Note: iOS 9 + Facebook users w/ trouble scrolling: #super sorry# we hope to fix it asap. In the meantime Chrome Mobile is a reach around
hot  /  reviews  /  videos  /  cblogs  /  qposts

Destructoid turns three

6:50 PM on 03.16.2009 // Niero Desu

Not one. Not two. But three. Man, time flies. Even though he's just a baby (pimp), we gave Mr. Destructoid a facelift by hiring Volpin Props, who created this stunning piece. He (and his hoes) are pleased.

Today is my birthday, too. I'm 31. When I was younger, birthdays were a more than predicable -- they were wonderfully ritualistic. My three neighborhood friends would come over as early as possible and we’d play whatever I’d saved up to buy until curfews or sleepy parents broke it up. The party was gaming -- with a side of cake. If we were lucky, it would fall on a weekend, so chores or trips to grandma’s house couldn’t interrupt our annual birth-destined gaming celebrations. It was an awesome and incredibly nerdy way to mark each passing year as gaming evolved. An afternoon with Dr. Wily turned to endless rounds of Ryu vs. Ken, then hauling fat-ass CRT monitors to LAN parties, then bringing over tiny joysticks and game-saving devices. The kids grew up and moved out, but we still congregate through a series of tubes and do our gaming thing. Man, what I would have given to have a c-blog in my teens. I would have been one annoying smart-ass little bastard, no doubt.   

There’s one birthday story I like to tell about the Internet and gaming in particular -- one of this art school drop-out who wanted to go to a video game event so badly that he blogged his little heart out until he made it. But that wasn’t enough. Soon others with the same dream joined the blog and now it rests on him to build that company up -- to share and realize that dream for his friends, too. It dies in an instant without the support of our readership, so today I’m mostly thinking about you -- the Destructoid reader, lurker or community regular. It’s your day, too.

How exactly do you say thanks to over a million people that have helped you realize your childhood dream?

There are no words.

Pictured: Blaster from the Transformers (A robot? Really!), Punch-Out!!, and the coolest bedsheets I've ever owned. I'm the egghead in the middle with the controller. I think this was my 9th birthday.

Nothing I can blog will even approximate what needs to be said.  Instead, all I can do is smile and point to my present and less-than-predictable circumstances. Twenty people I recently met are sleeping on any available soft piece of furniture in my living room; one of them is saving strength for a seven-hour flight back to Tijuana. Over a hundred people came over this weekend and some one million clusters of not-so-lonely-anymore neighborhood kids and grown-ups visit our online community each month. It’s an awesome and terribly nerdy way to mark this anniversary year and birthday -- a memory I’m proudly publishing online to share with friends who couldn’t be here in person (and missed good cake).

So much has happened this year. New people. New friends. Epic events. New site features. Eighteen thousand site revisions. Cake. There's so much going on at Destructoid that it's hard to wrap your hands around it. I thought about writing down milestones here, but I'd rather look forward than into our past. What's done is done and what's coming is even better. (That logic has also led me to buy many consoles, for better or worse.)

Two dozen people must have asked me the same question this weekend: “When you started Destructoid, did you think it would ever become this?” I always get all aw-shucks about it. Maybe I’ll surprise the next person that asks and say, “Of course I did, hoebag! Who the hell do you think I am?!!” and whisk away in a red cape. Of course, there’s no way in hell I or any of the editors that began contributing to Destructoid since long ago could have seen our little Web site grow into whatever it is today. I also can't believe I'm surrounded by so many incredible people all the time as a result. Just look at that photo from PAX last year. What's a guy supposed to say to that? I don't know. I keep a framed copy of it on my desk among a few others; it helps remind me of our responsibility for all the faces there and those that I've yet to meet.

So as I reflect on three years of Destructoid today, I have to admit that I’m more than a little choked up and melancholy from the gravitas of it all. I have as many aspirations and hopes for the future as I do concerns and lessons learned from the thousand mistakes we’ve made this year, so if you’ll allow me to rant in ten different directions, I’d love to both dream and vent about everything on my mind as I try to soak in this moment in life.

Nevermind me, there’s this community thing

Dr. Glen probably said it best. If you get involved in Destructoid, your life will somehow change. That’s a weird thing to say, but I’ve seen it happen so many times that I have to believe it’s true. We’re not a cult, we don’t have any self-improvement programs, and we cannot guarantee improvements to your male performance -- but you’re probably going to make a new friend. Or fifty. Or fall in love and fly across an ocean. It’s unusual that a videogame community somehow has improved the quality of life of the most active users somehow, even if they eventually move on or die from dry vaginas. Statistically speaking, the Force is strong here. I love to hear stories about people that made new real-life friends here. I think that's the coolest trick we've pulled off.

