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Game Revolution (formerly Game-Revolution) or GR is a gaming website created in 1996. Based in Berkeley, California, the site includes reviews, previews, a gaming download area, cheats, and a merchandise store, as well as webcomics, screenshots, and videos. Their features pages include articles satirizing Jack Thompson, E³, the hype surrounding the next-generation consoles, and the Video game controversy. Cameo writing appearances include Brian Clevinger of 8-Bit Theatre and Scott Ramsoomair of VG Cats. The website has also participated in marketing campaigns for video games, including Gauntlet: Seven Sorrows. To date, it is one of the oldest remaining video game review and news site on the internet.
- 1 Company history
- 2 Content
- 3 Features
- 4 Community
Net Revolution, Inc., a California corporation was founded in April, 1996 by Duke Ferris as a holding company and as publisher of the Game Revolution website. Ferris served as president of the company until it was acquired in 2005 stock purchase by Bolt Media, Inc. for an undisclosed sum.
Founded in 1996, GameRevolution claims hundreds of thousands of daily visitors to its site.
The staff of Game Revolution are annual judges at the Electronic Entertainment Expo. Duke Ferris is a returning Judge for the 2010 show. Perhaps the most influential year for Game Revolution at E3 was in 2000, where they invited Jerry Holkins and Mike Krahulik of Penny Arcade to attend. They also bestowed Black & White as the Best of E3 award.
Purchase By CraveOnline
Following the bankruptcy of Bolt Media, Inc., continuing to be frequented by hundreds of thousands of visitors, GameRevolution was purchased from the assignment for the benefit of creditors by the men's entertainment site CraveOnline (a division of Atomic Online http://atomiconline.com/properties/craveonline/) for another undisclosed sum. It has since been integrated as part of the CraveOnline community while continuing to stand alone as a popular site. The purchase was announced February 25, 2008.
GameRevolution's popularity stems from the varied and voluminous content on the site. Such content includes: Reviews, Previews, Screenshots, Videos, Cheats, FAQS (Frequently Asked Questions), Downloads, Release Lists, Features, Goodies, Comics, The GR Mailbag, Daily Manifesto, Podcast, Community, Chat, Forums, and Member Produced Content.
One of the site's most acclaimed attributes are their style of reviews, often blatantly insulting the game and developers of the game itself. Game Revolution, through their roughly two-page reviews come to a summary in the American A-F Grading system. Game Revolution claims rightly that they have never given an "A+", and their "A" is awarded to very few, very select games. Such games include Metroid Prime, Ōkami, Grand Theft Auto III, and Halo: Combat Evolved. On the opposite side of the spectrum, when faced with games they consider to be terrible, the site's reviewers often choose to make the actual reading of the review humorous. For example, when reviewing Survivor: The Interactive Game, multiple drop-down boxes that serve no logical purpose were added to poke fun at the game. One problem with the grading system is that it causes problems when meta review sites have to convert the score to a numerical value that doesn't quite reflect the grade that GR gave it.
Recently, members have been given the ability to write their own reviews on the website, for any game in Game-Revolution's database. This has caused problems where some user reviews have written reviews about games still in development, but are in GR's database (such as when GR releases a preview, or screen shots of the game). Due to the websites smaller staff, a number of games do not have reviews for them; the member reviews fill this void.
Some GR members have been creating reviews akin to those of the main GR staff, including a mimic of GR's summary +/- system, and copying GR's somewhat humorous style and paragraphing.
These reviews are a part of the member produced content that has gained affluence since its inclusion.
Before a game is released, developers will commonly release information about their title. This information is compiled together into a look at upcoming titles written by members of staff. These previews are an informative look into such aspects apparent in the unfinished game such as the style of gameplay, story, and graphics. Also included is information about the developer.
Recently Game Revolution featured a preview of Reset Generation for the N-Gage 2.0. The cross-platform action-puzzle video game impressed the staff with its many cultural references, and in turn the preview was highlighted on the N-Gage Blog.
The screenshots section is an easy to navigate look at images released for many upcoming titles. There are commonly numerous images of characters and unique gameplay aspects.
The videos in this section of the site are similar to the screenshots in that the videos are also released by the developer for the purpose of publicity. Videos commonly include trailers, clips of gameplay, and insight into all concepts that can be viewed and heard that the developers desire to show.
