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Hi! It's been a while since I did one of these, so now I'm doing it! You should do it, too :)
I've interspersed this blog with some recent pics of my kids to hold your attention, and I won't waste any more time getting to the point: here are 10 (more) things you might not have known about me!
1. Every year, I seem to find that one game that absorbs all of my time, and I neglect all other games in the process
In 2007 it was Team Fortress 2. In 2008, it was Fallout 3. 2009's addiction was Dead Space. 2010? Far Cry 2. You get the point. Every year, one "big" game is released (with the exception of Dead Space, which just saw multiple playthroughs), and I seem to lose the better part of six months to it. The only problem with this? My backlog continues to grow in the meantime!
Last year, it was Titanfall that sucked up all my time, and this year (so far) has been taken over by Sunset Overdrive. I have a problem, people. Help me!
2. It's embarrassing how bad I am at fighting games
Like, laughably bad. Seriously, you've never played with someone as awful as me. No matter how hard I try, I just can't get the hang of them, and I find myself hiding in the corner at parties whenever Street Fighter or even Smash Bros. is brought out for fear of ridicule.
I blame it on not having access to any arcades growing up, but it could also be because I just plain suck at being a gamer. But either way, now you know. I hope you're happy.
3. Come to think of it, I should probably just have my gamer card revoked
Let's just keep the truth train a rollin'! I suck at Mega Man, I've never played a JRPG for more than a few minutes, and I have so many unfinished (and unstarted) games in my backlog I could have probably cured world hunger with all the money I've wasted. In summation: I just all-around suck.
4. That said, I did play my fair share of 90s PC shooters
I was a PC-only gamer for a lot of my teen years, which, in retrospect, may be partially to blame for my general lack of interest in JRPGs and inability to master fighting games. However, it also afforded me the opportunity to try just about every "classic" first-person shooter to come out of the 90s (and even some not-so-classics). Wolfenstein, DOOM, Blake Stone, Rise of the Triad, Quake, Unreal, Blood, Heretic, Hexen, Outlaws, SkyNET, System Shock, Aliens vs Predator, Duke Nukem 3D, Shadow Warrior, SiN, Half-Life, No One Lives Forever, Deus Ex, Thief, Soldier of Fortune, Tresspasser, Redneck Rampage -- if it had a weapon in the middle of the screen and a character who grunted when he got shot, I was interested.
The 2000s were just as fruitful, though by then I had discovered the internet, so the majority of my time was spent playing Half-Life mods (some of which would later become full games, such as Team Fortress, Counter-Strike, and Day of Defeat). But I'll never forget huddling over a keyboard in my parents' living room with my brothers at my sides, shooting bad guys and picking up floating ammo packs. It was truly an amazing time to be alive.
5. I hate ice/roller skating
I DO NOT understand the appeal. And now I'm getting to the point where my kids are old enough that they want to go to the skating rink (yes, those still exist). Literally. The. Worst.
6. Sometimes, I'm not the best dad I could be...
...but I really, really try.
Patience is a difficult thing to learn. I feel like I was born with an overabundance of it, compared to most, but if there's one thing a child is good at, it's exploiting weakness. I have to check myself constantly to make sure that I am being as patient as possible when my child poops on the bathroom floor and is super proud of himself for "going to the bathroom", or when they want to be silly and I just want to go the fuck to sleep at night. It's a never-ending exercise in futility, and boy are my arms tired. But I'm trying, and I get a little bit better every day.
7. I'm scared to death of dying
OK, so maybe that's not entirely true. The actual act of dying doesn't actually phase me that much. The more appropriate thing to say would be, "I'm scared to death of being dead." The reason? My fucking kids, man. When I stop to think about how much it would SUCK for them to not have a dad any more, it breaks my heart. The other day, I was lost in thought (I'd call it "daydreaming" but it was really a nightmare), obsessing over the fact that, if my wife and Alice and I all died in a car accident, poor Henry would be left all by himself. Can you imagine, losing your dad, your mom, and your only sibling all at the same time? Talk about fucked up.
I wish I didn't think about these things, but for some reason I can't stop myself. This is especially true lately, as I've lost both my grandmas in the last two months, so there's been a lot of talk of death in and around my family. I really, really don't want to die.
