This is a photoshop I did after listening to the latest Podtoid.
For those of you who don't know (shame on you!), Podtoid is a podcast hosted by Destructoid's very own Jim Sterling, accompanied by Jonathan Holmes and Conrad Zimmerman. I believe it started in 2007, and was originally hosted by website founder Niero Gonzales, but that's besides the point. I'm not here to teach a Podtoid history lesson (you have the Podtoid Wiki for that), I'm here to tell you a story!
My freshman year in high school was probably the worst year in my life so far. Keep in mind that I'm still in high school, so that's not saying very much. Still though, it was a pretty dreary year. I was an awkward, self-conscious, wreck of a kid who didn't hang out much with people my age. This was due in part to the fact that I didn't want to interact with the kids around me. The bulk of them seemed absolutely unpleasant, and I could never muster up the courage to talk to the ones that I had a desire to become friends with. It became more and more apparent that this was a problem as the year went on. With no one to hang out with, places like the lunchroom became a nightmare. I managed to find some solutions to these problems, such as spending lunches in the library, safe from any potential human interaction.
I forgot what it was called, but there was this one class that was required of freshmen, I think it was supposed to prepare us for a career or something. Whatever the purpose, I doubt anyone learned anything from it. For most kids, class consisted of goofing off with friends and poking fun at the teacher. I did neither. There were computers available, so I spent most classes playing the Binding of Isaac demo on newgrounds over and over again. Occasionally I would check Metacritic for Wii games, since that was the only console I owned at the time. Early reviews for Kirby's Return to Dreamland were coming ub and I was super excited. Yup. I was super excited for a new Kirby game while other boys in the room were talking about how hammered they got at that party on Saturday. Reality was definitely setting in.
Regardless, I was ecstatic when the reviews that came in were largely positive. Now, I loved Epic Yarn, but I was itching for a more traditional Kirby game. Perhaps the most positive review the game received was by a site named "Destructoid." Now I'd heard of DTOID before, but never really took the time to visit the site.
The rest is history. As Metacritic directed me to the site, and I stumbled upon link after link I finally came across a podtoid episode. I gave it a listen, and lost myself in the voices of Jim, Holmes, Max and Tara. I wasn't exactly sure what I was listening too, all I knew was that I didn't want to stop. I quickly became an avid listener, and a constant visitor of DTOID. I had almost all the Max-Tara era episodes on my ipod, which made menial tasks like doing the dishes a hoot, and really made long runs a lot more enjoyable. My two hour bus ride to school from five to seven in the morning became infinitely more bearable, there were even a few times where I laughed out loud on the bus, waking other drowsy passengers. Unbeknownst to me I was actually learning important people-skills from the cast of podtoid.
Yes, sprinkled inbetween the talks of pedophilia and Willem Dafoe were some genuinely important lessons. The Podtoid cast always flaunted their weirdness and strange ideas, without fear of what others thought of them. At the time, I was extremely self-conscious and very much kept my strangeness to myself. Since then, I'd like to think that I've become a lot less afraid of what others think of me. They also taught me that there's really no such thing as a right or wrong opinion, and that it was OK to be different. I know, these sound like extremely cliche lessons that they taught you in elementary school, but up until I heard these real-life human beings exchange and converse I never really got it.
Constantly listening to Podtoid and visiting Destructoid also introduced me to the community here. And what a community it is. The cblogs and Destructoid in general have really given me a creative outlet where I can express my self without the fear of judgement or persecution. I know I've said it before, but I love you guys!
So yeah, that's my story. If you've gotten this far I apologize for it's long-windedness, and the fact that it's not particularly well written. With every blog I write I try to improve myself, and hopefully some improvements are starting to show. Once again I just want to say thank you to everybody. Jim, Holmes, Max, Tara, Conrad, Hamza, even a random community member, I want to say thanks... for everything.