There’s no denying that gaming culture has become so prevalent these days that it’s become a part of popular culture in general. Whereas you might have had trouble finding people who shared your gaming interests before, the internet has definitely made it easier. Well, the internet and the fact that the video game industry makes more money than both the movie and music industries.
The growth of video games has been nothing short of remarkable, and the speed of this growth can sometimes be the very thing that contributes to problems within the industry. Gaming is being forced from its adolescence into adulthood at a breakneck pace, and it makes sense that there are going to be bad decisions made and screw ups. Tons of them. We’ve all seen the problems with the video game industry, but today, I’m not going to be the one shining a spotlight on them. Instead, I’d like to take a look at a new gaming website that I discovered thanks to my friend, Fulya.
Enter stage right, Player.me.
Player.me is a gaming social network that has a lot of potential. The idea is to foster a sense of community and give gamers a dedicated space to be passionate about their games.
The idea is that if you’re a pro player, then you can find your fans through this medium. If you’re a casual gamer, then you can connect to other gamers with the same interests/find pro players easily. It’s also good for someone who wants to be a content creator of any kind. If you’ve ever wanted to contribute to the gaming ecosystem, this is a website that will allow you to do it with minimal muss and fuss. It’s a strange mashup of Facebook and Twitter, but completely gaming-focused.
So, after a few days of playing around on the site, here are the good and the bad things I’ve noticed about it.
1. The profiles are easy to customize and make beautiful.
I’m a sucker for pretty looking pages that are easy to make. Player.me makes creating your profile space easy, and while there aren’t a ton of customization options, there are certainly enough to give your page a unique feeling.
2. The staff are on the ball.
I’ve contacted the Player.me staff twice since I’ve joined, and they get back to you quickly. Whether it’s through email or the chat options on the site, they’re quite quick in responding to your concerns and genuinely seem interested in your feedback. Since it’s still in the beta stage, your feedback might end up being built into the site one day.
3. You can link a lot of different sites to your profile.
If you want a centralized gaming hub just for yourself, then you don’t need to look any further than Player.me. You can even decide whether you want your other sites to show on your profile.
4. Good integration with third-party sites.
While they unfortunately can’t port over anything from my Steam account, Player.me will allow you to show others when you’re streaming through Twitch and will send your new YouTube videos to Player.me automatically. If you want to share your videos, this is an easy way to do it.
1. The UI (user interface) can leave you puzzled.
Maybe I’m just bad at interfaces or maybe I’m just clicking in the wrong places, but there were times when the UI would trip me up. For example, to join a group you can’t just follow the group (which is on the group’s main page). Instead, to join a group you would need to go to the group’s main page and then click on the member’s tab. From there, you’d be able to join the group.
2. The search is dismal.
Want a direct way to search for users who’ve liked the same games as you? Tough shit. The browse feature allows you to search usernames or sort by similar, featured, popular, and newest. There are no real filters that can be applied, but considering the site is still being worked on, this is understandable. It also might not have the player base to make a complex search engine. To be fair, you can look at the game page to find players who like the game as well. Just go to browse, search for the game, click on the game page, and then click on the players tab. See what I mean about the UI?
3. The content isn’t … fantastic right now.
It’s going to get time for the content to catch up with the platform, if I’m going to be completely honest. Since Player.me is finding its feet, you’re going to see a lot of things that you are completely uninterested in on your feed—and I do mean a lot. It does have ways to discover new streams or new things that people are posting, though, so maybe when there are more filter options or you’re able to tag/ignore certain topics this will be rectified. It’s nice to see so many people contributing content and if you want a place to test the waters for your gaming content, this is a good place to start.
Overall, Player.me has been fun and I can see a lot of potential in the platform. I hope to see you all there sometime! If you have your own experiences with Player.me or other gaming websites, please share them in the comments below!