Creating the Public Review
When I moved to London I was shocked at how there was no centralised video game community – either online or in day to day life. There are websites like Gamespot, Eurogamer and IGN UK, but to me they are businesses and the community primarily serves as a page-view generator for their content. There’s nothing wrong with that, but these communities are insular – they rarely talk to the outside world or other communities – and worst of all they only exists online.
I worked in radio and event management for a good five years while I was in school and university back home. I love communication and always tried to find ways to break the divide between audience and performer. Collaboration brings out the best ideas, makes people happy and allows individuals to see new points of view. The games community has a reputation for being comprised of socially awkward individuals who spend more time ranting than listening – a reputation that isn’t a million miles from the truth.
The idea of the Citizen Game Review is create a middle ground between the enthusiasts gamer like you and me, and the person on the street who plays the occasional game. To break down the huge boundaries we’re assembling around our medium. To allow people of all skill and knowledge levels to lend their opinion on what makes a good game. What better way to do this than to stick it in a bar on one of East London’s busiest thoroughfares? To ensure it’s a free event & put it in a place where people would naturally congregate anyway. It’s why the games we’re playing are the ones most played by Joe Public. It’s why we’re hosting it on a Saturday afternoon between the football matches.
It’s been pretty easy to set up, which is a must when you have a 40 hour day-job and run the majority of a moderately popular video game website. But the Citizen Game Review is merely a litmus test for further live events. If we see that there is a demand for gaming days out, we’ve plenty more concepts where this came from. We actually only pitched the idea to the LGF four weeks ago, so this was the only one I thought we could set up in time and get a decent crowd. Initial feedback suggests we should have an attendance of 50-100 at least.
So on Saturday at noon myself and a team of guys will start up the first game and wait to see who turns up. We hope to see you walk through those doors!
For more information on the Citizen Game Review click here.