I just found out that a “game search engine” got about $8 million in venture capital money. The search engine, Wazap, “provides news articles, and tips and tricks about how to play games — for example, a video clip demonstrating how a gamer is able to slay a particular dragon.”
On one level, I’m happy to see specialized search engines developing (a point I’ll be developing at a conference on media reform this Friday). The big names need some robust competitors. On the other hand, given my inexperience in this world, Julian Stallabrass’s take feels about right now:
For unsympathetic or bemused onlookers, computer gaming is collapsed into two worrying but possibly contradictory characterizations: of mindless addiction to an alien and impoverished experience, and also the feeling of utter exclusion , that they could not possibly begin to understand or play the game.
From Gargantua: Manufactured Mass Culture, 99.
I mean, isn’t the point to figure out for yourself how to kill the dragon? If you’re going to use a search engine, why not just get a cheat cartridge, or hire people to do it? Oh, wait, that’s already being done.