Ladies and gentlemen of Giant Bomb, this is my two hundredth blog post.
I've been trying to come up with a way to mark the occasion in a way befitting such a milestone. For my fiftieth blog, I wrote up a retrospective looking back at some of my personal favourite entries. For my hundredth, I related what I hoped were some thought-provoking ideas shared by me and my ex-girlfriend about the role of failure in games. For my most recent milestone, the hundred-and-fiftieth, I wrote a pretty controversial piece on why Pokémon isn't for us anymore. With milestones of that calibre, this one had a lot to live up to. There is one blog I've been wanting to write for some time, to do with the way the backs of video game boxes are designed. I even went as far as starting to write something, but couldn't seem to articulate my points well enough and so I've slipped that one back into the filing cabinet for another day. The other idea that I kept coming back to was to use this space to promote some other blogs, ones that I read regularly and are definitely more worthy of your time than this little bit of the internet that I've carved out for myself. That is what I've ultimately decided to do with this two hundredth blog.
Other Blogs You Should Read
Over the course of these two hundred blogs, I've been fortunate enough to have amassed a respectable number of followers. While I'm pretty proud of this space, and hugely humbled by the fact I'm considered worth following by so many, I still believe there are other writers out there more worthy of your attention. Bloggers who consistently put out incredible content, and who deserve a much bigger reader-base. These are the guys who consistently slip just under the radar of the more prevalent members of the blogosphere, shining in the shadows of the likes of Sweep, Dalai and Video_Game_King. So to celebrate my two hundredth entry, I want to promote some of my personal favourite under-appreciated writers by sharing them with the community. Please, check out their incredible work and follow them - all are more deserving of your time than the stuff I put into the blogosphere.
I've been following ahoodedfigure's blogs for quite a while now. He's a fantastic writer with some interesting ideas, and he puts those ideas down in sentences so clear and well-formed that I find myself feeling envious whenever I reach the end of one of his entries. His entries often concern the mechanics of games, sometimes proposing interesting ways of solving problems that those mechanics might have caused to occur. When he's not thinking about something like what a Survival mode in Skyrim might entail, chances are he's probably decrypting gaming terms with altered meanings, or playing some old RPG he's recently bought from Good Old Games. Engaging, insightful, and invariably worthy of discussion, hooded's blogs are some of the finest on the site. If you're not already following him, please go and do so now.
Another of my long-time-followed bloggers, ArbitraryWater has pushed out some fantastic content over the last three years. Like hooded, his preferred domain is the games of yesteryear. His semi-serial approach to blogging has produced features including 'I Offend You By Playing Old Games' (later re-named to simply 'I Play Old Games'), which look back on games from previous generations; 'Ruining My Childhood', a semi-nostalgic, semi-cynical view of games he held dear in his younger years; and 'Misadventures in DOSland', which sees him playing ancient PC games, complete with accompanying video footage. That's not to say he only plays old games, though - alongside I Play Old Games, Arbitrary also writes the occasional 'I Play Modern Games', too. The most recent addition to his arsenal, 'Arbitrary Impressions', provide mid-game breakdowns on lengthy titles. All of this is delivered in a clear, informative style that makes each entry a pleasure to read.
One of my most recent discoveries here on Giant Bomb, [insert title] is the name of Alaska_Gamer's weekly serial blog. Each entry offers up a well-balanced mix of thoughts on the games he's currently playing and other, non-game-related stuff. He writes well, justifying his opinions and giving some really interesting personal insights into each of the games he's writing about. Even though I only started following [insert title] recently, I can already tell that this is one serial blog I'm going to look forward to every week.
A relative newcomer to the Giant Bomb blogosphere, Mento has nonetheless managed to quickly establish himself as a valued member of the site with his well-crafted and incredibly interesting blogs. He covers a wide variety of games and subjects, but never fails to put out something that's both insightful and thought-provoking, making each blog a perfect platform for community discussion. As if that isn't enough impetus to get you to click that Follow button at the top of his profile, he also closes off each blog with a few game-related, Paint-drawn comics which are very funny, and invariably feature JC Denton in some capacity.
