IMDb is almost as old as the World Wide Web itself. Founded in 1990 and later bought by Amazon, IMDb is one of the top 50 websites in the world with more than 100 million unique visitors per month. Whenever I want to know what a new film is about, who is in it, how people have rated it I head straight for IMDb. It is the first port of call for anyone wanting to know about a film, TV show or celebrity and the depth of information is unparalleled. You can also keep tracks of films you are interested in, rate your favourites and receive personalised recommendations. Goodreads provides a similar service for books as does Last.fm for music but surprisingly there has never been an equivalent for video games.
That's where Gamewise comes in. Launched in January 2013, Gamewise has one simple goal -- to assemble all video game knowledge in one place. So, for example, if you are an expert in Skyrim, you can contribute to its game page adding to or editing related info. This can be anything from reviews to locations, weapons, screenshots, trailers, gameplay tips, release dates, a full walk-through, cheats, achievements and more. And it's not just games -- characters, companies, platforms, franchises and gaming people also have entries on the database. For a site that is only a couple of months old, I was amazed at how many pages had already been filled in and the sheer volume of content available on Gamewise. In some ways it goes even deeper than a site like IMDb since there is often a lot more content in a 40 hour game than a two-hour film.
Game discovery is a key part of the Gamewise experience. When signing up as a new user, you are prompted to rate at least 10 games that you have played, the more the better. Gamewise matches you up with similar users and recommend new games for you to try. It also allows you to keep track of what games your friends are playing and gives you the ability to make recommendations to them. This kind of thing obviously works best when a site hits critical mass and all of your friends are using it, much like any social network.
The third pillar of Gamewise is Brainwaves. These are short thoughts, discussions, reviews and articles that can be added by the users. Each brainwave can be tagged to one or more games and will show up in the news feeds of both users who follow them and users who follow the tagged games. Brainwaves further enhance the personalized experience on Gamewise -- you only see Brainwaves that relate to the things you are interested in without a lot of the noise that you would get on a traditional blog or forum.
Overall, Gamewise is an impressive accomplishment. It is growing at a healthy rate, with more than 45,000 games and 85,000 members in the community in less than a month, and looks to have a strong future ahead.
It has come to my attention that GameWise was using an API that was scraping content from GiantBomb.com. I apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused anyone.