How do you start something like this? I don't know if there is a good way to say goodbye, but I'll try my best.
I stumbled upon VGChartz almost eight years ago when my old forum home was shut down (anyone remember NSider?). I was actually in the process of choosing between here and NeoGAF, but of course GAF takes ages to vet you so I guess you can say that I chose VGChartz because of it's now infamous ease of creating an account. I guess everything does have a positive side (and yes, my GAF account was eventually accepted. I believe I have something around 6 posts in my eight years there).
Ever since then I've called VGChartz my digital home. While I was initially attracted to the site because of its unique niche in delivering video game sales numbers (and I still love that aspect, even moreso now that we're actually getting them again! You're the best Machina!), it's been the community that connected me to this place, and the wonderful cast of characters that made me want to invest in the site and in you all.
Somehow I became a "writer" and instead of actually writing things I just doodled and called it a day. Those doodles earned some laughs (and even earned me some scorn... whoops!), but I only drew them because of what a bunch of crazy and lovable folks you all are. So in that sense, thanks for being so inspiring.
Soon after that MontanaHatchet approached me and asked for me to join the Mod Team (again, thanks Monty!), and after that I joined the roudy crew helmed by our fearless leaders AxumBlade and Kantor. It was a blast to be part of that rag tag team (and be on the end of alts created to specifically attack me. It's like a Mod badge of honor! :P), and over the months and years we gained some incredible members, and lost some too. And crazily enough, I somehow became a Head Mod. A few months later I finally regained my senses and stepped down. It was an experience unlike any other, and I thank all the mods and you all for dealing with my shenanigans during that time (It wasn't too bad, right?). But I wanted to say this too: To all those who have ever served (and I do mean serve, we're a bunch of glorified volunteers. Still hoping for that blank check by ioi. Any day now...) on the Mod Team, I personally thank you for your time, effort, patience, and dedication.
It's been quite an adventure here on VGChartz. I've spent a little under a third of my life on this site, and I can only look back at it all with a smile on my face. Thank you all for making VGChartz a community worth striving for. Before I do go, there's a few things on mind that I want to encourage you all with as this place continues to grow and evolve. After all, this place is only as strong as the community allows it to be.
1. Return to what makes this place so special
VGChartz has carved out a space in the great expanse of the internet by dedicating its resources to giving the best gaming hardware and software numbers out there. Obviously, this mission is a constant work in progress, but nevertheless we find ourselves with a unique niche that this site prides itself on, and we should be the first to take advantage of this awesome priviledge.
The foundation of our community should be based on gaming and its sales, something that I think we've lost over the years (and yeah, last year's lack of content didn't help matters). Let's bring back the prediction league! Let's give attention (and participate with) the awesome sales related stories/articles/threads that are the result of hard work and dedication from our staff and fellow forum members! Let's make VGChartz the bastion for video game related sales discussion.
2. Create positive traditions and culture
Tradition is a way for us to connect to the past and all that has transpired before. It allows us to remember all those who have come before us and remind ourselves of what's worth fighting for and what's worth changing as we go forward. I encourage you all to continue traditions and create new ones that make this community's bond deeper and cultivate a positive and encouraging culture. Whether it be our annual Greatest User Tournament, or NoName2200's Secret Santa, our monthly VGC Most Wanted threads, or any other event... let's do our best to continue to cultivate these as much as we can, and even come up with new ones! This will lead to a community that provides more than just a place to chat, but a warm and welcoming place where all are given the chance to participate and be part of the family!
3. Use your gifts
If I, some dude with too little time on his hands and a sharpie, could impact the forums in a positive way with some silly drawings, then I KNOW that anyone can impact this site in an encouraging way. Whether it's your technical know-how to bring clarity to a topic, your friendliness to bring cheer to people, your expertise in bringing folks together for a gaming session, artistic talents to bring joy and beauty to this community, or anything else... we all have something to give to this community to make it even better. Don't shy away of using your personal story and gifts to build this place up. The community is only as strong as the folks who are a part of it. You are far more valuable to this place than you know.
4. Build up instead of tearing down
I know that VGChartz brings with it a certain... competitive nature. After all, week after week we see our beloved games and systems sell in different amounts, and based off of that we have certain "winners" and "losers". And there's nothing wrong with some healthy competition and cheering for your favorite consoles and game. But never be afraid to remember that at the end of the day, we're all part of the same community. So be careful of building up your towers and shutting yourself off from others who may not share your interests.
