Introducing Wagner James Au


Folks, time to introduce you to the newest member of the GigaOM writer pool, Wagner James Au who is going to cover online gaming and MMOGs for us. So who is this guy? Well, lets see… he is a San Francisco-based writer who has written about the culture and business side of games for nearly a decade for publications and online destinations such as Salon and Wired, and Kotaku, Gawker Media’s game site.

Oh he was also an embedded journalist inside Second Life, while working for Second Life creator, Linden Labs. He left Linden in Feburary to develop a book about his experiences there, and still writes about Second Life on his own blog, New World Notes. The funniest part of negotiating with James was that he wanted to call his column, which will track the business and hardware behind broadband
games for GigaOM – “Low Ping Bastard“.

In online games, that’s the name aggravated gamers give to the player with the fastest connection. Low ping means someone who gets the broadest spectrum of game data first, and uses it to maintain the competitive edge. And is, therefore, a bastard to everyone else behind the curve.

Being an old fashioned guy that I am, we have tabled that title, but if the community says its cool with that title, we can always bring it back. I think James is going to bring some valuable insights to our community for two reasons – as we move into the second phase of broadband, what I like to call, broadband as a platform, the focus is going to shift to applications that drive the need for speed.

Secondly, I haven’t got a clue about online gaming – I still think Tetris is cool. But my limitations should not be a reason that readers should miss out on insights into this new and fascinating aspect of broadband. I hope you all will welcome James to our little community, and give him the same feedback as you always have.



Hi last name says it all – James is Gold. I look forward to reading his thoughts and ideas.

Marshall Kirkpatrick

Congrats on the gig James. Great move Om, James is a way cool dude.

Wagner James Au

Thanks for the welcome, all!

How about it, Om? I’m seeing several votes for Low Ping Bastard. Other advantage is, when readers disagree with me (and they will), they’ve got an off-the-shelf insult.



sori 2 ping u here but ur “contact me” seems to be gone. anyways just wondering if the new”myspace” flash 9 upgrade is really a “security” issue or a 2nd attempt to kill youtube because they’re now blocking it with the upgrade! any flash apps with external links are impacted including slide fo things like leaving slide show comments


LPB.. what an awesome reminder of the good ole’ days of Quake when that term was first used (at least from what I recall). Back then the poor dial-up users were called HPBs or POTS (Plain Old Telephone Service) and had average ping times to servers in the upwards of 200ms (compared with LPBs in the 50-70ms range). Use LPB.. its a good reflection of how long Wagner has been into the gaming scene :)

Om Malik

looks like the community has spoken. :-)

i am not the one to come between the readers and a funky name for a column.


John Anthony Hartman

A very good acquisition OM. Hamlet, I mean Wagner James is a great guy and I love “Low Ping Bastard”! I had the pleasure of meeting him for drinks awhile back and we spoke quite a bit on these topics and Hamlet is a fountain of knowledge. I look forward to reading more from him.


Thought Plasma

Torley Linden

I’m cool with “Low Ping Bastard”. It’s easy to remember: hey, I’m down with the LPB, y’know? :)

A warm welcome aboard, Jamlet! :D


Low Ping Bastard… hm.. the word “Ping” makes my skin crawl. but i guess i could get over it (seriously; probly the best name for something like this i’ve heard all year).

Michael Katcher

Glad to have you James. This will add such an interesting dimension to GigaOm. Keep up the good work Om, I have faith in you. And for the record, I like Low Ping Bastard as well.

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