Gamerati User Accounts

Four years ago, I sat down and scrawled out some thoughts about what I would like to do to help the hobby game community. Over the last couple years, I’ve been able to support my family promoting games, and now it’s time to tackle some of the more ambitious ideas I had.

But, before I can go forward… I need to lay a foundation on which to build.

Over the last couple months, Josh Dalcher has been helping me build a user module – a little bit of tech to allow people to set up accounts on so that they can interact with the site, and the content we’ll be putting there. I know, it sounds soooo sexy, right? It’s an important first step, though. I need something that is robust enough to tie together all the products and services that fall under the Gamerati umbrella, while also being flexible enough to allow the addition of new products and services in the future.

Here’s where we stand.

As of last week, we’re almost done with the core user module. While people will be able to create a Gamerati account from scratch, we’re also integrating user management technology from JanRain so that users can jump start the process using their existing accounts on Facebook, Twitter, Google, etc. We’ve got most of this working, but still need to improve the login system. Before we can move on, we’ve got to:

* Implement the hashing/security mechanism for stored Gamerati account passwords. Right now they are being stored in plain text in the database, which is not acceptable.

* Implement session management across the pages we have created for Gamerati so far. This will make the UX better and allow people to flip around with their browser buttons from page to page without nonsense happening. This will help in the long run for current and future features.

* Ensure the database access code is not subject to SQL injection. SQL injection is how many database enabled web applications are compromised, and we need to spend a few days shoring the system up to prevent this from happening.

After these tasks are finished and the login system is done, we’ll be moving on to integrating one of the Gamerati services (probably the ad network). I’m talking with Josh right now about the possibility of inviting a couple hackers to help us ‘bombproof’ the user module – in essence, help us by trying to break it.

So, that’s where we stand right now. I hope we’ll have many more (and more exciting) updates for you about the future of Gamerati in 2012.

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