New GamesRadar community features launch Wednesday!

UPDATE (Dec 10, 2008- 10:00am Pacific):The People Who Run the Internet havetold usthatthe new features are projected to be live later this afternoon (Pacific time). Check back this evening to start playing with them! Any further updates will be posted here as needed.

Several months ago we launched our very first site-wide community features and we couldn’t be happier with the results. To all of the lovely people who have been commenting on our articles, building profiles, and getting involved in the forums: thanks for making the site better.

But just saying thanks isn’t enough, which is why our stupidly smart team of Interwebs Wizardologists has baked us up a delicious holiday featurecake,crammed with new ways for you to interact with the site and each other. Take a peek!

Above: Our features, let us show you them!

The new features launch tomorrow (Wednesday, December 10th) and this is a quick preview of what you’re going to get. Oh, and If you’re not already a member,why notjoin now?(It’s free!)

Someone told us that there are a few other websites with this feature, but that’s just hearsay. Starting tomorrow, you’ll be able to add all of your closest Left 4 Dead companions, WoW guild members, Pokemon sparring partners, fellowTalkRadarfans (you’re all fans, right?), and anyone else you deem worthy to your friends list. Here’s how it works:

You can add a friend by navigating to his or her profile and hitting the nifty little “Add Friend” button. Do that and you’ll become a “follower” of that user. They’ll be added to your list of followed people, you’ll get updates on all the stuff they’re up to, and they’ll be notified that you want to be friends.

Above: I’m a big fan of Brett “Baby Laugh” Elston

If, in a beautiful display of togetherness, someone you’re following adds you back, you’ll become “friends.” What a wonderful world.

Above: We go way back

Sure, relationships with other people are nice, but our relationships with our games are just as intimate. That’s why we’ve created a way for you to keep track of and share your collection. On the “My Games” page you can add games to a variety of categories, and see what your friends are playing.

You can also choose games to track -when tracking a game, you’ll be notified of any updates (features, news, screens, videos, etc.) about that game in your activity feed. What a great segue...

Just look at all those updates! The activity feed shows you everything that’s going on with your friends and the games you're tracking. Wheneverone of yourfriends makes a comment, changes his or herstatus, adds a game, commits a felony, eats a pound of extra-spicy chicken Vindaloo and has gastrointestinal problems, or anything else – you’ll see it here.

But what’s the point of it all if you can’t talk to each other? Dun duh duh duuunnnnnn!

Some of you may already use the private messaging system in the forums. Guess what, y’all? This one’s way better. It’s speedy, clean, and it just plain works. Aside from messages from your friends, this is where you’ll receive notifications from GamesRadar.

We’ve also got some nifty new profile fields for you to play with, and we encourage everyone to fill their profiles with all kinds of awesome stuff for us to look at. If you’re the private type, you can choose who you want to share each element of your profile with. Here's a little sample:

Nice, right? Be sure to log in and check it out Wednesday afternoon, or, if you're in the future and it's already Wednesday, log in now!

And don't think we're done - GamesRadar isn’t going to stop busting out new site features until the cows come home, and even then, after a bit of confusion and a call to animal control, we’ll keep on going.

A big thanksto all ofthe thinkers, designers, programmers and artists who are continually making GamesRadar better. Please don't leave us here alone, the internet is scary.

Dec 9, 2008