Instead of focusing on tearing down your competition, instead build up the games you love in creative and positive ways. That way we can celebrate our diverse tastes in a way that brings everyone together.
With that, I hope that you all can build towards a brighter future. I know that this place is in the hands of those who care for this site. Whether it be the writing team, the mod team, the ambassador team, administrators... they are all making sure this site's best days are ahead. And you all share that responsibility as well. So thanks for listening to me ramble on.
Last thing before I head out, I just wanted to say a few words to those I call friends here. I'm only as good as I am because of how you all invested in me over the years. I'll keep it short and sweet, going down my friends list.
SuperMario128: You were my first friend here. Thanks for showing me how inviting and accepting VGChartz can be.
MontanaHatchet: Thanks for being an inspiration and believing in me.
TruckOSaurus: (Dang it I'm getting sad now) You're like a brother to me. Thanks for being there with me in the best and worst times. There was no one I wanted by my side more than you.
NoName2200: We were part of some epic shenanigans during our run *laughs*. Your kindness and wit made this place a joy to be a part of.
RolStoppable: No matter what anyone says, you have a heart of gold. Some may say that you're just a class clown, but I know that you care about this place deeper than most. Thanks for the laughs.
Amp316: Whether it was on the mod team or just chatting it up, I could count on you as a friend. I can't say that about most folks. The Sonic Support Squad still lives on!
Ronster316: I love your passion for Sega. We gotta continue to preach the good news about Sonic 3 & Knuckles!
c03n3nj0: You were always one that would talk about the games you love. This place needs more of you.
TheSource: I always appreciated the work you did for this site, and the passion you had for sales based discussion.
RoboTechHeaven: Your friendliness and love for gaming is so infectious. Thanks for bringing so much positivity to every corner of this site.
Carl2291: You're my brother, you know that? I seriously can't wait to see how you impact this site going forward. More than that, you're someone whom I can call a friend.
CGI-Quality: Fellow North Carolinian and lover of all things gaming. Thanks for sharing your infectious love for games with the rest of us.
Soriku: You're a legendary VGChartian. Thanks for making this place so memorable.
ioi: Thanks for all the opportunities, your advice in tough situations, and the chance to help push this site forward.
Khuutra: I know you won't see this, but thanks for being such a great friend back in the day. You helped make this place home for me.
Kowenicki: No matter what, I always enjoyed your perspectives and insight. Thanks for being a voice that wasn't always popular, but still needed to be heard.
SethNintendo: You always leave, but I can always count on you to come back and be an awesome part of this site. Thanks for not giving up on it.
PineApple: Can I call you Oyvoyvoyv now? You, me, Khuutra, NoName, and Rol were inseparable. Palling around with you was an adventure in itself. Thanks for that adventure.
I Like Bacon: Even when you left VGC for a while you still managed to chat it up with me about awesome games on the Wii U. Keep that love for gaming, we all need that enthusiasm!
MaxwellGT2000: You were always a friend and mentor for me. Plus your name is Patrick so that's awesome too. Keep up the epic Earthbound shenanigans.
Disolitude: I always loved your input and your epic setups. Your voice is a unique one on this site, and it was refreshing to hear.
Lestatdark: Thanks for being a fierce, fierce friend. It means the world to me.
Morenoingrato: I love your passion for gaming (and the fact that we can finally be Wii U friends is great too). You were someone I could always depend on.
TheRepublic: You and I have had quite the adventures on here, and you always showed up in the perfect time. Always put a smile on my face.
SuperChunk: I loved your dedication for predications and fostering discussion on here!
SwirlDude: You've been creating content for this site as long as I can remember. Thanks for making this site a better place.
Forest-Spirit: I'll always love your passion for games and Princess Zelda. Seriously though, thanks for being a voice for encouragement and beauty.
d21Lewis: Can I tell you how much worse this site was when you left? Your love for all things gaming is such a joy for me to witness. Thanks for being someone who helped me see the best in this community.
Torillian: Thanks for being a mentor, teacher, advisor... the list goes on and on doesn't it? I always appreciated your voice on the team, it was invaulable.
DixieKong: Thanks for doodling along with me. You were such a better drawer than me, and even had color to boot. Keep up the awesome creativity!
Boutros: Your dedication to sales-based discussion and work on the COMG thread is freaking legendary. I hope that other users can look up to you to see the best we have here on VGChartz.
ConeGamer: You are always there, through thick and thin, no matter the cost. Your friendship has been humbling and affirming for me in so many ways. Thank you for everything.
Kasz216: I know you're not around anymore, but your level headedness and kindness will be something I'll always remember. Thanks for being someone to look up to you.
