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Two Years and Time Flies

It was with some amazement today that I realized just how much time has passed since I first joined GIO.

Unfortunately, I didn't catch this with enough time to make an anniversary post, but as of tomorrow, I will have been here exactly two years and one week. I remember when I first came here. I was doing my regular blog, Dave's Buttoned-Up Mind, and posted a few video game articles there. None of my friends and family who might be following that blog like video games at all, so those posts would die a totally unseen death. I came looking for another site where I could talk to fellow gamers.

I was a Game Informer subscriber, so after a little bit of looking around, I decided to try this site. I checked into some of it, and then stumbled across the fact that there were actually user blogs on here.

User blogs? On a gaming site? Yes, I know it's not totally unheard of, but it was to me. This fascinated me like you wouldn't believe. Even more so when I went looking through the blogs and saw these interesting-looking blogs by this guy named "Saint." I think one of the first posts I saw (and this might have been linked from elsewhere) was his how-to blog on either blogging or how to break your blog into pages (something I still don't know how to do). I thought he was an employee of Game Informer at first, but was quickly disabused of that notion. He was just a user, like me and you (well, like you, because I'm unique).

On May 22, 2010, I did my first post here. It was a review (of sorts) of Assassin's Creed 2, and I don't think it's very good. It was copied over from my original blog. I had explored the "rules" of the site, and thought that as a subscriber, my blogs would show up on the blog list immediately rather than waiting until I was level 5. I was also quickly disabused of that notion too (there was a lot of disabusing going on at the time). That review currently has 85 hits.

I persevered, though, even as I kept commenting on other people's blogs. I posted 13 more blogs as a sub-Level 5 user, none of them getting many views. I so desperately wanted to get to that level so that others could see my work without having to actually search for it (because, let's be real here, nobody was going to go searching for them). I hate those users who abuse the point system by posting inane comments, so I always made sure that what I had to say was relevant. I did, however, post at times where I might not have otherwise, just because I wanted that level.

I even went ahead and posted my "gaming history," because that seemed to be the rage at the time. Never mind the fact that nobody was going to be reading it (and compared to my post-Level 5 blogs, that's still true), I still wanted to be part of the crowd.

Finally, I hit Level 5, and I was so happy that I had to crow about it. I probably would complain about somebody doing that now (I'm such a curmudgeon). It was a milestone for me, because it was nice knowing that my work would get out there and be seen.

It still didn't come immediately, though. Many of those early blogs still have a minimum of views and comments (with a couple of exceptions). This showed me that it wasn't enough to be a certain level in order to be seen by people.

You still have to bring the goods. People aren't going to read you if they don't like what they read.

That's why I've always tried to blog here with integrity, to make sure something's worth posting. Yes, some blogs are frivolous, and I did do some "filler" blogs when I was trying to keep up with Saint's posting every day. I quickly disabused myself of that notion (see? The disabuse never stopped) and just posted when I wanted to. I wanted there to be a reason for what I posted, even if it was just to entertain. No pointless Top 10 lists (nothing wrong with Top 10 lists, and I have enjoyed most of the ones I've seen on here, but they're usually not my cup of tea to write) in order to have something on the site. There should be meaning behind it, a little bit of effort.

I have taken some hiatuses from the site, including recently. Mostly it's been a time issue, where I've been strapped for time and my attempts to keep contributing to the site felt more like work than fun. That's when you know it's time to take a break.

My blogging has also morphed a bit. I still write some serious issue blogs, and I've always used humour in my posts, even the serious ones unless the topic didn't call for it.

But now, comedy blogs are far more prevalent than they used to be. I find them fun, but also incredibly difficult unless I have the right inspiration. I can tell when that inspiration's not there because the jokes seem lamer than usual and I have trouble making them even as close to coherent as they eventually come out. However, some of the best ones (like my Night at GI Review Headquarters, which is still the most-viewed post in my blog list with the exception of a Red Dead Redemption ending post) were super-easy to write because the inspiration was wrapped up in a nice bow and lovingly laid in a basket on my doorstep.

I think this says something about bloggers in general, though. I think we all change our styles a bit as time goes on and something else catches our fancy. Even Saint's style has changed slightly since I first saw him two years ago. I mean...he's writing comedy blogs now! Who would have thunk?

So two years. It seems like just yesterday sometimes. I've made some wonderful friends on the site, many of whom I still see on Twitter even when I'm on hiatus from here. There are too many to name, but just a few are Tactical Rash (he was the first person who was really reading my blogs, even before I reached Level 5), Saint (of course), Chris (ye' old Demon), Oni (I'm suffering from a severe blog boob shortage...but also one of the best bloggers on the site, i think), and so many others. Whether you're young or old. Shootist, Saint, and myself are of an age, I think, with some a few years younger. Yet many of the other cool people on the site are 18 and even younger! That really does give me a bit of hope for the next generation.

I've greatly enjoyed my time here on the site, even when I have been away. When I do take a hiatus, a lot of times it's because I don't have anything to write about. I've always enjoyed taking part in group projects, though, and even when I'm not around much, I'm always willing to make time if it's something that catches my attention. You just have to ask.

Now, two years and a week later, 156 blogs later (I really wish they'd fix that "Advanced Editor" blog count bug), I am once again making an effort to rejoin the site that's never far from my heart, even when I'm not here physically (and by physically, I mean checking it daily or even hourly, since I'm not in Minneapolis and can't cohabitate with the web server, but wouldn't that be a nice image?).

It does seem like a short time ago that I came on here in search of a place to blog about video games. Little did I know just how much of a community I was joining.

Or how much I would come to love it.

Here's to many more years to come.