Games industry site bans the kids

Gamesindustry.biz has closed its doors to casual browsers, including the youngsters who keep the business which pays its bills alive.

The site, which is a reliable source of insider news and rumours, now demands that users register, and they can only do so if they have a business email address.

The site's administrators say they are resricting access because they want to get accurate indications of who is visiting the site and why. "Whenever we speak to people in the industry there's normally a strong level of support for what we're trying to do in promoting serious and ethical journalism. But while we know we have strong and consistent traffic numbers, which puts us in an industry-leading position, we don't believe numbers alone are sufficient.

"As a trade site we want to appeal to and support the videogames industry, but with standard traffic analysis it's impossible to know to what extent we're doing that."

We're not sure how the organisation is intending to police the sign-up policy, but we reckon it's not beyond the average eight-year-old to sign up from 'my-genuine-business-guv-honest@yahoo.com'.

One user said: "I'm not in the games industry and I was able to make a student account and join without a problem. I think that the whole system is to keep some degree of integrity on an industry web site. It obviously needs a lot of tweaking to get right, but I think it will help relieve the problem of trolls and flamers in the comments. That just comes naturally with Internet anonymity."

Asked how the reach of 'the gaming industry' would be defined, managing editor Peter Elliott said, "We view anybody that has any links to games, whether console, PC, iPhone, casual, Flash, TV, etc, as people we'd hope to welcome into the Network. That includes retailers, students, investment bankers... they're all part of the value chain."