This is me, holding up my Johnny Cash T-shirt. This is the only real image in this post. This is my second post for today, you don't have to read it if you don't want to. This one goes deep.
I feel like this is important to talk about. Six years is a long time for a thing to happen, people come and go, like Nick and Holly who left writing or working or whatever for Destructoid. then people like R3y who were part of a big video push leaving for a gig with Playstation, this stuff happens. People move on from their jobs, but this isn't a job for me. I posted early on in my late introduction thing
that I wanted it to be, that I thought I could write about video games professionally, but knowing the reality of it I don't think I want to do that. At least not like, all the time. I was an intern for Tomopop, I failed spectacularly at that, but I got to write two silly posts for Destructoid. That meant a lot to me, because I believe in the place. I like it here. I don't feel so lonely when I write things. You guys seem to like me, that doesn't really happen for me a whole lot, anywhere I've ever gone I'm always the one guy in the crowd whose the asshole. I've never felt more alone than when I was in a big group. But this website is important for a lot of people, myself included. I'll try to articulate why.
Having a community is lost on a lot of people. The reason why religion became so prevalent wasn't because people really cared about confessing their sins or throwing stones at walls that somehow represent Satan, it is that sense of local community that people get singing songs and meeting up with each other once a week. A guy talks to a group, in our case our game is probably Jim now. It was Rev Anthony. Before him, probably Ron or Summa was that guy. They fill that role as being the guy we all look to, to talk to us and give us lessons to take with us as we go back to our own bubble away from our communities. Our community isn't about hating anybody or worshiping anything, we're a bunch of jokers who like video games. This is why I'm here.
I've never really liked being in a big group. I hate it. It is the worst experience in the world for me, I know a woman whose been raped probably would argue up and down the internet with me, but god dammit, I feel uncomfortable in a crowded room. Especially if nobody knows me or looks at me or cares that I'm there. That I'm just another disposable person in this giant group is the scariest feeling in the world. This is why I have no problem doing stand up comedy or being in front of a crowd, I don't care if I'm calling attention to myself. If I know everybody, I feel better about being a person. Destructoid is that place for me, where I go to not feel like just another dickhead, here I'm randombullseye rogue scholar of video games and a noted humorist. Not just a guy from West Virginia who works nights at a Krogers. Here, I'm somebody.
If I'm not a scholar of video games, at the very least I'm a rogue about it. I feel like you should download every game you want to play, especially old ones, free. They're out there if you look around, go do it, enjoy the products, study them, then go write your thoughts about it. Talk about these old games with your friends. Maybe you'll be inspired by a weird old computer game nobody else ever heard of and make your own god damn game, using lessons learned from these old games. People who are making modern games don't take lessons from the past, their tunnel vision will get their eyes fucked out sooner or later, they'll lose their fans, like Capcom is doing. I'm convinced they just don't want people to like them at this point.
My opinions like that, don't get me a lot of traction here. Some people agree about old games should be free, some people, very vocally told me I was stupid for even talking about emulation. Piracy is an entirely different issue than emulation, I really think Piracy should only count a year out from a game. The people who actually make these games, don't make money on legacy sales. Why support the corporate dickheads who publish old titles for way more than you should ever pay for them, because they can? I can't figure out how people support that. I like buying digital or virtual games, which I like calling “imaginary games” because digital items don't really exist. A physical copy of something makes me feel like it actually is tangible, where with a downloadable game like say Elevator Action Whatever on PSN, the remake, that isn't real. It just doesn't exist, and thoughts like these would get me kicked off any other website if I decided to share my thoughts.
Destructoid gives a guy like me a platform to talk about anything I want, if even just briefly giving me a moment to shine with it.
