, commonly referred to as "The Shack", is a website
A website, also written as Web site, web site, or simply site, is a collection of related web pages containing images, videos or other digital assets. A website is hosted on at least one web server, accessible via a network such as the Internet or a private local area network through an Internet...
offering news, features, editorial content, and forums relating to computer games and console games
A video game console is an interactive entertainment computer or customized computer system that produces a video display signal which can be used with a display device to display a video game...
and its sister site, FileShack
, are currently owned by GameFly
GameFly is an American online video game rental subscription service that specializes in providing games for game consoles and handheld game consoles....
. Previous owners, Steve Gibson and Maarten Goldstein, sold the site after providing independent gaming journalism for over a decade.
Shacknews was founded in 1996 by Steve "sCary" Gibson, 20 years old at the time, as a website dedicated to following news about the then-upcoming Quake from id Software
Id Software is an American video game development company with its headquarters in Richardson, Texas. The company was founded in 1991 by four members of the computer company Softdisk: programmers John Carmack and John Romero, game designer Tom Hall, and artist Adrian Carmack...
. The original name of the website was "Quakeholio." Through the years the website evolved to cover more than just Quake and the name was changed. "Shugashack" was chosen after a discussion with friends about the general direction of the page and content. After a few years of frequent spelling confusion and interpreting the name as that of a pornographic
Pornography or porn is the explicit portrayal of sexual subject matter for the purposes of sexual arousal and erotic satisfaction.Pornography may use any of a variety of media, ranging from books, magazines, postcards, photos, sculpture, drawing, painting, animation, sound recording, film, video,...
website, the site was renamed "Shacknews."
FileShack.com, a site dedicated to providing game demos, patches, videos, and miscellaneous game-related files for Shacknews users and others, was launched in August 2002.
Shacknews and FileShack currently reach millions of gamer
Historically, the term "gamer" usually referred to someone who played role-playing games and wargames. Since they became very popular, the term has included players of video games...
s each month with the daily work of five full time employees. Shacknews is privately owned by GameFly.
The news on the front page of the site is normally separated into several categories for organizational purposes. While for much of the site's history, little original research was involved in Shacknews content, in recent years main news items have steered away from the "link-and-quote" news method. Currently, Shacknews relies heavily on internally researched news, in-house feature content, and industry event coverage.
In addition to normal news posts, which allow focused discussion pertaining to that topic, there twice-daily community posts. These posts have had the following titles: Evening Reading
, First Post
, Morning Discussion
, as well as various other one-off titles. Typically these posts will feature some noteworthy or interesting news-links; however, the major function of these posts is to allow for a "free-for-all" discussion in the posts comment section. These posts are where the majority of the Shacknews community congregate to converse with one-another, as well as the site staff.
As of February 3, 2009, Shacknews and all related Shacknews destinations have been purchased by GameFly.com.
Comment System History
The Shacknews comment system lies at the heart of the Shacknews user community. There have been three major versions of the comment system, all custom systems programmed for the site. Each comment system has allowed the Shacknews users to add comments to each news article, screenshots gallery, or chatty post. The comment system is moderated by a group of volunteers, known as "Shackmods", under the direction of head-moderator Jeff "Geedeck" Gondek.
funk.y was the first comment system, built by Andy Hanson, used on the Shack. Comments could be viewed in flat mode or threaded mode depending on user options. The comments could also be tagged by moderators and "nuked" if they went against the guidelines. A nuked comment would be replaced by the words "* N U K E D *
" and the original poster's name would be replaced by an admin account called Duke Nuked.
The second major version of the Shacknews comment system, named ja.zz, was used until June 2007.
Essentially a threaded message board, ja.zz was a unique message board written by Sander Pilon for the Shack. Posts could be moderated into one of many categories, which allowed users to filter what categories could be seen. Comments could be viewed in several ways, flat, threaded, or dthread (Dynamic thread) mode which was the most advanced and quickly became the most popular view for the users.
The latest version of Shacknews comment system was released on June 18, 2007. The system is said to be a mix of PHP
PHP is a general-purpose server-side scripting language originally designed for web development to produce dynamic web pages. For this purpose, PHP code is embedded into the HTML source document and interpreted by a web server with a PHP processor module, which generates the web page document...
MySQL officially, but also commonly "My Sequel") is a relational database management system that runs as a server providing multi-user access to a number of databases. It is named after developer Michael Widenius' daughter, My...
running on the popular Apache
The Apache HTTP Server, commonly referred to as Apache , is web server software notable for playing a key role in the initial growth of the World Wide Web. In 2009 it became the first web server software to surpass the 100 million website milestone...
webserver. The new system goes by the name "Laryn.x," clearly a play on larynx
The larynx , commonly called the voice box, is an organ in the neck of amphibians, reptiles and mammals involved in breathing, sound production, and protecting the trachea against food aspiration. It manipulates pitch and volume...
, commonly known as the human voicebox. The design team was Mike "haiku" Kane on design, John "pup" Brooks on HTML and CSS, Jack Matthews and Shane "wtf242" Sherman programming, and Steve Gibson leading the team.
Community Created links
The Shacknews community is full of vibrant and talented individuals, many of whom have created related websites and Greasemonkey
Greasemonkey is a Mozilla Firefox extension that allows users to install scripts that make on-the-fly changes to HTML web page content on the DOMContentLoaded event, which happens immediately after it is loaded in the browser .As Greasemonkey scripts are persistent, the changes made to the web...
scripts to modify the Shacknews comment system.