Happy Second Anniversary, Arqade!

2012-10-06 by . 4 comments

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Happy Birthday Arqade! Today is the second anniversary of Gaming’s graduation from beta, October 6th, 2010. What a busy couple of years it’s been! Let’s take a moment to celebrate the accomplishments of the community and the site over the past year. Put on your party hat, throw a handful of confetti at the nearest unsuspecting co-worker, roommate, family member, pet, houseplant, or whatever else is nearby, and have a slice of cake!

Party Cat is ready to party, are you?

In Review – The Headlines

This last year has been jam-packed with awesome milestones and elite events. Let’s take a look back and see what this past year has brought us, while honoring all of Gaming.SE history with this snazzy interactive timeline:

(With special thanks to badp, who helped compile key events and grabbed a ton of images!)



In Review – Tags & Posts

In the site’s second year, more than 15,000 new questions were asked – that’s almost two thirds of the total number of questions on the site! We also gained more than 25,000 new answers. Our users collectively cast more than 160,000 upvotes – that’s a lot of new rep! Let’s take a quick look at all of this new content.


This year was a big year for new releases, no doubt spurred by site promotions. Here’s a breakdown of views on questions asked in the last year, grouped by their tags:

Unsurprising, but still impressive – Skyrim walks away with more than a third of the total views for the past year! Diablo 3 launched 6 months later, so its 19% is not too shabby, all things considered. Mass Effect 3 finishes a distant third at 9%. Perennial favorite Minecraft and wildly popular casual game Dragonvale round out the top 5 at 3% and 2.4%, respectively. The next 7 represent pretty major titles for the site (swtor, borderlands-2, kingdoms-amalur-reckoning, league-of-legends, battlefield-3, final-fantasy-13-2, and modern-warfare-3) all weigh in at around 1.5% of the total views for the year, and beyond the top 10, we’ve got a laundry list of older games and “long tail” titles that didn’t quite make it to 1%.

It wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows in the land of tags, though. We also did a fair amount of tag burnination, with the majority of the tag conflagration coming from the Great Arqade Cleanup of 2012.

Other notable burnination events include:

  • Does anybody remember the name of this one tag that was really controversial and then we had a long discussion about it, and finally banned it? Then I think a moderator nuked the whole thing from orbit. That’s all I can remember.
  • The death of murder. RIP, murder, you will be missed.


Every time I went looking for exceptional posts, I found more than I was expecting! Let’s take a look at a few of the notable highlights:

  • The #1 scoring question of the past year, weighing in at #4 all time is Is Angry Birds Deterministic?. Combining an iconic pop culture game with the kind of computer science geekiness that SE is famous for, the question was an instant hit. It didn’t hurt that SE co-founder Joel tweeted about it, driving the traffic to the question even higher. It also has the honor of being the current holder of the site’s #1 highest scoring answer.
  • The #1 most viewed question of the past year (by a factor of almost 2!) is What can I do with dragon bones and scales?. Although you first encounter these items early in the game, they’re not at all useful until much, much later. Arqade is actually the #1 Google hit for the terms “skyrim dragon bone” – no easy feat considering there are several well-established Elder Scrolls/Skyrim sites on the ‘net.
  • Although the question ranks in at #5 highest scoring, our #2 all-time high scoring answer is on Is a horse actually faster than running?. The odd physics of horses in this game caused no end to consternation among players, apparently. There used to be a clever illustration along with the answer, but it got removed because of this. :(
  • The #1 most-linked to FAQ of the year, which also has the honor of being the #3 highest scoring question of the year, and the #3 all-time highest scoring answer brings Diablo 3 to our highlight list. How can I reach the secret level in Diablo 3? was the question of the Diablo 3 launch. Sunshine, rainbows, and happy unicorns in my demon slaughtering simulator? It’s more likely than you think.

There’s a metric ton of fascinating Skyrim questions on the site. This unsolved decapitation mystery for example, as well as this interesting lore/in-game language question. Who doesn’t love a naked stalker story?

Although just one Diablo 3 question made it to the “notable” list, there’s tons more out there. I haven’t even really scratched the surface of our super-popular class guides for Diablo 3, not to mention discussions on magic find and legendary items.

There’s also a wealth of content around some of the more thorny situations in Mass Effect 3, and some explanations of the weird concepts surrounding galactic readiness.

In Review – Users & The Community

New Users FTW!

We gained a total of more than 16,000 new users this past year! Let’s take a look at the top 5 highest-rep-earning users who joined in the last year:

  • kotekzot gained the most rep of any new user in the last 365 days! Originally visiting the site to take on our unanswered Skyrim questions, he made a splash during the ME3 missions promotion, and finished at the Captain rank. He has been actively answering ever since.
  • Sean followed close behind, first coming to the site to plumb the depths of the mysterious indie title Fez in early March. The ME3 missions and Diablo 3 acts kept his momentum strong enough to finish second.
  • Fluttershy (formerly Tristan) has been a chat regular (clocking in at over 14,000 messages) since joining the site just after the Skyrim launch. A wealth of Skyrim, League of Legends, and Minecraft knowledge placed him in third. Fluttershy also helped organize the Arqade donation drive for Mario Marathon!
  • pixel joined just four months ago, but immediately took to Diablo 3 and World of Warcraft questions with great passion, finishing 4th. pixel was also a key member of the tag cleanup committee, and like Fluttershy, is a chat regular.
  • Blem, another user with a soft spot for Blizzard titles, made a big splash with Diablo 3, World of Warcraft, and Starcraft 2 answers. His accumulated efforts puts him in position to round out our top 5. Congratulations!

There’s a new Marshal In Town!

In mid-January, the requirements for “Marshal” were adjusted, and flag weight was killed completely. This made the Marshal badge far more attainable and far less dependent on the whims of flag-declining killjoy-happy moderators. So far we’ve handed out 10 of these to community members – thank you all for your hard work!

Arqade Community

This year brought much adventure, sorrow, and silliness from our hyperactive community.

With the site rebrand, the community social media pages also got a fresh coat of paint and new names.  If you just can’t get enough Arqade community, follow/subscribe/whatever the official unofficial Arqade Community Facebook, Google+, Twitter and YouTube channels or circles or twits or whatever you kids are calling it these days. Now get off my lawn!

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  • desaivv says:

    Agent86, you left out your accomplishments. You are by far the highest reputation gainer. And you became a moderator. Why so modest hmm?

  • Jay Hanlon says:

    Fantastic retrospective, Agent86! This post is a perfect “signpost” to show other sites how much can be done with an anniversary post on a growing site. Keep up the great work.

  • Jin says:

    Grats guys. I’m very honored to be part of the community. You guys are awesome.


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