Destructoid and I? We go back a ways. It's the first gaming site that I ever called home. I grew up with Jim Sterling, Dale North, Andy Dixon, Conrad Zimmerman, Jonathan Holmes, Chris Carter, and many of the other legendary individuals who helped sculpt this place. Hell, I was even fortunate enough (albeit briefly), to write as a contributor here myself. That opened the doors for me to become an editor and technology reviewer for Culture of Gaming, and really embrace my passion for gaming media.
But none of that is what truly makes this place so awesome. Yes, it was a doorway for me. It gave me a venue to write about gaming. It introduced me to great (and sometimes, not so great) writers who felt that same love for gaming as I did. It taught me to critique, and be critical of gaming. It allowed me the opportunity to try new games, and get new experiences.
That is not what Destructoid is all about though. I've had my ups and downs with this site, but there is one staple that holds the very fabric of this site together. The one thing that has brought me back, time and time again. That ladies and gentleman, is the community.
Whether it was in the early days of the forums, or now posting images of Big Chungus in the qpost, this community is more valuable than gold. Destructoid's community is full of some of the most generous, kind, and supportive individuals I have ever met. To have so many incredible individuals all under one roof, for such a long period of time, is truly remarkable. It is something that you simply won't find in other places.
And I can't even tell you where it all comes from. I really can't say what brings all of us together. Maybe it's the lewd, borderline NSFW toilet humor. Maybe it's Mike Martin's sweet buttcheeks. Hell, maybe it's just the simple fact that we all really just like video games (what a concept, I know).
But no matter who you are, or what you're going through, this place offers something for everyone. More importantly, everyone has each other's back. Sure, we all don't get along all the time. What kind of crazy family does? But when push comes to shove, we come together. We stick things out, through thick and thin.
If it were not for this website...my life would be in a very different place. It taught me to appreciate video games, movies, anime, sexuality, hell even health. I've met a lot of interesting people over the years, and each of them still stands with me to this day. I learned to be myself with Destructoid, and I learned that it was OK to be myself.
It may just look like a gaming website from the outside looking in...but it's so much more than that. We all know it. Niero knows it. I truly, and genuinely love this place, and couldn't be more grateful for the many ways that it has touched my life (in dirty and not dirty ways). Here's to you, Destructoid. May the fart jokes never get old.