“You can't spell IGNorant without IGN.”
International Gaming Narcotics (or its more widely-recognized acronym facade, IGN) is an American multi-billion-dollar corporation that develops, manufactures, and promotes the use of addictive video games during recreational sporting activities. They are known for their customer satisfaction and quick delivery time, with a dealer in almost every country. The organization was founded in 1996, incorporated in 1999, and acquired by Rupert Murdoch's News Corp in 2005.
Their website, IGN.com, is most well known for its pay-per-score system of bribe-based game reviews, its "reporters" of varying intelligence, its layout having more ads than actual content, and its forums on which hundreds of people pay their hard-earned money to make frequent posts. The site is a series of endless inescapable popups, 400-pixel-wide Flash ads, and animated annoyances that come to the fore and make visitors want to hit "Close". In addition to video games, the site also provides coverage on music, movies, TV shows, cars, and what most nerds are looking for, babes (later removed due to feminist complaints).
Similar early concepts to IGN were formed during the Colonial era of the 17th–18th centuries, back when rich people would store recreational marbles in their tie-dye wigs (the "tie-dye" originally came from the marbles reflecting light off the wigs) and write printing-press stories on the newest marbles. However, during the 1920s Prohibition era, fun was outlawed and rich people were forced to hide marbles in their boots, inadvertently forming what is now known as bootlegging.
TED Talks creator Chris Anderson, at the peak of his career in 1994, had exhausted his stock options and was looking for an alternative investment endeavor. The concept of selling addictive entertainment news to gamers was born out of a wager between Anderson and GP Publications' Robert C. Lock; together they created Imagine Media. The first two years of operation were dedicated to narcotic research, wherein thousands of gamers were imported by the truckload and subjected to experiments. Early tests involved subcutaneous injection of mind-altering substances into the hands via controller pads. Results showed that 69% of subjects displayed faster synaptic "epic win" responses and a 9000% increase in "w00t!"
Hey, This One's Plugged in Wrong: IGN Becomes Sentient
“IGN... more like I Got Nonuts. A poor man's version of GameSpot, if I ever saw one.”
The IGN.com prototype, also known as the Web 1.0 Discombobulatospheromatron, would be constructed by Anderson and Lock on a Windows 95 PC in their New York City laboratory. IGN.com was designed as a copyright-dodging conglomerate of three respective branches: N64.com, Saturn World, and PSX Power, after the three were respectively sued by Nintendo, Sega, and Sony. This fusion caused a cyber-tremor that reached 8.8/10 on the Gygax scale (official scale for the degree of nerdism). The prototype was promptly filed away for a year before it mysteriously resurfaced in the NYIT Archives. Finally, in 1996, nerdy graduate students Matt Casamassina, Peer Schneider, and Jonathan Simpson-Bart discovered that the device was incorrectly connected to its Web server, and replugged it in correctly. On September 29, 1996, IGN became sentient; it is said that it would smell like "A bottle of x-treme Mountain Dew, with a side of electrified human flesh."
IGN managed to survive the 2001 dot-com bubble burst by overheating a rival publisher's cyber-cafe until the publisher died, and then selling their rival's sweat to the makers of bowling shoe spray. In an effort to defray the growing costs of bandwidth and eventually be able to move out of their parents' basement, the founders of IGN.com are rapidly developing an advertising vs. content strategy, with more emphasis on advertising than content. Over the years, the site has been humiliated and buggered by (among others) the logos of IGN-approved "gamer fuel" like Taco Bell, Mountain Dew, and Doritos.
“IGN is a prison, and the bars are made of banner ads.”
IGN is the Metallica of video game reporting, basing its score of certain games (i.e. Call of Duty, Madden, Fortnite) on the amount of moolah that the developers are willing to pay them (sometimes, they instead pay IGN by literally letting one of their writers do voices for the game). A good barometer to determine IGN's views on a certain game is the amount of advertisements said game has on the site. When a company pays IGN to promote its product, IGN floods its front page with advertisements disguising themselves as editorials. As you read IGN's positive review of a game, a huge banner advertising that same game stares back at you from the top of the page, urging you to buy it, and an additional two block it off on either side. You can try to escape by returning to the front page, but there you will only find more of the same ads alongside ten other articles about the same game, lying in wait for you.
