So, I had made a decision that I wasn't going to participate in the Last-Gen Hero/Zero articles. I read everything that everyone was posting, and didn't feel that I had much to add. Most of the games I enjoyed or disliked were covered, and the industry events that occurred were also being written about. Then, I thought of one thing I had not seen anyone write about.
Talk Amongst Yourselves.
This will be short, but overwhelmingly sweet, so gird your loi- I mean prepare yourselves.
I have spent a good portion of my life online. I started young, with an Apple IIe, and quickly ascended to using IBM AT/XT models with 1200 baud modems and that brought me to my first online community experiences. Bulletin Board Systems. Many of my geek friends were running their own boards, and we spent hours playing MUDs and flaming each other on various forums. Above all, though, was a sense of community. We'd often help each other out in various ways, offer reviews and opinions on different things, and when we weren't having flame wars, discussed interesting topics. Of course, like all good things, the era of the BBS came to an end. We used mailing lists, AIM and ICQ to communicate with each other, but the community slowly died off.
Over the years, I was part of various game sites, message boards, forums – you name it, you can probably find an account listed under LoserMLW. I tried time and time again to find a place to call home; somewhere that I felt like I was contributing to, that felt like that old BBS community from so long ago.
In August of 2013, I stumbled upon TAY. I was a regular Kotaku and iO9 reader, and commented here and there. Following a link to Talk Amongst Yourselves from an article on the main site, I found myself reading everything posted there. Then, I read everything posted on TAY Classic. Sure, there was a lot of "good natured ribbing", but the overall feel of the site was exactly what I was looking for. People who shared one big common interest, and then naturally shared all of their other interests as well. Then and there, I decided to write something for TAY Classic, my article got promoted to the front page, and I've been slowly worming my way into your hearts (and other internal organs) ever since.
TAY has given me that home; that place where we talk not only about gaming, but about EVERYTHING. Life, food, art, travel, current events – even Furbys. Nothing is forbidden, everything is permitted – that Assassin's Creed phrase really fits the bill here. Not only do we talk about everything, we treat each other with respect and dignity. Heck, even when we're assaulting each other with cat and dance GIFs, or we disagree vehemently on whether Red Dead Redemption or Mass Effect is the best or worst game of the last generation, we're civil and usually pretty fun. Respect is the rule of law, and it's a rule we never have to enforce.
Over the last generation of game platforms and games, I've gotten to play as an assassin, a Pokemon trainer, an adventurous photographer, the Dragonborn, and countless survivors of different genocides, apocalypses and catastrophes. However, when I'm on TAY, I get to be the most interesting, challenging and mysterious character of all.