Good news, everyone! The Internet Games Database - IGDB for short - this week entered into closed beta! I'll give you a moment to collect yourselves, and Google the term so you can actually formulate some idea of what I'm babbling about.
Long story short, the IGDB aims to be for video games what the IMDB is for film and television: a centralized, comprehensive database which spans the entire industry, offering a host of fully-searchable information regarding development teams, reviews, narrative, mechanics, and other details. All collaborative and fully user-supported, naturally.
This is is actually the barest minimum of what the IGDB aims to be, according to a FAQ posted on its website. After all, it's not like information on a particular game is terribly scarce. A cursory Google search on any title you can think of yields hundreds of review sites, several walkthroughs, and occasionally even a wiki or two. Information, then, is only part of the game here.
Aside from tossing out the bias which often tends to run rampant on larger sites, IGDB hopes to focus as much on the people behind the games as it does the games themselves, all while giving independent titles as much standing as larger AAA offerings. Further, the team behind the database hopes that it can eventually act as a bridge between gamers and the games industry - though they don't quite seem clear on the details of how they intend to accomplish this.
There's also talk of a number of user-oriented features. Again, there's not a lot of information at this point, but the site lists a few examples: a user might choose to receive a notification when their favorite writer is listed on a new project, or receive smart recommendations based on either their own gaming preferences or on what other, similarly-inclined users enjoyed.
It's an ambitious project, to be sure - especially given that the team behind it consists solely of six people. Still, their goal is an admirable one, and if the IGDB takes off, it may well end up becoming a fixture in gaming. Plus, a bridge towards securing a career in game development is something I'm sure a great many people would appreciate.
Those of you who'd like to do your part in helping the IGDB get off the ground can go here to sign up for the closed beta.