For example, have you seen this crazy shit? I don’t even have the words, nor can I wrap my head around the idea that it actually happened. It's funny, because the community requested a large-scale art project, and Hamza (in his infinite or unintentional wisdom) turned it into an anniversary thing. Madness. This is a grand example, but I see glimpses of little things like this pop up on the Web site. Sometimes it’s small -- a little offhand mention by someone in a cblog comment about how much they appreciate the site or when someone gets what the community is really all about. I love hearing about Destructoid get-togethers around the world, organized by people I may never have the opportunity to meet in person but who found each other through our site. This year we added something simple to the user profiles page: the ability to add in your zip or country code, which we’ll use to set up NARP meetups more easily in the future.  It may also help stalkers and rapists to show up to your house faster. Please don’t use that feature unless you are an adult who is not retarded. But I digress.

Look, we drink

I was having a half-drunk conversation with a community member who drove I don’t know how many hours to come to our three-year anniversary when he turned and said to me, “I have a hard time meeting people and making friends; I don’t know what it is about Destructoid, but everyone I’ve met has been so nice.” I said it’s because I stopped being naïve and tree-hugging about the wildlife preservation we used to run for notoriously epic trolls, but it’s more than that. There’s something about the voice of the site. I feel we have a collective voice -- it’s something that’s part editorial team and part community. It’s like a common language, a culture that’s unique to us. Other sites have commenting and blogs and forums and all that shit; we’re certainly not the first. So my response to him was so lame I had to share it. I’m such a wordsmith. I responded: “Yeah, it’s nice!” I leave the big words to the editors.

Team Destructoid

My extended family? I couldn't love a group of people more. No, really, there are laws that prevent that stuff. Unless we move the office to Utah, I think. Last year, we gave a panel at PAX about how Destructoid came to be, alongside editors who contributed personal stories of how their lives needed to change to make it work. The underlying message was, unfortunately, personal sacrifice, and the responsibility and work ethic everyone at Destructoid shares that make a virtual internet publishing company possible. When I say, “I’m lucky,” I’m referring to the heaven-sent people I’ve bumped into who make Destructoid’s home page move nearly every 20 minutes. Dtoid's editors work hard. Most of them didn't come from gaming or journalism -- like me, they're burdened to prove themselves. They are the site. They work for me as much as I work for them.

I'm grateful to them as I am grateful to those no longer contributing that have left their mark. We've lost some valuable contributors over the years, some of whom we were sad to see go and others whom we weren't a good fit for. That's the hardest part about what I do. I have to call that shot, and I was reluctant to do so when I first started as Destructoid's publisher. Since our community is very open, these staffing changes can be difficult to deal with, so I wanted to touch on that today as well after this Chad face.

Reality check: why do so many online gaming communities implode?

A third reason to feel lucky: We're still here despite the crap economy. Others fall by the wayside, perhaps due to bad management of funds, egos, or both. A former editor once told me that it would only be a matter of time, like death and taxes. I don't know about that. Yet, I’m still shuddering over the fact that 1UP was acquired and EGM is out of business. If Ziff Davis couldn’t make it work, what hope do I have in being around for a decade?

Common business wisdom will teach you not to not get into businesses with friends, but I can't help but wonder if the most rewarding companies to work for are just the opposite. Just look at Google's founders.  People are seeking a better quality of life, not just bigger paychecks, and I am chief among them. When money's been tight at Destructoid, I've been lucky to rely on my friends to help you open doors. We put down on paper the exchange of sacrifices you’re both willing to make. Other webmasters faced with money issues should learn from this, but beware when people spin off on their own unwanted interpretation of sacrifice. The ambiguity of what that “work” actually means and its frequency will be the death of your contributors, your friendships, and your business if you don’t take the time to clearly define it. Take the time to communicate that before anyone puts in a second of time, or you'll just end up with disappointed people -- your fault for not setting the rules and their fault for slacking. That's what I learned this year.

Also, it helps to buy cakes for staff. A mildly pirate-looking non-hairdresser also once told me to just rise above drama and keep going.  Works for Johnnie Walker, works for him, works for me. I hope that's useful to somebody out there, too. 

Bigger things, inevitable change, and the future

What's next for Destructoid? You tell us. When we're not running the site into the ground, we're listening to the features you want the most. We recently completed a massive site security and backup overhaul and some navigation fixes, most of which isn't outward-facing but I assure you that I make child labor hours look reasonable. We'll keep doing that stuff until we all die in a fire. Speaking of which, I almost died in a fire this morning. Dyson, Katrina, Conrad, and I could have been either killed or turned into crippled versions of ourselves earlier today when some idiot in an F-150 tailgating me on the highway could not stop in time, causing him to dive into a lane behind us and create a five car pile-up. I drive a tiny Volkswagen -- we would have been pancaked in a heartbeat. It’s just an example of how life can come at you fast, even on your three-year anniversary and birthday. 

While I’m thankful for everything we have and everyone on staff, I’m not dumb enough to assume it can persist in perpetuity despite my wishes to build something that can stand the test of time. I'd like our fourth-year anniversary to have fire and midgets, so tell a friend about Destructoid and come to our party next year, won't ya?

Living the dream 

It's an old Destructoid saying. It used to mean putting one guy’s credit card down to rent a single crappy hotel room and packing in the entire editorial team to cover an event, so we’d all sleep on the floor by night and rush out to compete for coverage against big media. Today, we are one step closer to turning it from a joke into a reality. We have a real office. We’ve been doing this for three years -- a lifetime by measure of Internet years. Tomorrow, we’ll be on the West Coast in a giant office building with steam-powered robot arms that push old media buildings into the ocean -- or we’ll be gone and become another dot-com in the deadpool. Until then, we’re here, we’re making it up as we go along, and there’s nowhere else I’d rather be than with these guys.

