Can you believe it? 7 years online. Most game sites die during this lifespan, but we’re here to stay. Even though we have only a small fraction of readers compared to other game media giants, we are thankful for every read we get, particularly when they’re associated with comments. We’re here because we love writing about games during our free time, as evident from the site’s first 4 years when we were stuck with web 1.0 HTML and almost no interactivity with the readers whatsoever. Ever since I experimented with a WordPress-hosted blog for E3 2009, the doors have opened to bigger things out there. With that in mind, here are my personal top 7 moments with the site:
7) co-hosting our first podcast: which is thankfully hidden in the depths of our podcast RSS. Justin Joseph and I decided to hold our first podcast together for E3 2007. Justin, new at the time, was our resident Nintendo fanboy, who has since changed his ways to being a multi-console owner. I’d like to believe that part of that reason was how terrible this podcast was. We had a lot of trouble setting it up, which caused us to re-record the whole thing again. We initially planned to do it through Skype, but didn’t know the means to record our full conversation. After a quick search, Justin stumbled upon an-add on called Hot Recorder, which was a waste of 40 bucks. Our audio was entirely screwed up in the first recording, so we went back to the drawing board. The answer was quite simple (thanks OC ReMix); all we needed to do was record our audios individually then combine them. That effectively made things lag-free and easy to edit through Audacity. In addition, we didn’t lead each other well in the podcast itself; Justin ranted about every single game announced from Nintendo’s end, and I decided to collectively talk about Sony and Microsoft’s announcements in brief instead of going into detail…with Justin offering little to no interaction with me whatsoever. This came off as both of us being Nintendo fanboys. Not to mention my constant stuttering and search for the appropriate words to say…Porky Pig, indeed. Those were the good old days. We got criticized from listeners and Jarrod himself for the whole thing. Since then, we have mended our ways, but have never forgotten that hilarious day.
6) Praise for my Baten Kaitos review: I’d like to think of that as my crowning moment in the site. It’s the first review which was widely praised by my fellow staffers back in the day. I even got praise for the first time from readers. One even offered me a job for his site after reading that review. I respectfully declined of course.
5) Discovering a sense of humor: unexpectedly, some of our staff find me funny. I love sarcastic writing, but I never knew that I had it in me until our COE people started laughing. First, it started as inside jokes in our private forums; I used to host a regular “Roast of the Year” to complement our “Game of the Year” awards. Then, it progressed to our site’s RAQs (Rarely Asked Questions), which you should check out in your free time.
4) 2009: a year of many happenings. Our first E3 as a site. Our first meet-up. Our first web 2.0 contributions via blog. I still remember Justin’s overly-enthusiastic “first contact” video, in which he surprises he heck out of Jarrod and Tim in McDonalds with an in-your-face guerrilla-style filming. I still smile when I watch this because it’s filled with enthusiasm.
3) this video:
By far our most popular contribution to the interwebs. I think we created a mini-meme with this one because the intense mixed reactions to FFXIV is simply priceless. Discussion is still ongoing in this video due to how FFXIV sucks so much right now it’s still free-to-play.
2) Being dugg: another piece I’m extremely proud of is my talk of pirating videogames and how it’s affected the gaming industry in Saudi Arabia, my home country. A year after I wrote it, I discovered that someone posted it on digg and I had 45 thumbs up. I’m going to write something similar soon. Trust me.
1) an obvious one: meeting Jarrod Nichol. I know we mention this often, but we never grow tired reminding ourselves of how surreal it was. Jarrod happens to live in Montreal, and I happened to have a medical elective there during the summer of 2007. It was weird because we’ve known each other online for so long…and it felt bizarre at first to be face-to-face with someone from the internet. Thankfully, Jarrod broke the ice quick by mentioning that he’s not an internet predator as we walked through old Montreal. We managed to catch a flick and even do some gaming (Vampire Rain made us laugh because it’s so bad, and Bioshock surprised the heck out of me). As Jarrod likes to say, I live the furthest away from him, yet ironically met him before anyone of our other COE staffers.
Here’s to another 7 years! Expect our staff to chime in with their own top moments! Until then, we hope ‘re liking our current content.