The Guardian to launch games blog

The Guardian, one of the few UK publications to understand blogging, is to launch a new games blog.

The blog, which will be available from Monday 2 August, will be written by Aleks Krotoski, former presenter of Channel 4’s “Thumb Bandits”; Greg Howson, Guardian Online’s games reviewer; and Keith Stuart, the mobile gaming expert. It will cover every game genre and every major gaming platform, including PCs, consoles, the net and mobile phones.

“Gaming is no longer just the preserve of the teenage boy. More and more of our users are taking it up and we want to provide an intelligent, interactive forum for them,” said Neil McIntosh, Assistant Editor, Guardian Unlimited.

The Guardian launched a news blog three years ago, following it up with the Online blog and then the US Elections 04 blog.

The addition of a new gaming blog marks the beginning of The Guardian’s expansion into the blog space as they intend to launch a series of new blogs over coming months.

However, as Jane Perrone, Deputy Editor for News and Politics, Guardian Unlimited, said during her presentation at BlogTalk in Vienna, there are bound to be some people who will not welcome this development, feeling that it is an intolerable ‘invasion’ of the blogosphere by big media.

A more constructive way to look at it is to realise that The Guardian’s blogs have a good record for linking to external sites, and by doing so they bring the blogosphere to the attention of a much wider audience. It’s easy to forget that blogging is not a mainstream activity yet, regardless of the rush on political blogs that is going on at the moment. Any move by a newspaper as well respected as The Guardian to familiarise more people with the high quality writing that’s being published on blogs it to be applauded.

4 thoughts on “The Guardian to launch games blog

  1. Maybe it’s not so much about “big media” and “blogosphere” (what an ugly word!) but about individuals (weblog writers) developing and legitimizing an old form: the hyperlink to more information outside, using another old form: the personal home page. “Weblogs” are content management systems, nearly as powerful as those the commercial media have.

    The biggest difference between the personal home pages and the big commercial media are that the big commercial media are afraid of letting their visitors leave their site. They want more page views, more time spent on their sites, to attract advertisers. So they bury outside links, or open them in new windows (eeugh! Haven’t they heard of tabbed browsing? I’ll open a new tab if I want one, thanks.)

    Weblog authors are showing them the value of the interconnectedness of all things… the real power of the WWW, which they seem to have forgotten about. Showing them how to Just Link, and if you’re known as a source of interesting links *and* interesting writing, well, then you get the traffic you wanted.

    See, for example, one of the regional newspapers in my area:

  2. Pjm, on the whole, I agree with you that the big media don’t understand that their users have their own minds and are free to leave their site whenever they like – they’re still stuck on the outdated concept of ‘stickiness’. That’s one reason why I single out the Guardian’s blogs as pretty savvy – they do include lots of external links to other relevant sites, and they don’t force a new window. In fact, they are pretty much like normal blogs.

  3. I think a big shift in thinking for a lot of bloggers is needed here: a blog is not a “normal blog” by virtue of being written by a nobody or by someone outside of big media or any large or official organisation. A blog is a blog by virtue of what it is (dynamic, engaging) and the tools it uses to be those things (such as permalinks). So no, the Guardian Weblog is not a normal blog – it has no permalinks. Its other blogs, bizarrely but correctly, do have permalinks and so are proper blogs regardless of the organisation behind them.

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