Gametrash was originally started as a small experimental website by the user known as Kirk, a programmer who had mostly spent his time on MMORPG websites and PHP coding projects. In an effort to break away from mundane business-oriented reviews such as IGN or Gamespy, both of which having been caught manipulating user opinion as a form of social engineering. In this, Kirk decided to build a website run by true gamers who had no business affiliation, with the general purpose of providing laid back gaming reviews with no ulterior motives or bribery.
The site originally started in January 2004, launching in what was known as the “Blue Age” (as a reference to the site's original color). Built with rudimentary PHP and MySQL, the site had defined issues that took much work between Kirk and his staff to fix. Eventually, the website was officially fully launched in April of that year, under the tag line “Gametrash: All the Games that are Fit To Trash”. Obviously trying to be clever, the website mainly ran under the mentality that it saw from Internet hard-hitters like Penny Arcade, and attempted to be laid back and honest in all of their reviews.
However, things began to become an issue. Many of the completely unpaid staff began to argue regarding the site's future, including that of the lack of compensation for work. Kirk continued to hold fast that it was a volunteer-like position and that he had no money to give, and approximately 30% of the accumulated startup staff left, leaving the crew to a measly 6 members.
Obviously struggling, it took the inspiration of some of the associates of Gametrash to build it back into a working entity. By sending Kirk a list of issues and problems, they generally outlined for him what made Gametrash unprofessional. This list, though generally unreleased, contained issues such as a confusing ratings system, the lack of navigation, and the general lack of a polished website. This spurned on the redesign that created what is now known as the “Purple Age”- where the website was given slight gray and green hues, resulting in a general murky purple color. The website then realigned itself to become more professional, going so far as to begin to write new articles on Technology beyond computers, work with different affiliates including that of Penny Arcade's Child's Play charity, and work on drawing in new members from miscellaneous sources. Ironically, due to general circumstance, the site only contained up to two active staff at any given time, which made it remarkably slow.
This lasted for approximately a year before another reform was made on the website. As the website became understaffed, it turned to the Video Games section of 4chan for help. By requesting for talented writers, Gametrash was able to stimulate the writer base of its staff, and begin to focus in on different projects. While many of these projects were eventually destroyed due to bandwidth and/or popularity issues, some still remain intact, including the partnership with the web comic Episodic Content and the attempt at creating Video Reviews available in a Youtube style format. One noted project was the creation of “Koji98”'s “BASIC” series, a short Flash series hosted on both Gametrash and Newgrounds, which grew a sizeable fan base before it's eventual end in July of 2005.
The website then made a series of rapid changes in succession, accommodating new staff, a growing visitor population, and new concepts. The website opened a constantly monitored section for Gaming news, which aggregated press releases from companies such as Capcom, Sony, Nintendo, and Microsoft and placed them in an easy-to-access, easy-to-read format. Along with the most recent configurations in 2006, the website finally opened a fully featured user system, slated to allow complete control over reviews, news, and articles in 2007.
Controversy against Gamelife
Gametrash, due to its open nature, has been the subject of controversy ever since it's opening. However, one specific instance almost began to cause specific issues between growing internet-based talk show GameLife and Gametrash.
In an article entitled “A Comprehensive Analysis of the Enemy”, owner/author Kirk viciously lampooned Gamelife, assaulting them for their accused lack of talent, skill, or review ability. He proverbially tore Gamelife apart, making fun of the chubbiness of host Andrew Rosenblum by calling him “Jabba the Hutt”, as well as assaulting his ability to record properly.
Due to the relative unpopularity of the website, the article was nothing more than a way for Kirk to obviously attack Gamelife. However, as Gamelife became popular via a “Awful Link of the Day” from Something Awful, the fan base of Gamelife quickly found the article, retaliating with a kind of attack methodology on the website. While the controversy has since boiled down ever since Gamelife was taken out of the opportunity to appear on MTV, many staff of Gametrash are still reportedly angry and wish to somehow take revenge on what they consider “An atrocity to our kind of business”.