The Weekly Raid: Where Do You Go To Talk About Games?

The recent drama surrounding NeoGAF over the weekend, and the firing of all-but-one paid staff members at The Escapist has spurred me to reflect on the changing nature of Internet communities.

While internet forums are not yet dead, its clear that social networks and aggregators like reddit have put the whole standalone forum format into terminal decline. The ascent of Discord has surely had a similar effect on legacy chat clients like Ventrillo, Team Speak, and Skype. Earlier this month, it was announced that Verizon would be shutting down AOL Instant Messanger (AIM). For many of my generation (I'm 29), AIM was our first window into the lives of others outside our immediate vicinity. The recent explosion in popularity of services like Slack and Discord show just how powerful real-time text based communication remains.

Several gaming communities I used to frequent are now gone. GameSpy, which was owned by IGN, was sunset back in 2013 and with the recent layoffs at The Escapist, it seems that site is not long for this world. On the bright side, GameFAQs is still up and running. I must have made hundreds, if not thousands of posts on those forums throughout the years.

Today, reddit and Discord are my primary outlets. Both serve as open (more or less) platforms where users can create smaller communities. This seems to be the best model thus far, but who knows if it will last.

We'd love to hear from you, where do you go to talk about games? More importantly, how have your destinations changed of the years? Are there any old communities you were part of that are now gone?

Lifelong gamer always looking for the next virtual adventure. I'm still waiting for the next big MMORPG. Until then, you can find me hopping between multiple games.

  • For me my progression was GameFAQs forums, to Reddit, to ultimately Discord. Discord has allowed me to feel more engaged and connected with people better than anything else. Forums/Reddit always felt kinda distant but with Discord i've made a lot of really good friends that i play stuff with all the time. The discord is awesome btw, come hang out <3

    • JellyBitz

      I used Discord 4-5 months ago. Even a week ago because my friends.. and I just see the same, even found limitations. Only a couple of functions like working on the browser is what it makes him popularity over others.

      Although the most of my friends are using Discord (looks like is a new fashion today cuz chat/voice/group in one place) prefer still using TwitchApp (CurseVoice called before, but adquired by twitch) being a lot better on voice/chat joined with FacebookGroups .. sorry, but I know better choices to talk about games: HERE! kappa 😀 disquis, even reddit and forum about my games, no need anything else.

  • ivan_

    I go to GameFAQs to discuss general games, MMOs I come here. Usually theres enough covered by other comments in the podcast + youtube so I don't have anything else to contribute.

    I despise Reddit- not only is the upvote system bad for genuine discussion/community (encouraging karma-whoring), there's also some information on there that is just outright wrong. Either incorrect numbers, inefficient grind methods, obvious trolling... just a bad forum full of pseudo-intellectuals. People don't call out mistakes, and when they do, OP just edits the original post AFTER misinformation has gone viral. I trust official forums > anything else > Reddit. Another bad thing exclusive to Reddit is when devs of a game check (AND reply on) Reddit more than they do Steam or official forums. Since when was Reddit representative of any community? It's just circlejerk of a minority of game's playerbase. Probably the worst thing is when gaming sites cite Reddit as a source of information (like Kotaku, Polygon). Again, you might as well cite 4chan because Reddit eats up and spams everything 4chan shits out anyway. Obviously 4chan doesn't have much civil/deep gaming discussion to chew on but it's about as reputable. Their gamers are better-skilled than reddit's anyway. (Not a 4chan user, definitely not a le reddit user either.)

    Discord is great, but I don't think it's all that revolutionary; IRC chat did the same thing for years, with the same community-focused vibe. It's just that Discord was developed with a gaming overlay/voice comms on the side, but what chat system doesn't have those nowadays? Channels are same as IRC clients, more so than past clients. But nothing wrong with that, I'm glad IRC is back, it's just Discord should be recognised for what it is, glorified IRC chat with #channels. One downside is that Discord moderates its channels, and while some are justified (taking down white supremacist riot inciting channels), it's still censorship at a level not seen back in the days of IRC. Skype was always trash (dropped calls and whatnot), and after Microsoft took over the security became a disaster.

    tl;dr, I come here for MMO discussion, GameFAQs for every other game, Reddit is the worst, and Discord is old tech with modern upgrades.

  • TianlanSha

    Definitely Reddit, then Discord. And in the end, each game's official forum, be it on Steam or not.

  • Vlad

    Currently like everyone this days. Reddit and Discord. Discord mostly because everyone goes there (alliances and such), Reddit because it really works for me.

    I'm 26 years old, back when I got my internet and started using forums, GameFAQ was the thing.

    I instead used Neoseeker, that place was great. I'll always remember that place as a great community //nostalgia