The cheats section has many applicable cheats for current and past video games as well as walkthroughs, or step by step solutions of games. Many are user created and list different methods to cheat in a game, examples being unlocking items, or enabling the popular God mode which makes the player invulnerable to losing.
The FAQs section consists of a number of Frequently Asked Questions and answers about popular titles. These are commonly user created and help answer questions about gameplay or other aspects of the titles.
The downloads section has a number of demos, addons, patches, and even free games that can be downloaded through the site, or commonly through mirrors, onto a computer.
The release lists is, simply, a list of release dates for upcoming games on varying consoles and the PC.
The Goodies section is a compilation of various media about games. There are videos, whether in cartoon or live action form, that discuss games or on the topic of games that can be viewed inside of GameRevolution. There are also a number of games that can similarly be played in site.
The website brings together and links various online comics of varying popularity that are commonly related to video games. The particular comics presented have fluxed and changed over the years, such as the removal of Penny Arcade years ago and the inclusion of ActionTrip through the CraveOnline purchase.
Game Revolution also has a GR Mailbag (previously "Moron Mailbag"), a way of showing their personal responses to the numerous hate-mail they receive. However, the mailbag is not limited to hate-mail, and has included junk and complementary mail as well. Almost every response Game Revolution posts is intended to be humorous in nature, usually poking fun at the sender or the e-mail's contents. The Mailbag is updated the least out of the site's content, which is often pointed out be the creators as a running gag.
The Manifesto is a section updated daily with personal and gaming news and interests of the GameRevolution staff. It commonly has links to popular gaming news or entertainment videos.
A weekly feature of the Daily Manifesto occurring most every Friday, where users post Haiku in the comments related to that day's Manifesto. Winners are chosen the following Monday, and win prizes such as games, t-shirts and other merchandise. On some occasions the staff has also given out beta keys to upcoming games.
Recently, GR added a podcast to its already extensive range of personal input from the staff. The GR podcast mostly pertains to video games, but also contains humorous commentary on world politics and news. The podcast is usually updated Friday evenings both on the website, and off iTunes.
The feature section commonly includes articles about important gaming events as the Nintendo Summit and other developers' personal and public congregations and displays. For a number of years it has also contained the GR Awards for Best, and Worst, of a year in gaming, as well as having buying guides for the Holiday Season. There are also a number of bizarre and unique articles describing phenomena in the gaming community, or simply, interesting news for gamers.
Jack Thompson controversy
Sometime in August 2005, Jack Thompson contacted the Lou Kerner of Game Revolution and requested he remove an ´offensive´ AIM buddy icon from an affiliate site of Game Revolution known as Bolt.com. Kerner complied and had the offending icon removed immediately. However, Thompson saw the removal as an admission of guilt and contacted the NYPD to have Kerner arrested. However, no such action was taken. Duke Ferris, another employee of the site, wrote an article  on the matter and humorously pointed out the ridiculousness of the entire situation. To drive home this point, he even chose to present a primitively drawn image which had Thompson being devoured by a crocodile, and then challenged Thompson to go ahead and have him arrested. It is unknown if Thompson responded to the article.
Article regarding video game violence and youth violence
Perhaps Game Revolution's most revered article (as evidenced by its consistent referral by various video game websites was Duke Ferris's composition regarding the current public controversy with video games and its connection with violent youth. Ferris openly criticized the matter, and offered several bits of data to prove that there is no discernible connection between two. In fact, he points out that this year's youth has been the least violent in several years, yet political figures and the media have made it a point to make the issue seem the exact opposite. As with the style of the site, the article can be considered humorous in nature. The original article can be found here.
Game Revolution hosts a small but vibrant group of users on its message boards and live chat room. While the message boards are divided into a mixture of video game and non-gaming discussion boards, the topic of discussion in the live chat is less structured and is typically non-gaming related. Unlike other major gaming websites, the Game Revolution forums have a relatively small community; membership exceeds 41,100 people, and of those roughly 200 members on the message boards and chat room are frequent users.
Other community aspects of the site include the ability for members to post their own reviews, cheats, and FAQs. Members can also use the site to write Blogs about their daily lives, views on gaming topics, or just about anything they desire. A running contest called Vox Pop (or Vox Populi, Voice of the People) allows users to pick the most interesting or deserving blog entry to win a prize. The prize is typically a game selected by the staff and mailed to the winning member.
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