I am not the easiest person to get to know. I'm a quiet guy raised by quiet people and I'm 75% deaf to boot. It's not the sort of life that produces the gregarious, amiable type. Being friends with me usually requires people who are comfortable with long silences and minimal small talk.
I've been a part of numerous online communities over the years and I always tend to stay near the fringes. I'm more comfortable that way. That said, it's impossible not to be someplace for more than two years without making a few connections here and there. This is a list of people I may or may not be friends with but are definitely people who are important to the Dtoid community. It's also in no particular order.
1.) The Tunnel Snakes: Firion, Marche100, Luna Sy, & Orlion.
(My affectionate nickname for them, by the way.) I'm counting them as one because, really, they're one big anime-obsessed hydra. If the forums are Vault 101, they're the greaser gang causing trouble. The forums kind of hit rock bottom not too long ago in terms of people leaving for places that made them less miserable (or just getting banned). During that time, these guys were almost single-handedly propping up the place. The Bar and the Anime threads are always hopping with some new nonsense thanks to their stubborn refusal to fuck off like most everyone else did.
I don't agree with Tubby about much but I respect him for his lack of BS. As far as OG Dtoid members, he's the most legit. Unlike a lot of people who put up a front, he really can take it as well as he dishes it out. His razzing Andy Dixon in the Dead Space 3 thread is the reason I signed up for the forums in the first place. If Dtoid is a place where people can fuck with each other to that extent and not take it personal, I figured I'd do okay. #TubbyStrong
3.) Mike "PhilKenSebben" Martin.
Phil is the sweet, degenerate heart of Dtoid, to me. Unlike a lot of the old guard, he's been able to roll with the punches and keep the "Also, Cocks" attitude of Dtoid alive at the same time. His passion for dongs is unquenchable and so long as he's around, you know things will be alright. Or at least homoerotic. His recent promotion to Community Playdate Manager was a long time coming and well earned.
I know nothing about the dude... but the lack of fucks he gives are admirable.
5.) El Zilcho/Trev.
Friday Night Fights was the first part of the community I started to feel at home in. This was while I was unemployed and in the midst of an all-consuming Warframe addiction. I feel like we get along fairly well but he represents the rare person I can argue things with and not feel condescended to. We've disagreed about things, sometimes loudly, but I never thought less of him for it and I never felt that from him either.
Best of all, he knows his shit and he takes none of yours. All good qualities when wrangling three other people to keep their threads and blogs updated so FNF can continue with no hiccups.
Oh Nanners. He has that earnest Jonathan Holmes-ian quality where you like him but you just can't stop yourself from teasing him. He's the perpetual little brother. I also love the extra syllable he adds when he repeats my screen name. Other people have shortened it to "Def" but Nanners still goes whole hog. This kid's going places.
Kym can cuss like a sailor AND beat your ass at Doots. There's no "token female" shit here and God help anyone who tries to pull that shit with her. She's tough, speaks her mind, and knows her shit.
I think Nihil is stealthily the funniest dude on the board. In addition to sharing Gestapo duties in the forum with fellow German OpiumHerz, I feel like he always around waiting to crack wise before disappearing again.
9.) The Rest of the FNF regulars: DJ Puppy, Cornflake, Clockwork, Scield, Red #1, Red #2, Infrared, Nexus, etc.
While, as I mentioned, I'm not a big talker, I always feel comfortable hanging out on a Friday night with these dudes and finding some way to stomp all over the opposition in whatever game we're playing. Good teamwork with good people is hard to find and I don't take that for granted. After a shit week at work, I always look forward to hanging out and shooting moving objects on a TV screen with some good (likely drunk) dudes.
Thanks to the people on this list, and the entire community really, for making Destructoid a fun place to be a part of. (Except that one guy. Fuck that guy.)