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Destructoid turns six

11:00 AM on 03.16.2012 // Niero Desu

"You're starting a videogame site? But there are so many!" --A sage d*ckhead I went to school with

When I look back on the last six years of Destructoid, three words often come to mind:

Surreal. Lucky. Home.

Destructoid is an impossible company. We started late, well after many gaming sites were already established. We were located nowhere near the industry, had no venture-capital funding, and had no connections in the business. On top of all that, we were weird. Luckily for us, we were weird in a good way, and that resonated in a readership that began to call Destructoid their home. What I set out to create in my awkward manifesto still rings true today.

Every time I see a Destructoid quote in a television commercial, it just fills my heart. When we like a game, it really means something. I like that. It goes without saying, but we owe everything to our readers -- the fans who have stuck with us through the good and the greasy. Our mission to build a credible independent publication became a reality, and we've only gotten weirder over the years. Have you heard our podcasts?

Sympathy for a creative company

For me, founding a community like ours has been a deeply personal journey as well as a company-building one. Choosing to stay the course and run Destructoid as a family-style creative business has been infinitely rewarding for me, and that has fundamentally shaped the kind of culture that makes our team different from the inside out. For example, one of the little secrets I'm proud of is six years of employing zero in-house sales people. Anyone who went to business school would be flipping a desk over right now, but not having a sales-driven business makes my job tremendously fulfilling. I'd like to thank the folks at Gorilla Nation, FastPay, and Revision3 for helping us maintain a sustainable company and making it so that my daily routine does not involve whipping anyone to meet their quota. This has helped us maintain our uncompromising voice, whatever the cost. In addition, our behind-the-scenes community management and engineering teams keep the site running smoothly. Those folks deserve your appreciation, and more than a few beers.

It's also a point of pride that all of our writers were once just regular readers contributing to our community blogs. "Oldfags" like Dale, Jim, Chad, Conrad, Hamza, Jordan, and the rest of our handsome contributors make this company what it is. It pleases me, with some melancholy, that I've been able to hire people just as unqualified as I am, and then see them move into new roles in major gaming-industry companies. Like any employer, part of me feels a tinge of regret when I see great people go, but over time, I've just become happy to have played a role in their careers. I'd also like to thank those Destructoid veterans for their contributions over the years. You still rock, sellouts! (wink, wink) In particular, I'd like to recognize former Editor-in-Chief Nick Chester for his work over the last few years in maturing -- for lack of a better word -- our publication. With Dale now at the helm, I'm very optimistic about where we are headed.

So what do we want for our birthday?

I'm also 34 years old today -- I founded this site on the eve of my birthday as a hack to score myself press passes into the exclusive E3. Destructoid's origin story is now the stuff of nerdy fairy tales, as told in our anniversary posts for years one, two, three, four, and five. There will surely be an elaborate orgy planned in Vegas for year ten.

Let's try something different this year: We want you to make us do some hard labor!

I don't know what's up with the dog-and-cat photo. I swear, I tried, like, ten times to remove it. Deal with it.

In May, the Habitat for Humanity organization is putting together trips to benefit families in Costa Rica who cannot afford to repair their homes, or worse, live in below-poverty conditions and need better shelter. This cause hits home for me personally: When I visit my relatives in Cuba, I still have to run a bucket of water from our kitchen to the yard -- where the bathroom is -- to take a bath. My own family, in the present day. I bet you didn't know I was from the country! Yep, I was born in a town two hours south of Havana, where all we have is a church, a swimming pool, a baseball field, and a movie theater for entertainment. On my last visit in 2008, most kids had a PlayStation One. I figure it will take my cousins about seven to ten more years to have the chance to be upset about the Mass Effect 3 ending. Ironically, those people just raised over $26,000 for Child's Play. The chaos! I love this industry.

What you get for your donation

Unfortunately, Kickstarter doesn't allow charity projects, so we have to approach this in a wonky way. If you sponsor our trip, we'll fly core members of the Destructoid team to these events and take photos of our fat, pale bloggers busting ass for charity, with me leading the charge in the helmet! You can make a donation using the widget above. If you're having trouble with the widget, donations can be sent via PayPal to mrdestructoid[at]gmail[dot]com. We will also print your PayPal comments to create a physical notebook, in English and Spanish, that the families we meet on the trip can read. Your contribution will be seen and felt. We will ask people to sign it and bring it to PAX Prime, just like our burn book.

Putting my money where my mouth is

To kick off our project, I'm personally pledging $1,700 out of pocket to attend, so every dollar you donate helps send another member of the ModernMethod team to join me. Destructoid will not use or retain any funds; 100% of donations goes to Habitat for Humanity, which buys building materials and supports trips later in the year. This project aside, ModernMethod is also working on a larger, original charity project that we hope to reveal at GDC next year. It's pretty much going to be the nerdiest charity thing ever -- that, I can assure you.

Living the dream

It's written at the bottom of every page on this site. Thank you so much for reading Destructoid. It's been, and continues to be, real.

Niero Desu, Blogsmith
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