1 Year at Destructoid

So, err… I’ve been here a year. As of this blog, I have been here exactly one year. How time flies. So, what have I achieved round here? Well, in a single year I have 1 blog on the front page, joined the reservists, joined the recap team and I even landed one paid piece for Kotaku UK. Not bad for a bored teenager, not bad at all.

That being said, there are some things I’m not too happy about. Lately I feel the quality of my blogs has declined. There are reasons for that, bloody good reasons. As you probably know, the quality of one’s work is strongly tied to their passion, which is in turn strongly tied to mood and that would be why I feel this way. Since I started university about 6 months ago I’ve been avoiding depression with highly variable degrees of success. I won’t go into how this happened, not because I don’t want to talk about it (I strongly believe that it is important to talk about mental health openly) but because it is largely the result of someone else being cruel to me (plus the knock-on effects) and I don’t want to discuss it without knowing their side of the story. Furthermore, resolving the problem the easy way depends on them but I have it on good authority that they are a coward who refuses to face up to their actions, or even apologise for them – which sucks. It means I have to pick myself up the long way round – writing helps with that, and being a recapper ensures that I keep writing.

The reason I bring that up is because it has led to evaluating what I think of human nature. I thought this person was nice and I was very, very wrong. Truth is, everyone is an asshole. You, me, everyone. The principle difference between those who are good and those who are bad is, in my eyes at least, intent. Anyone can screw up. We all fall victim to our own psychology and do stupid things. Everyone can fail to listen, or fail to realize what they’ve done. The difference is in those who try to avoid this and put it right when they fail. In this way, Destructoid is (usually) awesome.

It pushes for diversity without crossing into censorship. It manages to be informal yet informative. It keeps its hand clean from those flashy press kits and publisher events that come with free phones. It keeps its editorials clearly distinct from news (usually via a box labeled ‘Jed’). It has Chris Carter and his rather excellent reviews. It is one of the few gaming sites in the world that knows of numbers less than 6. It gives me and anyone a space to blog – for free, with tools that are now only slightly wonky. I can even get to the front page. It’s a place that I can enjoy discussions about games with people who similarly care. It tries to be awesome and succeeds. It has even made me burst out in laughter.

That comment made my day.

So what next for James’ Internet Ego (which is not a Freud based joke, btw, that’s just incidental)? Well, I’m quite happy doing the recaps, even if we don’t currently have any active reservists (more on that in the coming days). The process is a bit of a bitch if the editor is playing up, but it’s stable for now. I will try to write one really good blog a week, and once exams are over that won’t be a problem. Whilst they are ongoing, less so – uni is hard work.

I’d also like to do the odd review. It’s something I’ve experimented with a bit, but I find that when I go to write one I find myself thinking of a great idea for an editorial, and writing that instead. For example, I’d like to review Knights of the Fallen Empire as each chapter comes out, but after the last one I decided to put my effort into a piece about how Bioware has become trapped by its own iconic creations, a blog that will probably see the light of day sometime after I finish my first exam in 1 week. I’m not looking forward to that, 2 hours of constant writing. Also, I’m getting near the end of the year, which means I am not entirely sure if I’m done or forgetting something really important. Probably the latter, my uni likes to spring things on us on short notice from time to time.

Also, my most anticipated game of the year, Stellaris, comes out on May 9th. It is basically Europa Universalis in space, with space things. Having seen the developers stream their Blorg campaign, and as a sci-fi and strategy fan it looks perfect to me, and I may blog about my first playthrough with it. And finally, I’d like to get another piece on the front page in the next couple of months – that’d be swell.

Time for another year of Destructoid.

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