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Update: 30 June 2008- I think I've calmed down a little bit since this post. I still feel that there is a lot of work to be done on N4G, but on average, the people that run it and use it are great. They are a wealth of information and opinions that I can't get anywhere else. So, in closing, I think I'll give them a second shot. What about you?

I'm disappointed. I had to give up my favorite gaming site today. Why? Because the fanboys and poor control by the administration killed it. I know, it's not actually dead yet, but it is to me. I'm talking about N4G, the News For Gamers site. I used to visit everyday to see what was happening in the videogame world. It was convenient because all the news from dozens of site would be collected, approved, and posted by the gamers of N4G. When I first joined, a couple of months ago, all was fine. Sure, there were fanboys there, find me a gaming site that doesn't have them. What really turned me off of the site was the quality of the story submissions as of late.

When you run a site that relies on the average gamer to peruse and collect stories from gaming websites, there's going to be problems. For example, how do you ensure that the submissions are all good quality and relevant to what gamers want to see? How do you ensure that someone won't just plug their own site instead of finding one of those quality stories? How do you know that the stories that are submitted are not just pure garbage and flamebait. Granted, N4G tried to prevent abuses, and did a pretty decent job, until lately that is.

What I've been seeing more of, and what I don't like, are all the forum posts, blog entries, and assorted crap that gets approved. First, a word on the approval process. Step one: A contributor finds a story that he/she wants to post to the site. The contributor then fills in the pertinent information on the N4G site to get the story to the pending phase. Now here's where the problem comes in: After the story goes into the pending area it takes the approval of fellow contributors to allow the story to go to the main page. Now, not every contributor gets the same number of votes to approve the story. Each contributor gets 1-4 votes. For example, I had 1 vote due to the fact that I did not contribute a lot of stories for the main page. A person that has a successful submission history can have 4 votes. Now, for a story to be approved it needs 10 votes. Theoretically, it could only take 3 people to approve a story. The problem? Fanboys flock together. One anti-PS3 contributor could submit a story for approval. He could then get his fellow PS3 haters to vote on the story and approve it. Now the story goes to the main page. When it gets there, everyone sees how controversial the story is and they react to it. To counter the story, other readers comment on the story or report it. If enough people view the story it's temperature raises and, as a result, the story gets a better position on the main page.

Here are a couple of (what I think are) garbage "stories". This first one is representative of the forum posts that seem to be popping up more and more lately. Gears of war gets possessed. So, tell me. How is that news? Here's another one of my favorites, the ubiquitous blog post. The next console generation. The category says industry news. Industry news? Really. Again, where is the news? This blogger posses a question, then refuses to answer it. This kind of post is not news, nor does it actually seem to have a purpose. Needless to say, I disagree (as do a large number of the people commenting) with the points he has brought up. This was a site that I took pride in trying to make better. The snag is when the admins or mods don't stand up against this kind of garbage. With my measly one vote, I don't have much of a say what gets approved or not. And that's why I gave up.

What's the point of trying to improve something when the owners and administrators don't back you on a decision. Are they too afraid of standing on their own and making the tough call. I felt betrayed and abandoned. Thankfully, there are many other gaming sites. I'll just have to do it the old fashioned way, one website at a time.
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