It was the March of 2010 that I first came here onto Gameinformer Online. Over many months, GI slowly became my de-facto source of gaming news, videos and editorials. For that first year and a half, I sort of just... existed. I was here, but I never went farther then the front page. That all changed in the October of 2011. It was then that I took my first steps into the community, posting around in the groups every so often. Slowly, I delved deeper into the community, eventually coming to where I am today: an aspiring blogger and community member. In little over a year, I went from zero to Team GIO hero. Along the way, I've met many people, both good, bad and fantastic. So to commemorate this occasion, I took the opportunity to answer some questions set by Stranger, a good friend of mine, in regards to the community and it's people.


1. Many GIOers have forged lasting friendships with other members here. For the sake of brevity, let's limit this first question to two or three members. Now, with that in mind, with the couple best friends you've picked from amongst GIO, why did you become friends with them? How did you meet on GIO? And, what makes them continue to be great?


For my first choice, Im going to have to go with a guy named Robo LoCicero. Many of you wouldn't know him, partly because he isn't active on the site anymore. He is Likely my greatest friend on the site, and coincidentally, he was also the first person who I had really made contact with. Dramatic, funny and slightly ridiculous, Robo is one of the most friendly people that I've met. In the year plus that we've known each other, he has been a person whose opinion I can rely on. He steered me towards buying Bastion,which I loved, reading Homestuck, which is fantastic, and led my eventual acquisition of Bioshock a mere three days ago (thanks again, ThisFreakinGuy). And although he can be somewhat maddening at times, with his fanboy level enthusiasm towards Homestuck, but through it all, he remains likable, friendly, and above all, a great friend.


Stranger, however, is a different matter entirely. I've only recently begun to talk to him, but in those short months that we've known each other, he has become one of my favorite people to talk to. Whether it be over Twitter, Skype, or GIO, he always manages to find some way to cajole me into something. It's through his incessant nagging that I have more than two blogs written, and that I participated in Team GIO this year. He's helped me get through many a writing slump this year, and helped me slowly improve the quality of my writing. As a matter of fact, it may be because of thin that my literature grade this year is holding on. Although he can be, ahem, strange at times, I can always  count on him to be there. At least I can, when he has Internet...


My last slot on this list goes to Papercamm. Although he has little presence here, many GIO members who visit our Twitter "group" (if you can call it that) have gotten to know him, and seen the utter brilliance that is Papercamm, or Camm, as we affectionately refer to him. Camm is... A character, to say the least. His perfectly timed and expertly crafted responses have gotten me more than my fair share of stares in public. He's comical, charismatic, and can always manage to bring a smile to my face, no matter how down in the dumps I feel. His fascination with griffins, birds, and now foxes have been the butt of many a joke, but he manages to take it all in stride, which is the trait I admire about him the most. Camm is a great friend, artist, and all around wonderful person. Give him your love, people. He deserves it.


2. If you're reading this, then you're probably at least a passing member of the blogging community. Who is your favorite blogger here? What draws you to their works over any other? And what is your favorite blog by them? If you want, feel free to do a couple here if one is just too confining.


My favorite blogger award goes to Stranger. As I mentioned above, I love the guy to death, and he is one of the only reasons that I manage to continue blogging. I read more of his works than any other, and always find them insightful, thought provoking and all around entertaining to read. Heck, I would go as far as to compare his writing to that of several GI employees. As a de facto pre-reader, I read nearly all of his current blogs before he posts them. After he gives me a blog, he always asks me whether he should post it or not, and each and every time, the answer has been a resounding "yes".   As for my favorite blog by him, that would have to be the GIOvengers. Co-written by Jolt, this blog remains one of the most entertaining that I've ever read. It manages to characterize many prevalent GIO members very well, giving them powers based on their respective nuances. And even though all of his blogs are great reads, he still manages to convince himself that he has little to no talent writing. This humility makes me love his works all the more. He never seeks the fame that comes with his many blog herdings, but he deserves each and every one of them, whether he thinks so or not.


3. We've forged lasting friendships, but we've also met many other people in this community since we've been here. Name a more recent member you've gotten to know and like shooting the breeze with. What made you make their acquaintance in full? And why do you enjoy talking/interacting/stalking them?


