Ones and Zeroes -- A Milestone
This is a notable entry in the growing GWJ canon, particularly for those of you who, like myself,Ã‚Â enjoy pointless milestones.Ã‚Â This marks both the one thousandth front page post at GWJ, and also the hundredth Maximum Verbosity/Daily Elysium.Ã‚Â GWJ opened its game loving arms to the world on January 15th 2003 with the triumphant Maximum Verbosity article Welcome to Gamers With Jobs.Ã‚Â Looking back I wish IÃ‚'d produced a grander work, something more befitting what the site has become, but instead the article was an awkward piece of personal introduction and fumbling groundrules all mingled with an almost pathetic plea for attention.Ã‚Â Thus was the foundation of GWJ poured.Ã‚Â The article generated one comment, an entirely accurate statement of mild confusion by a member who appears to have stuck with us through all of three days.Ã‚Â You see then, why IÃ‚'m so surprised weÃ‚'ve come to this milestone at all.
Look, before I get too deeply engrossed in this exercise, letÃ‚'s describe it accurately.Ã‚Â This article is little more than a strained pat on our own back, a continuation of the theme paved so early on as I plead for ever more attention.Ã‚Â ItÃ‚'s what we writers do.Ã‚Â We try with dramatic flair to turn your eyes our way.Ã‚Â The vast majority of literature could easily be summed up with the sentence: hey, look at me, arenÃ‚'t I clever?Ã‚Â So, if you could continue to indulge me without significant verbal abuse as IÃ‚Â trip lightÃ‚Â a few memories IÃ‚'d be indebted.Ã‚Â The reminiscence will likely be composed of barely related disjointed ingredients, as memories often are, but they will all be required elements of the GWJ arcana upon which you will all be tested in the years to come.
Though we describe January 15th as GWJÃ‚'s launch day, and my own Welcome to Gamers With Jobs as our first article, we are, in fact, completely lying.Ã‚Â As it turns out Welcome to GWJ is the fifth article we posted, the first of which being an incosequentialÃ‚Â news item regarding Counter Strike 1.6 posted in the early hours of January 14th.Ã‚Â ItÃ‚'s an interesting post in that it shows how perilously close we came to going in entirely the wrong direction.Ã‚Â Ã‚Â As it turns out, it's exceedingly difficultÃ‚Â to create a gaming website without being a copy and paste news service; seems unnatural to do otherwise, like breathing in water, or buying an Air Supply CD.Ã‚Â The other four articles leading to launch day were no better, needless trumpeting of Unreal 2 going gold, and some patch notes of AscheronÃ‚'s Call 2 Ã‚– where I entirely drop the ball and call the game strong and developing nicely.Ã‚Â A keen eye, have I.
Thank God something stopped us before we plodded down that awful course.Ã‚Â We did spend some part of the ensuing weeks needlessly dumping bulk news that youÃ‚'d just as easily have found at Blues or Shack, but it became clear early on what we enjoyed doing, and what you seemed to enjoy reading.Ã‚Â This is why the tale of GWJÃ‚'s creation remains, to this day, one of my favorite pieces IÃ‚'ve written.Ã‚Â In fact, it feels like the very first truly GWJ article as I think of them now.Ã‚Â It has all the required parts, ponderous wording, run-on sentences, clumsy jokes, and Certis insults.Ã‚Â Ã‚Â We've been formulaic from the start!Ã‚Â [side note: Entergament is still a bad name for a website]
I recall an almost tactile tingle of excitement as our fledgling site was born.Ã‚Â I know weÃ‚'ve said it before, and now it probably sounds like slightly annoying self deprecation, but Certis and I were hoping for perhaps fifty visitors a day in our humble beginnings, and would have been pleasantly surprised with one hundred.Ã‚Â When we had five hundred visitors that first day and averaged a couple hundred each day after, we were simply amazed.Ã‚Â Some of you even stayed.Ã‚Â I canÃ‚'t explain that.Ã‚Â Ã‚Â
As we pressed on, hopelessly encouraged by readers, we Ã‚– and by we, I mean I Ã‚– searched for a voice, which brings me to the War to End All WarsÃ‚Â (the fifth Maximum Verbosity).Ã‚Â ThisÃ‚Â marks the first time someone described an Elysiumism, which is a special kind of tag I wear with pride.Ã‚Â If mine is to wear the cognomen of Thesaurus Boy, then I shall do so without complaint!Ã‚Â Ã‚Â I also stand behind the position I posited toward ParadoxÃ‚'s Hearts of Iron Ã‚– that being that Hearts of Iron is an intimidating monster that creeps off your hard drive while you sleep and sucks your brain out with a straw - and remain as befuddled by the game now as I did then.
