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Summary:

Broadband is transforming the business of games, while games are transforming the business of broadband. Over the last few months I’ve doing my best to cover that evolution for GigaOM, and now I’m helping Om Malik launch this sister site, fully dedicated to telling that story […]

Broadband is transforming the business of games, while games are transforming the business of broadband. Over the last few months I’ve doing my best to cover that evolution for GigaOM, and now I’m helping Om Malik launch this sister site, fully dedicated to telling that story in full. In the next few years, new revenue and distribution models will emerge, legacy media companies which fail to adjust will be left behind, and somewhere in this cycle, the Net’s user-created content revolution will turn gaming into an egalitarian medium, while those who’ve been gamers for decades will begin taking over the spheres of business and politics, and start making them play by their rules.

 I’ll need a lot of help telling this story, but fortunately, this site will be building up a team, starting with Jason McMaster, a freelance journalist who works with GamaSutra and Firing Squad writing technical pieces and industry interviews. (He got his start writing reviews for IGN’s Gamespy.) As our savvy and energetic junior blogger, he’ll help keep us apprised of bestseller lists, industry news, and all the other facts that give economic fuel to gaming in the era of broadband. As a gamer, his favorite five titles are QuakeWorld Team Fortress, Secret of Monkey Island, Ultima Underworld, Counter-Strike, and, adorably, Mario Golf.

And me? I’ve covered games for Wired Magazine and Salon, while working occasionally as a developer, for Electronic Arts’ Majestic, among other projects. For the last three years (and counting!), I’ve been the “embedded journalist” in the user-created world of Second Life, first as a contractor for Linden Lab, the world’s technical architect, and now independently on my own blog, New World Notes.

If you’re a careful reader, you may detect a few recurring themes in my own GigaGamez coverage. How broadband is remaking the way games are distributed (as here), and enabling independent developers to compete with traditional publishers (as here.) How the game industry and the gaming press has under-served its audience, opening up new opportunities for developers and investors who want to capture unappreciated audiences (like women) and casual gamers (as here.) Of course, as someone who’s been part of Second Life from the beginning, I’ll also be writing a lot about SL, trying to separate hype (as here) from the genuine hope that it and other online worlds will become the Internet’s next generation, remaking the way all of us live and work in the near future (as here.)

As for my favorite games, that’s fairly easy: The first two Thief games from Looking Glass Studios, Deus Ex, Jagged Alliance 2, Halo (multiplayer Slayer on the PC version is still my quick writing break of choice, where I play as CnA-James), and– this is so old school, I’m almost afraid to date myself– Nethack.

And so that’s the team to start GigaGamez this month. (One or two staffers will likely jump on board in coming months.) But just as important a contributor to GigaGamez is you, the reader. Keep us on our toes by posting in Comments, and send along tips and suggestions, when you have them.

  1. Congrats guys! :)

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  2. What’s Om upto? Building an OMpire?
    Congrats on the launch.

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  3. This is cool news. With people specifically digging through the crap, we might have a chance at finding out at what point, exactly, the end-user actually starts to benefit from online distribution. I think there was a rather tight stipulation in STEAM’s EULA governing the precise instances in which i might feel happy about the whole deal, but i think i missed it what with the nice 300×50 window. Second Friday of a leap year, i keep wanting to say.

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  4. Ompire?! As if “GigaOmniMedia” wasn’t scary enough. :P

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  5. James –

    Excellent! Looking forward to a flood of thoughts from your mind and keyboard.

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  6. Glad to hear a fellow QWTFer is on board, hopefully you won’t be reminiscing to the ‘glory days of oski’ too often.

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  7. Nice, I’ll be watching closely for videogame news.

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  8. Good to hear about the site, will track closely.
    Would like to request that you guys address a major hole in the world of On Line MMGing.
    Specifically, where can one of the 1500 Independant Telco/Service providers find a source for a Game Server Platform we can deploy in our markets, leveraging our broadband DSL/Cable MOdem and Wireless Mesh networks???
    The big boys, Verizon and COx are locking up the available source as we speak and limiting these firms form working with the likes of the ILEC’s
    We need a voice in this market in that we want Content and a delivery platform we can operate & manage locally and connect Nationally to other Game sites.

    Help

    Jacomo

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  9. Hey Guys

    I’ve been looking forward to the launch for a few weeks now. I’m glad to see it up and running. I hope you guys do bring a different angle to the industry news sites. I’m looking forward to seeing you guys grow the site. Thanks.

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  10. [...] a pretty short run (the blog only soft-launched in December 2006), Om Malik has posted on parent site GigaOm revealing that “…we are putting [his [...]

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