One of my favorite pleasures is getting to kick off each new year with a virtual birthday party of sorts. Launched on January 15, 2003, I am happy to announce that Gamerswithjobs.com has just turned a rambunctious five years old.
It feels like one of the milestones birthdays, a threshold crossed where we can say with some confidence that the site has carved a niche into the gaming media landscape. Each year our voice grows stronger, and though we've been slow and methodical about growing the site, like an old man wearing a hat riding the brake in the fast lane, we are no longer exactly small anymore. The result is a site I'm proud of; one with excellent writers, a vibrant community, diverse content and a respected reputation.
Happy five, GWJ!
I say it every year, and this will be no exception. Any success we've enjoyed running and operating GWJ is a direct result of you. A community is irrelevant if it has no participating members, and to those that fill our forums each day with information, comedy, opinions and passion, you are the backbone of GWJ. To those who read the articles and participate in more passive ways, you are no less important; as theater requires an audience so too do we. To those who contribute their time, effort, money and sweat to our gaming media experiment, well our thanks for that are boundless. If there is one thing that still surprises me about running this site, it is how willing people have been to take time out of their busy lives to help us, including our writers, our tech shamans, those who donated to the site, down to the people who send in emails for the podcast. Your invaluable participation is too often unrewarded, but powerfully appreciated!
It's been a good year for GWJ. Kudos go to Julian "Rabbit" Murdoch for penning the most visited article in the history of the site with his tale of a Guitar Hero God performing at a big box electronics store. I don't normally like to give out any kinds of specifics on site stats, but I can tell you that the article in question has been viewed more than one-hundred thousand times. That's probably why professional gaming publications keep, and should keep, hiring him to write. He is the 2007 New England Patriots of gaming journalism; a compliment which I'm certain will make him happy despite my certainty that he still couldn't tell me who the running back for that team is.
One of our big plans for this past holiday season was the launch of the updated GWJ site, a surprise we'd been holding close to our vest for most of 2007. While the cat may be out of the bag, some technical bugaboos have cramped our style a bit, and like the games we cover we were forced to push back our launch date and extend the beta. Nonetheless the contributions of Jeff and Eric in getting that project rolling have been and continue to be huge, and we look forward to bringing the new GWJ up and online early this year.
Also this past year, I feel like the podcast has really begun to come into its own. Thanks need to go out to, among others, guests like Ken Levine, Jeff Green, Michael Zenke, Russ Pitts and Brian Reynolds for participating in the show and offering their perspectives on gaming. Also, thanks to Liongames.com for their sponsorship of the show during much of 2007. These are all people that help turn a show that might otherwise just be four guys talking about things on which they know very little, into a show that I think is informative, entertaining and, despite my best efforts, intelligent. Thanks need to go out here to Rob "Gaald" Borges, who spends a half-dozen hours every week editing the poorly recorded and largely incoherent sound files we send him into a solid show.
There's just not enough credit to be given to the writers who have contributed to this front page over the past half-decade, those still with us and those who have moved on: Lara "KaterinLHC" Crigger, Julian "Rabbit" Murdoch, Jeremy "Nyles" Greenfield, Adam "The Fly" LaMosca, Cory "Demiurge" Banks, Colleen "Momgamer" Hannon , Julian "Spunior" Dasgupta, Russ "Fletcher" Pitts, Stephen "Chiggie" Failey, Phillip "Lobo" Scuderi, Allen "Pyroman" Cook, Ian "Malacola" Irvine and probably someone who I am tragically forgetting and to whom I offer eternal apologies. Also, a special thanks needs to go to both Pyro and Matt "Baggachipz" Curtis for their tech support over the years.
Now, I've come to the part of this article that I'm going to like the least. As much as I am loathe to do it, I have to thank Shawn "Certis" Andrich, for "… well, God, where do I start. How about this: thanks for being a stubborn pain in the ass. No, seriously, when it comes right down to the guy who actually moves things forward, takes good ideas and turns them into actual action, who just buckles down to the hard work while I float in the stratosphere of concept and theory, this is the best partner you could hope for. You could try and enumerate all the hats Certis wears on this site, but you'd just end up needing to open a hat store to sell them back off. He's the guy that keeps the lights on, that herds the kittens and that manages to think of the little things that I'd entirely forget about. His knowledge of gaming is encyclopedic, he's got a good writing voice when he exercises it, he "… can I stop complimenting him yet?! Just suffice to say, if there was no Certis there would be no GWJ.
You probably already knew that.
Five years is an accomplishment of which I'm mighty proud, but I'm more confident than ever that it's just the beginning. I feel like we're on a roll, and the last thing I want to do is lose any of that momentum. We've got a lot of plans for 2008 and year six. Stay tuned.
[edit: I will burn in the special hell for not mentioning Sway. Not only did he create the fantastic Infinite Lives, and contribute articles for the site, and bravely open a box in his attic; he even came with us to our first E3. Sway is the man, and I'm going to go write his name 500 hundred times as penance.]