By Foggen 50 Comments
This is a feeling I've had for a while, and I wanted to express it in some way, so here I go. I'd love to know what other people think about it.
It seems to me that the core of the site is and has always been The Giant Bombcast. That's where the craziest conversations come out, and where the site personalities have really shined, especially since it's the most digestible (for me anyway) medium for long-form discussions. What this means is that contributors to the site who don't appear on the Bombcast regularly are easy to forget, and that those who have moved to satellite offices might as well be gone entirely.
With that in mind, here's how I feel about some of the staff changes over the last few years:
Alex Navarro is one of the personalities I've really enjoyed since the Hotspot days, and I was rooting for him to join Giant Bomb at the beginning after Jeff got fired. I tried to carry that enthusiasm over to Behind the Screened Door, but the combination of him and Rorie was a massive downer that I couldn't handle after a while. Still, when he does appear, his contributions are great. In the 2013 Game of the Year discussions he was eventually the sole voice of reason against the ridiculous decision not to include Super Mario 3D World, which is a travesty that I blame entirely on
Patrick Klepek. My personal history with Patrick is kind of fraught. I kept up with 1up.com during its first few years, and during that time Patrick appeared as a brand new news writer. At the time, I kept noticing his byline on poorly written articles with broken grammar and a weird, fake-edgy tone, sometimes including unnecessary flamebait comments about how given developments were going to make certain "fanboys" mad or what-have-you. If you somehow found those old articles you'd find comments with me calling him "illiterate". He matured and improved, however, and his contribution to breaking news stories over the years like the Infinity Ward scandal cannot be denied. When he joined Giant Bomb and the Bombcast his contribution was immediate and strong. Over the years, though, his tone got too prescriptive and his exclusive focus on indie darlings got to be tiresome, leading to the aforementioned travesty. By that point, frankly, I was glad he moved to Chicago, making way for
Drew Scanlon. Drew is fucking great. He's got a tremendous dry wit, his interests are super entertaining, and I love pretty much all of his contributions to the site. He worked especially well with one of my other (former) favorite Bombcast characters,
Vinny Caravella. I was really sad to see Vinny move to New York. His sense of improvisational comedy is incredibly strong, and he was responsible for a huge proportion of the laugh-out-loud funny moments on the Bombcast. I made a point of listening to the Ad version of the show specifically so I wouldn't miss the adventures of Small Business Man. I know he and Alex are still getting set up and what-have-you, but his presence on the site has definitely diminished since he left SF. The only solace I have for the loss of Vinny on the Bombcast is the coming of
Dan Ryckert. Dan is a fucking masterpiece of human idiosyncrasy. His earnest enthusiasm for the dumbest, junk-foodiest shit combined with his tremendous charm makes for a compelling cartoon of a human being. Danny O'Dwyer commented on the latest Bombcast that Dan is the "most American person", and that is a true fact. My favorite, favorite thing about the newest incarnation of the show is the narrative arc where Brad Shoemaker grapples with his admiration and disgust over Dan's madness.
Also, just to make sure no one thinks I forgot, the loss of Ryan Davis was a global tragedy that continues to haunt me on a regular basis. I'm just glad that my favorite piece of recurring media was able to find its feet again in the aftermath.
Apologies to anyone who got this far, this thing really got away from me. If anyone reads this, I'd love to see what you think.