Webedia is doing it again: The "Find your next Game" format will take place from November 1st to 7th in a version geared towards gaming hardware and tech. For a week there are shreds of technology. The editors of the magazines Gamestar and Gamepro as well as the website "MeinMMO" and the faces behind the Twitch channel "Monsters and Explosions" will then focus on news and interesting facts about gaming tech. Why the spectacle? We asked Mirco Kampfer, Head of Tech & Hardware Editorial at Webedia Gaming. 

Spinning on the Twitch channel on November 3rd and 4th Monsters and Explosions, on the MeinMMO website, gamepro and Gamestar as well as the podcasts from Gamestar and from MyMMO all about gaming hardware. There will be around ten hours of live programming on the “MAX” entertainment channel. Webedia, the media company behind the magazine brands, promises "expert talks, informative content, entertainment and news about new hardware and products". The experts from the editorial offices take a look at the current tech topics that might interest gamers when it's not about the video games themselves. Stream, web and podcasts are about PC construction, peripherals, hardware components, technologies, gaming notebooks - and last but not least about the future: cloud gaming, next-gen consoles, VR and more.

Gaming hardware: "Not just boring numbers"

It's one of those things when it comes to technology and gaming hardware: Some people cheer when they can finally upgrade their gaming machine themselves, while others are overwhelmed when it comes to the USB port for the new gaming mouse to find. The hardware and peripheral manufacturers don't make it easy for the average gamer anyway: Deep Learning Super Sampling technology, ray tracing, Hyper-Threading, 120 or 240 Hz?, double capacitors, cherry switches - there are many terms behind them - times more, sometimes less - innovative technological developments. Keeping up isn't easy, even for die-hard gamers. A "workaround" for this dilemma? Take the games console, for example. Or simply deal more intensively with the topic of gaming hardware.

Several Webedia brands now want to offer users an easy entry into the tech cosmos with the special edition of the “Find your Next Game” format, which is specially designed for games hardware and tech. Mirco Kaempfer is one of the people who has an editorial hand over the project. As Head of Tech & Hardware Editorial, he is responsible for increasing interest in gaming hardware across platforms. Kampfer has been active for Webedia Germany since 2014, first as an editor, later as an SEO manager - now as boss. Last but not least, Webedia's hardware initiative is behind this. To put it more simply: More attention should generally be paid to the topic. The FYNG special format is one of the new ways. With the game editions of the format, the editors several million views reached, last in spring.

This is what "Find your next game" looked like in spring - but the focus was on the games and not on the hardware:

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"Find your next game" means: entertainment streaming, but please with journalistic standards. We wanted to know whether “FYNG” is more journalism or entertainment. Mirco Kampfer explains: "Both. Of course, we have high quality standards for ourselves. For example, when we present the best gaming headsets or write a guide on the subject of monitors, then a lot of time has gone into research and testing.” In addition, there is an exchange with the community – for example via the comments on Reddit or Youtube. It's about "understanding the target group even better and responding to their needs," explains the head of the hardware department.

Because interest could be lower than with other gaming topics for the reasons mentioned, the entertainment factor is used as a motivator: "But we also want hardware to be fun and not just consist of boring numbers and benchmarks," explains Mirco Kampfer. “Therefore, we value the personal experiences of our experts and a rather casual language in the texts. We also have some cool entertainment shows planned for the live program, such as a hardware quiz or a PC building race.”

Technology: high demand thanks to Corona

Now it's not as if "technology" is a completely new topic for the gaming sector. But it has changed, has grown: "Of course, technology has always played a role, but nowadays there are many more products and technologies because completely new product areas have also emerged," explains Mirco Kampfer. Among other things, he names wearables such as smart watches and headphones with clever functions; VR and AR glasses, technologies such as DLSS/FSR and ray tracing. “We also see that the media & gaming and tech & hardware interest areas overlap a lot, especially among 25 to 34 year olds. That's where we start."

And then there is Corona, the virus that temporarily cooped people up at home, leaving them to fend for themselves. The pandemic has impacted interest in gaming technology. There is an “extremely high demand due to the corona pandemic,” says Mirco Kaempfer. “Due to working from home, more people suddenly needed a laptop and perhaps a second monitor, a good headset or a microphone for virtual calls. During the lockdown period, people were looking for new hobbies due to a lack of leisure alternatives and bought a console or a PC. Now, even after a year and a half of Corona, we still have a lack of resources for chips, which will probably continue for more than a year". Because of this, interest is higher than ever.

It was only in June 2021 that Mirco Kämpfer took over the newly created position of "Head of Tech & Hardware Editorial" at Webedia Germany. Photo: Webedia

Mirco Kampfer took over the newly created position of "Head of Tech & Hardware Editorial" at Webedia Germany in June 2021. Photo: Webedia

A high level of interest among readers usually means that editors have to spend significantly more time preparing the topic. How do you keep track of the sometimes rapid market developments? Mirco Kampfer explains: “Based on our target group, we have defined various product categories or clusters that we report on, for example peripherals for PC gamers. Here we then record important product releases in a plan. The focus on certain areas helps enormously to keep track. But we are also agile and try out new products or formats.”