Recently, a guy brought up the community being swept under the rug. I agree, from two years ago. I disagreed with the yellow journlism tone the site was morphing into. I did like the video content, even suggesting to Niero that the future of the internet is video content. I feel like the community, which was always the bright light, was being swept behind a curtain. I'm pretty sure I was being selfish. Bonerquest happened, but I am not a game developer. I'm terrible at it. I felt like I was laughed at for working on it, and that my usual dickhead comments were catching more heat than usual. Dudes like myself and MrSadistic used to just post hilarious dick comments on everything. I do so with tongue in cheek, I don't really care. I'm positive that Sadistic told me that he did so as well, but I felt threatened. I was told that I would never write for Destructoid, that I wasn't as welcome here as I thought I was. That my freak flag could fly, but only at half mast, and only weekends. And even then, if I posted more than two things, I was an asshole to banned from the site without warning, for posting content to it.
This actually happened, and for a couple hours one Saturday, I wasn't a part of Destructoid anymore. My satirical top ten list got some attention. Posts like this
are totally legitimate. I love it here, this is home. But things changed. The emphasis on Retrogaming content, has all but disappeared. I troll pretty hardcore, for no apartment reason is right. This is why I am on the internet in the first place, and Destructoid was a place I could be a dick on and people would laugh and try to out dick me. I would bust Jim's balls, because he would respond to it and, I think after some time, he figured out that I was just goofing with him, I like the guy. I had a long running private joke with him where I would comment on his articles, saying that I was commenting on his articles and being a part of the community. I hope I never hurt the guy's feelings. I only now realize that maybe I did?
I feel like Rev Anthony's criticism of Bonerquest was completely on the money, it is a terrible game. He talked about the “I like men” guy, but I couldn't put the game together in a way that made it work. I'm just not a game designer. I can't forget this stuff. It happened, I'll talk about it. Like how I was a bad writer on Tomopop, I don't care. I'm honest about things if nothing else. I feel like that might be a problem. Tomopop was over a year ago. Bonerquest was nearly four years ago. And this whole, “I don't like these changes,” was two years ago.
That is a long time.
I love talking shit. It feels great. Busting chops and goofing on people, I love it. Nothing makes me feel like I'm part of a group more than doing that. I'm not some guy whose just going to forget things or pretend that I never said anything negative, I posted a top ten list of top ten lists
a guy wrote for fuck's sake. I love that I included at the end a website that had stolen an article, pointing that out, thinking that somebody who cared would have that pulled down or send an angry letter, but years later, that website still exists having stolen Jim's content all this time. Now how can I not care about video games, but a thing a guy wrote being presented on another site, without crediting him at all, that bothers me years later? I don't feel like explaining that.
I do feel like explaining about that time I tried to organize us.
You guys remember that right?
When I said that as community bloggers, we should peer edit or communicate with each other better. If only to improve our writing. And to avoid silly situations like the one I found myself in, which I took a picture of there, and will repost here. If we talked about what we were writing or publishing, we could schedule things out better. Maybe I took some lessons from that internship I did, but I sort of thing we shouldn't step all over each other all the time.
Lastly, I feel like bringing up a lecture Lowtax gave a couple years ago.
Richard “Lowtax” Kyanka, is the guy who runs Something Awful an internet website. This guy boxed Uwe Boll, and charges people to join that website's forums. If there was a guy to look to on the internet to learn anything from it, this is the guy you would want to listen to, if only because him and his website are funny. I mean god damn, one of the dudes went on G4 and did this.
These dudes, these dudes are rolling on a level that everybody else should aspire to.
That lecture he gave, he spoke about how the internet and communities work. At different points in the year, usually when college starts or ends, a large amount of users flood in or have a max exodus out. People who were super into a community just leave to go do things. I'm barely around Destructoid, but I try to be here as often as I can. A lot of dudes have posted “I'm leaving” posts, that seem silly to me. I feel like the only real comment I can leave is to tell them not to let the door hit them on the ass, but I'm that guy who says things like that. A website moves people in and out, it happens. I was a part of another community for the better part of like five years, one day I just left them when things got too deep. When my type of jokes weren't going over, when I didn't feel welcome, and I felt like I wasn't being listened to or looked at like I knew what the fuck I was talking about.
