Logan Predy, site owner and editor-in-chief of Game Usagi (www.usagi.games) offers advice for choosing new games and discusses the value of short, specific domain names in this week’s My Side of the Dot™.
Where are you based?
Saskatoon, SK, Canada.
When and how was Game Usagi founded?
I founded Game Usagi in the spring of 2007. I wanted to have a place to share my opinions specifically on Nintendo games and wanted to be able to reach a wider audience.
How did you choose the name, Game Usagi?
As many creative types do, I set up a couple of word pools and started picking name combinations out of them to see what sounded catchy. I was originally leaning toward something with Nintendo in the name, like GoNintendo which emerged from an older blogspot blog around the same time. I’m glad I ended up deciding not to try to take on Kevin Cassidy and his behemoth and ended up branching out to cover gaming culture as a whole. The word “usagi” is Japanese for rabbit and I first learned it by watching the anime show Ergo Proxy. I didn’t like the combination “Game Usagi” at first, but it just stuck in my mind and inspired such a fun logo that it quickly grew on me and ended up becoming the site’s final name.
What is your goal for Game Usagi?
Essentially, I wanted to share my very strong opinions on the quality of electronic entertainment with people all over the world. As long as I’m helping people find the games or gadgets that are right for them (and avoid the ones that aren’t), I’m happy with Game Usagi.
How large is the Game Usagi community?
The Game Usagi community has waxed and waned over the nine or so years we’ve been around; we originally had forums with a few hundred members but now most of our following is through our Game Usagi Plays YouTube channel and people just reading our reviews. Our channel has over 1,200 subscribers now and grows every day, so we’re thankful that people still like what we do.
What is the Usagi review system and how was it developed?
As with most parts of Game Usagi, our review system has evolved over the years as well. We keep trying new things to make it more convenient and efficient for our readers/viewers to get info on the games they’re interested in. Currently, we score things on a 100-point scale from 0.0 to 10.0 as an average of their standings in several categories that change for each game/accessory. For example, our latest review was of a universal arcade fightstick and we averaged its 9.1 overall score from its scores in the Build Quality, Responsiveness, Extra Features, Value, and Value (with need for extras) categories. People usually seek out reviews when they’re considering making a purchase, so we always try to give a clear picture of the value each product presents.
What has been the biggest surprise since Game Usagi got up and running?
I guess our biggest surprise was in 2012 when we were invited to cover the E3 Expo in Los Angeles including all three of the major pre-expo conferences (for Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo). It’s not a small thing to receive invitations to even a single one of those, but we managed to attend and cover all of them and it was one of the most amazing experiences of my life.
What is your best piece of advice for gamers looking for good games?
I’d say think about and trust what you find fun and worthwhile. Reviews for any medium are subjective and the best we can do as an outlet is to say “from our wide experience, this is how this stacks up to what else is out there.” Everyone is different though and finds different things fun—the audience for Minecraft is often very different from the audience for Call of Duty or the audience for Dark Souls. You can like all of those games, or none of those games; what you find fun or enthralling is part of who you are. I always tell people to surely take risks and try new things as you never know when something new will be great, but to above all know what you like and know that just because a Call of Duty gamer doesn’t like the new Cities: Skylines game doesn’t mean that it won’t be the game of the year for you.
How did you hear about .GAMES?
As soon as all of the new TLDs started coming out I was on the watch for ones that applied to our network of sites. .GAMES in particular is one I was watching since they were announced. Each new TLD is like a reset button allowing businesses that weren’t around at the start of the internet to get shorter and more personalized URLs that would otherwise have been impossible if we were still stuck in the .COM/.NET/.ORG kind of era.
Why did you decide to register .GAMES as a redirect even though you have the .COM?
The opportunity to have an even shorter, snappier URL for Game Usagi was too great of a chance to pass up. We of course have several .COM variations registered for Game Usagi just to protect our name and the like, but usagi.games is simple and easy for people to remember if they ever want a quick way to our site.
Is there anything you’d like to leave readers with?
It’s been a labour of love for nine years now and we hope for another nine bringing detailed but fun and light reviews to our viewers all over the world.
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