It was early winter 2002 when Shawn Andrich, a guy I sort of knew pretty well through a website we had both worked on together, came to me with a remarkably bad idea.

“We should make our own gaming website,” said he.

Shawn was criminally young, probably 12 or so at the time. I couldn’t possibly say for sure. I was still in my twenties, which is to say I was 29, and as a result idealistic, easily influenced and prone to questionable decision making. Were he, brash and Canadian as he is, to come to me now in my wizened old age of 39 with such an idea, I would probably put a brass horn to my ear and say, “Eh, what’s that sonny?” It would look ridiculous.

However, as the adult in the conversation at the time, it was probably my responsibility to point out at that moment, as others would over the coming weeks, that creating a gaming website was a fool’s errand that almost certainly would lead to nothing more than headaches and a significant, probably lasting blow to our egos. After all, the last thing the world needed was another website about video games.

What I did say is, “That’s a great idea!” Or something similar. Probably there was some sarcasm and pointless pontification involved, but an affirmation was the relevant core of the response.

And thus was hatched a scheme that almost certainly would fail quietly and unobserved by anyone: to create a gaming website designed to appeal to mature gamers. Gamers with families and mortgages. Gamers who were interested in more than just guns, gore and girls. Gamers with some sense of sophistication and passion. Gamers, one might say, with jobs.

And yet, here we are exactly ten years later. Yup, exactly ten years. And two weeks. And two days. And probably a few hours later. Ok, what I’m saying is I missed our ten year anniversary. Let’s celebrate anyway.

Ask me what I’m most proud of about Gamerswithjobs. Go ahead do it. I’ll wait.

Thank you for asking.

If you go back to the very first post to GWJ ever, which occurred January 13, 2003, you will find our “mission statement.” I realize having a mission statement for what is essentially your video game blog can seem a little pretentious, but, as it turned out, having a core ideology for our games site proved an important compass from which we charted an uncertain path. And that mission statement was this: to provide wide ranging content relevant to the adult gamer, and provide a community for all aspects of mature gamer culture.

Here’s what I’m proud of: Ten years later that is still exactly what we are trying to do. In a decade during which the site could have gone astray countless times, we have held true to the reason we gave it a go in the first place. That feels like a pretty big accomplishment to me, who frankly can barely hold a single plan through a long afternoon.

Also, it’s super-easy to screw up running a games site. Or screw up writing about games. Or building a network of contacts. Or creating a community. Or moderating a community. Or starting a podcast. Those are all things, looking back, that I see fraught with countless pitfalls and certain failure. That I was able to be part of an endeavor that was successful at any one of those things is the sort of accomplishment that, if it came with a ribbon, I’d frame and hang that ribbon over the mantle. I’d take a picture with it every year and send it as my Christmas card. I’d put it on my tombstone: Here lies Sean Sands who did not f*** up starting a podcast.

That we’ve had any success at all of those things, if you are willing to concede that we have, is the kind of good fortune that I think ensures I will never win the lottery. After all, you don’t get that lucky again.

I don’t mean to overplay the “Aw shucks, I didn’t do nothin’,” card, because all of us who work on GWJ put a lot of hours into making this a place worth coming to. I’ve written a lot of words — some that came easily and naturally, far more that sputtered out awkwardly and stubborn — and committed hours to the content of the site. But the thing is, it hasn’t been a burden or felt like work (at least not usually), and I would never want to cast it like that. Had GWJ been something we did to turn a profit or to aggrandize our egos or to break into the industry or any of that, then it would have been done and gone before the first year was out.

And that would have been fine, because that site wouldn’t have been worth your time. That site would have been what a lot of people suspected GWJ was at first, a sputtering flash in an overcrowded pan. A pointless exercise from people with too much time and not enough heart.

But I also won’t say GWJ has succeeded because Shawn and I somehow love it more than the people who have stepped in our shoes before with no worse intentions or desire. A lot of things came together over the years to allow the site to continue and thrive. Part of it was that, for a long time, both Shawn and I had the professional flexibility to put the time and effort in. Another part of it was that I do think we were able to carve out a niche that distinguished us during the days when new gaming sites were all about aggregating news and quick-hit headlines. The biggest part though, was the phenomenal writers and talent that have invested every bit as much into the site as we have. Writers and contributors who have my head spin with their talent and my eyes occasionally leak salty, manly tears when they tell their own stories.

Without them, again it just would never have come together. Within a short time Shawn and I would have virtually high-fived and consoled each other on a good, honest effort, and … well, I really don’t like to think about what that future might have been. Because, for me, GWJ isn’t some website I slap my name onto every now and again, or a hobby that I’ve done to entertain myself for a few years.

It’s so much more important to me than any of that. It feels very much like a part of me, something that is entwined into my own identity now. That might sound stupid or maudlin or like some nonsensical exaggeration, but I stand behind it. Not having had this site in my life, this community by my side, this family ... without all of that, the story of my past ten years would have been drawn in darker hues. This site, and by extension I mean all of you, has magnified the joyful times in my life, and has comforted me during the hard times. You were there for the birth of my sons. You were there when I began my own business, and when it folded. You were there when my heart failed me, and when it was fixed. You were there the day I thought I had lost my son. I was stronger in all those moments because of this site and because of you people who have joined us on this strange, wonderful journey.

I have met you, and every single time have found someone who made my life a little richer. You have told us what the site means to you, and you can’t imagine the pride that gives us. So many of my now best friends would be unknown to me had Shawn never had his crazy-stupid idea.

