(Editor’s note: This article was originally published in the April 2008 issue of GameCola, back when GameCola was published in a monthly online magazine format.)
Trenton, NJ 08619
April 1, 2008
We ended last month’s Dear Readers on a cliffhanger, and, well, I hope you’re arms aren’t too tired , ’cause you’re gonna be dangling into the abyss, literally, for at least another month—we are not yet ready to disclose the upcoming epic addition to GameCola’s main site that will, among other things, serve as a replacement for Submissions and probably save a few orphanages. Check in with us again next month.
WARNING!: Did you know that humor is one of the least humorous writing topics?
I received two e-mails last month concerning our last issue, which is a huge deal, because I haven’t received a single e-mail since we added comments sections to all of our articles. One e-mail expressed concerns about our (over?) use of gimmicky reviews, and the other was from a now former writer, saying he was finished with GameCola because of our apparent focus on humor over substance in our writing. Both e-mails suggested that we aren’t taking things seriously enough here, and I thought I’d take some time to address that.
Note: This article is, in no way, attacking the aforementioned people or singling them out. In fact, I love both writers so much that I’ll probably have their children. Also, the point I’m arguing against here might not be the point they were trying to make.
Also Note: The last sentence in the above note was mostly written in case either of the writers posts something angry in this column’s comments section. I have a way out!
Now. Then. Is there really any reason at all for us to take things seriously?
There’s plenty of videogame Web sites out there on the inter-Webz that take their videogames for serious, offering point-by-point analyses on why Rock Band for 360 is better than Rock Band for PS3, or detailed, to-the-button descriptions of exactly how a particular RPG’s combat system works. But how many of those sites are actually fun to read? That’s what I think GameCola’s niche should be. We might not have the most informative reviews, but the information’s all out there all ready, so do we really need to be? I think we’re better playing up to our individual strengths in humor.
DISCLAIMER: Don’t take that the wrong way; I’m not trying to insinuate that I’m one of the most hilarious writers this side of Ron Gilbert. I do think, though, that we’ve assembled an extremely talented team of humor writers here at GameCola.
And if we’re going to get noticed, I think we’ll get noticed by having entertaining reviews—not by having informative reviews. If people have a good time when reading our reviews, then they’ll have a reason to check us out over the big boys; otherwise, why shouldn’t they just stick with the site that has some name value and credibility?
Side Point!: I’m only really talking about reviews here, not our columns. Our columns are all unique in content, so there’s already a reason why someone would come here to read them—they’re not going to be able to read them anywhere else. (That said, though, in terms of content cohesion, it certainly doesn’t hurt if our columns bring the funny.)
There’s no need for us to be self-important, focusing on the greater good of telling the gaming public what to play—we should just have fun, instead, and give our readers a few laughs, and maybe tell them a few things about videogames, too. If you’re a writer for this site, and you disagree, that’s fine; I don’t think it’s my place to tell you exactly how to write, because you’re doing this in your own time for no money, and if you’re having fun doing it, then everything’s cool. I’m just saying I think we’re going somewhere with this “videogame humor” idea that’s working out well for us.
SEGUE: This is a wonderful segue into what we have lined up for this month’s issue, even if it doesn’t look like one.
We’ve got a great issue lined up for you this month, folks! Just look at all these bullet points of things of note:
We’ve got the debut of two new writers, Vangie Rich and Michael Ridgaway, who are debuting two new columns.
One is Gamer Girlfriend, a sort of Games for the Casual Gamer article that looks at videogames from the perspective of someone who is, essentially, a nongamer.
The other is Quantum Geek, which follows the story of…well, I don’t want to spoil it for you, but its name is something of a clue.
We’ve also got an epic edition of Versus Mode. It’s called the Brawl for the Brawl, in which two of our writers, both hell-bent on reviewing Super Smash Bros. Brawl, duke it out in a writing competition for your love.
And we’ve got the end of Michael Gray’s epic three-part The Ten Reasons on why he likes/dislikes Twilight Princess! (Does that make it The Thirty Reasons? I’m just asking.)
One more for you—we’ve got a review of Maniac Mansion this month, which no doubt shocks you, because you’ve been reading since issue 1-7, and you’re wondering why in the HELL we have ANOTHER review of Maniac Mansion when we already reviewed it six years ago. Well! This newer review is for the PC version, so it’s cool. Read them both to see which version of the game is better!
Phew! Look at all those bullet points. I think that means this column is over. Enjoy the issue, everyone!
editor in chief