Plucked From The Thought Bucket: Giant Bomb's Cyber Relations

Ok, I'm going to take a step back for a moment and think. Our basic motivation for visiting Giant Bomb is because we all "like" video games. I put like in quotes because I feel the word has varying degrees of applicability for such a diverse internet community. Some of us are casual fans, who enjoy an occasional expedition into the depths of the ever expanding gaming-verse. Others seem to almost live in and around this infant medium, leaping on every scrap of information like a pack of rabid goombas. This passion is clearly evident in the Giant Bomb wiki, a treasure trove of video gaming knowledge created solely from a legion of loyal fans, who through an unending number of keyboard taps and mouse clicks have crafted something that, within the microcosm of the gaming community, stands above the norm as a significant stamp of pride. But the fuel for this fiery passion has to come from somewhere. Some would argue that it stems from the communities basic love of video games or just the fact that people finally have a venue to open the floodgates on a furious tide of video game knowledge. I would contend however that it comes from a much simpler place. The Giant Bomb crew themselves.

Giant Bomb is a freak of nature. A website that boasts a strong and vibrant community who are intrinsically linked with the website they surround. The barriers between the audience and the Giant Bomb staff seem as minor as they could be without violating some form of privacy law. The relationship that inevitably forms as a result of this is something I like to think about often. I've never met these people in person, they have no idea who I am, they live thousands of miles away in a place I've never been before and yet to a large extent I feel closer to them than I do many of the people around me. If I were to meet Jeff, Brad, Vinny, Ryan or any other members of the Giant Bomb family in person there would be significantly disproportionate levels of excitement between me and them. Like meeting an old friend to find they don't know your name. All I've done is watch them in a little window on my computer and yet to quite a large degree I've built my life around them, constantly checking the web for their next exploits, staying up late to watch TNT episodes. I watch old Giant Bomb videos and listen to the backlog of podcasts every single day, when I'm at home there are only a few fleeting moments when I can't hear their voices in the background regardless of what I'm doing. It is weird when you think about it.

Perhaps psychologically there is a reason why I do this but I feel its merely because this website is so incredibly exceptional at what it does. At some point I feel that I don't visit Giant Bomb for video games, I visit it for the people. The crew has created a website which almost seems to transcend the conventions of your typical gaming website becuase it offers strictly human focused coverage as opposed to the mass of seemingly robotic entities who hide their faces under piles of review scores and masses of text, the only sliver of humanity coming from their name at the bottom of each published piece. The mass effect of the Giant Bomb model is spreading to other similarly focused websites who were previously guilty of this robotic approach.

The reason for Giant Bomb's success is pure and simple, the people. This is something that other websites will find very very hard to replicate.

11 Comments