I have never utilized the opinion of a Giant Bomb staffer to help me decide whether or not to buy a game.
Sorry, guys. I understand that the mission they have for this site is to provide expert opinions on video games that will help guide the purchasing decisions of gaming enthusiasts like me. But the honest truth is that I'm going to buy what I'm going to buy. And like your average American consumer, my predisposition to purchase one game or another is very difficult to shake. I HAVE PLAYED EVERY RESIDENT EVIL GAME EVER RELEASED AND I'LL BE DAMNED IF I'M NOT GOING TO PLAY RE6.
Honestly, I would be very surprised if the average reader of video game enthusiast press websites and magazines relied on those publications to guide their purchasing decisions from month to month. Your average reader more likely gravitates toward outlets that can support his own preconceived notions about a game, focuses on the kinds of games that he likes to play, and also provides a like-minded community where he feels welcomed.
But honestly, none of these are reasons that I frequent Giant Bomb. The real reason that I visit the website, watch the videos, obsess over when the Bombcast gets posted each week, and skim through the GB phone app during meetings is because Jeff, Ryan, Brad, Vinny and Patrick are Jeff, Ryan Brad, Vinny and Patrick. In short, I am part of the Giant Bomb community because of its personalities.
Thinking about it, the majority of the content that I consume associated with this website has nothing to do with games that I play or ever plan on playing. Shit, I watched a Quick Look of Intel: Discovered the other day! And I watched it because I wanted to see the goofy shit that those guys would get up to. (And, secretly, I was hoping to see Jeff break a Kinect out of sheer frustration.)
The Bombcast is my #1 preferred method of consuming Giant Bomb information. And the "Whatcha Been Playin'?" segment is my least favorite. I'm much more interested in what license Vinny is working on this week, whether Jeff is going to kill his roommate, and what tier/ranking/class/medal/level/recognition/status/segment Brad has achieved in Starcraft 2 over the weekend. I want horror movie reviews from Patrick and character actor trivia from Ryan. To be honest, these guys could be reviewing flavors of canned soup, and I would still listen to the show. Because they are funny, entertaining, and they work well together.
The same goes for the entire website. And so, yeah, occasionally I may read a review of a game. But more often than not I am not looking for buying advice. I'm looking for entertainment.
I don't know why other users come to the site, but I suspect I'm not alone. And I really don't mean to burst anyone's bubble about the value or usefulness of the reviews on the site. In the end, I'm an avid video game player. And so I value being part of a video game-focused community. And I'm glad that games have brought together this collection of talent that I get to watch and listen to and--occasionally--interact with. But if suddenly there were no more games and I ran out of money and I would never again ever buy another video game-related product ever again, I would still visit this website every day. Because it's run by interesting and entertaining people. And I hope they don't have plans on stopping anytime soon.
I would love to see more content on Giant Bomb that occasionally diverts from gaming. Sure, I realize that most of it has to have that video game hook. But would I watch an hour-long video of these idiots cruising around Germany in Porsches at breakneck speeds? Shit, yes! Would I listen to a podcast of Vinny from his ham radio for a couple of hours each week? You bet! Would I watch a video of Jeff washing his car in a white undershirt that's just one size too small set to Whitesnake's "Here I Go Again?" What a ridiculous question!
Anyhow, the point is that Giant Bomb, for me, is a source of entertainment first, community second, and video game purchasing guidance third. Or maybe fourth... Third would be a source of the baddest summer jams... BUT I DIGRESS!
Keep it up, guys. You're a lot of fun to watch, listen to and read. And don't sweat the "trust" thing. I don't believe a goddamn word that comes out of your mouths.