I have a confession to make. It came to my attention after seeing this article and reading this comment. The problem is that my intentions, although they're fine now, were somewhat dubious when I initially joined TAY. For this I apologize, and I ought to explain.
I have been visiting Kotaku since 2011. I first made an account in order to make this comment. I was new to online forums and discussions at the time, and my earliest comments were embarrassingly weird. Like, seriously bizarre. Then again, I was pretty weird back then myself. But at least, I was happy.
And then came the game. The game. The mysterious, nebulous game which so boldly stands on my contact page, yet which I almost never talk about to anyone here anymore. It exists, And I'm trying for the fifth time to learn programming in order get it done. It's one of the most excruciating experiences of my life, but I accept that it must be done. (wish me luck!)
But it's been there, and when I was laying out the core concept of the game, I wondered how I'd get anyone to notice it. Enter Talk Amongst Yourselves. I'd been following it for a while, and a thought occurred to me: Maybe if I'd managed to make a name for myself here, I would already have an audience by the time the game was released, however long that would take. The rest was pure evil.
I had to ask myself, what would make me stand out? If I was going to make a name for myself, how would I do it? Well, as someone who had been interested in game design since preschool, and someone with a compulsive study habit, a obsession with deconstruction and analysis, and...the spark to light the fuse...internet access, I had managed to absorb a staggering wealth of information, regarding the history, art and craft of interactive media. Thank goodness you never tried to start a conversation with me in middle school. I would have never stopped talking.
I had also synthesized some ideas of my own in the process (The biggest reason I want to learn programming is so that I can get my hands dirty and put these ideas to the test.) I seemed to think myself very clever (barf,) and delighted in the thought of sharing what I'd learned. And thus we wound up with my first article on TAYClassic, "The Imaginary Line," which was eventually shared to TAY main. It was literally transcribed from my personal notebook. All I could think about was recognition and notoriety...and then something strange happened.
The comments came in. We discussed the ideas the essay pushed forward. And I liked it. I liked being able to start conversations, and through the people I spoke to I began fall further and further into TAY, further and further in love with TAY. I liked what I saw. As time passed, my "master plan," which involved heavy crossposting to a Wordpress blog (now dead) and a Tumblr (which has since become a completely different animal,) fell further and further into the background.
My fourth essay, entitled "What if Video Games aren't Games Anymore?" was the point at which I finally stopped caring.
The discussion that arose from that article was, and will be infinitely more important than any cheap advertising gimmick, and now I was able to recognize that. I began to realize that writing these things are a worthwhile goal in and of themselves, and I began writing them more and more for their own sake. It was cathartic, I guess, getting these thoughts out there. I don't have any real friends where I live, ad sometimes it feels like I'm screaming into a void. You might not have realized it, but you TAY folks went from being my victims to my audience before finally becoming my family. I can feel the urge to cry welling up as I write this.
When it came time to launch the Tumblr blog, I couldn't really keep going on with it as a cross-post receptacle, and it has since begun to assume a unique identity. I might even have taken it down if it hadn't received so much traffic.
There was a draft idea in my backlog labeled "Introduction to Sweet Dreamer." I never wound up getting around to writing it. Not that I don't care about the game (It invades every other waking moment of my day-to day life!) but know pandering when I see it, and I'll back off politely. (Also, it may take longer to make than I thought, so no use talking about it now.)
I'm going to be honest: I'm a lousy essayist. I'm ridden with typos, I drone on too long on some subjects while underdeveloping others, and my sense of humor is often a wall-banging headache. I'm obviously not cut out for this kind of thing, and to be honest it was only supposed to be temporary. I thought I could write a few things, make a few friends, sell the game and then pack up and leave. The thought makes me cringe.
But I could never really leave, could I? In a sense, you redeemed me. I owe you at least for showing me how to comment like a normal human being.
And I'm not going to stop writing, either. As botched and unprofessional as my writing may be, some of it actually gets to people. And that's beautiful. I want to contribute to the major debates and discussions that are turning the gaming world today, to add to the grand conversation. If I can do that, I'll be satisfied. As for mainpaging? It's a plus; the more people I get to talk to, the merrier. But I'm not going to obsess, or pout, or whine if I don't get that. A talk with the TAYtrites is as good as any. (But seriously, Tina...)
I'll stick around here, too. Maybe I'll even get the hang of Photoshop and master the arcane art of GIFs.
I want to be here now, more than ever, and I apologize for bring the wretch I was when I first discovered you. You don't have to forgive me. It's okay.