So, I celebrate ten years with a little bit of navel gazing and possibly a bit too much self-congratulations, but mostly with a thank you, because as we’ve said time and again, GWJ is nothing if not for you. You who have contributed words and ideas. You who have joined the community. You who have supported one another through good times and bad. You who have been generous to us and to this community more than I would have thought possible. You who have been interested in having a meaningful conversation about this culture we share. You who have visited or read or listened.

You are the reason this site exists.

Someday — I don’t know when — the last article will be penned for GWJ. The last podcast will be recorded. The last post will be written in our forums. The last day of will come, and the lights will go out and it will all be over. That is a thing that will happen … eventually. And, assuming I’m still kicking around on that day, the sadness I think I will feel will be as keen and sharp as any I’d want to imagine.

I mention this only because I know, for me, these are the lucky days of my life. I hope they hold fast for days and months and years and, yes, maybe decades to come. This site, the partnerships we’ve built, the friends I’ve made through it, are a large part of what makes these days lucky. You make me feel fortunate beyond what I could possibly deserve, and so I want to breathe life and keep the lights bright on this site for as many days as I can. And I think I still can for a long time.

So what do you guys say?

Are you up for another decade?

I think I’m game.



Let's do this thing!

Frarkin Froggos, Sandy. I can't imagine anything else.

10 more years, 10 more years (at the very least)!

You have my axe!

I definitely can't put into words how much the site has helped Sthillary and I out, let alone as eloquently as the rest of you lot can.

I just hope the lights are still on when Kannon Jr is of the age to appreciate it. I'll definitely be around.

GWJ won't die. It'll just pass on to the West.

For 10 years, I drink this 10 year Laphroaig tonight for you. And tomorrow night. But mostly last night.

Ten more at least!

I don't post much (might be my 2nd or 3rd here?), but really felt I needed to on this! Thanks so much to you both Sean and Shawn, and to everyone else at GWJ! Awesome site, and the podcast is always at the top of my list!


I haven't been a member for this site very long, but I'm just so happy that I stumbled into it. This is a wonderful community, and Shawn and Sean have done a great job.

I am also 39, and when I think back 10 years ago - wow - it's been a hell of a decade.

*something poignant, sans Tolkien reference*

Also, hells yeah, ten more years!

Whenever the rest of the internet gets me down, I know that I can always come to this island of sanity. When my wife's grandfather passed on in 2011, Stylez, who only knows me from one S&T and my posts on this forums, offered babysitting for my wife and I to get a night out.

That offer still brings tears to my eyes.

Seeing the community rally around everyone, be it for a Loot Drop for kids, a new PC for a nephew on hard times or money to help community members in their fights against cancer or to let them learn more about what their child has been diagnosed with gives me hope for the internet.

Cheers and thanks to all who make this community what it is.

I can't count the times GWJ has overcame my unfortunate cynicism about people. Or the number of times I've been thankful for the people on this site. The number of times I've smiled just thinking about this place. Or the number of times I've learned to understand someone else just a little bit better here. Even learned about myself on occasion.

All I know is the number of moments is too high to count. More than enough to make this a better life than it would have been otherwise.

Here's hoping I get another decade of wonderful moments here with the rest of you.

Having missed some of the previous ten, I'd say another ten at least! Crazy how organic community is often the best kind.....

I look forward to many more years with the wonderful folks that populate this corner of the Internet. I don't think I could imagine a stronger, more wonderful community. (Although, I'm sure we'll grow into one.)


All the years!

Is *Legion*'s interest in GWJ rising or fading?

Congratulations and thank you for all the time and hours. I look forward to many more years and the chance to start meeting more of the members of the site in person. Thanks for creating a place to bring us together.

Yeah, you can thank me by not making me edit live copy!

PS: I love you. Don't ever change, unless it's to better appreciate Chicago sports teams.

I'm sure I speak for many when I say that GWJ is the only interweb home I could want, or imagine.

Thanks, Certis and Elysium, for executing on a great, sublime idea! And thanks, Duffman, for telling me about it many years ago!

And I've been a part for almost half of that... I'll take that.

I remember listening to the Oblivion interview on the old GWJ Radio... So good!

momgamer wrote:

You have my axe!

You have bow! Before I joined I heard about this place over and over, now that I have been here these last 4 years I would feel lost without this site. It truly is an island of sanity in a sea of pwning noobs.

Mad props to the sys admin that's gone crazy over the past 10 years, and the yahoos who put him up to it

Let's do this.

GWJ has become a haven for the mature gamer like no other and we have you guys to thank for it!

Wow. Time flies when you're having fun! GWJ has been my homepage for the last 7,5 years now, so you must be doing something right

Congratulations and butt-pats all around!

I've been here since the start. Thanks guys : )

Member for
10 years 2 weeks

The fact that this wasn't mentioned in the podcast makes me smile. Sure, there's the milestone and it is indeed worth mentioning, but there's other stuff worth talking about. It'll be two decades before you know it.

I've been here for half of that and I actually still remember how I felt about the internet before finding GWJ. I was actively looking for a site that wouldn't make me frustrated - it felt like there's this wonderful opportunity that technology has brought us, and we're using just to make each other miserable.

My level of activity has gone up and down and sometimes I'm not listening to the podcast, but this is still the site I return to whenever I feel the need to connect beyond my real-life friends.

GWJ connects me to a mass of the nicest people on Earth. No other thing does that. So thanks for that, and let's see another 10. I'm looking forward to growing old with all of you. Congratulations, and thank you.

I don't post as much as I did when I first joined the site, but that doesn't change how much it means to me. I've made so many long lasting friendships here that I can't imagine what my life would be like without it. Thank you Shawn for your crazy idea and thank you Sean for saying "Let's do it."

When do we start the spin off site moderated by Rabbit and friends. Think of it as the minor leagues for grooming future AAA GWJ talent.


No! not that kind *Legion*!