I joined the community Gamespot.com a few weeks back. During my time there I made a profile, talked to people, had some fun times, had some insults hurled at me too!
I experienced the forums, the customisation tools for my profile, took part in some contests and had some funny/interesting/annoying talks with gamers from all around the world.
I read many reviews and features, both professional and done by the amatuers of the community. I contributed some of my own too, and improved my writing style.
I helped out in the design and development of an XNA game. A small group of people from all over the world are developing it, and I was lucky to give my feedback and advice to help out. It really proved the concept of freelance, open source development done in people’s spare time can work. And of course, if it can work as a hobby it can work as a profession, which was interesting for me to see.
Here is a link to my full report, with a sample “Day In The Life Of A Video Games Reviewer”, enjoy!