IGN is full of video content that often takes a lifetime to load. In the time it takes to load a single 320x240 pixel video from IGN.com, you can divide by zero, take your monthly shower, and skydive while losing no time at all. Ideally, IGN could take their revenues and invest them in new servers to handle their site's increase in traffic, but choose not to; some argue this is because they know that 99% of their visitors have too much free time on their hands anyway. IGN also desires to follow the YouTube route and litter their video service with commercials, so that the slow download speed can be even slower and users can be flooded with pointless other commercials, when they are just trying to watch one certain commercial for a specific game.
Being an IGN staff member is recognized worldwide as "The job that represents the least amount of work ever" since the 1996 Worst Job Olympics. IGN staff are chosen exclusively on the basis of their laughable names. Strangely, IGN does not hire any females, as this species is referred as "Absolutely incomprehensible" by the authorities in charge.
Partial list of laughably-named IGN staff:
- Fran "Frangoat" Mirabaaalla III – Chief Video Editor, goat
- Brennan Ieyoub – IGN Insider
- Matt "Casablanca-Massassi-Mania" Casamassina – Co-Founder, former Editor-in-Chief at IGN N64/Cube/Wii, "big boy"
- Peer "Pressure" Schneider – Co-Founder, General Manager
- Steve Butts – IGN PC
- Hilary Goldstein (despite his first name, this individual is male) – IGN Comics
- Erik Brudvig – IGN Cheats
Like any good sprawling company, IGN regularly tries to add new strings to its bow by aiming for control of new markets. On the other hand, some branches of IGN are not guaranteed to be as successful as others. Failed examples include:
- IGN Wrestling – Closed since 2002, IGN Wrestling wanted to cover the exciting world of wrestling as well, if not worse, than the other 458,000 sites dealing with the subject. This branch died after most of its members realized that it was much more enjoyable to watch lady-wrestling. Unfortunately, they never wrote an article about the best wrestler of them all, Doink the Clown.
- IGN Babes – Opened two weeks after IGN Wrestling closed, IGN Babes was dedicated to soft porn. These "babes" could be real, pixels on a screen, or totally unrelated to video games, as long as they had a shapely body to attract site traffic. The board abruptly closed in 2010, eight years into its lifespan. The cause: all the editors had came and went.
- IGN Bandana – IGN Bandana covered the headband world like no other site before. Its provocative, guerrilla-style media coverage fitted very well with the life-changing action of headband enthusiasts and designers alike. IGN Bandana no longer exists today, after receiving a total of 19 visits during the first six months of its opening.
- IGN Sci-Fi – IGN Sci-Fi was about the sex lives of IGN.com's editors.
“Duuude, did you know this powerup can upgrade you to a level 4 Mage in Baldur's Gate?”
The Vestibule, which is Latin for "The antechamber of a slow-witted dog", is the largest message board on the IGN forums. Teh Vesti originated from when Albert Einstein wrote down a mathematical law that he soon realized could destroy the universe if it fell into the wrong hands. So, like any great thinker of the early 20th century would do, he disposed of it by placing it in a McDonald's deep-fryer. Unfortunately for Einstein, it later fell into the hands of one known as "Evil Homer", a half-cyborg counterpart of the famous Simpsons character. Homer was prone to fishing in the deep fryers of fast food restaurants for free meals and other goodies, and one day in 2002 he hit the jackpot. Homer, along with his pack-mule Tal the Uber, followed the directions Einstein had scribbled, and thus The Vestibule was born.
Teh Vesti emerged as a dark evil place of mindless fratboys, trolls, ranking threads, post count threads, gimmick sockpuppet accounts, religion vs. atheism debates, outsiders (who post for free, and can only post once per minute), insiders (who post for $20, and get one post per thirty seconds), hentai, epic winrars, and n-word passes. As time went on, a fierce battle raged between the board's users and moderators. Then in a fit of anger, Evil Homer created the Mods of Azkaban. The users began to plan a revolt against the demonic Tal and Homer, even thought they were the creators. Because the Vestibulians didn't believe in God, they began to post in protest. Now every time a user posted, Homer and Tal's power would decrease. But every time someone posted on a different board, the power of the almighty creators would expand. Ultimately, like all e-drama, this conflict fizzled out as Teh Vesti returned to its mindless norm.