Tuesday, February 14, 2012

It is a trap! Videogames 'News' made just for clicks

If there is one thing people doing videogame's news like more than videogames it is traffic. Seeing your visitor's counter going up is a pleasure. Not only that, it means that the site ads can start paying the bills. Of course, there is three ways to generate traffic to your site. You can slowly build a fan base that respect your work, based on your own hard work  and make fame by being a fair, intelligent writer with relevant in sight; you can be that guy who make everything very differently, innovative; or you can attract tons of careless readers by using cheap tactics in your headline.

One of the cheapest tactics I see while fooling around the web is the VS articles. PS3 vs 360, PC vs consoles and so on. It goes with that bombastic headline, promising a 'deep' analysis of each contender. And them what you see is a presentation of each game and the conclusion that 'both are very good and all goes to personal preference'. I call it bullshit. This kind of articles do nothing to the gamer. The writer use a cheap maneuver to get clicks and them goes all non-committal at the end. After any kind of analysis of a product, any people would have a favorite. But this lame writer would not risk pissing off a chunk of his potential audience by taking a stand, by having a opinion on the matter.

Another cheap trick is the hate/troll article, like 'Why I hate MW3' or 'Why Final fantasy VII is Overrated'. Of course, the one people the writer is trying to gather is the MW3 or FFVII fans. They will flock to the site to defend their favorite game. The writer, setting his trap, will be sure to be as aggressive and offensive he can, knowing that the hoard of fans will not ignore him and fall in its trap. It is more common than you think. Here is an example. 

The last type of clicking bait is the 'no-news' articles. A game who have being in development goes gold? You don't say? How unsurprising! People are doing lines to buy that famous game? Oh, really? Sorry, but a piece worth of news is the ones nobody expect to happens. That game nobody was talking about is a success? That is news. A famous franchise game is being canned? News! That game who have being in development hell have a release date? News. The release date of a games is the same since it got a release date? Not news!

Unfortunately, the internet is a harsh environment.  If you start writing in the internet with hopes of paying your bills with your site, it is very hard to avoid using those kind of traps to grant you readers and inflate your visitor's numbers to show to possible clients interested in advertising in your site. Standing out is very hard in the net.

But you can stand out by being a very good writer or by being that guy who scream in the street while naked. It is your choice.

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