Vice Gaming's current header image is "On the importance of well designed, intuitive User Interfaces" by Stephen Maurice Graham

“Vice Gaming” Potentially Changing Infrastructure

Vice Gaming's current header image is "On the importance of well designed, intuitive User Interfaces" by Stephen Maurice Graham
Vice Gaming’s current header image is “On the importance of well designed, intuitive User Interfaces” by Stephen Maurice Graham

VICE Media has had a “Gaming” section for over three years. But thanks to the recent hiring of Austin Walker from Giant Bomb as the Editor-in-Chief and Patrick Klepek from Kotaku as the Senior Reporter, rumors have been speculating about potential changes. One of the more interesting possibilities comes from a statement by Austin Walker on August 12th’s The Giant Beastcast saying that Vice will be launching a ‘whatever dot vice dot com’ later this year.” This could mean that Vice Gaming will be getting a separate subdomain, and hopefully a new Content Management System.

As it stands, it does not appear that Vice is using a popular Content Management System (CMS), such as WordPress or Drupal, but a custom-built one that uses Bootstrap. Bootstrap is a CSS framework developed by Twitter that is popular for “responsive” websites designed with mobile users in mind. While webpages often look great, they can be missing a lot of the functionality that a popular CMS will automate, such as RSS feeds.

The problem with Vice is that the different sections of the site (such as “Gaming”, “Fashion”, “Health”, etc.) are not cleanly separated from the rest of the site. While you can go to vice.com/gaming, Vice does not have a separate RSS feed for vice.com/gaming. While this seems like a minor detail, it can actually lead to problems across the VICE Media network as a whole.

For example, Vice has always been known for videos with a high quality of production, such as this documentary about professional Smite players:

But because Vice’s sections are using a single taxonomy (we’ll call them “categories”) to separate the “types” of content (such as “Video”) as well as the section of the site it belongs on (such as “Gaming), this causes problems. For example, the above video is placed in the “Video” category, not “Gaming”. So they have to use a different label (called “Topics”) to identify the above video as related to gaming. This leads to redundancy. Now every single post in the “Gaming” category also has to be tagged as “Gaming” in a topic, too.

Solutions to this could be that they have an additional taxonomy, such as “Post Type” that can be things like “Article”, “Video”, “Photo Gallery”. Then they can take their “Video” and “Photo” sections and put them in the proper category, but still have them as their proper post type. Of course this doesn’t help the RSS problem. And another way to solve this would be to use a different Content Management System, which would require a huge overhaul. Of course, given Austin Walker’s words, that overhaul could be in the works.

Hopefully the future of Vice Gaming makes finding information easier for the reader while also providing the same quality content they’re known for.

Note: Vice was contacted but, as of this article’s post date, has yet to return correspondence.

featured image is a registered trademark of VICE Media LLC and its use is believed to be in accordance with fair use

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