Whether you’re a first-time gamer or someone who has been gaming since the golden age, there’s no denying that the industry has grown. The sheer number of games being produced in 2018 dwarfs each year prior, and it doesn’t appear to be slowing down anytime soon. With so many games, it can be daunting trying to figure out which games to invest your time and money into; gaming blogs can help with this confusion. We’ve all experienced the familiar disappointment of firing up a game we’ve been waiting months to play, if not years and having it fall short of our expectations.
Fortunately, as more games are being published, more gaming blogs are being created. Since it’s no longer possible for gamers to try out every game that releases, blogs have become an essential tool in the gamer’s toolbox. They provide up-to-date information about new and future releases to help gamers answer their undying question, “Should I spend $60 on this?”.
General Gaming Blogs FAQ’s
The term “gaming” in this context relates to the digital game format, typically called “video games.” Gaming blogs cover games of all types and genres.
What Kinds Of Gaming Are There?
Traditionally, gaming has fallen into two subsets: console and PC. Game consoles, such as PlayStation, X-Box, and Nintendo systems, are self-contained devices that have the required hardware and software to play video games. Consoles require games and controllers to be designed specifically for use on them. PC gaming involves buying or building a laptop or desktop computer with the hardware required to play games. Gaming on Macintosh computers also falls into this category.
For gamers on the go, handheld games have been a well-defined section of gaming since the invention of the original GameBoy. Today, most people walk around with small computers in their pockets. Mobile gaming, which involves playing games on smartphones and tablets, has recently become an increasingly large section of gaming.
Is There A Difference Between Console Gaming And Computer Gaming?
Yes, although there’s less of a divide than there once was. Most games appear on all consoles and PC. Computers allow the most customization, which is countered by the cost of buying or building a computer to play games on. That investment offers more exclusive titles unavailable on consoles since the development and production process is much easier. Consoles have slight differences in their controllers, online compatibility, and select exclusive titles, but many console gamers own more than one.
What Is There To Write About Aside From Gaming Reviews?
The gaming industry buzzes with activity. The industry is still new, so the number of breakthrough titles is vast. Many titles spend years in development, and the games change course during that time as technology changes. There are also events, conferences, and tie in media that gamers want to know about, such as the Legend of Zelda Symphony Orchestra tour.
Is There Anything For Me If I Only Play Games On My Phone?
Yes. Phone games are quickly becoming a large branch of the gaming industry, so many gaming blogs are dedicating resources to those titles to provide information to the millions of people gaming on their smartphones. There are also gaming blogs geared specifically towards those games.
How We Reviewed The Blogs
Gaming blogs, much like this article, are subjective, so there’s no definite measurement. We looked at several attributes to determine which blogs made the list, and which fell short. The best gaming blogs are getting their content out as soon as the information is available, report exclusive information on upcoming releases, and maintain an active presence in the gaming community both online and at events. We also isolated sites that provide quality information on areas of gaming often overlooked or otherwise left out of general gaming blogs.
The Overall Gaming Community
The gaming community has become widespread and diverse. The core is video games. This includes an ever-expanding catalog of genres and tropes, including shooters, platforms, puzzles, adventure games, and more. The methods of interacting with these games is an entirely separate entity. Peripherals range from generic, like mice and keyboards, to specific, like a dance pad designed to play Dance Dance Revolution on the PlayStation 2, or a wireless racing wheel for the X-Box 360.
Within the gaming community, you’ll find gamers that play casually, professionally, and everywhere in between. Professional gaming, known as eSports, has become a lucrative portion of the gaming industry, with some gaming tournaments awarding millions of dollars in cash and prizes. On the other side of the coin, smartphones have made video games accessible to nearly everyone in some form or another, so you’re hard-pressed to find someone who doesn’t own a video game in some format.
