Web Site Reviews: Rock, Paper, Shotgun
Despite my numerous travels about the web, on staff at Notebookcheck.net, Carrypad, UMPCPortal, GamersSphere, and GeeksWorldWide, today, at least, I am not a professional journalist. Not even semi-pro. I'm def a rank and file amateur blogger. I'm unlikely to be the guy who breaks a news story wide-open and be the first-to-post. I'm totally dependent on other professional or semi-pro sites to provide some of the inspiration I need to write my own articles. So it is still free game for me to occasionally recommend or evaluate other sites for my readers' benefit, and hope that they find other enjoyable sites that I consume as well. Or, ya know, avoid them.
Tonight's spotlight is on Rock, Paper, Shotgun (http://www.rockpapershotgun.com). A site whose staff is located in the UK, and helmed by a former PCGamer editor-in-chief, RPS consists of a small core staff of about 7 editors. Those editors are backed by a slew of freelancers and other contributors who buff the core site with additional content. RPS is dedicated to the PC as a gaming platform. Not mobile, not consoles, not handhelds; it's all PC gaming all the time with these guys. Posts on this site are well-written; this staff is definitely not about slinging around tiny news blurbs in an effort to garner a number of hits. Reviews are incredibly detailed and are the kind of intricate fare that I tend to write myself. I'm not super-hot about their reviews format because, I'm an engineer, and I like numbers, and RPS does not do that. I know a lot of sites are not doing numbered scores these days, and a lot of people are religiously dedicated to the notion that reviews are better without being assigned a quantifiable score. That's fine; we need diversity in the blogosphere. I like the information that the reviews convey, but without a score assigned, they do not master my own game buying decisions, although they may inform them, or be a tie-breaker if a game has nearly equivalent review scores elsewhere.
Speaking of diversity, the staff of seven includes two women, but no people of color. Take that for what you will as well. You’re going to find that news on this site covers the range from very small games and interactive experiences to AAA titles. That's great if you like to cover that whole range in your own reading, but if you are looking for the bigger news, you're going to have to sift through the smaller stuff. With no "Featured News" banner or segmentation, you are going to be confined to doing that sift linearly. Games coverage is the main thrust here, with hardware coverage being fairly sparse; sometimes with frequency only being one hardware post or review every one and sometimes only once every two weeks. Guides are even more sparse, with the last guide posted going back to the first of December. Of 2016. I personally like RPS' web design. It is simple, straight forward, and does not feature the goofy and obtrusive 10-foot graphics and scrolling interactive widgets that plague the landscape these days. There is not a ton of video content; it's mostly text and stills. But an upside is that this is not a site that goes cold, dark, and quiet when the weekend comes, and you can look forward at least to their Sunday Papers post if you are a weekend reader.
RPS does not float my short-attention-span boat when I am trying to read short-form content throughout the week, but their reviews and op-ed pieces are thought-provoking and well written. This is a site that takes its post quality seriously, and is very much about not joining in on the too short, too useless kind of posting that you see at the majority of today's geek news outlets. I would definitely recommend bookmarking it, although there may not be enough there in your personal interest window to warrant you checking it every day.