BadGenome: You always brought a smile to my (and many others) faces, and in a way that always made this community a better place. Hope you're doing well, wherever you are.
MarcusDJackson: Your friendliness and outlook on life was infectious. You're a fighter through and through, so keep it up!
Acevil: You always pop up in whenever I needed encouragement. Thanks for being someone who reminded me of the best that this community has to offer.
Zappykins: I love your passion for pushing positive game discussion. We need more users who are in love with gaming as a whole.
Barozi: I mean, we were part of perhaps the greatest moment in ModChat history. I think that deserves a fist bump (sorry). Love you man!
Archbrix: I love your dedication for pushing positive discussion. The writing team is lucky to have you, and the site is better with you.
Myak-04: It says a lot about a person when an entire event season isn't the same without you. Thank you for your creativity and passion for creating events worth remembering.
Manuel: I loved your perspective on gaming and what you brought to this site. Happy (belated) anniversary!
Nikkom: You above all others made me feel welcome and appreciated on here, and that meant the world. My sexiness must end here, but yours will go on forever.
Padib: I love your passion for discussion and how you stand for what you believe in, no matter what. Stay strong and be a light for those who need it.
SpurgeonRyan: Despite all our shenanigans, I know one thing: You're a good man. Thank you for making VGChartz a community that is welcoming to those who need it the most.
Pavolink: It was always a pleasure to fight side by side with you when we declare the greatness that is Skyward Sword. We'll work on Other M another time.
Kantor: You were a mentor, teacher, and helped me through my first ban. And for some reason you asked me to help you as a Head Mod. Thank you for your trust and friendship.
RadishHead: Wherever you may be, remember that Mario Kart 8 never forgets, and never forgives.
Salnax: Your alt cracks me up to this very day. Thank you for being such a unique and memorable person who made this forum a joy to be a part of.
NintendoPie: I don't know where you are now, but know that this place is worse off without you, but I know that wherever you are is a better place. Thanks for being such a strong friend.
AxumBlade: We've had some crazy adventures huh? Thanks for having the faith in me to let me help this site, and for plotting VGChartz subjugation with me over a cheeseburger. You're the best.
BasilZero: I'm so glad you came back Basil. This site is a better place with you in it. Thanks for being someone who above all else, loves gaming.
TheProf00: Not much needs to be said about the shenanigans we had while playing Mafia. I love your dedication for pushing constructive and informative discussion. This site needs that more than ever.
Kresnik: It was a joy to mod with you, and I appreciated your insight and voice more than you know. Thanks for being someone who continues to push sales based discussion!
Darc Requiem: I love your love of all things gaming. I can't tell how refreshing such a simple yet much-needed view was to me.
OutlawAuron: You may suck at lists, but you were always someone I could count on, and it brought a smile to my face every time we had a chance to chat. Your presence on this site is a boon.
Augen: Your maturity and level-headedness was something I hugely appreciated on this site. I still say you need to be a mod. :P
Green_Sky: Your avatar is so perfect for you. You bring with you someone who just loves games and puts a smile on others faces.
ClassicGamingWizzz: Thanks for being someone who loved to talk about the games you love. I always enjoyed your presence on here.
Veknoid: You've always been someone I've looked up to, and making you a mod was the easiest (and smartest) thing I ever did as a head. Thank you for being, above all, a friend in need.
Wright: I'll always appreciate your friendliness towards everyone on this site and how inviting you make this place for others. You help to make VGChartz a better community.
Slade6Alpha: I'm still bitter your mod-dom couldn't work out! You're a great guy that loves games and wants the best for this community. Keep it up my good sir.
Anfebious: I've always loved your positive and welcoming attitude on this site. Thanks for being such a bright spot for me, and for always putting smiles on faces.
AZWification: You're at the heart of this site when it comes to members who impact this place in a positive manner. Keep it up!
Shinobi-San: I loved having you on the mod team, and getting to know you better as a friend. You did so much to make this a better place to be, and I won't forget it. See you on Instagram. :P
Gooch_Destroyer: GOOOOOOOOOOOOCH! Gooch senpai! Never stop trying to make this site a better place, and I sincerely hope that you are given the chance to do that. Love your heart!
MohammadBadir: After all your chances to leave, I'm glad that you never did. You bring a warm friendship to this site that the community needs.
Daredevil.Shark: Despite all your shenanigans (which make you great!), you're a great guy who brings a lot to this site. Thanks for keeping me on my toes.