Well, except maybe in a giant robot head terrorizing small Japanese women.  I can’t lie to you, being the boss has perks. Hey Sonic, where’s my damn lobster mojito?

Photo Gallery: (11 images)
Click to zoom - browse by swipe, or use arrow keys

Niero Desu, Blogsmith
 Follow Blog + disclosure destructoid Tips
I host Destructoid for a living. Here's a photo of me at work:  more   |   staff directory

 Setup email comments

Unsavory comments? Please report harassment, spam, and hate speech to our community fisters, and flag the user (we will ban users dishing bad karma). Can't see comments? Apps like Avast or browser extensions can cause it. You can fix it by adding * to your whitelists.

Status updates from C-bloggers

CoilWhine avatarCoilWhine
I really wish the slowpokes at Microsoft would add Forza Horizon to Xbox One backwards compatibility.... It's my favorite racing game. And the soundtrack is honestly flawless.
Parismio avatarParismio
Some green tea and Mario Kart w/ family is a great way to end the day.
KingSigy avatarKingSigy
Honestly, Broforce might be my GOTY. It's really fucking amazing.
OverlordZetta avatarOverlordZetta
Welp, Remote Play is coming to PCs. Calling it now, PS Now enabled toasters and glasses will be announced at the next big Playstation event alongside cute Vita coffins made of paper you can print out of your Remote Play capable printers.
Niero Desu avatarNiero Desu
How did your Thanksgiving small talk with obscure relatives go? Oh, I bonded over the ethereal experience of hydrogen peroxide in ear canals but they'd never heard of Chrono Trigger so we mostly chewed the corn-flakes-on-potato thing in silence
Amna Umen avatarAmna Umen
Don't forget [img][/img]
Mike Wallace avatarMike Wallace
I wonder how far the show would be taken out of context if the lyrics were "Go, Go Power Rangers, you Mighty Morphine Power Rangers."
Rad Party God avatarRad Party God
I just tried out Skyforge, and... [img][/img]
Pixie The Fairy avatarPixie The Fairy
Is it weird I finally want a Samurai Warriors game because I think Koshosho is super fab? [img][/img]
Gamemaniac3434 avatarGamemaniac3434
I've never cleaned my comp in the 3-4 years I have had it. Soon I will dust it. I....I dont know what I will find, hidden in the dust.
CoilWhine avatarCoilWhine
Happy late thanksgiving Dtoid. I played Doodle God and Murasaki Baby on PSVita, and am now Achievement grinding in Forza Horizon 2 Presents Fast and Furious on Xbox One. Super easy 1000G, I need it.
Pixie The Fairy avatarPixie The Fairy
Black Friday pick ups so far are Shantae and the Pirate's Curse, Titan Souls and tomorrow Devil Survivor 2 Break Record ($29.99 at GameStop).
Gamemaniac3434 avatarGamemaniac3434
This thanksgiving, give thanks for the fact that your family wasnt 1 of the 3 to have picked out a wasp filled turkey, buying a meal and becoming a meal. Next year, may not bring such.....dissapointing results.
Nekrosys avatarNekrosys
So I'm pretty sure you all should be giving thanks to Nekro. For he is the one true perfect being. Be thankful that your lives have been blessed by the addition of a Nekro. For that is the true meaning of Thanksgiving.
Solar Pony Django avatarSolar Pony Django
Happy Thanksgiving Dtoid! Here's hoping you didn't fall off a chair while hanging Christmas lights and bash your shin and foot into the concrete like I did!
Sr Churros avatarSr Churros
Listening to Pokémon SoulSilver OST while doing some college work. Suddenly I feel a great amount of guilty taking over me for loosing my PokéWalker 2 years ago... :(
OrochiLeona avatarOrochiLeona
Ok you thanksgiving motherfuckers. 5 favourite Arcade games (as in coin-op) No order necessary. Go!
Lawman avatarLawman
Happy Turkeygeddon everyone! I'd like to spend it playing something, but I'm too busy drinking instead. Alcohol is better. Alcohol mixed with games is best, but unfortunately, I'm a little too lost to the world for that right now!
CoilWhine avatarCoilWhine
I've got to try Pocket God vs. Desert Ashes. Mostly because I loved pocket god when it came out. Great memories
ikiryou avatarikiryou
I intended to say something important and relevant to how pretty Atelier Shallie Plus looks on the Vita but then I got this annoying sudden nosebleed [img][/img]
more quickposts



Invert site colors

  Dark Theme
  Light Theme

Destructoid means family.
Living the dream, since 2006

Pssst. konami code + enter

modernmethod logo

Back to Top

We follow moms on   Facebook  and   Twitter
  Light Theme      Dark Theme
Pssst. Konami Code + Enter!
You may remix stuff our site under creative commons w/@
- Destructoid means family. Living the dream, since 2006 -