The chances of someone who wasn't here to know who Aaron Linde is, and is reading this, are incredible. Knowing who Nex is, we start to get even less people that know who that is. The thing that really interested me, Destructoid's retro gaming podcast, all those people have moved on or rarely post anything anymore. Everyone moves on. I'm still here. And I remember everything. Am I wrong for being a part of this community, and being this old dog who tries to bring back podcasts to the site or get ideas put through. For what? For my own personal glorification? Maybe, but I want to improve the place. I want this to be as good as it can be. When I tell a new person don't suck, I mean it. I want them to come in and see how awesome this place is and how we all are together, that we're all brothers. That we have each other to open up to or to care for each other, that this is a thing that joining doesn't mean you're just another commenter or some guy who posts dick jokes, you're a part of something.
Destructoid is where I can write multi part essays
and throw them out and see if anybody will read them. I think at least two guys read them, and I put hours into posts that fart in the wind, but anywhere else on the internet, those two guys wouldn't have read what I wrote. Elsa will read and comment on anything I write, what a sweetheart she is. I've began calling her out and try to call out other people I know read what I write, because it makes that connection we have as writer and reader that much deeper. If I was reading something, and my name was mentioned, I'd feel like it was more important to me. This is why I take Podtoid so seriously, how many mentions of me happen on that program? I feel like I have an influence here, that I'm not worthless.
When I found Destructoid, my outlook on things was dark.
I've found everything I do trivial. This is why I like video games, I can do things that matter. I can be Robocop, a space commando with a bad haircut, or Godzilla, my favorite movie characters and smash things. I can have a challenging game like Buck Rodgers that will make me feel like I accomplished something finishing it. Beating Persona 3 made me feel like god, if just briefly. Thanks to the internet, I'm well aware that any accomplishments in video games I've done are a fart in the wind, anybody can beat any RPG if they grind their levels hard enough and there is a guy who will grind them for more hours than I'll even play a damn game. But I feel like I could talk to that guy, that maybe we could discuss what these games meant to us, how we played them. A lot of games allow for you to customize how you play, like Mass Effect. If I'm not my soldier with his burr haircut, I'm playing a weird side story that isn't my story. Somebody else, their story is about a lady who has psychic powers. To take it back to Persona, I didn't do all the social links but somebody else did. We could talk.
Destructoid puts me in contact with people like nothing else can. I'm a dick, and I've burned a lot of personal bridges with just about everybody I know. No one else has the experience of being left out of the nerd group in high school, or being told by Juggalos that I was too much for them. These things happened to me when I tried to make friends. Some people love me, I have people that I talk to, but video game fans they aren't. I'm speaking a language they don't when I try to explain why Shadows of the Damned was incredible, they don't get it. They don't understand why it was brilliant that the character you play as stuttered as he read a story about the boss who only said “fuck you,” and only spoke it by yelling it at you. That type of shit is only for me and whoever else played that game.
As an adult, I've lone wolfed it. I never have anybody over, I never go out anywhere. I go to work and back home. If I go to a movie, it is with my wife or my parents. This is not exactly how I intended things to go. People I were close with, we just drifted in different directions. I had a pretty big breakdown in 2007, and I'm still dealing with that. The weight of the world suddenly hit and I flinched. I never felt more alone than I did that year. It just, it was a nightmare. I've had some tough times, which I've wrote about here on the site before, but I just couldn't take it anymore and became a shut in for two years.
During which time, I found Destructoid, where I could be myself. The way other people wrote on the site encouraged me to continue the way I wrote things. My articles about old video games are from the heart. This hobby of ours means something to me. Losing myself in a video game feels like what I do, not everything around these games. If I get a good one, one I like and can really get into like Catherine or Mass Effect, I love talking about that. Sometimes the only words I can find are goofy or just pictures of dumb things, but I have a place now where I feel like I could say anything to you guys, that somebody would listen to me and that I'm a part of something bigger than just me.
