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Chris Carter's blog
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Chris Carter avatar 8:33 AM on 08.30.2012  (server time)
For the Community: My Story

I've already written two "10 things about Magnalon" articles, in addition to participating in a c-blog interview regarding myself. But in light of recent blogs, I feel like it's necessary to detail how I came here, what I've done with the many years I've been here, and what my plans are for the future.

When I was a community member, I always thought it was really important to get to know who the people on the front page are -- that was a key factor in drawing me to Destructoid, and as a result, I try to respond to as many people as I can, whether it's in the comments on the front page, via a PM, or in the c-blogs.

This is my extended response to all of those people who are looking to either break into the community, feel a lack of community, or want to know how to get involved in writing. Hopefully when you combine the above articles with this one, you'll get a clear Voltron-esque complete picture of who I am.

All of this is written fairly off-the-cuff with no preparation outside of the images -- but then again, that's my style baby!

Chapter 1: Jumping into the unknown

After lurking Destructoid since late 2008, I finally decided to join the community and write a blog under the username "Magnalon," which is a combination of Magna Centipede from Mega Man X2, and Shenlong, which is either a dragon or a Gundam depending on how you look at it. It was about Lord of the Rings Conquest: a game most people hated, or couldn't give a damn about.

It was literally the first gaming blog I ever wrote. Anywhere. Because of Jim Sterling and Jonathan Holmes, two staff members that are widely loved and still here, I was emblazoned to write that one seemingly insignificant blog. I felt like their editorial voices were extremely unique, and gave gaming websites a fresh coat of paint.

My original avatar was Wesker, from Resident Evil. I attempted to engage the community, and talk about the things I liked, and didn't like. I commented quite a bit, for better or for worse, and eventually, I started to learn what types of games nearly every community member enjoyed.

After a few months, I changed my avatar to Legato Bluesummers from the anime Trigun, which you'll see in my profile bar to the right to this day. My blog header has also stayed the same from day one (The Stampede is a Trigun reference, but it's also my old Mech Assault clan's name, which was #1 in the US).

Before I knew it, I was getting emails and comments asking me to grab a beer, or hang out and talk about all of the obscure games that I had talked about in my blog. It was an awesome feeling to say the least, as many other gaming sites' comment sections are just barren wastelands of discussion.

What would come next would lead to two E3s, publisher-paid preview flights, a truck load of review copies, many friendships, and of course, a full-circle employment with Destructoid.

Chapter 2: Magnalon

After writing a few c-blogs, I got a small handful of PMs asking if I wrote for any gaming websites. The answer at the time was "no," but I ended up looking for one as a result, and found Gamer At the time, Gamer Limit was a very small site ran by one of the nicest Aussies you'll ever meet.

Within weeks, I started reviewing games, and became the Editor-In-Chief and Co-Owner. After adding another incredible writer named James, who became a Co-Owner with myself and the Founder months down the line, things started rolling.

We were accredited by Metacritic and Gamerankings, with help from James, and the 100+ reviews I had written alongside of other staff. We started getting thousands of daily hits and got an ad deal. We attended two E3s, which I couldn't have done without the help of my fellow staff mates, and James, who heavily helped plan it and set up our business documents.

When I was at E3, I had the opportunity to give Jim, Chad, and Niero a hug, and meet Jonathan Holmes and Anthony Burch, among many others. In terms of coverage, I got extremely sick both years because I over-exerted myself and wrote around twenty previews each year. Despite my illnesses however, my passion for gaming still ran strong. If I went back, I wouldn't have done less: I would have done even more.

But running a website is really hard work. Eventually, we had a few writers who moved on to other publications -- AusGamers and Game Informer to name a few. With increasing responsibilities at home, there was no way I could continue to keep the site as flowing as it once was, and it became extremely stressful. Right now, the site is mainly a more relaxed venue, but I still really enjoy reviewing games on it while I'm not writing here. To date, I have reviewed around 165 games that are viewable on Metacritic and Gamerankings.

