Sure, there were times during the year when I thought I would just keeping going with the blog come January 1, or even start the next phase right away. Then, there were days where the end of the year couldn’t come soon enough, and I didn’t want to play games or write every again. By the end of the year, when I saw the light at the end of the tunnel, a sense of relief come over me and I felt like I could breathe. The last couple of weeks of the blog I was running on pure adrenaline and anxiety to finish. At the same time, however, I had an uncontrollable feeling of sadness. This blog was my baby that I raised and nurtured for an entire year, and to see it coming to end was devastating. I didn’t want to let go, I didn’t want it to stop.
But I had to. I was emotionally and mentally spent. I needed to rest and relax, and let it all sink in. I planned on these reflection pieces being written within a couple of days of completion of the blog, but low and behold, I think I started to enjoy the break and time away from it all a little too much. A month later, and here we are.
So this is the finale. The conclusion. My final thoughts and feelings about My Year of Gaming blog project. Instead of writing another 3000 words about everything I thought and felt about what I accomplished in a year, I’m going to do something different, more important to me. Besides, I don’t know if I can ever write enough words to fully describe everything I have felt over the course of the year, and that alone should tell you where I stand today.
This blog started out as a solo project to prove something to myself, about myself. One man, 365 days of video game playing and blogging. If I were to finish my journey, it would be because of me, and for me. That’s how I saw it, at least.
A funny thing happened though. The blog evolved, matured and developed organically, on its own. It changed, and for the best. It wasn’t about me anymore, it was about those reading it, enjoying it and relying on it to be updated on a daily basis. By the end, it wasn’t an accomplishment for me, it was a testament of how many good people I met throughout the year, and the great community out there who just like to play games and be good people.
I started My Year of Gaming blog project for me. I finished it not just for you all, but because of all you. So without further ado, I want to say thank you to all of those people who touched my life in one way or another this past year and helped make the completion of this project possible…
Mana Drake – for making my really cool banner that everyone got to see and enjoy every single day.
AIAS – for hosting that DICE Awards Twitter contest and setting everything in motion to give me the opportunity to say thank you to all these wonderful people.
Eric Bailey – for writing an awesome little article about my project, constantly showing love and having the guts and determination to write a review for every single NES game every released. Good luck bro!
That Damn Pixel – for conducting an interview with me about the blog for their own gaming blog over in the UK, and showing support from early on.
Mike Lynch – for bridging the gap between the sports world and video games with me, if only for a couple of hours a day. Also, your appreciation for “My Week Of Halo” was instrumental in reaffirming that was a nice addition to the blog.
James Carr – for inspiring me to do something greater, and to help me realize that it’s perfectly okay to dream big sometimes.
Seth Saltzman – for always being tied to TheNoyse.com, no matter how far removed you are from it.
Will Gray – for supporting me back when we were two young, dumb kids with dreams of the big time.
Robert Payne – for reminding me how inspirational music can be, on many different levels.
Scott Ellison – for not hesitating to let me pick your brain on the ins and outs of independent video game journalism. We’re all on the same team, and you taught me that.
Timothy Ronkainen – for literally retweeting just about every single automated tweet my blog sent out every time I updated it with a new posting.
Elaine – for being my spirit animal and usually the female version of me, specifically in game choices and opinions. More than that, though, for being there always as a friend when I needed an ear.
Ben Suri – for always being engaging and up for a discussion, especially for topics a little off the beaten path from the trending ones.
Edwin Acosta – for proving that independent video game websites can be important to the community, and for thinking of me for side projects.
‘N D O Tek No – for allowing me to utilize Twitter in every possible way and still not wavering in your support of all my projects.
Gamer Husbands Radio Podcast – for inviting me to join you guys for an episode, even though we couldn’t ever make our schedules sync up.
Geeks With Wives Podcast – for extending the olive branch and inviting me to jump on a podcast with you folks, even though I had to cancel due to my personal issues going down that week.
Video Game Hangover Podcast – for allowing me to challenge your opinions and inviting open discussion about them.
Jordan T & Boom Headshot Podcast – for having me as a guest on your show, and for just being the same geek every week.
AnnieDayNow – for having the best name on Twitter, ever. Oh, and for all your additional thoughts and reactions to my blog posts
E-Z Mode Unlocked Podcast – for playing my voice mail allowing me to talk about my blog, and further speculating what I would do after the year is over. Don’t worry friends, Phase 2 is coming.
Los – for being illusive, and your awesome blog projects for games that you’ve done this year.
Alex – for always having kind words and motivation.
Graduated Gamer – for reaching out and picking my brain about the ins and outs of blogging, and looking to me for inspiration. You’ve come a long way in a short amount of time, and I’m proud of what you have done so far.
Chelsea – for being truly inspirational in your own personal adventure. Your strength and perseverance is amazing, and I’m more than happy to call you a friend. Even if you do hate video games.
The entire Open Forum Radio crew:
Bill/Vladz – for being an amazing podcast producer and constantly showing love. Keep rockin’, brother.
TJ/TMO – for having the best transitions in the podcasting game, and dubbing me “the hardest working man on the internet.” No way I’ll ever be able to live up to the nickname, but thanks for the recognition.
Jimmy/AceBlack – for your comic relief on a weekly basis and backing me up on my assessment of the final boss of Metal Gear Rising Revengeance.
Henry Knox – for being someone that so many other people look up to. Respect to you and what you’ve done in this game, even though I’ve given you some Twitter grief over the year.