Outside of gaming, video game fans have large overlaps with comics and anime. The greater gaming community sees quite a bit of interlacing of these mediums, such as the hit Netflix Anime based on the Castlevania series and the plethora of comic-book video games. Video games are an art formed by technology, which leads most gamers to have a love for computers and technology, as well as other technological forms of art, like electronic music.
The commonality between them all is an avid fan base of enthusiasts. Gamers are passionate about their hobbies, so the journalism that has spawned from it is equally passionate. Gaming blogs, review sites, podcasts, and YouTube channels are growing along with the art, offering voices to talented writers with a passion for games. The primary forms of articles are reviews and previews of games that have just released or will release soon. Game development is in a constant state of flux, so articles keep gamers appraised of the changes in their most awaited games, such as delays and the reasons for those delays.
Now, more than ever, gaming blogs are offering more journalistic articles surrounding video games. Gaming blogs write articles about developers and art directors, stories about the making of certain games, and even political topics that relate to gaming, such as legislation that impacts gamers or developers, gender diversity in the industry, and hacking schemes.
The result is a world of information centered around digital entertainment. With so much information available in the industry, finding reliable sources that don’t cut corners becomes more difficult. Whether you’re diving into gaming for the first time, or a lifelong gamer looking for better information, we’ve got the list of gaming blogs to get you the information you need.
What We Reviewed
While this list isn’t definitive, we outlined ten gaming blogs that provide quality writing, reliable information, and desired content. We wanted to include blogs geared towards different gamers. We checked out:
- Game Informer
- Touch Arcade
- That VideoGame Blog
- Indie Games
Game Informer is one of the few pieces of gaming journalism that still manages a print version. This is due largely to their connection with the retail juggernaut GameStop, which includes subscriptions to Game Informer with their discount card. The connection with GameStop also provides Game Informer with extensive access to insider information, interviews with publishers, and early access to games for reviews. Their online presence is the largest of any gaming blog, boasting the largest number of subscribers on the planet.
That’s not surprising, considering they post over a dozen articles per day. Game Informer ensures that gamers of all genres are represented through their content, which has helped make them the final say in many gamers’ eyes. Nods from Game Informer, like their Game of the Year award, hold significant weight for a developer.
If you’re looking for high-quality journalism in your gaming blogs, Kotaku is likely part of your daily routine. On top of normal gaming blog articles, it features profiles of game creators and Op-Ed pieces from a team of humorous writers. Kotaku prides itself on being inclusive of gamers of any gender, ethnicity, and sexual orientation, which is reflected in their articles. Kotaku’s reputation for honest writing and investigative journalism makes them one of the closest gaming blogs you can find to the true news.
The other major gaming blog that features large amounts of investigative journalism is Joystiq. Joystiq became a powerhouse capable of going head to head with Kotaku on every topic. They feature dozens of articles every day, handling every topic in the industry as soon as the information comes out. Joystiq was owned by America Online, so operations for the company ceased in 2015 along with most of AOL. Joystiq’s operations were continued by Endgadget, and the gaming blog continues to be a primary source for gamers.
VG247 has taken the UK by storm over the past decade. With a team of experienced industry professionals, headed by Patrick Garratt, VG247 was the first major gaming blog out of England. In their second year, they won the “Best Online Blog” award at the 2009 Games Media Awards, with Garratt taking home the “Best Specialist Online Writer” award. VG247 falls into the same niche as Kotaku and Joystiq: focusing less on game reviews, and more on gaming news. VG247 features dozens of articles a day covering all major topics in the industry.
In the same vein as their rivals, VG247 exhibits excellent writing with mild humor and has easy access to industry events and professionals in Europe.
As we mentioned, smartphone games are growing faster than any other part of the gaming industry. Many mobile games have free options, and the touchscreens on phones provide unique opportunities for puzzle games. Touch Arcade is the premier gaming blog that focuses specifically on mobile gaming. Most gaming blogs tend to neglect this area of the industry, so Touch Arcade popped up to fill the void.
The gaming blog stays true to their content, so they’re currently only producing half a dozen articles per day. However, with announcements like the mobile version of Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, expect that volume to increase along with industry content.
