It was 5 years ago today that, on a whim, I paid Godaddy.com $8 to register the site ogmaster.com. My goal was simple: Write reviews for gamers like me. I was tired of reading reviews from writers who obviously sucked at the game they were reviewing and instead of admitting they suck, they would instead knock off a point on the review for the game. Since then I’ve gone from writing a review every once in a while to breaking news stories, interviewing porn stars, raising a couple grand for charity and eventually going to E3.
When running a website, I’ve learned a few things that could help potential site owners and journalists in the future:
1. Don’t be afraid to ask. One thing that I developed from my childhood is the dread that I could potentially bother someone. You have to throw that out the window if you want to get anywhere in this industry. Without asking, I wouldn’t have anything to review, special events to go to, or anyone to interview. You have to suck it up, let that adrenaline pump in your body until your face is red, and just ask.
2. Always be skeptical. There that old journalism adage “If your mother says she loves you, check it out.” It’s so true with reporting these days where anyone can tweet or post on Facebook about what some major developer said, but it ends up being false. Thing is, you also need to be skeptical about people as well. PR people are nice, that’s their job, but they may not be able to follow through with what they said. Also, those that try to work with you may seem that their down for your cause to only then end up stabbing you in the back. Be nice yet also be wary.
3. Figure out who you are. Early on, this site was about gamers who were actually good at games writing about games. Over time, I’ve kept the mission of the site to being a site for veteran gamers. I’m not here to explain what a FPS is or who Shigeru Miyamoto is. I expect you to know that. You didn’t find this site because you wanted to learn about video games. You came here because you know that we know what we’re talking about.
4. Porn stars are a little boring. While I do like mentioning that I interviewed two porn stars, Raven Alexis and Belladonna, that whole thing got old real fast. These days, I wouldn’t recommend it.
5. Don’t write news with an agenda. As gaming has become the target of feminists and other "social justice" groups, many journalists have been putting a Fox News-esque slant on their stories to push their agenda. Look, if you want to express your opinion that you think a certain female character is far too busty for a game, then go right ahead. However, when you’re reporting the news, stick to the facts. I’ve already called out sites that have shown a clear case of propaganda with their pieces, and I will continue to point these guys out because what they’re doing is wrong.
6. Running a site is hard yet rewarding. Running a website that tries to provide content on a daily basis is not easy. I’ve lost plenty of sleep from simply trying to stay up an extra hour or two to finish a news piece or edit a video. I’ve walked miles around event floors to a point of passing out just to make sure I keep all my appointments, and then spend days in painful recovery. There’s a lot you have to fight through as a site owner, but it can be well worth it.
I have to thank the people that have made this site what it is:
James – The website guru. He’s the one that comes up with how the site looks.
Harlem – The Black Guitar Hero. Although he’s moved away from San Antonio, he’s still somewhat dependable when he comes back into town.
MikeV – My longest running writer. He’s is the definition of loyal.
Ricky – My uncle. He makes the pretty pictures, and always has my back.
Eduardo – My former editor. He may not be part of the site anymore, but he provides some good advice.
Chris Holm – Every year I hate him a little more.
Nic – Newbie. You still have a ways to go, so shut up and listen.
To all the friends of the site and former writers that left on good terms, I say thank you for everything.
With that all said, let’s get down to the free games. It’s going to be simple, I’m going to update this post along with the site’s Twitter and Facebook pages with codes for various games. All the “?” are numbers that you’ll have to guess at, not letter.
The first codes on this post are for:
Showdown Effect (Steam)
Age of Empires II (Steam)
if you redeemed the code, please leave a comment so others will know.
Update: Here's three new codes. No hiding numbers this time. Please post if you redeemed the codes:
March of Eagles (Steam)
Guns of Icarus Online (Steam)
Monster Loves You (Steam)
Update #2: Here are the last three codes for the day:
Primal Fears (Steam)
Zombie Tycoon 2 (PSN)