Happy birthday, Niero and Dtoid!
Destructoid turned nine today! Can you believe it? This lovely place full of incredible people has been doing its thing for nearly a decade, and it’s not slowing down anytime soon. We can keep this wonderful, crazy community alive and thriving for years to come!
Destructoid has had nine great years of entertaining features, heartwarming stories, creative videos, zany podcasts, impressive community blogs, amusing forum threads, and all kinds of awesome stuff. Some of our favorite staff and community members have come and gone, but the spirit remains the same. We’re still the weird, fun-loving community we’ve always been.
This year, we’re celebrating by taking a look back at some of Destructoid’s best moments. Here are some of the staff’s favorite Dtoid memories:
Jordan Devore: One of the hardest parts about writing online, where feedback is fast and fierce, is learning to let your personality show. Putting your true, non-idealized self out there for the world to dissect. It’s scary at first. In fact, the fear of failure never fully leaves. But it’s also liberating. Former features editor Chad Concelmo exemplified this in his tenure at Destructoid.
His writing was just so personable, upbeat, and genuine. Not everyone “got” his brand of dolphin-infused positivity, but that wasn’t the goal. That should never be the goal. In one of Chad’s last articles for this site, he bravely wrote about how a special videogame turned his life around and set him on the path to becoming the person we know and love. It was, as he says, AMAZING!
Jonathan Holmes: Look, Ron Workman drinks. He was oftentimes a terror. With him as our public face, many people came to know Destructoid as a “cocks out” testosterone-fueled frat house of a game blog that just may pee on you in your sleep. No site could exist for very long if everyone on staff were like Ron. It would either explode from all the infighting or die of alcohol poisoning.
Still, when I think back on the times when I’ve been the most amazed with Dtoid, Ron’s [Cease and Desist] post always comes to mind. You can’t see it now, but when the post first went up, it ended with something like 1200 comments. The amount of energy Ron brought out in people was nothing short of astounding. That comments section was like a living, breathing organism unto itself, all under Ron’s direction. While modern Dtoid doesn’t have that much in common with the site’s “Workmeng” days, I like to think we’ve worked to keep that underlying energy in play. Unpredictability, honesty, and willingness to take risks. Dtoid does things better than any other game site, in part thanks to the tone set by Workman.
Rob Morrow: I’d like to add Jim’s feature on the desensitizing effects violence in games has on players where he tests the theory by surprising viewers with footage of a suicide. Holy crap, that was crazy.
Chris Carter: One of my favorite things about Jim is that he doesn’t take shit from people. No matter how many peers were stacked against him on an issue it wouldn’t silence him from giving his opinion, and the first thing that comes to mind is his discussion on “Art Games.” Virgilio Armarndio was the perfect character to call upon to talk about the controversial subject, and I’m still waiting for his indie masterpiece, Peaches, to come out of Early Access so we can find out what the hell we pledged all of that Kickstarter money for. Why is the question mark on his forehead? Does it represent our lingering, latent need for Peaches to be the best game of all time? We need to know, Virgilio! I miss you.
StriderHoang: It shouldn’t be a secret I’m a fan of Nic Rowen’s type of in-depth, nitty-gritty game knowledge features. I like to dig deep even if I don’t actually know the jargon like his Dark Souls talk. But this one is a favorite of mine not just to exemplify nitty-gritty talk, but because it has Gundam pictures. Fun fact, Nic used to be a stompy robot. Now he’s a robot trapped in the body of a man who once believed himself to be a robot. A robot that plays games about robots usually. Listen to this circle jerk logic!
Brett Makedonski: To be clear, the content of this review means nothing to me. Honestly, I’m not sure I ever even read it. It’s what this review represents that’s special.
Call of Duty: Ghosts was the last review that Jim wrote before leaving Destructoid. Like many others, Jim was the personality that I associated with the site. It wasn’t until I started working here that I truly saw how many amazing people it takes to make this monster run smoothly (sometimes) every day.
That’s why it hurt a bit when Jim’s leaving prompted an outpouring of “Destructoid’s dead” comments from the likes of reddit and NeoGAF. We weren’t dead; we were losing a great guy, but we sure as hell weren’t dead. That nonsense lit a fire inside me and caused me to work twice as hard to prove to all these people that never loved Destructoid in the first place that they were wrong. Fuck the haters.
Mike Martin: Destructoid is no stranger to epic comment threads. Whether by derailment, controversy, heated discussions and anything in between, we’ve had some epic showdowns over the years. One thread stands out the most to me though. Solatorobo’s review. It had everything you could want: drama, hatred, calling out the reviewer, fighting amongst the community, stupid pictures, staff interaction, salad, Stealth going apeshit and yet somewhere along the way it morphed into something else.
After the white hot fire of the review itself died down, we started trying to break 300 comments. Then it became 400 and continued on up to 500 and beyond. Over the course of two days this review became a playground for everyone to just push the comment count higher. There was still some anger (at the review and Stealth) here and there in the end, but it mostly turned into discussions about whether it was worth getting a 3DS yet (Holmes even made a crack about waiting for the two nub version) and just how big of assholes we were being at the time. To me that comments section captured the essence of Dtoid perfectly: We can all be assholes, we can argue, fight, be silly, be sweet, etc. Yet in the end, we still come together as a family to have fun. Staff and community members alike.