8. I'm also scared of heights
Might as well just get this one out there, too: when there is a vast distance between me and the ground my stomach turns and I start sweating like nobody's business. Now, I'm not talking about being in a plane or something like that. This only happens if I am standing on the ledge of a building or whatever and happen to look down. And the funny thing is, this actually translates into videogames, too.
I still remember the time I climbed to the top of the tallest building in Assassin's Creed (for the achievement, obviously). The moment I got to the top and looked down, my stomach sank. And that wasn't just some bullshit Animus glitch, either, because it's happened to me in numerous games since (the most recent being Dying Light). It's both amazing and frightening to me that we've come so far with our games visually that my feeble mind is being tricked into getting scared. This is truly the uncanny valley, and I am standing right on the fucking ledge of it.
9. I've met some of my best friends here [read: it's about to get sappy in here]
I never thought I would be "that guy," whose only friends are avatars on a screen, but what do you know, that's exactly what I've become. And while I do still have some great IRL friends, some of the best people I've ever known have entered my life via the very pages of this website.
Here are just a few of the Dtoiders who have made an impact on me over the last six years:
Xzyliac - I know we don't talk much these days, but you were one of the first people I remember interacting with in the comments and blogs here, and a big part of the reason why I stuck around for as long as I did way back when. For that, I thank you <3
garethxxgod - You were the host of the very first FNF that I ever participated in, which means you are the reason I got to know the likes of AwesomeExMachina, Corduroy Turtle, Occams electric toothbrush, smurfee mcgee, SteezyXL, and many more. Oh my god what an impact that had on my formative years. Thank you, buddy :)
AwesomeExMachina - Man was I ever jealous of you back in the day. Your writing was top-notch, you were clever as hell during FNF, and you were universally loved by everyone who interacted with you. In short, I hated your fucking guts. But it was really a love-hate. And now it's just love <3
Elsa - Oh my god what the hell can you say about Elsa that hasn't been said by a billion other Dtoiders at this point? You are the voice of reason when everyone else is being unreasonable, an insightful blogger, and you can pinch an ass like nobody's business. Meeting you was one of the greatest joys of my first PAX, and I look forward to giving you and Monngoose both another hug someday soon :)
knutaf - You and [wife's name that will not be spoken due to privacy concerns] are without a doubt the most hospitable hosts I have ever had the pleasure of taking advantage of, and PAX simply would not be the same without your delicious cooking and gracious nature to look forward to every year. I've had many a wonderful memory playing games, drinking beers, and getting to know people like Qalamari, bbain, Fame Designer, LawofThermalDynamics, and so many more in your humble abode, and your friendship both on and offline means the world to me. Love you, buddy <3
Mike Martin - Getting to know you over the course of the last few years has been a true joy, and seeing you rise to the occasion during my absence over the past couple weeks has given me faith that I made the right decision when I asked you to join the community team. I look forward to continuing our friendship on and offline, and much like my butt, Dtoid is a better place for having you in it <3
Beccy Caine - Oh Beccy. You are one of the sweetest people I have ever had the pleasure of meeting, and getting to know you better was one of the best parts of being on the community team. Between you, JJ, and Adam, I feel like I have an entire family across the pond, and I love you all so, so much.
Bill Platt - Your contributions to this website are immeasurable, as is your friendship. I am so happy for you and your family, and I can't wait for the day that we can finally meet in person <3
Conor Elsea - In the beginning, I stole your job and you hated me. Fast forward four years, and you're one of my best friends. To this day, I still cherish that first real text exchange we had, where we discussed community matters for what seemed like hours. You're one of the best community members this site has ever had, and anyone who gets the chance to know you is better for it.
Corduroy Turtle - You are the man who made me into the boner king. What more can I say? How about this: you've always been there for me when I needed you, whether it was just to blow off some steam or wanted to talk about videogames. And for that, I love you. Can't wait until we see each other IRL again. It's been way too long.
Rob Morrow - I shouldn't have been surprised to see you call only seconds after I announced my departure; that's just the kind of guy you are. You have always been there for me, through thick and thin, and I am so blessed to have you in my life <3
Occams electric toothbrush - You are one of the kindest people I have ever known and I would not be half the person I am without you. Your constant support both in Dtoid matters and my personal life mean more than you will ever know, and I feel truly priveleged to have you in my life. Love you, brother.
