A blog has and always will be a diary published online. Some sites use a blog style, but they're not blogs. Also, a lot of blogs use website styling, but they're not websites.

if you want to see what a blog-type site looks like go to the gawker sites (kotaku, jalopnik, gizmodo) and learn something.

If you want to see what a website looks like, go to teamxbox .com, or crispygamer .com.

This is an actual site, with indices, quick links to different areas, and everything associated with websites.

Regular posts is something of a necessity, and most sites have it. you don't see msn having the same articles on their frontpage all day long do you? no, and for good reason.
Plus, when information is released by different companies at different times of the day, a website would need to update itself frequently to stay relevent.

All you ... people ... wouldn't come to this site so frequently if he didn't update frequently would you? No you wouldn't.

Granted, this site puts out a lot more opinion articles than most others, but I personally enjoy it tremendously. I have had rather great conversations as a result. I've even been surprised with who I've agreed with and disagreed with at times.

If anyone really decides to debate this, maybe they need remedial internet classes.

/obama threads on the forum have got me mad.

Last edited by Joe_III on 11/5/2008 10:16:57 PM

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Wednesday, November 05, 2008 @ 10:25:45 PM

Thank you, Joe.

And I'll look at the forum. We don't want political craziness in there.

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_nightwalker85
Wednesday, November 05, 2008 @ 10:50:28 PM
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this is a grate site but this was not a good article to wright when 1/2 of your news comes from blogs like kotaku or joystick. Im very sorry to say this im prob going to get a lot of static for saying this but ben why do you threaten to kick people off the site for saying things you dont like. sorry again.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Wednesday, November 05, 2008 @ 10:56:09 PM

No, not at all. But remember that's inaccurate; most of the original sources are never from blogs.

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Jed
Wednesday, November 05, 2008 @ 11:43:24 PM
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i think it's good that ben filters out the jerks that come here and respond as negitively as possible. They say something to contradict him and start an arguement. If you disagree with the guy than explain your logic and have a conversation. dont come here looking for a fight

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FLYING_APE
Thursday, November 06, 2008 @ 1:14:20 AM

This is a ps site gtfo aaaarrrrrgggghhhhh lool

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CH1N00K
Thursday, November 06, 2008 @ 10:10:34 AM
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Gotta be honest, I guess this shows my interest of things on the internet, I've never really looked at a website and thought: "Gee I wonder if this is a blog or a game site." If someone wants to write an opinion (editorial or blog?) and can back up their comments with facts, then that's what I look for. I come here because the articles are informative, and the comments that follow are generally really entertaining. I honestly don't know what the "real" definition of a blog is, and personally, don't really care. If i'm entertained and interested then I'll keep reading.

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Zorigo
Thursday, November 06, 2008 @ 12:58:00 PM
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i should know. i tried to make one. slightly unsuccessfully. but hey, gave it a shot.

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GamerKid123
Thursday, November 06, 2008 @ 1:28:42 PM
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This is NOT A BLOG! End of story, fullstop... Good Night!

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WorldEndsWithMe
Thursday, November 06, 2008 @ 10:29:31 PM
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the_importer = blogger

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Friday, November 07, 2008 @ 12:49:31 AM

Well, duh. ;)

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