I'm always looking for credibility, but being silly about it. I get so excited when I have any recognition at all, that I squander it and make of an ass of myself. Now I'm living just to make myself laugh, and when I'm not working stocking cereal, I have been writing a novel version of Bonerquest. I want to put out a book, a real deal book book of Bonerquest. I want it to be as good as it can be, and be hilarious and not be a super referential thing, I want to pull humor that nobody else has done or do satirical situations that are funny to me. If I can find people to read it and like it, and could quit my job stocking cereal, and go on to write more books, that would be great. I'm publishing the thing myself, so I don't have to have any rejection from a publisher or deal with any nonsense. I'm taking initiative myself, this is it. If I don't believe in myself, nobody else is. Maybe you reading will, and I'm grateful for that, but I have to get this book published and done for me.
My end goal is to die having something left behind that people can look back to. My time with Destructoid is important to me and having a place where I can be a person is important to me. I love it here. This is home. This is where I go, if not everyday, I try to. I'm not just a guy who will get a gig somewhere and just rarely show back up here, I'm with Destructoid until I'm not in existence. Be it my own eventual death or being banned for writing some stupid thing.
Like if I brought up how I think the Justin.TV content is divorced from Destructoid itself, and any suggestion I would throw out on how to fix what I saw as problems I won't post. I don't want to comment on how I think the site is anymore, out of that fear of being banned. I don't want that, so I'm now pressured into not speaking up about the site. I still comment on things Jim writes, hopefully making him giggle in the process. Occasionally I'll comment on another news story with something dumb, but I erase and move on from things I write more often than I'm actually contributing anything to the site. I don't want to be kicked out of this for being myself, I'm a dick. I should be allowed to be a dick. If I cross a line, tell me, but just to throw me out for being a dick feels wrong to me. Mostly, because I'd be the one that just didn't exist anymore. When you're kicked off, this happens, and all your old content is locked out, unless you use google to find specific things, you never existed, and have never existed. Lovecraft stories couldn't think of a darker punishment that this. Assertion failed: unknown user
This is what is says when you're banned from Destructoid. This combination of words is what Stephen King wishes he had thought of. Without Destructoid, I wouldn't feel like I had anywhere to call home. I mean, I'd still have things like twitter, but that isn't Destructoid itself. It feels like a side thing. All the things I wrote that I feel are funny and well written, even if they aren't, all disappear. Those articles I poured my soul into, the multiple part essays
that I broke down my philosophies on everything in, all gone instantly. So now when I post multiple things on weekends, which today is Monday for you, but I'm still on Sunday, so it counts as the weekend for me, and people complain, I send an e-mail to support. That gets bounced to different people, then I get word back, and it goes on and on. So much so that I things get bogged down. I lose interest in what I'm working on due to nonsense, and I feel like I wasted my time working on things. I just spent a couple hours writing thing out, so hopefully people read it.
The day that I was banned, felt like I had been stabbed to death and left bleeding in an alley. I pictured that in my mind. All because I thought it would be better to publish a bunch of things I wrote on a Saturday, when I had some time to actually post everything since I couldn't be there everyday and post things one and a time. In those days, I had barely any time off work and was always trying to sleep. Now I've given up on sleeping, and barely write anything for Destructoid unless it is some self indulgent plug for my own work, or some wild opinion that I'm throwing out about nothing. Our existence is random. It has no meaning, save what we choose to impose upon it. I like video games.
Happy birthday Destructoid!
“My new thing to do is to listen to people talk about video games, while I play video games. Its almost like having real friends. Except you're a lonely guy playing video games. All alone and sad. But hey, if you join a website like destructoid and comment, they might say your name and go on to say they'll play a game that you recommended.
Now that is why I joined destructoid, post blogs, and comments.
So will anyone else open up like I did? Its okay Cornelius, you can cry too.”
Josh “randombullseye” Hayes”on Destructoid in 2008 on the official Destructoid forum.
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