Jim Sterling - I know we don't know each other well other than the occasional Facebook and Twitter interaction, but you have been and always will be a great inspiration to me. Getting to know you while on staff here and at PAX was a wonderful pleasure, and I will continue to follow your work for as long as you're putting it out <3
Hamza Aziz - I owe you and Niero (spoiler: he's next on the list!) so much, I don't even know where to begin. Your faith and trust in me gave me a confidence that I never knew I could have, and your friendship beyond Dtoid has been something I will never forget. Love you, man.
Niero - We -- none of us -- would be here without you, and we're all better for having been here. There's not much more I can say. You are the reason we all get to call this place home, and I love you.
And to Adam, Ali D, AlphaDeus, Andrew Benton, Apathy, bbain, Beyamor, CaptainBus, Char Aznable, Chris Carter, Cutie Honey, Dyganth, Epic-Kx, falsenipple, Fame Designer, Gennhaver, GoofierBrute, Handy, Isay Isay, JimmyX, Jordan Devore, JJ, KwikPwn, Lenigod, Maurice Tan, Max Scoville, MuddBstrd, Mxy, Nihil, Om Nom on Souls, OpiumHerz, Qalamari, Romo Metaxxas, Scield, ScottyG, Sexual Chocolate, SteezyXL, Stevil, StriderHoang, SuperMonk4Ever, Swishiee, Toneman, usedtabe, Wolf Girl, Zodiac Eclipse, Zombie Orwell, and all the dozens of others I didn't list either directly or by proxy: I love you all!
10. Hi, I'm mrandydixon and I used to be your community manager; ask me anything!
I know this might seem like a bit of a cop-out since it's not really a tenth thing, but that last one was such a drain I'm just not sure I have another "thing" in me. So let's do this instead!
I thought it might be fun to host a little AMA here in the comments, since I'm not only a recently-retired staff member, but one of the few who actually plans on sticking around long after my Dtoid email address expires. So what do you say? Got a burning question that you've always wanted to ask me but never felt comfortable doing due to my position? I'm just like you, now. Let 'em rip :)
[Pictured: The Dtoid community in 2011. My first PAX.]
This is unbelievably hard. [HA! Already with the boner jokes. But really.] In fact, it may be the most difficult decision I've ever come to. But it's been weighing on me for months now, and it's time. It's past time. And so, after four years -- the best years of my life -- I'm retiring my post as community manager for Destructoid.
The fact of the matter is, I just can't give Dtoid what it needs anymore, and it's starting to show. There simply isn't enough time in the day for me to work a full time job, be a good father to my children and husband to my wife, AND give this community everything it fucking deserves (because you do fucking deserve it), and so it is time for me to pass the torch onto those who can. The last thing I want is for the community I love so much to suffer or dwindle because of my inability to keep up. You deserve better.
I leave on the absolute best of terms with Destructoid and its managing and contributing staff and community team, and I wish nothing but continued success for this place and its people. Dtoid has been my home-away-from-home since 2009, and I owe a great amount of who I am today to the opportunities it has granted me. I've met some of the best friends I've ever known here (you know who you are!), and I mean it when I say that I love every single one of you. In spite of all the bullshit this industry likes to throw at us, we STILL have the best community in gaming; of that, I'll never be dissuaded.
As for what the future holds, I am confident that Dtoid is in good hands with its capable, dedicated, and hard-as-balls-working group of community leaders. These people -- both those on staff and the community volunteers -- work so, so hard, and deserve a chance to be in the spotlight. So whether Holmes and Niero will replace me with a new "community manager" or if Dtoid is better served by its ever-growing "community team" is yet to be determined, but I know that, whatever happens, you will continue to grow and flourish as a community. Because that's just what you do.
I look forward to interacting with all of you in the comments, blogs, and forums as fellow community members; after all, it ain't like I'm dying or anything :) Thank you to Hamza for giving me the job, to Niero for all his guidance and support, and to each and every person I have worked with on staff and in the community. I am a better person for having been granted this opportunity, and for that, I am forever thankful.
And thank you to each and every one of you reading this. Above all else, I hope that I have served you well. Because you deserve it.
Take care, and I'll see you soon <3
Dtoid really is the best website on the planet Earth. And like any best thing, a TON of effort goes into making it that way. The writers do a great job working their tight little tooshies off day in and day out to churn out original content and make the news something worth reading, but in addition to them, there are literally dozens of community volunteers devoted to making sure your comments, Cblogs, and Forums are a really pleasant, really fucking fun experience.
This post is about them!
