Shacknews, commonly referred to as "The Shack", is a website offering news, features, editorial content, and forums relating to computer games and console games. Previous owners, Steve Gibson and Maarten Goldstein, sold the site to GameFly after providing independent gaming journalism for over a decade. In January 2014, GameFly sold the website to the GamerTV network, which then merged with and reorganized under the Shacknews banner.
Shacknews is currently focused on original video content, unique features, independent event coverage, and community functions.
- Shacknews was founded in 1996 by Steve "sCary" Gibson, 20 years old at the time, as a website dedicated to following news about the then-upcoming Quake from id Software. The original name of the website was "Quakeholio." Through the years the website evolved to cover more than just Quake and the name was changed. "Shugashack" was chosen after a discussion with friends about the general direction of the page and content. After a few years of frequent spelling confusion and interpreting the name as that of a pornographic website, the site was renamed "Shacknews."
- FileShack.com, a site dedicated to providing game demos, patches, videos, and miscellaneous game-related files for Shacknews users and others, was launched in August 2002. FileShack was discontinued in January of 2014 by GameFly.
- The front page news has undergone several iterations, but is normally separated into several categories for organizational purposes. Through much of the site's history, little original research was involved in producing Shacknews content; however, in recent years, main news items have steered away from the "link-and-quote" news methodology. Currently, Shacknews relies heavily on internally researched journalism, in-house feature content, and industry event coverage.
- On February 3, 2009, Shacknews and all related Shacknews destinations were purchased by GameFly.com.
- On February 23, 2011, GameFly unveiled a redesigned version of Shacknews, tailored towards mobile and tablet presentation.
- On May 30, 2014, the principal investor (known by the moniker the man with the briefcase) of the new Shacknews/GamerTV merger announces to the community that the site has been wholly purchased from GameFly and is now operated by a group of content creators, curators, and organizational staff under his direction.
- The transition from GameFly to GamerTV indicated a major shift in the organizational strategy regarding content generation. Shacknews now focuses heavily on video content, has a number of writers on staff producing original content and op-ed pieces, and has expanded their relations with developers for interviews, Q/As, and other special features.
Staff - Present
- Editorial Staff
- Video Production
- Friends of the Shack
Editorial Staff - Past
Comment System History
The Shacknews comment system lies at the heart of the Shacknews user community. There have been four major versions of the comment system, all custom systems programmed for the site. Each comment system has allowed the Shacknews users to add comments to each news article, screenshots gallery, or chatty post. The comment system is moderated by a group of volunteers, known as "Shackmods", under the direction of the group of head moderators geedeck, helvetica, and Rauol Duke.
funk.y was the first comment system, built by Andy Hanson, used on the Shack. Comments could be viewed in flat mode or threaded mode depending on user options. The comments could also be tagged by moderators and "nuked" if they went against the guidelines. A nuked comment would be replaced by the words "* N U K E D *" and the original poster's name would be replaced by an admin account called Duke Nuked.
The second major version of the Shacknews comment system, named ja.zz, was used until June 2007. Essentially a threaded message board, ja.zz was a unique message board written by Sander Pilon for the Shack. Posts could be moderated into one of many categories, which allowed users to filter what categories could be seen. Comments could be viewed in several ways, flat, threaded, or dthread (Dynamic thread) mode which was the most advanced and quickly became the most popular view for the users.
The third version of the Shacknews comment system was released on June 18, 2007. The system was said to be a mix of PHP & MySQL running on the popular Apache webserver. The system went by the name "Laryn.x," clearly a play on larynx, commonly known as the human voicebox. The design team was Mike "haiku" Kane on design, John "pup" Brooks on HTML and CSS, Jack Matthews and Shane "wtf242" Sherman programming, and Steve Gibson leading the team.
The current version of the Shacknews comment system was released on February 23, 2011. This version has brought the biggest change to the chatty system. The chatty is now considered it's own entity and is persistent. This means that chatties are no longer connected to news articles made on the front page (i.e. Morning Discussion, Evening Reading, Weekend Discussion). Threads created in the chatty will continue to appear in the chatty for 24 hours after original post date. After which, the thread will no longer appear in the chatty but can still be found via search or direct link just as in the previous version.
Another major change is the fact that front page news articles no longer allow users to create new threads in them. Instead, each news article has one thread that users can reply to. This special article thread will also appear in the chatty for 24 hours after being posted. The reasoning behind this was to expose the chatty users to the world outside the chatty and to make it easier for mods to moderate the comments on the front page
Cosmetic changes include a new color scheme and banhammer icons that appear next to mod usernames. As always, community reaction is mixed.
The Shacknews community is full of vibrant and talented individuals, many of whom have created related websites and Greasemonkey scripts to modify the Shacknews comment system.