The Giant Bomb Effect

I've been reviewing the last year, as is almost compulsory around this time, and how could I not look back on my years worth of game purchases when trying to select my top ten games? 
All this retrospect has made me wonder something about Giant Bomb itself. Or rather the effect it has on me. So I fully confess that I have bought a game purely because of something posted by one of the GB crew. Not only that but I know that it's not just me effected in this way. Usually with gaming sites I'll read the odd preview of a game I'm interested in and maybe look at review scores and skim the text itself (I find that some sites reveal key moments in games). Yes this can influence my gaming purchases but I can't remember reading about a game I'd not heard of, and then buying it as a result.
So I have to wonder what it is about Giant Bomb that does this? And what percentage of it's readers are afflicted?

12 Comments
13 Comments
Posted by Crash_Happy

I've been reviewing the last year, as is almost compulsory around this time, and how could I not look back on my years worth of game purchases when trying to select my top ten games? 
All this retrospect has made me wonder something about Giant Bomb itself. Or rather the effect it has on me. So I fully confess that I have bought a game purely because of something posted by one of the GB crew. Not only that but I know that it's not just me effected in this way. Usually with gaming sites I'll read the odd preview of a game I'm interested in and maybe look at review scores and skim the text itself (I find that some sites reveal key moments in games). Yes this can influence my gaming purchases but I can't remember reading about a game I'd not heard of, and then buying it as a result.
So I have to wonder what it is about Giant Bomb that does this? And what percentage of it's readers are afflicted?

Posted by HistoryInRust

On "what it is":  
 
I think the passion these guys have for the medium really shows. Conscious or not, the Giant Bomb crew exudes knowledge of and love for the craft of video gaming and the act of playing games. This love inflects their writing, personalizes their podcasts, and focuses the video content posted on the site.  
 
As a result, I think we, as viewers/readers/followers, understand that their opinions are genuine. And flagrantly genuine opinions are usually the easiest to rally behind. The guys at Giant Bomb aren't reviewing games to make the act of reviewing more academic a la IGN or even Gamespot. They've stripped away the formalities because they understand the core word in the phrase "video game". That core word is "game", and the objective of any game, as has been the case for hundreds of years, is to create and propagate fun amongst its participants. So they're here to tell us why a game succeeds at being fun, or why it doesn't. And they do so by talking to the site's users as equals. Not as an audience.  

Posted by HaltIamReptar
@Sir_Ragnarok said:
" On "what it is":   I think the passion these guys have for the medium really shows. Conscious or not, the Giant Bomb crew exudes knowledge of and love for the craft of video gaming and the act of playing games. This love inflects their writing, personalizes their podcasts, and focuses the video content posted on the site.   As a result, I think we, as viewers/readers/followers, understand that their opinions are genuine. And flagrantly genuine opinions are usually the easiest to rally behind. The guys at Giant Bomb aren't reviewing games to make the act of reviewing more academic a la IGN or even Gamespot. They've stripped away the formalities because they understand the core word in the phrase "video game". That core word is "game", and the objective of any game, as has been the case for hundreds of years, is to create and propagate fun amongst its participants. So they're here to tell us why a game succeeds at being fun, or why it doesn't. And they do so by talking to the site's users as equals. Not as an audience.   "
That brought a tear to my eye.  One solid, formidable tear.
Posted by c1337us
@HaltIamReptar said:
" @Sir_Ragnarok said:
" On "what it is":   I think the passion these guys have for the medium really shows. Conscious or not, the Giant Bomb crew exudes knowledge of and love for the craft of video gaming and the act of playing games. This love inflects their writing, personalizes their podcasts, and focuses the video content posted on the site.   As a result, I think we, as viewers/readers/followers, understand that their opinions are genuine. And flagrantly genuine opinions are usually the easiest to rally behind. The guys at Giant Bomb aren't reviewing games to make the act of reviewing more academic a la IGN or even Gamespot. They've stripped away the formalities because they understand the core word in the phrase "video game". That core word is "game", and the objective of any game, as has been the case for hundreds of years, is to create and propagate fun amongst its participants. So they're here to tell us why a game succeeds at being fun, or why it doesn't. And they do so by talking to the site's users as equals. Not as an audience.   "
That brought a tear to my eye.  One solid, formidable tear. "
I threw up a little. lol
Posted by Crash_Happy
@Sir_Ragnarok: I think you nailed the main reason with your first sentence. They come across as being passionate about the games.
I would have to suggest that their passion is the locus on which all the other reasons hang. The fact that, as you say, they talk to us as equals lacking the arrogance that they as reviewers know best. I would also suggest that previews excepted, as previews are not finished work and undergo huge changes, they speak plainly. What I mean to say is that when I read a GB review or listen to them, I don't feel like they are being filtered and that I have to somehow decode what they are saying. Heck, even the score system is like that. 3 stars means it's 'ok'. Look on most review sites and anything under something like 70% is dross and that means that the whole scoring system is based on the last 30 odd percent.
Posted by ahoodedfigure
@Crash_Happy: When you combine a community with news and advertising, you feel more invested in it.  You don't feel as connected to a news site because you don't have a presence like you can at GB.  At GB you can customize a lot, get in discussions (like this one) and meet with a community that you feel a sort of chummy association with.  That lets one's guard down and makes one more susceptible to influence from staff opinions and ads, both the overt ads that you see in the background and the subtle ads, the previews where the game makers let people see the best sides of their games. 
Posted by Crash_Happy
@ahoodedfigure: No, I think you're missing the point. What I'm talking about is when there's a Quick Look, for instance, and just that unprocessed and unstructured glimpse is enough for some of us to go ahead and buy it. I'm not saying I bought Halo because GB ran some adverts or preordered Dark Void because they did a preview, maybe some of you did but what I'm talking about is for instance all the people that went and bought Persona.
Besides sites have been trading in 'community' for a very long time (in internet terms) but I've never noted the same effect on any of them. If you want to say you have and that I just have noticed then I'm prepared to be disagreed with, but I'd still think you're wrong.
Posted by ahoodedfigure

