Polygon’s where you go for gaming stuff all day, every day. It’s not just about the games, though; the creators, the fans, and even the metagame and culture itself is expounded upon in countless articles designed to be short and sweet. The articles are informative and almost always link back to their sources, and related images and videos are relevant and add to the articles. The site is branded well with its fuchsia-based color scheme, and opinion-pieces are clearly labeled as such. Elsewhere, it takes a middle of the road stance.
However, the site’s structure could use some work. They’ve put too much stock on the images and not enough on effective organizational hierarchy. It’s as if they don’t want you to easily find your way around the site, but would much rather have you aimlessly clicking from unrelated article to unrelated article. I couldn’t even find the main navigation bar until I specifically looked for it, and even then, it took a while to find what I was looking for. Content is key, but without an effective way to get to the content, it won’t matter how good that content is.
2. PC Gamer
PC Gamer, according to itself, is the “global authority on PC games,” but I doubt that. It certainly isn’t any authority on web design. The site is buggy and certain parts overlap each other in weird and nonsensical ways (especially the “more info” tab on the bottom on the window). The site itself looks like a crappy Tumblr theme, complete with infinite scrolling pages that don’t open links in a new tab. That means you better hope you don’t accidentally click on something or else you’ll have to go all the way back at the beginning with no indication of how far down you had scrolled. The social media links at the top of the site apparently aren’t actually clickable links even though it looks like it. For some reason, clicking what appears to be a standard social media link instead opens a much larger tab of the exact same social media icons. It looks a move Google would make (that means it sucks).
Anyway, back to the content: it’s varied, and it stays within it’s decided area: PC gaming. Ranging from games to eSports to computer building, it covers a large swath of the PC gaming arena. Article length is varied; some are short, some are long, others are in-between. There are even some that I just said “nope” because of how long they were.
It’s the same case as with Polygon, though: without effective navigation and ease of use, the quality of content is irrelevant. I’m starting to notice a trend here.
3. The Escapist
Video games, movies, comics, cosplay, and all the geeky stuff you could want is right at The Escapist. It’s not specialized in any one area, instead deciding to be involved in everything in nerd and geek culture. Articles are just the right length, and the tone is just satirical enough to be funny without flaring up things I’d rather keep hidden. And, on top of that, it’s responsible for Zero Punctuation, so that’s an automatic plus.
While it doesn’t have the prettiest website out there (subjectively, I love the way it looks), it cares more about functionality than idiotic trendiness, and I found everything I was looking for right where I expected it to be. Even when I wasn’t sure where to go, I was able to find it almost immediately (something I can’t say for Polygon and especially not for PC Gamer). The Escapist actually understands how to utilize its medium to the fullest, and for that, I call for a slow clap.
Order of Preference of Position
1 – Layout Editor
2 – Content Creator
3 – Section Editor
4 – Editor-in-Chief