It's impossible for me to pin-point exactly what it is about MooseyMcMan's blog that makes it such a joy to read. It could be the way he writes with clarity, confidence, and personality. It could be the ways in which our gaming tastes and overlap or conflict, making his opinions all the more interesting for me to read about and understand. To be honest, it's probably a combination of both of these things. A damn fine writer with thoughts worth sharing, Moosey probably proved that best with his 2011 awards ceremony, the Moosies, a blog full of personality which highlights a genuine passion for video games in a way that never comes off as obsessive. I'm really looking forward to seeing what content he produces in 2012, and all of you should, too. Go on, hit that Follow button already!
Ok, so this isn't a Giant Bomb blog per se, but hear me out. You all know JJWeatherman, right? The guy who everyone thinks is Rich Gallup? Yeah, that guy! Well, he used to keep a blog here on GB, but has since migrated to a new personal blog, titled 'Put A Blog On It'. A mixture of anecdotal coverage and well-articulated opinions, Put A Blog On It encompasses not only video games, but also music, television and technology, all delivered in the warm, fluent style that JJ established as his own back in his weekly serial, Cloudy With a Chance of Gaming. Right now, he's keeping track of his time with the Star Trek Online MMO - content that is well worth reading, and that's coming from somebody with no interest whatsoever in Star Trek or MMOs. Hopefully Put A Blog On It will continue going from strength to strength in the coming months.
I'm not going to beat around the bush here - Sparky_Buzzsaw maintains what is, without a doubt, my favourite blog here on Giant Bomb. Sorry Sweep, Dalai, Video_Game_King and all you other awesome bloggers, but I cannot tell a lie. Sparky writes with a tone that exudes friendliness and familiarity, to the point where going through one of his blogs feels less like reading and more like sharing a chat over tea and biscuits. It definitely helps that he's got the substance to support the style, too - his opinions are always well-informed and well-structured, adding weight and justification to every single argument he makes. His periodical Sparky's Updates are solid proof of this fact, sharing interesting ideas about his latest gaming experiences while still maintaining that warm, friendly tone that makes reading them such a pleasure. His most recent contribution, a look at both the history and the future of the Assassin's Creed franchise, is a great place to start, but every one of his hundred-plus blogs is a fantastic read. This man is more deserving of your blog-reading time than anyone else I can think of. Follow him. Now.
A final cheaty one here. I realise that this blog has nothing to do with Giant Bomb, or video games (save perhaps the occasional mention of Yahtzee on the iPhone), but Richard Herring's Warming Up is still more than worthy of a mention and definitely meets the criteria outlined above. Herring is undoubtedly my favourite comedian currently working in the UK, his comedy at once thought-provokingly intelligent and wonderfully puerile. Warming Up, his own personal blog, has seen an entry every single day for over nine years, making it (allegedly) the second-longest-running daily blog on the internet. Sometimes funny, sometimes ridiculous, Warming Up is nevertheless always worth a read. If you appreciate good comedy, or simply want to support it, then do this man a solid and check this blog out.
Well there we go - two hundred blogs. Three-and-a-half years ago, when Giant Bomb first crawled out of the primordial internet soup and evolved into the website we know and love, I had no idea that my short introductory entry would spawn so many successors. If you'd told me then that come January 2012 I'd be celebrating its bicentenary, I'd have probably laughed it off. And yet, here I am. It's incredible to think how far it's come, and as always I'm both humbled and grateful to be read and appreciated by such a fantastic community. I'm already in the process of planning something for the next big milestone (I'll be properly prepared for two hundred and fifty) but in the meantime, I hope you won't stop reading or enjoying, because I'm certainly not going to stop writing. Take care guys, thanks very much, and I'll see you around.
Currently playing - The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (X360)