The catharsis of reflecting my difficulties with the games that grace my screen onto all of you felt very very right, which is, I suspect, how all critics get their start.Ã‚Â Not long after my humbling discussion of Hearts of Iron, I tried my hand at a more traditional review, or rather impressions, of Panzer Dragoon: Orta.Ã‚Â Unfortunately the exercise was dry as noon on the Bonneville Salt Flats andÃ‚Â full of stock phrasing.Ã‚Â It even had a score, which is part of the shameful past of our youthful indiscretions.Ã‚Â It was clear to both Certis and myself that we needed to strive for something more interesting with our reviews, something that fit into the formula.Ã‚Â Enter the Conference Call.
For me, even though weÃ‚'ve only done a few of them, the Conference Call is the most fun review anyone could hope to write.Ã‚Â And, though I lack perspective, I think it a much more interesting read.Ã‚Â Our first, andÃ‚Â my favorite, is the Freelancer Conference Call which was entirely an experimentÃ‚Â in exploring the possibility thatÃ‚Â simply posting an argument Certis and I had over ICQÃ‚Â could generate readers.Ã‚Â To our absolute astonishment, GWJ was not banned from the internet altogether the next day.Ã‚Â
As I go through these oldest articles now, I also take a special kind of pleasure in seeing many familiar faces introducing themselves so early on.Ã‚Â I look at the communities of most other sites and see them in a constant state of flux, never establishing true roots.Ã‚Â While not everyone who hasÃ‚Â visited stayed for pie, and other,Ã‚Â newer membersÃ‚Â simply werenÃ‚'t aware of our existence, IÃ‚'m gratified by the consistency of GWJÃ‚'s community character.Ã‚Â Some of you lurk, some contribute to our forums nearly every day, and some of you have even joined us on the front page.Ã‚Â We'd be long gone without you guys.Ã‚Â So you have no one to blame but yourselves!
I look back in fondness at the collection of Maximum Verbositys I've accumulated.Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Never have IÃ‚Â been as succinct as my expression of hatred toward April 1st (which was edited down from an inaccurate news item about LucasArts bringing suit against some mod developer).Ã‚Â WeÃ‚'ve had discussions of books, television, games, music, award shows, and of course the occasional blatant filler article. IÃ‚'ve admitted to you my failings and successes, talked about the pleasures of being a new father and had a beard photoshopped onto my newborn sonÃ‚'s face.Ã‚Â IÃ‚'ve had moments of abject cynicism followed almost immediately by almost bi-polar enthusiasm.Ã‚Â But, in it all, IÃ‚'ve just enjoyed writing these wordy missives for you, and have every intention of ejecting them out as long as any of you are willing to hang around.Ã‚Â
I like numbers (IÃ‚'ve told you about that as well) so when I get all those zeroes in a row I canÃ‚'t help but trumpet it.Ã‚Â IÃ‚'m the kind of guy who piles everybody into the car on a Saturday afternoon to drive triumphantly over the 100,000 mile mark.Ã‚Â I might even take a photo if thereÃ‚'s a place to pull off.Ã‚Â Today GWJ turns 1000 posts old, and Maximum Verbosity 100.Ã‚Â ItÃ‚'s much farther than IÃ‚'d have ever expected, but I feel the momentum to double that like wind in a sail.Ã‚Â And when we do reach 2000 and 200, then rest assured I will steal a momentÃ‚'s time to reminisce.Ã‚Â
I now return you to our regularly scheduled content, already in progress.
(For the purposes of fulfilling all required elements of the formula I submit the following:Ã‚Â Certis is dumb.Ã‚Â Thank you, that is all.)