News 4 Gamers, also known as N4G, is a website that most people who are interested in the gaming industry or gaming culture are aware of. The website is a news aggregator and eventually all major stories about video games seem to find their way to N4G. But is N4G really all it is cracked up to be? As an active member who has used their website nearly every day for the past two years, here is my review.
The community on N4G is notorious for being anti-360 and pro-PS3. It’s not surprising to see stories praising the PlayStation 3 often on the front page with the highest “heat.” Heat is an indicator of how often a story is read and commented on over a certain period of time. Positive stories about Xbox 360 stuff, on the other hand, are often reported as “lame” by the community and eventually failed (more on that later). If such a story does eventually get approved then it usually is not very popular or get many readers.
Another problem with the N4G community at large is that it is rife with trolls. Some users will take the liberty to simply report any story you submit just because it was you that submitted it. I’ve had one such guy causing me grief for months who affectionately goes by the username “urmomlol.” Clearly this person is not exactly mature. He reports most of my stories as “lame” and admits the only reason he did so was because I was the one that wrote them. Staff have done nothing about this kid’s personal vendetta and his repeated harassment has gone largely unpunished.
Speaking of lame reports, they need to be changed. The way it is currently set up, lame reports will lead to a story being indirectly failed. When users browse the pending stories section, they will usually skip ones that have already been reported (which can be seen in big red letters under the story). This is natural because a casual user simply does not want to spend the time required to investigate whether the report was valid or not. Most just want to approve or report the story and move on. Therefore, stories that receive a lame report early on will most likely be failed because of that report. Short of being removed altogether, lame reports should at least not show up in on the pending stories section.
Which brings us to our next review point, the staff. Some of the staff there are helpful and a pleasure to interact with. Others seem to be on a power trip. After I corrected a Moderator, who I will not name here, about a specific rule on the site (through private messaging mind you, not in public) he proceeded to insult me and told me to never PM him again. That doesn’t seem very professional! I went ahead and filed a ticket voicing an official complaint about this individual and two days later, I had been temporarily banned. Clearly the two incidents were related.
Staff are also not very punctual about responding to tickets. I still have one ticket which at the time of this writing is 140 days old that has not been responded to. Seems like quite a long time to wait if you ask me. When I worked as an Admin at Gamebattles, it was generally frowned upon if tickets grew to be too many days old. I can only imagine what would happen if a ticket was left pending for almost half a year! The ticket I submitted voicing my complaint about the Moderator described above went unanswered as well.
This can be a problem because when something you have submitted is reported incorrectly. The only way to get this remedied is by submitting a ticket and waiting for staff to fix it. For example, someone reported one of my stories as a duplicate of another story which was actually submitted after mine (the site records submission numbers and the supposed “original” was actually submitted 11 stories after mine was!) Although this was clearly a mistake, the issue was never resolved.
So you might be thinking why anybody would bother using this site at all. Well despite the community and staff issues the site faces, it can be a very good place to read the latest gaming news. Very often the first place I hear about stuff is on N4G. There are a few other news aggregator sites out there which are pretty good like Gamegrep and Gamekicker but N4G is easily the most active and well known.
In conclusion, N4G can be a great site to use if you are simply looking for a place to read about and comment on the latest industry news, reviews, and interviews. If you are contributor looking to submit content, however, beware because you will be engaged in a constant battle to be treated fairly and regardless of how long you have been a member or how many submissions you have contributed to the site, there is no feeling of appreciation from either the community or the staff.