Though this roster changes from time to time, one thing remains a constant: Destructoid would not be where it is today without the dedication of its community. So let's get to know a few of your fellow Dtoiders who donate their time every day to making this place fun for us all!
Staff (insert joke about STAFFyloCOCKus here)
Dtoid's official community team members are the "public" faces of your community. In addition to posting occasionally to the front page, they monitor your support emails, assist with back-end stuff like account setups and password changes, and more. Here's a little bit about each of them!
Beccy Caine is your European Community Manager, in charge of event planning and coordination across the pond. Even though we only let her out of her cage a few times a year, she is an invaluable asset to the team (and she has a funny voice to boot)!
Conor Elsea is your Community Monster/US Community Manager, the head of Radio Destructoid, and THE man to go to if you have questions about setting up a NARP (No Apparent Reason Party) or any other IRL event. #TeamBloodspray for life!
Mike Martin is your Community Play Manager, and long before he ascended to staff level he's been the go-to guy if you want to play videogames with your fellow Dtoiders. Team Fortress 2sdays, Friday Night Fights, Streamtoid, the Destructoid Twitch channel. He's also in charge of our Disqus Deputies and the staff liaison to the Forums. The sky is figuratively the limit!
Occams Electric Toothbrush is your Cblog Manager, a Lisa Frank enthusiast, specimen, resplendent black grandmother, and all-around community legend. Along with StriderHoang, he is in charge of promoting your best blogs to the front page and crafting fun writing assignments, and he has so much hair on his body you won't know where to start licking!
StriderHoang is your Cblog Co-Manager, the Mario-capped head of the Cblog Recap team, and long-time community blog champion. He and Occam are the Cagney and Lacey of the Cblogs; love them, touch them, and fear them!
Have a question or comment for anyone above? Email them any time at email@example.com!
Faps for Caps!
The Cblog Recappers are some of the hardest-working Dtoiders you'll ever meet. Every night, they read every single blog you write, categorize it, and recap it in a handy format for the benefit of us all. Remember to thank the recappers below with a fap!
Talk about dedication. Thanks for all the hard work, guys and gals!
New to the Cblogs? Write your intro post today! It'll give the people above something to do :)
Lords of the Basement
Did you know Destructoid has Forums? Me neither! (Apparently they are that way -->) Here are the community leaders who make that place a place worth visiting!
Any basement can be a scary place, but you people do an amazing job of making it a bit brighter. Thank you all for your service!
New to the Forums? Go introduce yourself! They might bite a little, but you know you like it.
Friday Night Fighters (and Team Fortress, 2)
Do you like playing videogames? Of course you do! Do you like playing videogames with awesome people and not random internet assholes? OF COURSE YOU DO! And boy howdy are the community organizers of our weekly Friday Night Fights and Team Fortress 2sday events ever here to help!
FNF is a Dtoid community staple, and you people are doing the Lord's work keeping it running. Thanks so much!
New to FNF? There are new playdates every week! Join the fun, noob.
I believe it was Abraham Lincoln who first said, "Don't read the comments." Well, we here at Destructoid pride ourselves on never listening to that bullshit. Here are the people who keep your comments sections (relatively) free from assholes and spambots so that we can all engage in (semi) intelligent discourse (and the occasional GIF war)!
Occams Electric Toothbrush
Remember: if someone with a big gray ROBOT label next to their name tells you you're being an asshole... it's probably in your best interest to stop being an asshole :) Thanks, mods!
I'm sure I'm forgetting dozens, if not hundreds of you. So to anyone who organizes a fun event in the Cblogs or Forums, who helps out on the ground at a community meetup like PAX or MAGFest, who assists in creating interesting community content or contests, or contributes to this site in any other way, shape, or form: THANK YOU. Thank you SO MUCH for making this website such a welcoming, awesome place to hang out. Dtoid literally would not exist without each and every one of you. YOU are the reason I am proud to call this place my home <3
I'm not normally one to write a eulogy blog -- especially a mostly NVGR one (Seaman notwithstanding) -- but the news of Leonard Nimoy's passing has really hit me hard :'( By all accounts Nimoy was not only a pillar in the nerd community, but a hell of a nice guy to boot, and the world has truly lost one of its greatest examples of humanity today.
One of my favorite of Nimoy's roles (other than the obvious Star Trek: TOS) was in the underappreciated JJ Abrams show Fringe. As William Bell, Nimoy was charismatic, funny, and at times a little bit frightening, and I always looked forward to seeing his name in the guest star list at the beginning of his episodes.