I'm going to go ahead and use this opportunity to mention DJH. We knew each other existed, but we haven't really conversed with each other until recently. The Sasquatch is kind, and endlessly gracious in conversation. I think we first talked to each other through one of Jolt's Twitter bouts of mocking, and we've been doing so ever since. He's a fun guy, especially with Jolt around. I'm also going to go ahead and use this moment to mention Jolt, everyone's favorite cynic. He can manage to be completely serious one moment, then talking about god-knows-what the next. All of his #Giggity-ing over Twitter has led to many a hilarious moment. If you aren't following him, then quite frankly, you're missing out.


Before I go on to the next part, I'd like to recognize another member whose acquaintance I've made lately: Caudex. We've talked many times over Twitter, discussing our favorite books and games. Recently, he also managed to get me into Dungeons & Dragons and other tabletop RPGs, through weekly games over Skype. We, plus several other GIO members, get on, and utter ridiculousness quickly follows. Thanks to his efforts, my weekends have been a little less dreary.


4. We've have a lot of great community members here at GIO, some of whom make excellent people to draw inspiration from. Who are a couple of the members who inspire you, and/or have inspired you in the past? How did they manage to do this, whether directly or indirectly?


On the subject of inspiring community members, none are more so than Saint. Where do I even begin? He's easily one of the best bloggers on the site, putting out fantastically written pieces every few days. He's a site moderator, and he's been given the responsibility of conducting the Blog Herding feature on the GI homepage every Thursday. Without him, I don't think the GIO community would be what it is today. And even though he serves in the military, writes 1000+ word blogs every few days, reading every blog each week for blog herding, and moderating the blogging section, he still manages to find time to help and give advice to aspiring young bloggers, myself included. Kudos to you, Saint, for being a shining light for the entire community.


Another inspiring member of GIO, to me at least, is DeadmanWalking. This is the guy who got me started blogging in the first place. Through his supporting words, I managed to finish my first two blogs, and eventually post them. Personally, I didn't much care for them. I thought there were sloppily written and poorly constructed. He pushed me to post them, and lo and behold, people liked them. So, in a way, you have him to thank for my being here. To this day, Deamer remains one of my favorite people on the site, with all of his wacky antics and love of Caps Lock.




5. People often slip under the radar for many other members, or are otherwise underappreciated amongst the community. Who are a few of the people who stay out of the limelight and yet still manage to impact the community in a positive way? How do their contributions reverberate throughout the community, or even just to your own experience on the site?


For the first part of this, I'm going to mention Orochi Assasin LEVON and Mojomonkey12, two of the new moderators of the site. Levon is someone who I see often in the comments section of user blogs. He reads many of them, and gives bloggers honest opinions on their works. And those blogs that he particularly enjoys, he shares over Twitter, letting those of us on their which blogs/bloggers to look out for. And in Mojo's case, his podcast, the JACKED UP Indy & Mojo show has become one of the most popular community features, keeping listeners up to date on the gaming world, and even managing to nab some guest appearances from people in the industry. While I myself haven't listened to it, it's he'd to deny that it it is one of the larger things to come out of the community. And all this without going into Mojo's, Brian Seavey's, and many others' huge effort on organizing Team GIO for Extra Life. For this, you have my respect.


For this, I'm going to be very broad and choose the GIO Brony group in its entirety. Love it or hate it, the show which brings the group together has had nothing but positive impacts on its members, who spread the show's message of love and tolerance wherever they post. The group moderators especially have been a great influence on the community as a whole. Their number includes Mray901, Pizzaking92, God of Irony, ThisFreakinGuy, SuperKingC77, DeadManWalking, iDreamRunner, AnotherMatthew, PRjumpman124, and formerly Stranger and Zonified. Ever heard of any of them? I wouldn't be surprised. None of them bring attention to themselves, but whether it be through blogs, forums, comments, Twitter or Skype, the moderators and members of the group are everywhere, being kind, supportive and fun. This group, this wonderful, amazing group, is where I got my start, and what got me coming to GI every day I could. So think of this as a thanks, of sorts. Thanks for keeping me around long enough so I could meet all these wonderful people, and become a part of something great. It's been one year since I started here on GI, and what a year it was. Here's to what I hope will be many, many more.