Twenty four years ago I was adorable. Now I'm inquisitive and hilarious.
I have a plastic tooth to replace one lost in a mosh pit during my more ridiculous high school years. I speak shitty German and I ride a bike. My Xbox gets so much use, I'm sometimes embarassed. But I'm unemployed, so my time is spent writing blogs on the internet, reading good literary fiction, and playing video games.
In the grand scale of things, I'm a late-bloomer. My parents banned all consoles from my house as a kid. See what you've done? Now I game constantly to make up for years of lost time.
I won't list my favorites, because you've probably seen ten lists like it before me.
There's a life-sized Boba Fett standee in my living room.
[Hey gang! Last week, I challenged some community members to tell us why Destructoid's community is so important to them. Don't let them be the only ones! Tell us how you feel in your own blog. -- Kauza]
I still remember my first blog here because, at the moment of its conception, both it and I were an unfocused, terrific mess. Without any introduction, I wrote some slap-shod attempt-at-humor post about making Red Dawn a video game. It was nonsense. I didnít know what I was doing, but I did have the free time to do whatever it was. I had hurled myself at the city of Chicago after college with no money or plans and my stint on D-toid began in the throes of a three month unemployment death spiral.
My entire existence was a rusty sedan stalled in the center of an intersection. I knew two people in the entire city, had no employment, and my bank account groaned like an empty stomach. I was perfectly happy, but stagnant. One particular night, after heating up water in my coffee maker to stir into pre-packaged ramen noodles and watch reruns of Quantum Leap, I was struck with a sudden and desperate sensation. I needed to just make something. My English major brain was atrophying and a call-to-action in the form of my first monthly musing was the solution.
I came back to the site a few days later, having forgotten about the article I poured hours into, and found it missing. I was enraged and rather slighted. Had my writing been so bad that an editor felt compelled to purge it from the Internet? I typed the title in the search function and, to my surprise, it appeared. But it wasnít in my blog roll any longer. The link hurled me instead all the way to the front-page. A year and a few months later, Iíve returned to that hollowed ground twelve times.
My life is together now, more than Iíd expected I could get it to be, and though I canít give all the credit to the Dtoid Community, I can say that it was as much an element as anything else. After a string of months being only a person by technicality, having something I wrote Ďpublishedí was the shot in the arm everyone needs at some point in their life. Beyond that self-indulgence, simply being welcomed into Xbox Live friends lists and twitter feeds across the internet is just as triumphant of a reward.
In writing this post, I found myself repeatedly deleting statements like that. Everything I was writing kept ending up sounding like a backhanded boast. Even small anecdotes sounded self-congratulatory in a roundabout way. I tried hard to write around it for a moment, to highlight the site and not myself, but I realized something in resisting what came so naturally.
The sheer fact that I canít talk about the D-toid Community without citing a steady parade of incredible opportunities Iíd been given, the continuing recognition for my work, and the never-ending stream of writing support and criticisms Iíve received is a fact thatís telling in itself. You canít talk about being a member of the C-Blogs without bragging about something. By simply being here, itís inescapable that youíll have something to humblebrag about.
Whether itís winning a Dtoid bobble head simply for writing a haiku or watching 700 gamers silently try and set me on fire with their minds for getting to walk to the front of a line at an industry event, say ďHey, Nick Chester sent me,Ē and then stroll in to play Marvel vs. Capcom 3 months before itís release. Perhaps itís getting strangers messaging you on nearly every form of social media to wish you compliments on a front-pageíd article or the near equal-joy of finding a simple comment screencapped in an edition of Commentoid. It could be discovering your posts being discussed at lengths upon aggregator sites and forums or the utter joy of settling in for six hours of making quips and rap lyrics with earnest friends on a weekly Friday Night Fights.
These are my experiences - the triumphs Destructoid has given me - but they could be anybodyís. Iím no one special. I donít know any secret connections or have any undisclosed tips. Iím just another C-Blogger who started writing simply because I wanted to write. I wrote for myself, for my own sanity, and to see something finished. Just doing so was itís own reward, but the community decided that was insufficient. Destructoid whisked a year and halfís worth of success and achievement my way simply for being here.
Beyond presents and events, I can honestly say my writing has improved too, an acquisition that will go on long after the site goes down when Skynet comes online. If you climb on board, your writing will do the same. Be it through simple practice or the thoughtful comments of the other members. If you try and try hard, your success will be rewarded with front-pages and faps. Though it may seem like hurling your words into a void at first, stay with it, because the comments will come and the camaraderie with it. As CaptainBus said so succinctly, ďÖ enjoy the process. If you start out and expect to get a wave of comments and faps, you typically end up disappointed.Ē
The Internet world sees Destructoid as a source of good news and original features with a strong current of personal humor. Theyíre right, of course, but there is so much more to it. The community is a welcoming place for young writers and advanced wordsmiths to cut their teeth and sharpen them all the same in one unified place, at an equal level. There are those disinterested in writing all together, who post blogs here just to share an opinion and that's just as welcomed. What matters above all is that you want to share something, because this is place where people want to see it.
If youíre reading this and you havenít posted or havenít found that reason to keep posting, know that it is something of immense worth. Once youíve submitted that first blog, provided you havenít butchered the basic style, youíll receive a welcoming hello from Elsa followed by a virtual decoder ring courtesy of Occams Electric Toothbrush. Then, as you post further, youíll have frequent critics and commenters like knutaf, CelicaCrazed, mrandydixon, garethxgod, Steezy XL, and so many others. You'll get a chance to read a constant flow of great blogs, from the likes of Stevil and Wrenchfarm, to name a few. With your name circulating, perhaps LawofThermalDynamics will arrange an interview with you. Maybe one of the Commentoid crew will feature your wit or a C-Blog recapper will feature your work. Even still, there are FNFs to be enjoyed, libraries of backlogs to be read, and things to be mused.
Here, we see success and we see friendship come from nothing more than participation. We play games, as do thousands of others, but here we make stuff just to see it made. We talk about what we do because by doing so we legitimatize and it and improve upon it. We are harsh critics and dedicated creators. We are resolute commenters and fanatical players. We are a community. We are Destructoid.