Gamervision: An Online Video Game Community Done Right

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GamervisionGamervisionAre video games more than just a way to blow off steam to you? Do you get tired of talking with people who don’t know their Gran Turismo from their Mario Kart? Do you have a stack of games you’re done with, but that you can’t bring yourself to trade in at your local game store because they give you so little for them? If that sounds like you, you ought to check out Gamervision.

Gamervision‘s tagline is “How gamers see the world,” and you can tell that they don’t just talk the talk. The site has reviews, articles, discussion forums, and even videos — some informative, some downright silly and occasionally hilarious. The site’s been up for several years, but they’ve only recently added a feature that should appeal to serious video gamers everywhere: a place to swap, sell 0r buy games from people who care as much about them as they do. And all features of the website are absolutely free.

Gamervision was founded by Fred Bauer and Edward H. Cohen, who’d been in the entertainment industry a while (and who made the awful film Under the Rainbow, which inexplicably has little cult following). Bauer and Cohen dreamed of making a TV show that, like shows that highlight music videos, would highlight video games, but when the Web 2.0 “revolution” happened, they changed strategies. The website has picked up a bit of a following from word-of-mouth (or word-of-keyboard) between gamers and from several of their videos going somewhat viral — see below for their brilliant “Inglorious Plummers” trailer.

As I mentioned, the newest (albeit still in beta) feature of the website is “Swap and Sell,” which provides a board with a dead-simple interface to allow gamers to post things they’re willing to part with and what they want in return — either in the form of games or money. Gamervision only makes the connection, leaving it up to the users to complete the transaction (they will have a feedback form to allow people to build good or bad reputations based on others’ experiences dealing with them).

I spoke with Sean Curran, Gamervision’s creative director, about their vision for the site. He told me they’re striving for “more social network than troll community,” which should be music to anyone’s ears who’s participated in gaming forums elsewhere. Sean and the other executives are themselves participants in the forums, since they love the games as much as the other users do. He told me they consider being a gamer (though not necessarily a hardcore one) a requirement for working there, and it shows in the content. He also told me that the company is working on forming a partnership with a bricks-and-mortar game store to provide a place for gamers to meet in real life as well as online.

The company isn’t quite at its destination, “to make sure that the site is a place where gamers can express how they see the world and what they want to see in the world.” But it’s got a good start on it, and I think all it really needs now is for more gamers to try it out. If you enjoy video games, and I don’t know why you’ve read this far in the article if you don’t, you owe it to yourself to give Gamervision a shot.

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