While this was all happening, I was still very active on Destructoid. I had my first c-blog promotion, and it felt great. While I was doing well at Gamer Limit, my community presence at Destructoid was steadily growing.

People started to identify me, and a lot of the staff would respond to my comments. I had a "Question of the week" on RetroForce Go!, I was referenced on Podtoid a few times (My obsession with Demon's Souls paid off!), I managed to actually get on the botched Podtoid 100, and I won a "Comment of the Week" contest when that was a thing on the front page.

Even though I'm staff, I still link my old avatar in my profile, which has lead to many people exclaiming "OMG you're Magnalon!?" after they click my profile link on the front page. It's a great feeling, as I've made many friends by clicking on their profile links and seeing that they have similar interests.

If you want a major tip when it comes to community integration -- fill out that profile page with as much information as you're comfortable with!

Chapter 3: Friendship and familiarity

But as I started to rise in both communities, more battles were ahead. As I started to spend more time on Destructoid, I eventually became known as the "c-blog sheriff," or the "c-blog police." This was a term coined by the community, because I would pretty much try and comment on every blog I could get my hands on.

If someone was new, and broke some of the unwritten rules, I'd try to steer them in the right direction. If someone was copying blogs from another site and stealing content, I'd try to investigate so the c-blogs could have as much original content as possible.

Funnily enough I had many arguments this way with various community members. I got into a few heated debates with EternalDeathslayer and SilverDragon in particular. Shortly after contacting them and hashing it out, we got along extremely well. Heck, SilverDragon and his girlfriend (now wife) even came and visited my wife and I down at Disney World!

After some time, I hung up the spurs and retired as sheriff. I felt like many others were rising up in my place, and I had to focus on other projects. But that doesn't mean I stopped interacting! I ran many contests as a community member, and interacted with my friends on a near daily basis. This became extremely hard after seeing some of my favorite people pack up and leave, or quit video games altogether.

So, I started a Twitter account specifically to keep in touch with some of the members who left the community. Over the course of a few years, I started to accumulate a ton of fellow Dtoiders on my account, as well as making connections with people outside of Destructoid, on just about every other gaming outlet on the web.

Chapter 4: Staff

Throughout all my years at Destructoid, I had developed a strong editorial voice, augmented by my knowledge and experience with pretty much every genre and era of gaming: from retro to Modern Warfare.

Dale North and Hamza noticed this, and brought me on as a contributor to Destructoid early in 2012. Due to my reduced role at Gamer Limit, I was able to easily start pumping out content for Destructoid, and it couldn't make me happier.

I don't really have a niche per se, as I pretty much enjoy everything, but I do try to make a point to highlight Nintendo content, as I feel like it was a bit underrepresented before I came in. To hone my skills, I started to freelance (literally for free, and for fun) for a few sites like the retro-centric

I feel like things have come full circle. Just a few years ago I was looking outside at the house Destructoid built, and now I'm in it. Yet, I feel like a lot of things have stayed the same: and that's a good thing. I'm still free to write things like this and slum it in the comments. I'm still free to PM people, hang out with some of you, and tweet back and forth with some amazing dudes and dudettes.

Initially, Jim and Jonathan were my inspiration, but eventually, all of Destructoid inspired me. You can easily see why I still love writing here. People have come and gone, but that happens literally everywhere: it's a fact of life.

No matter what happens, for those people I make the effort to keep in contact with: it's like they never left. In fact, some people who don't read the site anymore still contact me about my articles, just because they want to support me -- if that isn't an amazing feeling, I don't know what is!

In light of that, I want to formally say "thank you" to everyone here.

Chapter 5: ???

What does the future bring? I have no idea. What I do know is that I'm mostly in charge of my destiny. If something happened and I couldn't write anymore for the rest of my life, I would regret next to nothing, given how much this community has helped me grow as a person, and given all of the friendships I would still have.

I've gotten a few offers from some smaller websites, but I choose to write here given my history with Destructoid. While I can "never say never" when it comes to my future employment in the writing arena, I do know that I would never accept a job that didn't allow me to continue writing c-blogs, and comment on Destructoid. It's too important to me!


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