In the summer of 2010, someone posted a thread on 4chan.
>I love 4chan!
I love these guys.
It had a quote "I love 4chan!" Followed by the OP saying "I love these guys." The attached picture was four cartoon men floating on a blue sky, jumping at the camera. I could make out the word "BOMBCAST" in the background. My current podcast feed was feeling a bit stale, so I decided I'd give it a quick shot.
It's been almost three years now. Back then, I was just about to start college studying computer graphics, but I still was unsure about where my life was headed, or where I wanted it to go. Because of this, I lacked drive and discipline, and I ended up floundering. I did manage to land a job as a graphics designer for the school newsrag in January, and it was around this time I visited the site for the first time, and began to watch a TON of videos, including the escapades of one Charlie Tunoku. Thanks to the newfound social skills, I found out about a new school in the area while I was talking to my boss. The school was focused entirely on computer graphics for video games and taught by people currently working in the industry. It wasn't accredited, though, and had little reputation beyond anecdote. I weighed my options. I remembered how excited the staff would get when a developer would take a risk and try something new and unique.
Take a risk.
At that point, I realized what I wanted to do for a living. It had slowly been dawning on me over the past several months, and in retrospect, it seemed obvious:
I want to make video games.
I dropped out of college, and used my college funds to get me into that school. When I got there, I was vastly outclassed. Half the students in the classes were already working professionals. The teachers came from big name developers like ArenaNet, Bungie, 343, and Sucker Punch. My work paled in comparison to theirs. I had never used a majority of these programs, but I was still praised for being quick to catch on and eager to learn. I now know these developers personally, not just as mentors, but as friends, and I am closer to achieving my goal than I ever could have been at college. It's the best decision I have ever made, and I owe it to Giant Bomb.
Ryan was an asshole, but a hilarious asshole. His brand of humor could always bring a smile to my face. In college, I would desperately stifle fits of laughter when I listened to the Bombcast in the library after lunch. The crew's passion and knowledge of the medium taught me so much about the history of video games, and to appreciate games on a much deeper level. That one podcast pretty much changed my life.
I've never met them, but the Giant Bomb crew will always be friends of mine, and it's very hard to see Ryan go.