('dis an anniversary post, not a goodbye post!)
Hello friends and sex bots. Four years it’s been now. Two as Features Editor. Long time, eh? When I started with Destructoid -- May of 2011! -- United States president Barack Obama was still serving his first term and not yet so very old and haggard. I was a stone or two lighter myself, the bags under my eyes then just shallow ocean swells, not yet ruinous eggplant-tinged trenches.
I started writing here almost by accident. I’ve only done weird jobs. I power washed sidewalks in San Francisco’s nearest thing to a red light district for a while. I believe I was still doing that when I started. But I’ve always written and a pal trying to get into games writing passed along a call for San Francisco-based writers. So I emailed in on a lark, helped out by the fact that I was born in and had never left the city.
I met Niero downtown in a coffee shop a few blocks away from the baseball stadium the Giants play in since fleeing Candlestick’s (RIP) uncaring, wild winds. I arrived early and took a seat outside. This was stupid because Niero had arrived earlier and was seated in a corner inside. After an unnecessary wait, he came out and found me. And that was it. No interview, really. Jumped right into an explanation of the publishing back end, told me that I could wear whatever clothes I want, and, like, there I was writing for Destructoid.
A very happy accident. This is my job now. I’m not sure the italics on “this” quite covers it. Writing, talking to you guys? My job. Playing videogames? My job. Going to Tokyo with Dale? My job.
And it is a job, mind. Being creative, entertaining, and just good or even competent, day in, day out, on deadline. It’s hard! It occupies a lot of mindspace, always. There’s not really an “at work” and “not at work” for me, because at 2AM I might not be able to convince myself to go to sleep until I fill a draft page in Google Docs about Pokemon X/Y’s oligarchical leanings. That ideas doc is endless, some more fleshed out than others. Some won’t ever get written and some have been kicking around in my head for a couple years waiting for me to get it right. Writing is hard. Thankfully we get to goof off here and write bad jokes about Toad or fake amiibo posts with Photoshops of my dog.
The work part isn’t the only inextricable bit to my daily life, though. I didn’t start as a community member. But being a part of Destructoid, from the first time Occams welcomed me with a handful of baby kisses and a decoder ring, has had a pretty huge impact on my life and I kind of take it for granted. And it isn’t just radical travelling opportunities, or making friends with lovely co-workers/colleagues, or the fact that I’m going to get to play with Dale’s new corgi puppy (CoCo!!!) all the time.
It’s the communty, too. I don’t have “fans” or feel larger than life, but it’s novel to look back on how many actual friends I made through the community aspect of Destructoid, from the Outer Heaven chat days to comment sections to Twitter. People I still talk to, in some cases daily.
I started a games writing site (Awesome/10) with Zwuh (Andy Astruc), former contributor Fraser Brown, Darik “djhkirschman,” and whatever Arlo’s username was (he wrote one thing), that I put a good year into concurrently with Destructoid (2012, more or less, prior to me taking over as Features Editor here in May 2013). Andy and Fraser kept on for another year with other talent we drummed up. Turns out original, critical, funny games writing/features/scoreless reviews are not the most money-making or marketable thing. We kicked ass, though. Damn. And had a hell of a time.
JimmyX is somehow still here and I love him . Stealth is on Twitter. Karu tried smuggle himself to a Viewtiful Joe fan event in Japan by sneaking into a business man’s suitcase and was killed by airport security. L0LFAQ’s wife won everything in the divorce and he works in a bowling alley, thankfully not making enough money for an internet connection.
I took Matt “LawOfThermalDynamics” Kim to meet Swery (Deadly Premonition, D4) the first of many times I ended up hanging out with Swery, then drove Matt back home to Santa Cruz that evening. I got pulled over for going like 81 in an empty 65 zone, but was not given a ticket, as I am white.
Skateallday101 went from refusing to show his face online, let alone meet with us despite living fairly close to San Francisco, to renting an in-law unit in my mom’s backyard for like a year and he would always text me about how nice my mom is. I hope his Destructoid avatar is still a picture of a truck. It’s not even his truck. Just a stock/professional photo of a truck.
I’ve gotten dinner with ricochetguro when he was visiting SF and Fluxtations, who hails from semi-close Max Scoville-territory, Northern California. I can’t wait to have a beer with radiopools when he visits again soon.
Right now I live with two of my best friends, the minds and technical skill behind A la cartridge, and I owe crossing paths with them both to Destructoid.
That’s of course to say nothing of the amazing e-lationships, folks who’ve been well-loved side characters, the Groundskeeper Willies and Hank Scorpios of my waking/online life. Longtime folks like Occams and Flintmech and Isay Isay, new folks like KanjiLikesBoys, Kanye (FlythnLankx whatever the fuck your name is), Julien-G, the horrible people of the Forum, and, really, anyone who’s enjoyed things I’ve done or said something positive to me or done a good joke on-line.
That saying something nice in the comments thing, it really helps. It does. It’s nice. So many people want to tell yell about how I should be fired (preferably out of a cannon) because they disagree with my opinions on videogames, or want to send me detailed PMs about how they will assault and do murder upon me. Especially because Destructoid has done nothing but grow in my four years and since its inception. It opens the floodgates a bit more for shitheels. And can make us all feel a bit looser as community goes. But it’s still here and will always be here. Even the folks that no longer make Destructoid their home, those relationships carry on from Facebook to meatspace meetups to whatever.
Do do everything you can to foster those, though. I love to have fun posting on-line with my friends and I hope you do, too. And if you’re ever in San Francisco, let’s go out to eat.