Rest in peace, Mr. Spock. You were loved by millions and you'll be missed by everyone who has ever seen your work <3
Are you a Dtoid community podcaster? If so, this post is for you!
Here's the deal: Occams and I are working on a front page thing to promote our fine community podcasters (that's you), but we need a bit of help to get it going. First thing's first, the gist: What we envision is a post that will list each of the active community podcasts (say, anything that's been updated in the last three months or so), a brief blurb about each show (which community members are featured, what it's about, etc.), and a direct link to the most recent episode of each. The idea is that we will then "bump" the post once every couple weeks (or whatever) with updated links to the most recent episode of each show, etc., so that it's constantly put in front of people's faces (and hopefully, their ears).
So what do we need from you? Well, we need to know what each of your shows are about, duh. So if you host a podcast on our Cblogs, please do the following:
And that's it! Banner art, show synopisis, link. Simple and effecient for our readers/your listeners, and easy to keep updated for Occams and yours truly. Any questions? Suggestions for making this better? We're all ears!
That was a podcast joke.
Please note that, while I think this is a fine idea for now, the intent is for this to only be a temporary solution until we get a site redesign later this quarter. At that time, my hope is that we will have some sort of front page portal that will handle all of this for you (similar to the one that appears on the front page highlighting the most recent Cblogs we currently have). Any ideas on how best to implement that feature are also welcome :)
As of last month, I have officially taken over the task of making your HUGE memberships something worth dropping $3/month on again. That started with a fun new "Bonus Levels" monthly newsletter (new issue out tomorrow!), but that was just the beginning.
Here's the short list of what we're currently working on for early 2015:
Loot Crate partnership
Do you like loot? I like loot. That's why Dtoid has partnered with our friends at Loot Crate to give away three crates every month to random HUGE members! Think of this like the auto-entry you currently have into every contest, only the contests aren't even open to the rest of the world. Also, should you decide to subscribe, you'll be able to save 10% on all purchases by using the coupon code "Robot" at checkout! (That perk will be available to all.) We'll have more on this when we do our first Loot Crate unboxing on the front page soon :)
This one's been a long time coming. In conjunction with a site redesign scheduled for early 2015, official Dtoid reviews will soon have a "User Reviews" sidebar right alongside the official score, which will link directly to any community reviews of the game in our Cblogs! While this feature is planned to be open to all at some point, HUGE members will get in during the beta phase, so you'll have direct input on how the feature is implemented. Sweet!
Not gonna lie: my very favorite HUGE perk is the ability to customize the site background with whatever I want. For a while, this pic of Young Holmes graced my every move on the site, but recently my narcissism got the better of me and I replaced it with an absolutely gorgeous selfie of yours truly. Good god I'm beautiful.
On that note, Niero and the engineers have been hard at work on a half-dozen other customization options, ranging from replacing the Dtoid logo with a picture of your own face (or ass. Or elbow) to blowing up the front page with strobe lights. (Why? Because we can.) We'll update you all with the full list once it's done, but know now that it will be silly and dumb and you will fucking love it.
This one's pretty simple: a page featuring every single person who supports the site via HUGE subscription. All of your beautiful faces in one beautiful place!
Ever wonder how many people are reading your blogs? Well wonder no more! Soon, HUGE members will have access to the same stats that us front page writers have, so you'll know exactly what kind of audience your words are reaching. It's simple stuff, but a welcome addition!
HUGE member of the month
Starting in January, I will be profiling one HUGE member every month in a front page post. We'll talk about your deepest fears and darkest desires, and basically anything else you want to share with the world. You'll be famous! (This will be opt-in, obviously.)
Every time we pick a winner for a contest, we take all the entries from the front page (or wherever), add in all the HUGE members, and let Random.org decide who takes home the prize(s). Well recently, HUGE member king kong five took home a fucking PlayStation 4 and he didn't even enter the contest himself! Talk about a return on investment.
Typically, once the holiday season is over, the number of contests we're presented with slows down, but you can rest assured knowing that more beta code giveaways are coming your way (new ones launch tomorrow) and that you're still being entered in every contest that appears on the site.
There are a few more things being brain-stormed, but that's all the stuff that's ready to talk about at this point. As always, please share any suggestions or concerns you have regarding HUGE in the comments below!