This is a pretty big moment.
This is the 1,000th post on DownStab.
Today also marks the 12.5 year anniversary of DownStab. Well, kind of…
Perhaps it’s time we finally take a look back.
I wanted to initially do this at the 10 year anniversary of the blog, but, well… here we are. Sometimes things don’t go the way you had planned, and this blog is the epitome of the idea. I initially started blogging as a way to use my newfound free time after completing college, as well as an avenue to potentially get a job writing in the gaming industry. Prior to DownStab/SlickGaming, I was writing freelance professional reviews for Machinima’s Inside Gaming blog. It was a dream come true to some extent, and also a convenient means to an end: I could write about games AND get paid?! What’s not to like! With no job directly out of college, why not seek a dream?
So I started writing. I liked writing ever since I was young. Ask my parents or my teachers: I would write “Stories” in my free time between learning simple division and studying history. I drew “Comics” on lined paper of video games I played with my brothers, and then stapled them together and made my parents pay $1.50 per issue. They happily obliged, and I really hope they have those comics somewhere in their home. It will be a painful trip down memory lane, but I’d love to take it. Moving through high school and college writing always came easy to me, so when I was offered the position to write about games, I was more than happy to take it! And what better way to get further in the professional gaming journalism career than to write more. So, DownStab was started!
That’s how DownStab started, so how did we get to where we are now? I think I can say there were phases of the blog. For a good while I was writing gaming news recaps every Friday, in hopes to spark some potential portfolio talks with employers. Oddly enough that initiative sort of did the opposite: I discovered I didn’t like simply reporting the news and wanted to write more about what I liked. I’m a game collector and wanted to give back to that community in creative content, which started with a few repeated articles. Sunday Roundup was the longest lasting of these, releasing weekly on Sunday’s and recapping the week’s pickups. It was fun, and something I’ve thought of reviving in some form. Modern Classics was my first attempt at video content, recording my own footage and editing a video together showcasing what I deemed the best new-age retro games (think PS1 era as opposed to NES era). Worth Playing was also really fun, as I themed them after a specific topic, like fighting games or Nintendo Wii games that might be Hidden Gems or just flew under your radar. But as time went on, I found I didn’t like the the sameness of this content with what other creators were doing, and I eventually moved away from them. But maybe they’ll come back… they’ve got a place in my heart for sure.
About 5 years into the blog I officially bought the current DownStab domain and my own web hosting. I remember thinking it was so cool to finally say my website is DownStab. It just felt professional and groundbreaking, simple and clean. With the transition to the new website, I took it as a way of rebranding and starting over. While the blog was still about retro games and game collecting, I was professionally no longer seeking a job in the game industry. With that weight off my shoulders, I was able to focus all of my creative time toward content I wanted to develop, as opposed to what industry folks might want to see on a resume. Though sad in a sense, it was liberating to grant my own autonomy on my own projects. This led to significantly less content being created week-over-week, but I was significantly more proud of the stuff that did come out. To this day, I still follow this mentality, and hope to find even more time to make what I want (because believe me, I’ve got ideas).
Most recently DownStab saw a bit of a face lift, getting a new logo, new website layout and design, and really becoming exactly the destination I envisioned it to be. There’s still some work and fun additions to come, but I’m proud of what we have created: my wife Laura is a truly amazing designer, and with her support and efforts I really do think I have continued to have fun and feel supported in making my little video game dream come true! With the new design, it is much easier to find the content I’d want my readers to find: categories for post types, a fully searchable database of posts, and archives for all content based on system and (coming soon) genre. One massive goal of DownStab ever since the very beginning was to be a fun place to find out about retro games, and having this layout and setup makes that possible; I’m excited for what the future will bring!
Speaking of the future, what could the next twelve and a half years bring to DownStab (25 years will be crazy)? As you may have noticed, I recently completed a little streaming goal I’ve had for awhile: I plan on expanding my video editing and recording skills this coming year with a lot of the raw videos from that project. Assuming that project goes well, a new target will be a more routine posting schedule. Nothing forced like the early years, but giving myself time to do what I truly like to do: write and create. As I’ve also been enjoying bringing the game collection to life over on the DownStab Instagram, I have some ideas for what’s in store for DownStab proper’s game collectors portion. A little taste of the past, and something new is in store…
But that will be a tale for another time.
I’m happy I was finally able to do this. Finally able to look back on all of this work, all of this time and learning. Finally able to step outside the confines of this website and just look at what is here. It’s a love letter to games. A look into the mind of a young boy who grew up writing. A collection of articles that (hopefully) have gotten better over the years.
And I’m happy you’re here with me on this journey!