It wasn't too long ago when interaction between gamers and developers was mainly a one-way street. Developers trickled information out to gamers through carefully established channels like E3 press conferences, magazine exclusives and press releases. Gamers were left to share their feedback and concerns with other gamers. Granted, you may have been able to write letters or e-mails to developers, but there was no guarantee that they would be seen by anyone.
That type of controlled chain of command slowly started to change as the Internet opened more communication lines, but only recently has the gamer-developer interaction exploded into the full-on, two-way communication that you are experiencing today. Thanks to message boards, developer blogs and technologies like Twitter, gamers and developers now freely exchange information and ideas on a daily, hourly and even minute-by-minute basis.