New search engine focuses on gamers

GenieKnowsGames filters search results for queries about video games

GenieKnows.com Tuesday unveiled a search engine that focuses on providing video game players with results ranging from gamer reviews, blogs, news, discussion groups and how-to guides.

The GenieKnowsGames engine uses focused crawling and ranking algorithms to streamline search results to provide the best results for game-specific requests, the Halifax, Nova Scotia-based company said.

"Our programmers were frustrated with other search engines where a search term like NBA all star would produce 100 sports stories on Kobe Bryant," said Mark Harper, vice president of strategic relations at Halifax-based IT Interactive Services, parent company of GenieKnows.com. "With our technology, you get the game-related results you're looking for, like whether Nintendo Wii will let you shoot fadeaways in your living room."

The new site, which was created by GenieKnows programmers who are video game enthusiast, is targeted at creating a community for the almost 50 percent of U.S. households that own a game console. Other gamers, Harper added, are the best resource for a user "wondering whether you should splurge on Grand Theft Auto IV or stick with the original and just enjoy getting chased by the police."

The site's first few blog entries, for example, include an overview of the recent Major League Gaming competition in Dallas, a review of the Xbox 360 and a post about "mini" games created in Flash or other small-scale languages.

In conjunction with its launch, the site is offering a contest called "UGR: The Hunt for the Ultimate Games Room," an online scavenger hunt offering gamer gear and electronics worth US$25,000, Harper added.

GenieKnowsGames will be competing with Wazap, a maker of another game-related search engine that launched in the U.S. last June. In addition to offering game-focused search results, Wazap allows users to input personal evaluations and comments designed to refine later rankings and search results. Users also can create profiles detailing their favorite games and rank and bookmark games.

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Heather Havenstein

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