Coming to Kotaku, reading a story then reading another one is easy, but there's more to this site than the obvious. You can comment, share and create your own content. You can even filter content according to taste. And more. Here's how.
We've picked up a lot of new readers over the past year, especially in the wake of E3. For those newcomers, think of this as your introduction to Kotaku! For old-timers, who know that we're still only a few months into a fairly major redesign, think of this as a primer on some of the sideshows of the site you may not be familiar with.
KOTAKU IS FOR EVERYONE
First things first. Kotaku is for everyone. Regardless of race, gender or sexuality, this is a place you should feel welcome. Remember that when you're reading stories you may not see on other gaming sites, and remember that when you go to comment on a story and interact with readers.
Commenting on Kotaku is...different. You can sign into the site using your Google, Facebook or Twitter account, which in turn will prompt you to generate your own Kinja account. It's via this account that you can not only comment, but also blog (more on that later).
If you're not cool with that, that's OK; you can also create what we call a "burner" account, which is an anonymous account untied to any of the major social networks. You can read more about burner accounts here.
Once you're logged in, you can comment by scrolling to the bottom of a post and doing one of two things. You can either create your own discussion topic by clicking the "DISCUSS" button, or you can find an existing discussion and click the speech bubble (pictured above).
The actual commenting screen looks like this:
One last thing: stars. Next to comments, you'll see a little star. These are designed to allow users to elevate a discussion, as recommended comments are more likely to be near the top. With great power comes great responsibility, so we'd hope readers use this feature — which is not the same as a Facebook "like" — wisely.
WE TALK ABOUT MORE THAN JUST GAMES
This is a site for people who like video games. Most of the time that means we cover, yes, video games, but other times we'll branch out and cover stuff we think you'll find funny/interesting/cool. Every day, for example, we run a block of stories we call "Kotaku East", a slice of what's hot in online discussions in Japan, China, Korea and beyond.
If you want to read those stories, cool! If not — or if you don't want to read any other stuff we post that isn't strictly related to video games — that's still cool. We've got something for you called "Kotaku Core". Bookmark/visit this link and you'll only see stories related directly to video games.
BIG STORIES, LONG READING
We don't just serve up quickfire news. You can find "Kotaku Selects," a collection of our best original work, here. If you want to settle in with a cup of tea for a long piece of reporting or interviews, you can find those here. If you want to see our editorial opinion pieces, those can be found here.
New to a system? Need some new games? We curate a list of what we, as a group, feel are the best titles available for each major platform. You can check it out here. If you disagree, or want to know what our individual recommendations are, well...
TALK TO US!
The staff of Kotaku are always here for questions, feedback and comments. You can find a full list of our contact details (email, Twitter, Facebook) here.
In addition to individual details, you can reach everyone on the site at once by emailing email@example.com. As you might have guessed, that's also the best place to send us anonymous tips!
We've also set up a new email address: firstname.lastname@example.org. While we do our best to stay on top of comment moderation, the fact is with millions of readers and only a handful of writers, we can't see everything. So if you see a hateful, spiteful or just plain trolling comment in your travels, use that address and a little silver comment moderation bell will ring.
Hypothetical: Imagine you finish reading a story here that was so good, or at least so stupid, that you wanted to share it with your friends. That's easy. At the bottom of every story is a little "command bar." Clicking on the star "recommends" the story. Clicking the arrow next to it opens a drop-down menu bar that lets you share the story via Facebook, Twitter or Tumblr.
KOTAKU IS NOT JUST A WEBSITE
You can read us on Kotaku. Like, this site. Kotaku. But you can also keep up with us on various other networks. We've got a Facebook page where we share our best/coolest content, and a Twitter account that does much the same thing.
In addition to those, we've also got a Tumblr site, which is a little different. We'll share some stuff we post on the main site, yeah, but it's also a place we can share content that may not make it to a front page post on Kotaku, but which we still think is cool.
Finally, here's our YouTube page. It's not a dumping ground for trailers; instead, it's where we keep our original videos, whether they be interviews, impressions or something else.
YOU TOO CAN WRITE FOR KOTAKU (SORT OF)
Kinja, our new publishing platform, gives every registered user their own website. This site doesn't just collect your comments, but lets you write your own stories as well. Here's mine, for example.
Why bother? Well, we've got a reader community set up for people to blog on (and a tutorial to help get you started becoming part of it). But the platform also means we can easily share and promote other stories written on Kinja. So if you write a particularly interesting opinion piece, or share some hot scoop, or present a compelling counter to one of our arguments, we can quickly and easily put that post on our front page, complete with your byline, where millions of people will see it.
Up on the top of the page, in the top right corner, you'll see two icons. One looks like a hamburger. Sorta. Click on it, please.
Your display will look a little different, but that's ok. Each drop-down menu is somewhat personalized. The first group of links that appear will connect to any sites where you have author privileges. Go ahead and jump to them and start writing your own posts.
The second cluster of links point to the major sections of the site you're on. On Kotaku, you'll be able to hop over to our reader-run blog, Talk Amongst Yourselves, or to our video-centric site, Watchlist, or to Selects, which whittles Kotaku down to our best original stories.
The next group of links lists our sister sites. We'd love for you to visit them, too.
Enough with the hamburger icon. See the one to the right of that? It should match your avatar icon. Click it.
From there, you can start writing posts or change your account settings. That dropdown menu should also include recent activity that's relevant to you: replies from other readers to things you've written, for example.
There are various international versions of Kotaku which give you Kotaku with a more local flavour. But if you're in, say, Australia, or Japan, or Brazil, and want to visit this site instead of the local variant, the easiest way to get around automatic redirects is to visit this page, then bookmark it. It'll take you to the global site.
That about does it! Hopefully this has opened your eyes to some of the cooler, smaller features we've got under the hood here. So go forth, read about video game stuff, and if you're feeling up to it, comment about it. Just make sure to be excellent to each other while you're doing it.
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