When we explained in the FAQ’s that most games appear on all consoles, we should have mentioned that Nintendo games are the exception. Nintendo pioneered the industry and continued to create a library of exclusive games for their systems. Nintendo likes to keep the industry on its toes, and GoNintendo is the gaming blog that sorts and analyzes it. Whether it’s the dozens of daily posts or the active forum of passionate Nintendo fans, GoNintendo is the place to be after a Nintendo announcement.
Nintendo makes most of their announcement directly to the fans through Nintendo Direct, and the active forum of GoNintendo acts as a conduit between the fans and the company. GoNintendo digs into the dozens of game series’ being developed by Nintendo, and with the current success of the 3DS and Switch, the gaming blog won’t be short of need-to-know content anytime soon.
Some gaming blogs venture beyond the standard medium. Destructoid is one of those, producing daily video streams and gaming new shows on top of 40-50 articles. Destructoid is fully immersed in the gaming industry as well as anything that relates to it. They’ve done gaming marathons for charity and broken their fair share of news stories. Mr. Destructoid, the company’s robot mascot, has been featured in several games including Bomberman Live, Retro City Rampage, and even appeared as an avatar costume for X-Box Live.
As far as gaming blogs go, Destructoid is an all-in-one shop that has content for every gaming aficionado and has a large presence in the gaming community.
That VideoGame Blog
Few gaming blogs could pull off a name like “That VideoGame Blog,” but this one does. It takes the concept of blogging and polishes it to provide some of the best content on the web. They have a team of writers offering a wide variety of opinion pieces, and articles surrounding the gaming culture. You’ll be able to find standard gaming blog articles such as reviews on the newest games and equipment, but their golden eggs come from the unique writing and genuine feel of the articles. Like Destructoid, this is a gaming blog perfect for readers that want to immerse themselves in the surrounding culture of gaming.
With digital production a new industry standard, indie developers are finding access to tools that were never available in the past. These games don’t receive much advertisement due to the nature of being developed independently, so even the most informed gamers can miss out on some best games being made today. Indie Games is the gaming blog that highlights these games, so that gamers who are interested in playing low-production, quality games can find them. Indie Games gets exclusive looks and interviews with independent developers.
It offers a unique look into the development process for indie titles and focuses on quality over quantity, so don’t expect to find mainstream gaming fluff to pad their numbers. With only a couple of posts each day, Indie Games embodies the spirit of an independent developer, reporting only on the content promised to their readers.
There’s a significant overlap between casual gaming and mobile gaming. With a focus on casual gaming, Gamezebo covers much of the same content as Touch Arcade. However, Gamezebo separates itself by being a resource for gamers, rather than a news source. This gaming blog features reviews, tips, guides, and cheats to help gamers experience their media to the fullest extent. It’s a useful gaming blog for relaxed gamers who aren’t looking to sink hours of trial and error into their recreation.
Gamers who want to experience all a game has to offer with little time to spare can turn to Gamezebo for help and insights into content that might have gotten missed. Gamezebo will still offer reviews and previews of casual games so you won’t be in the dark about what your favorite developers are working on.
If you’re looking for an overall gaming blog to provide you with the essential news, Kotaku is probably your best bet. The quality and honesty of their journalism are outstanding, and you’ll never find yourself out of the loop. Their writers are entertaining and personable, offering slight humor in their articles, and you can trust that any issue in the gaming world is addressed on their site as soon as possible.
All the blogs listed fall near that line in their respective areas. No single site can be objectively identified as the omega, and many gamers visit multiple gaming blogs to get their news. Try visiting one of the general gaming blogs like Kotaku or Game Informer, and add a gaming blog for your favorite subgenre, like Indie Games or Touch Arcade. If you’re not looking for reviews on games, and just want gaming news, VG247 is your hero. Any of the blogs listed here are worthy of your time. As long as you’re passionate about gaming, they’ll keep you informed.