Larry/Blue – for taking a chance on a rookie podcaster and inviting me to join the OFR family. Your sheer intelligence is intimidating sometimes, but inspirational as well.
The entire OFR Community – for welcoming me as one of yours.
The entire 40 Cast Crew:
Keith – for never letting the friendly banter about what you’re playing effect you. And for being the silent assassin on the show, waiting for your chance to strike with a rant about something.
Eric – for keeping the streets safe, and for never being afraid to show love to someone when it’s deserved. Your friendship with Jay is remarkable.
Matt – for being true to yourself and your brothers, and for not holding grudges.
Denny – for instantly embracing me as a friend, and giving me a much needed pick-me up when I needed it the most.
Vic – for your constant support right off the bat, and giving me a chance to hang out with you and your friends a few different times.
The entire 40 Cast Community – for being awesome and dedicated to these guys who put out an awesome show every week. From the deepest part of my heart, I truly am sorry for certain things that happened that ultimately led to the current distance between myself and the show. I wish things hadn’t gone down the way they did, but lessons were learned and I think I am a better person for having to experience it all.
My Platform Junkies partners in crime:
Travis – for being an honorary member of our crew, and always filling in when we need you to.
Veronica – for being the spark that our podcast needed, always being humorous and entertaining (even when you are sleeping), and reconfirming my stance against ever getting into MMOs.
Tanner – for always being my devil’s advocate with true, honest, unfiltered opinions and points of view. Also, for being open to the idea of starting a stupid podcast with a guy you didn’t know at all. Despite our difference, it’s scary to think we are more alike than it seems, and I can’t tell you enough how much I appreciate your support with everything.
Ben – for coming out of your shell long enough to reach out and shake hands and start an awesome friendship. We may both be introverts of sorts, but everything you have done for our podcast doesn’t get enough credit and I can’t express how much I appreciate it. You’ve been there for me when I’ve needed it, and for that, I owe you so much.
John D. – for being so full of awesome, it took seemingly forever to get us both together on the internet at the same time. Behind the scenes, you’ve been super supportive of decisions and choices.
Jay – for being the talent, and the epitome of what being a good person is all about. If there was any doubt at all about how strong an internet community can be, you are proof positive that good things happen to good people. If I can be half the man in life that you are, I’ll be set going forward.
Eric – for being a key component in helping me reach out and grow my blog, allowing so many different people to read and enjoy it. Your initial kindness in inviting me to your podcast helped put this whole thing in motion, and your continued support throughout the year led to The Noyse becoming an affiliate of Geek Media Network. And despite you always putting my project on a platform above your “30 Reviews in 30 Days” project you did a couple of years ago, I never looked at it as a competition or tried to make my blog better than anything anyone else had ever done. Regardless, I appreciate the admiration you had for what I accomplished and I look forward to working side by side with you going forward.
Chris – for being the man to kickstart this entire thing, essentially. Your immediate kindness helped me get to where I am now, and for that, I am eternally grateful. I know you don’t and would never accept all the credit you deserve for this, but just know it’s there for you regardless.
My ex – for helping me find true happiness in life, despite how unforgiveable your actions and methods were in getting me here.
My kids – for being so amazing, and the reason I always strive to be a better person. I’m doing everything I can to be the best dad I can for you three, and I hope you all will appreciate that one day when you are older. You keep me going every day, and I love you more than I can ever properly express.
James – for listening to me and my crazy ideas for years. Good or bad, you have always supported me since we’ve known each other, and while I’m still not entirely certain what you get from our friendship, I cherish it nonetheless. I don’t know how you sit there and listen to me spout off idea and idea on such a regular basis, but if it wasn’t for your willingness to listen and give feedback, this entire project might not have happened.
Valerie – for showing me what happiness is and can be, and for bringing out the real Josh to the world, the Josh that isn’t embarrassed or ashamed of who he is or what he likes. Crazy to think that I was going through life before you came along, thinking it was okay to hide who I was, and to think that I couldn’t have a significant other that not only supported my hobbies and encouraged them, but wanted to be part of them as well. I want to and try to give you the world, because you gave me so much more. Wherever our path takes us in life, I will always be grateful for what you did for me as a person.
Last but certainly not least…
My favorite pizza guy, Slaterific aka Bill – for being the best fan and supporter anyone could ever have asked for. Seriously, you have been relentless in your support for me and this project, I’m practically speechless thinking about it. There were days I thought about just quitting, but knowing the disappointment you would have in me prevented me from ever getting that close. You would subtly check in with me if something seemed off kilter with me or the blog, and never once hesitated to call me out for slacking or getting something wrong. You picked me up when I fell, and kept me grounded when my heads were in the clouds. You’re the Flavor Flav to my Chuck D, and I mean that in the best possible way. Despite the fact you live half way across the country, I still absolutely consider you a friend, and I look forward to our continuing friendship. Thank you. Thank you for everything. You’re a special person, and I hope you realize what your friendship and support has meant to me.
For all those people who say you can’t have real friends online from the Internet, I would like to point out this last year for me and all the friends I have made online because of this crazy project of mine. To anyone and everyone else I may have forgot or didn’t mention, I truly apologize. I did the best I could. I am proud to say you are all my friends, and I know if I never needed anything, I have an amazing community to turn to. You all deserve way more than I can give you with one final blog post for My Year of Gaming, but it truly is the best I have to offer. My project became part of each and every one of you. The Noyse may legally belong to me, but in every other aspect, it belongs to you all.
I hope you are all willing to support The Noyse going forward. It was built by you, and will fail without you. I honestly believe that. Thank you all.
Phase two, coming soon…