StarCraft: Never stop being you. You're hilarious (despite some not getting your jokes :P), wise (I seriously appreciated your council and conversations), and are a great friend. Thanks for everything.
Mummelmann: I always appreciated your ability to discuss things with an even hand, whether it was on ModChat or the forums. Thanks for impacting this site in a great way.
Slarvax: I love you you've stepped up to impact this community, whether it be on the writing team or the forums. This site is better because of who you are.
Squeezol: Your friendliness and love for others is truly infectious, and this place is noticably a more cheerful place when you're around. That's a gift that's so undervalued, yet so needed.
Leadified: It has seriously been a pleasure to mod with you. You're a great friend, a wise council, and someone whose positive impact on this site is unquestionable. Thank you for everything!
Hynad: I love your passion for debate, the love of gaming (in all of its forms), and finding beauty no matter where we may be in life. Keep fighting for what's worth fighting for.
Words Of Wisdom: Thanks for all the games of Mafia. You really made them special.
RealGamingExpert: I'm glad you're back, along with everything that makes you such a boon to this site. Keep up your love of gaming and being a friend to those who need it.
Iceland: Thank you for being a leader on this site who inspires others to be the best they can be. And you were cool before it was cool to be cool.
mZuzek: I love your passion for gaming (especially Smash Bros. Our Sonic vs Fox fights were pretty legendary), music (Still jealous of you seeing Muse), and life in general.
Teeqoz: On that one fateful day when I finally pick up a Ratchet & Clank game and finally understand true greatness, I will remember that it was because of you that I was freed from my gaming shackles!
RavenXtra: Your fingerprints are seen all over this site, and not just with being a great moderator. You've impacted this site in so many awesome ways, and have been a friend for me all the way through. Thank you.
BraLoD: In my heart, I know that The Legend of Dragoon is the greatest ever. And it's all thanks to you.
Kljesta64: Thanks for being such a strong support for me, even when I doubted myself. Your kindness really meant a lot to me.
Okr: Ever since I've been here, you've been someone I always respected immensely. Thank you for your strong love for gaming and a desire for constructive and positive discussion. I wish you the best.
Cloudman: I love your creativity and joy for gaming. You are such a boon for this site because of how you bring out the best in others. You are the doodler that this place needs!
OnlyForDisplay: It's incredibly clear on how important community and friendship are for you, and how you cultivate that community and friendship. I'll appreciate that far more than you know.
SkullWaker: I love your passion for gaming and positivity. Continue down that path and I know that you will make this place such a better place to be.
Dr.Vita: Your penchant for discussion always puts a smile on my face. Keep up the fight for the little guy!
ReimTime: Well look at the time! Thanks for being someone to look up to on this site, and for fighting for the best of VGChartz.
Gergroy: You'll always be a mod in my heart. Thank you for your council, wisdom, and trust. VGChartz doesn't deserve you, but here you are, making it a better place to be.
UltraShroomz: Since you've come here, I've noticed your hospitality to others and the joy you exude when you talk about games. Thank you for being a beacon of positivity and joy. So don't be too sad now. :)
StarOcean: It's been a blast getting to know you, from a dark horse on the mod application to someone I could talk to and enjoy his company. It's been an honor getting to know you.
Zekkyou: I knew you were a great user before you became a mod, and ever since then it's been confirmed on what a great person you are as I've gotten to know you better. I know this site is better because of you.
SamuelRSmith: I always respected your ability for level-headed, reasoned, yet compassionate discussion. Thank you for inspiring me to do better.
Miguel_Zorro: From the guy who just missed it to Head Mod... it's been a wild ride hasn't it? I seriously thank you for taking on such a burden, but I know that with you VGChartz best days are ahead it it.
Platina: Thank you for your leadership and hospitality within this community. I know that because of you this place has a more tight-knit community because of your dedication.
TrashArmDSister12: Well somehow we made it to this point, despite all the shenanigans we've been through. As my fellow hawt assassin chick, your camaraderie has meant the world to me over the years. Squirtle Squad for life!
Machina: It's because of you, your staff, and all the hard work you've put in that this site has a future worth fighting for. Thank you for giving me a chance on the writing team all those years ago, and for believing in me all the time after.
And so, it's time to move on. My fingers are tired (sorry for all those who I forgot about, my carpal tunnel is killing me! :P), but I'm sitting here with a smile on my face, knowing that these past eight years have been filled with wonderful memories and incredible people.
Thank you for everthing, my heart is with you guys, always.
Your friend now and forever,
Patrick "Smeags" McNamara