10 years is a long stretch of time. From the moment I started this blog on this very day a decade ago until now, I’ve experienced the majority of my 20s and am now deeper into my 30s than I’d like to admit. In that time, I established my career, got married to my college sweetheart, and we bought a house together. I also gained weight, sleep less, and heal from injuries a lot more slowly than I used to. It’s not all wins, but thus is life.
During that time, I’ve grown and changed as a gamer as well. On this day, being the actual 10th birthday of the site, let’s look at a few ways in which I’ve grown as a gaming enthusiast.
I’ve open my mind to new experiences
Growing up, I developed a deep – and ultimately unhealthy – sense of loyalty to Nintendo. The “Big N” is still my favourite game company to this day, but for the duration of my formative years, I refused to buy anything without the Nintendo Seal of Approval. By the time I had started In Third Person, I was just starting to break down my walls. Already had an Xbox 360 by the time I started this, and would buy a PlayStation 3 in year two of the site. Nowadays, I consider myself to be platform-agnostic, though PC still eludes me.
With a desire to cover more games on the site, I ended up trying a lot of games outside of my comfort zone. There were no shortage of duds, but it also exposed me to other titles and genres I never would have given a chance. Young me would never have given games like Telltale’s The Walking Dead: Season One, Catherine, or the Mass Effect series the time of day, but the memories of those games are now etched in my heart. Even the games I didn’t end up enjoying, such as Lollipop Chainsaw or (gasp) Journey, were a net positive, as I now have a better understanding of my taste while having more knowledge to connect with others.
The big difference between young me and old me is an openness to find new hobbies. I once wrote off board games and comic books as being “too nerdy” for me, but I’ve found a lot of enjoyment in both. Don’t knock it till you try it!
I’ve opened my heart to different points of view
This site will always be heavily skewed towards my perspective, but I think I’ve become more conscious of how someone else views the world of gaming. We all have different perspectives, and everyone’s should be treated with respect. While I may be critical of a product or service, I don’t ever want to speak ill of those who enjoy it. Like what you like!
In particular, the differences in age seem to wildly colour one’s perspective on games. It’s was easy for me growing up to identify with gamers of a similar age, but there were always gamers older than me who saw that world through a different lens. The difference is even more dramatic when I connect with gamers younger than me. I’ve connected with gamers on my stream who were just infants when I started this site! Gamers growing up then, versus now, versus 10 years from now, it’s not necessarily a matter of which era was better or worse. It’s just a matter of understanding the gap and bridging it together.
Reflecting back on my own life, I also feel like I’ve been guilty far too many times of playing gatekeeper. “You must play this!” or “You’re not a gamer unless you’ve played X” or what have you. Trying my hardest to scrub that out of my system. We can all have a great time engaging with the hobby however we want without persecution, so I’m trying to do my part by not being that jerk.
I learned that I can achieve a lot if I put my mind to it
One of the longest-running threads on the site is my journey through the world of fighting games. Notorious for being one of the most difficult genres to learn and master, I came into it as a scrub and came out…short of being a master, but still pretty good. Never thought I’d hold my own in tournaments, beat fighting game legend Justin Wong in a match, beat Street Fighter pro Smug in a match, or place at or near the top of multiple online leaderboards across different games. But with thousands of hours of practice, study, and testing my skills in high-pressure situations, I improved well beyond what I thought were my limits.
Coming out of all of that, the thing I’m most proud of is the Universal Fighting Game Guide. My way of paying it forward to those who made the fighting game resources I learned from, that guide is still circulated around the web daily by others who deem it to be a valuable teaching tool. If my work aided you in your quest for fighting game competency, that’s amazing!
Another major milestone in my gaming lore was the Extra Life marathon. Putting on that show was kind of the culmination of everything I’ve learned through the process of running In Third Person over the years. From writing about the event, to setting up the stream, to coordinating people from across North America to participate, it was a beast of a project that ended up working out incredibly well. It was an idea years in the making, and it really pushed me to learn new skills, but I helped make it happen.
I’ve learned that not everyone on the internet is a scary monster
Before I go any further, I must stress that you should proceed with caution when you engage with anyone on the internet you don’t know in real life. There are too many stories of situations going bad with strangers on the internet, and it’s not hard to get mixed up with the wrong people. Be careful!
Having said that, I’ve interacted with some great people along the way. Appreciate all the comments I’ve received and exchanged. Have had the opportunity to collaborate with some awesome creators through blog posts, podcasts, and streams. Most surprising is the fact that this journey has blessed me with some special friends whose reach goes beyond the bounds of our shared interests in gaming and content creation. You know who you are, and I appreciate you for everything.
So much about me and the site has changed in 10 years, but at the end of the day, I’m still here. Still journaling my life in gaming one post at a time. Hoping to still be doing this for many more years to come! Thank you all for your support throughout the years and happy actual birthday In Third Person!