I don't think I'm wrong from a macro perspective, but I'm not trying to assume I know your particular motivations.
 
You're right in that the Quick Look shows us what's going on regardless as to whether or not the staff is enjoying playing it.  I think it says a lot for a game like P4 that one could watch the whole thing and still want to get it.  A lot of the other Quick Looks here feel like pans, but that would decrease the urge to buy the games.  I've still found some games interesting that the staff didn't like while playing, so you're right, this sort of partial walkthrough perspective is much more informative than a full block-of-text review in some cases.
 
You should mention the Quick Looks in your thesis, I guess. 

Posted by Crash_Happy

Well it was less a thesis and more of a musing.
I probably should have given an example but I didn't want to limit myself. After all the Persona stuff wasn't a Quick Look either, and I'm sure some people have bought based on reviews etc despite the fact that the site remains largely unbranded.
I don't think there's even a link to whether the team liked something or not. Speaking for myself I don't always agree with them, I tend to agree with Yahtzee more if anything. Still, when they say something I know where I stand in relation to that. But is that a factor is why so many (at least so they claim) go on to buy after being shown on GB?
I like the idea that it's their passion, that we as game players recognise and resonate with that and subsequently that sometimes effects our purchasing decisions.

Posted by FinalDasa

I think it's because they treat their viewers and followers not as consumers but rather as friends. 
 
Think about when a friend shows you a video game (like a quick look) when they give you their impressions (like a review) or even talk up a game that hasn't come out yet or that no one knows about. And that is exactly what the GiantBomb crew does, treat us all like friends who play video games. 

Online
Posted by Spike94
@Sir_Ragnarok said:
"On "what it is":   I think the passion these guys have for the medium really shows. Conscious or not, the Giant Bomb crew exudes knowledge of and love for the craft of video gaming and the act of playing games. This love inflects their writing, personalizes their podcasts, and focuses the video content posted on the site.   As a result, I think we, as viewers/readers/followers, understand that their opinions are genuine. And flagrantly genuine opinions are usually the easiest to rally behind. The guys at Giant Bomb aren't reviewing games to make the act of reviewing more academic a la IGN or even Gamespot. They've stripped away the formalities because they understand the core word in the phrase "video game". That core word is "game", and the objective of any game, as has been the case for hundreds of years, is to create and propagate fun amongst its participants. So they're here to tell us why a game succeeds at being fun, or why it doesn't. And they do so by talking to the site's users as equals. Not as an audience.   "

Whole comment. Amen.
Posted by applet0n

I haven't bought games simply because of good reviews on GB, but I will admit that I really want to go get Shadow Complex thanks to them and that the GB crew's opinions have definitely put games on my radar that weren't there before.

Posted by unreal999

I bought torchlight for 5$ today on steam because of these guys. I liked them even  way back at gamespot and been a huge fan of their sense of humor.