Five Years of GWJ


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 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 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.]



Um... do we still say "woot" these days?

Happy fifth, GWJ! I've only been coming here for two of those years (a jobless gamer student, no less! The lies...) and I've just got to say that you don't need more than a day of reading articles and forums to appreciate what an awesome community this is. Grats!

Poppinfresh wrote:

Um... do we still say "woot" these days?

It's been abbreviated to "woo!"

Man, I hate piling on with little of substance to contribute but this occasion merits it.

Congratulations! and thank you.

I've only been lurking for a year now, but even in that small time I've seen the site group by leaps and bounds. This site is really the only one I visit with any kind of regularity. Thank you for making this safe haven for mature gamers.

Here's to many more years! Cheers!

Congratulations guys! I hope the site continues to grow and flourish for many years to come. I first stumbled across this site by finding the old GWJ Radio when I was looking for podcasts and what I found was an incredible oasis in the barren putrid desert of the Internet. I can't imagine my day without having the opportunity to visit the site and partake in this community. Long live GWJ!

I hate piling on too. So I will just add this.

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.

Glad you guys have a special relationship. We all benefit.

Seriously, though, thanks for giving the community kudos. All the excellent writers, sugar-daddies, podcast guests and regulars aside, what really makes this site for me are the people and how you guys handle moderation and the "vibe" you've created in the process. fedaykin said it much better. You've created a place I always wanted, a place where I could make friends and have fun with people who felt and thought similar to me. That's an incredible accomplishment, to give people some place they can feel at home and make friendships.

Great work guys, it's been 5 years of nothing but fun. If the next five years are anything like the first five it's going to be a helluva ride.

Enough back-slapping, where's the new site already!?

I keed...

Congratulations and thanks for the great community.

Congrats, I want to thank you for being a great place to visit, it has made gaming a lot more fun.

WOOT! (x5)

Congratulations to the best damn community on the internet.

Best group of gamers to play with.

Best content about this hobby/obsession of ours.

No better place to have your every post picked apart when you post in a hurry and your true illiterate nature comes out.

Happy Birthday GWJ!

I wrote for the short-lived Press Pass, I deserve mad props!

Attention whoring aside, Gamers With Jobs is like a responsible parent. A parent cannot raise a decent, well-adjusted child if the parent never puts a foot down and says "no, don't do that!". So many websites, even places like sites for major newspapers, have simply come to accept bad behavior as the status quo for the Internet. Very few places actually enforce a reasonable standard of behavior.

A lot of people have talked about the quality of writing, the intelligent discourse, and all of that stuff. And while all of that is true, that's not what I think of when I think about what sets GWJ apart from the crowd. To me, it's the standard of behavior, carefully enforced, that sets the tone for the rest of the site. It's what allows the intelligent discourse to be heard, and not lost among a sea of inane crap. It's what lets the site cultivate a steady-growing group of regulars who want to read thoughtful articles. Misbehaving children actually crave rules and structure, and can only begin to operate like functional, decent people when given it.

Hear hear to what Mr. Legion said, and I agree with everything he's said.

I really appreciate what everyone who writes, wrote, or will be writing for the site has done. It's because of your contributions, as well as the iron finger in the velvet butt Certis and Elysium wield, that have made this site something unique and enjoyable for all of us to visit, discuss, joke, and otherwise enjoy one another's camaraderie at.

Mazel tov!

At the risk of sounding maudlin, I can't tell you how much it means to me to have a voice here, and a part of what you guys are doing. Yes, it still feels like "you guys" because I still look up with childlike admiration to the Lobo and Kat and the other early writers who first draw my attention to the site, and in many ways to what good game writing might look like. Thanks for putting out the mat.

Great post, Elysium. I have to say thanks to you guys for creating a home away from home. Ever since i've learned of this site it has been my favourite place on the internet. First i came for the articles and then the podcast and finally for the forums.

I have to say though, the podcast has come on leaps and bounds since i started listening and it's not down to the guests (though they add a little excitement). The quality and quantity of the podcast (being regular is very important!) is amazing and is far and away still the best structured podcast that i've listened to. All those things could be missing and you'd still have one heck of a podcast because frankly you guys have a kind of radio chemistry that makes the show what it is.

*Raises glass*
Congratulations and here's to many more celebratory posts like this one!

I second everything everyone has said so far, except for this:

Rat Boy wrote:


which I raise to the power of ten.

Well...myself, and various others have gone through fantastic times as well as tumultuous times since we have been coming here. We have shared more than "just games" with the lot of the community, we have shared our lives as well.

I would like to go on record that I would gladly do pretty much anything for you guys. From the heartfelt condolences that I and others have received here in public and in PM's. To our relationships, to the goodgers that we have lost and everything in between.

I would be honored to call you my friends in person would the opportunity present itself.

I apologize for my grammatical errors but I am actually wracked with emotion even as I write this.

Thank you. Thank you for fostering such an incredible community that uses games as its "sideline", because in my eyes this place has been more like a family to me that just happens to play games on occasion.

Yeah, this is so true about the podcast. I love 1Up Yours because I know what to expect from Garnett Lee and Shane. They have personalities that I find annoying or funny, but they're predictable and interesting.

The Conference Call is becoming the same way for me. There is a familiarity and a certainty of the crew that is really strong right now. I kind of feel like I know Rabbit, based on the podcast. When a discussion comes up, I have a pretty good idea how he's going to feel about things. Same goes for some of the guests, actually. Ken Levine doesn't like reading text in game. As soon as this came up this week I smiled and knew where he'd fall.

And the Conference Call is one small part of the whole operation.

A drink... a great 5 years and here is to 5 more!

DSGamer wrote:

There is a familiarity and a certainty of the crew that is really strong right now. I kind of feel like I know Rabbit, based on the podcast. When a discussion comes up, I have a pretty good idea how he's going to feel about things.

Yeah, we know all about his hatred of the japanese.

Or am i thinking of someone/pod else?

I wish all of the staff at GWJ continued success! If I see any of you at GenCon this year I will buy you all a round. I'm not sure how to put it any better.

Wow, five years! A huge thank you to everyone for creating such an awesome site for all these years. It's the best gaming site on the Net and you've certainly fostered the greatest virtual community I've ever been a part of.

I can't praise you guys enough, so I'll just say "You rock!" \m/ \m/

No, thank you for the priveledge of being here. I learned a huge amount from my time posting and mixing it up with the gang, but it pales compared to this last year of writing.

Hurray for the first five, and let's all raise a glass to many more!

Happy B-day. I was drawn in by the podcast and stayed for the community. It's been a great find and a key part of my enjoyment in the latest games.
Keep up the great work!!

I spend most of my time lurking here, but I'll gladly uncloak to congratulate the GWJ team. Five years on the internet is like a geologic age!

Screw all this patting on the back! What did you get me as a present?

My only regret is that I've been here 3 1/2 years, and not all 5.