Josh Tolentino: There’s so much of Destructoid I’ll never forget, but the thing that comes up whenever I try to think of why I love this place is this video review for Saints Row 2. After watching Anthony Burch sum up everything great about that game in a single blast of crotch-kicking and “The Final Countdown”, I knew I wanted to be a part of a place that could do dumb stuff like that, all out of a love for games.
Robert Summa: We all know community is at the heart of Destructoid. So, I guess it’s no surprise that one of my favorite posts on Destructoid was this battle card game born out of the forum cesspool. I’m thinking we need to resurrect this idea and actually put out a Dtoid battle card game. Let’s do it.
Patrick Hancock: This is the post that got me into indie games. Like, for real.
I can vividly remember bringing up RunMan: RAtW to a friend of mine at a Halloween bash. “Yeah, it’s like Sonic but really flows. It’s actually way more about speed than Sonic has ever been!” It quickly became one of my favorite games ever, and helped me learn not to use “good for an indie game” as a qualifier. It’s amazing as a game. Period. It’s also the first free game that I donated to, because there’s no way that RunMan: Race Around the World isn’t worth money. Kudos to Tom Sennett and Matt Thorson and of course Anthony Burch for completely changing the way I approach the industry.
Ben Davis: Remember that time Chad helped a bunch of adorable puppies and kitties get adopted while also entertaining us with silly E3 predictions? I don’t think anyone could possibly top this amazing E3 post.
Darren Nakamura: Really, I wanted to pick the entirety of the RetroForceGO! run, because it was such a great podcast. The cast members worked so well together, bouncing ideas off one another and even having heated arguments at times. Really, the show could have been about anything and the cast would have made it worth listening to, but the focus on retro games set it apart from all the other shows where random people talk about whatever is happening currently. I miss listening to these shows, and the 100th episode served as a celebration of the whole run.
Stephen Turner: Poor Samit Sarkar, forever the butt of the Podtoid joke. He couldn’t be cool like Topher Cantler, a cheeky asshole like Anthony Burch, lovable like Aaron Linde, laconic like Brad Nicholson, nor quick-witted like Jim Sterling. He had to make do with the being the sports guy that tried to fit in. And God, did he try to fit in with hilarious results.
Floppy Bodies sticks in my mind solely for Samit’s “greatest” moment, like Icarus flying too close to the sun. Towards the end, he recounts, nay, rambles his way through a supposedly badass experience he had with Grand Theft Auto IV. Have you ever been to a party where someone has your ear and you just want to walk away, but there’s nowhere to go? That’s exactly what his storytelling is like. Everybody goes silent. It slowly dawns on Samit, his words petering out, that he’s lost their interest. Nothing but dead air fills the speakers. Burch bursts into laughter, followed by everyone else. He really tried, but as Topher once said, “Shut up, Samit.”
Jed Whitaker: I could gush on and on about the impact Jim Sterling has had on my life and how I wouldn’t be here without his influence, but instead I’m going to talk about Willem Dafoe pitches on Podtoid. Jim, Jonathan, and sometimes Conrad would come up with ridiculous movie pitches starring Willem Dafoe, often voicing Willem himself. There are such classics as Dr. Dickman’s Cursed Penis, and Blue Eye in the Brown Eye, but my favorite Dafoe pitch has always been Farmer Animals in which Willem Dafoe is a farmer trying to win the world’s best animal with his horse played by Keanu Reeves. Here is the pitch in full, if you can listen to this and don’t find yourself asking people, “Hey kids, wanna die!?” then you aren’t human.
Mr Andy Dixon: Though I’d already been hanging around pretty regularly for about a year when Dtoid turned four, it wasn’t until the man formerly known as Warchief Grim waxed nostalgic that I fully realized how truly blessed I was to belong to such an amazing fucking community. This motley group of gamers — be they staff, community members, or green-headed robots — loved each other like brothers and sisters, even though so many of them had never even met in person. It was something I’d never been a part of before, and my life has never been the same since.
Not only that, but the fact that this post was being written by someone who himself had risen through the ranks as a community member-turned staffer inspired me to start blogging myself, and by the time the site turned six I would not only meet face-to-face with many of the people who would become my greatest friends, but receive the highest honor of all: a chance to work for the community I had grown so fond of. These have been the best years of my life, and I am so thankful for everything this place and its people have done for me. I <3 you all.
Claire Sharkey: I’d like to include the Community Interviews (the directory can be found here). They offer a lot of insight into well known and lesser known members of the community who are active on the front page and the forums. It’s great to get to know more about the people we interact with and who contribute to the community.
Brittany Vincent: The entire team got together to create this beautiful disaster, and it was one of the most glorious moments of my tenure here at Destructoid. I can’t think of another place where my explicit Sonic fan fiction would be welcome. Sonic’s “big boy puddle” became a mainstay when speaking about the hedgehog around these parts, and Kyle’s legendary fan art was at its pinnacle depicting Darren about to snarf up a Sonic hot dog. Who could forget Sanic Hegehog’s Diaper Birthday? When I need a quick laugh, I search for this post when I can remember the name, and it makes my day every single time.
Niero: My favorite Dtoid moments were often off the front page (and in the middle of the street with 30 drunk people singing) but if I had to pick one it was probably Faxtoid. The posts are in the archive, but it was one of those days where you just had to be there.
A lot of my favorites have already been noted here, so I’ll add a classic Mr. Destructoid moment: Tacos From Hell. Dante’s Inferno sent us $200 and we ran around doing random things giving it away.
What do you think is the best thing Destructoid has done? Let us know in the comments!