While casual gaming has exploded in the past few years thanks to the iPhone and other smartphones, gaming has existed for decades already, with companies like Nintendo, Sony and Microsoft being at the forefront of the gaming industry with their current and upcoming home and portable dedicated gaming consoles.
Of course, if you are a gaming aficionado of any kind of device and like to stay up to date with news about your favorite systems and franchises, you only have to search the web to find the latest news about them.
But if you are a real fan of gaming, reading gaming news barely cuts it. Instead, what is really fun and entertaining is to interact with gaming forums and communities who share your interests and who also have access to some of the most recent news and announcements in gaming.
However, there tends to be quite a lot of confusion when it comes to the two main gaming forums on the web, NeoGAF and GameFAQs, since both have different styles, acceptance and moderation rules and other features.
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Let’s take a look at these two forums to learn more about them and how they stack up against each other as essential tools for serious gamers.
Easily the most popular gaming forum out there, NeoGAF was created more than a decade ago and now harbors more than a 100,000 members. However, this number is not large at all, especially if you consider how old the forum is. The reason for this is the stringent rules that the forum adheres to when accepting new members and for regulating existing ones.
Some of the most appealing features of the NeoGAF forum are its news-aggregating style (which favors the most relevant and popular topics), the amount of news that break there, the breadth of topics covered and the amount of industry members who post there, which can provide great insight into some key aspects of the industry.
Registration is completely free, although getting your account approved on NeoGAF can not only take months, it also requires you to register with a non-free email account, like your work email or one from your educational institution for example. This keeps registration numbers within control, ensures that people registering for an account have at least a bit of commitment and it also allows for easier moderation, since someone removed from the forum will have a much harder time trying to get a non-free email account again.
The quality of the news and conversation is usually top notch and you can find updates on most topics all around the clock.
Second only to NeoGAF in relevance to the industry, GameFAQs is another gaming forum that boasts a great community.
One of the major assets of GameFAQs is that it is also the top site in the web to find information about games, walkthroughs, hints and game save files, which combined with its boards makes it an impressive source of just about everything related to gaming.
GameFAQs’ gaming forums are organized by topics, making them easier to browse for news or categories. By using this approach though, the site sacrifices a bit on the immediacy front, which positions it more as a gaming knowledge forum than as one to discuss more recent news, topics and events.
A nice aspect of the GameFAQs forum is its simple and fast registration process, which lets you use your personal email address (even from free email providers, like Gmail for example) to create your account, allowing gamers interested in joining a discussion to do it fast and without hassle.
The quality of the boards in GameFAQs is also among the best, with really helpful and knowledgeable members who keep discussions flowing nicely.
And there you have them. Both of these gaming forums are great, but I found that people usually don’t know enough about them to choose or to compare them on the fronts that matter. Still, both of them are free and each sports a great and passionate community. Even better, you can browse both at ease and get a feel for which one suits you best.
And if you know something important about them that I might have missed, feel free to share it in the comments below. Happy gaming!