This was something I wrote up yesterday and posted on the subreddit r/giantbomb. After a couple hours, it gained a small amount of steam and I was told to post it here, on the forums, so here it is. I do apologize as I get a little gushy about the site, but that was kinda the point of the letter.
Back in late 2013 ~ early 2014, I was a real poseur of a teenager in my junior year of high school. I took most of my classes for granted, with the exception of english because I had really kick ass teacher. I worked as a porter at a local dealership, despite the fact that I knew and cared very little for cars, outside of their appearance (9 dollars an hour is very appealing to a high school student). My mom and grandma had survived a multitude of medical setbacks, too numerous for me to count, leaving my extended family, my dad and I sitting in many waiting rooms for many summers.
This was piled on top of the typical social anxiety I'd like to tell myself everyone experiences around that time in their life, except it was slightly exacerbated by the fact that the only long-lasting relationship I've had in my life ended in a raging dumpster fire, and that I still held desperately on to the dream that many students in my class laughed at when I was asked the age old question "What do you want to do with your life," and I responded with "I want to make video games for a living."
Enter: Giant Bomb
The game industry has always interested me. Ever since I got my first copy of Game Informer back in 2008 (I still remember, the cover story was for Resistance 2) and I fell in love. I had to be updated on everything from the newest press releases from my favorite development teams to whatever game scored well across review outlets. For a long time GI reigned king (in terms of quality), with IGN coming in second, Game Trailers coming in third and Gamespot/Kotaku bringing up the rear.
Until I came across Giant Bomb, I hadn't heard a more unadulterated/honest take on the happenings in the industry, period.
My first bombcast hit me at a time I really needed it. I was going through an existential crisis I was way too young to be having at the time, depressed that my friends would soon be leaving for college, afraid that I'd lose most/all contact with them, scared that I would be doomed to a life of romantic despair and that I would be a failure, in general, due to the '19' I got on the ACT's. But when I actually listened to the duders talk for a full 3 hours and when I discovered this community that Ryan and Jeff built on what seemed like pure rebellion and determination, I knew I had to be apart of it in anyway I could.
Now, I'm not saying that this site has changed me completely as a human being. Hell, it hasn't even been a year since I graduated high school but it gives me so much joy to be part of a community that really validates my dream, that making video games is something worth doing. I've recently started putting my programming classes to work, getting familiar with Game Maker Studio. I've started taking my college courses more seriously and I'd like to believe I've started down the path of self-improvement although there's no way to tell for sure.
So thanks, Giant Bomb! You really mean a lot to me and I can't wait to see where the future takes us.
TL;DR:Giant Bomb made a depressed teenager with self-esteem problems slightly less depressed.
Thanks for reading! Please be gentle as this is my first thread.