In addition to new developments, there are also proven topics in the tech segment - those that you can always bring up because they are well received: These are "graphics cards, CPUs and next-gen consoles - PS5, Xbox Series X - which are all due to the Pandemic-related (chip) shortages are extremely in demand". And: "The currently most popular topic is undoubtedly our PS5 ticker, where we inform our readers about the availability almost every hour," says Kampfer.

Speaking of Playstation 5, its release - and that of the Xbox Series X|S - were again seen as stabs in the back against the gaming PC. However, the computer has been declared dead for decades with each new generation of consoles. How long can the gaming PC survive in the face of ever-increasing competition? Technology expert Mirco Kaempfer says: "I believe that both consoles and the PC will coexist for a very long time. There are simply different target groups at play, each with their own needs. Console gamers usually prefer coziness (on the couch), affordable price and comfort. In return, they may forgo the best performance, mod support and the ability to upgrade their hardware. It's not for nothing that Steam Machines couldn't assert themselves in the living room. But I'm curious to see how Valve's Steam Deck fits in here."

Special accessories are firmly connected to the gaming PC, which are sometimes even supposed to improve the player's skill - at least that's what companies like Razer, Roccat or Corsair promise, and they often charge a steep price for it. Do games accessories keep what peripheral manufacturers promise? "Of course, that always depends," says Mirco Kampfer, "but sometimes it's the little things that make all the difference." In order to aim more precisely and quickly in a shooter, you not only need a mouse with a high DPI number, but primarily a mouse that also fits ergonomically: "Big hands, small hands, grip technique - that is very individual. And we try to reflect that with the help of the personal assessments of our hardware experts.” Another topic is, for example, 120 or 240 Hz monitors, which promise even better skills, says Kampfer. “We also investigated this as part of FYNG Hardware. Stay tuned.” At this point, we have come full circle with the joint format of Gamestar, Gamepro, MAX and MeinMMO.

"But that's the great thing about hardware: Depending on your area of ​​interest, you can dive really deep into the subject."
Mirco Kämper, Head of Tech & Hardware Editorial, Webedia Germany

We wanted to know whether hardware is only a topic for nerds: "Both and", says Mirco. “Let me put it this way: Almost everyone needs a keyboard on their PC. Finding out about different switches for hours or importing special keycaps from abroad - that's what nerds do (laughs). But that's the great thing about hardware: Depending on your area of ​​interest, you can dive really deep into the subject." One of the tasks of hardware journalists is therefore to prepare topics in such a way that not only nerds understand them.

The format "Find your next game" is one of the building blocks with which this should succeed. There is also a colorful bouquet of text and video formats that make up modern games journalism today. Balance is a big issue for those devising the appropriate channel mix. The person responsible for hardware at Webedia Germany explains how to do this: “By looking at where the target group is and adapting our offer accordingly. This primarily includes mobile-friendly articles, but also the podcasts, videos and social interactions mentioned. In my opinion, nowadays you have to be multichannel. We still have a lot of potential here to reach even more hardware and tech-savvy gamers - and then to retain them. FYNG Hardware is also a building block in this strategy.”

The community also plays an important role in the editorial design. "We want to get as close to the community as possible," says Mirco Kaempfer, "and therefore involve them closely in the event." He means "Find your next game". This should succeed, for example, “through surveys and smaller quizzes on social media and the websites”. He adds: "Live users can also interact with us in the streaming chat and ask questions about the topic, for example."

"Our main goal is to make a statement with FYNG Hardware and to establish a hardware event in the German-speaking area that convinces both industrial partners and users," says Mirco. Especially in the fourth quarter, it is important to support hardware-savvy gamers in the purchase phase and, if necessary, to discover new, suitable products - "or to get more out of their hardware".

Mirco fighter: Gameboy destroyer, interested in everything

And private? In this respect, Mirco Kampfer is close to the technology nerd that one would expect for his professional position. What is so fascinating about technology? “How can you not find technology fascinating (laughs)? Ever since I was a kid I loved taking things apart to understand them (RIP old GameBoy). I'm now interested in everything: smartphones, wearables, smart home devices, electric cars, AI.” Technology and progress can, but do not have to, mean entertainment. Mirco Kampfer: "Technology can make our lives more entertaining and enrich them - sometimes even save our lives."

Technology is the future: “I am particularly fascinated by technical progress. Nowadays we have televisions and entire computers thinner than a finger at home or even in our trouser pockets. Wristwatches measure our heart rate and blood oxygen levels. Headphones block out background noise and change the sound depending on how you tilt your head. Games are displayed at a higher resolution than rendered by the GPU using AI. And it doesn't stop. It remains exciting.”

Incidentally, if Mirco Kampfer were sent to a deserted island and he was only allowed to take one game with him, it wouldn't be the technically demanding shooter with 4K optics at 12 Hz: "Diablo 3 on the Nintendo Switch," says Mirco.


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