Everybody has a unique Destructoid story to tell. Some have been here since the beginning. Others migrated from different gaming blogs throughout the years. Some have even lurking in the shadows for many, many moons, waiting for the perfect time to step into the light and experience all that the site has to offer...
My story is a mix between all three. I've been coming to Destructoid for a long time, though I never created an account. I was only in it for the news. I never felt a need to comment on a story, and if I did, I could always just send the link to a friend and talk to them about it. One day, I saw a news post about a contest that I really wanted to win. Seeing an actual incentive to signing up and commenting, I did so.
I didn't win.
But what did happen is just as wonderful. I started to comment on other news stories, ones that weren't involved in contests. I began to become an active member of Destructoid albeit very sporadically. Months came and went, games were released, played to (semi)completion and set aside. I began to know a bit about the various staffers--whose articles I enjoyed reading and which features were the most interesting to me.
Then, in February of 2011 my teensy tiny role in the Dtoid Community changed in a dramatic way; Destructoid Chat was launched.
At first, I only popped in for a few minutes every so often, mostly due to boredom. Having been unemployed for a while, my days generally revolved around hanging out on the internet all day. Dtoid's Chat client served to be a rather fun distraction and I began to get to know some of the other regular chatters. Before I knew it, I felt like an actual member of the Destructoid Community who had an impact on the lives of others. This motley crew of Outer Heaven, as the Chat was eventually renamed, became the sort of friends I enjoyed talking to!
Talking to Zwuh and learning that our likes and dislikes aligned quite eerily. Speaking to Ben Bally Raymer about the perils of college and dating. Conversing with gennhaver about that weird, tall guy that she's dating as well as her dental schooling. Bonding with MaddoxMisery over our mutual love of art (though our mediums are different, as he draws [and spectacularly well, I might add] and I'm a photographer). Chatting with HugsySmooches, Bjorn The Unicorn, Knivy, Vigilante8, Trev, MrDandyMan, Eltron and so many others has given me something that I've not had in a long time--a feeling of belonging on the internet.
Outer Heaven has given me a really strange, fun and wonderful new "family" of sorts. Spending hours each day with these friends of mine, I've learned more about them than I know about some people I know in so-called "real life." We've had deep discussions about love, loss, our futures and pasts--but we've also joked and laughed. A lot. Intellectual talks mixed with hilarity keeps me coming back day after day and when somebody is absent for a few days, I miss their presence.
It speaks volumes to the fantastic people of Destructoid (both the Staff and the Community at large) that such a small, almost throw-away feature of the website could impact me in the way that it has.
So, here's to Outer Heaven--may it continue to live on! Let's spread Dittoface across the interwebs!