Although I have never gone mountain climbing in my life, I admire two things about it--- the sheer physicality and the psychological implications. As anyone who has ever climbed Mount Everest will tell you, mountains and cliffs have a tendency of being unpredictable and, even with all the preparation in the world at your fingertips, you never know when things take an unexpected turn for the worse. On that note, the climber is faced with one of two choices -- give up and climb down, or find another way around. There's a goal up ahead, and you want to reach it. It all depends on your level of passion and the drive to want to complete your goal and earn your chops.
That being said, whether it's climbing a mountain and negotiating anything else that throws a wrench in your trajectory of life, change occurs when you least expect it. Like death and taxes, it's inevitable. It all boils down to how people respond to it. Case in point -- the changes being made to GameSpot in a matter of weeks. I've begun to notice people posting blogs announcing their departure from the website. This is mostly due in part to the removal of a lot of key features---Fuse, Unions, Member Levels and Awesome User Blogs. The removal of Unions means that my Writer's Union may cease to exist as well. I understand the frustrations and the anger. In light of previous alterations, it's safe to assume nearly everyone has buckled under exhaustion, wanting no more of it. People really liked the Unions, so it makes sense that they would be upset enough to threaten to leave and say good-bye to everybody.
Changes to GameSpot have happened many, many times before. I've been a member of GS for five years and I've experienced them firsthand. A lot of it I didn't agree with. Others I was actually fine with. Whatever the case may be, we all have seen it. For example, remember when the comment boxes underwent a major overhaul? Good intentions notwithstanding, there was a pretty serious uproar for a while and people threatened to leave then, too. I didn't like the change either and expressed my disdain on several occasions. However, most of us grew accustomed to the system in time and many folks who posted blogs announcing their leave have reversed their stance. And it wasn't just that. For a while, I was disappointed with the removal of Raptr, the severance of ties with GameFAQs, and the changes of the ToU that removes prohibitions of unfiltered vulgarity and allows trolling and vile name calling.
The new GameSpot update is a major one. It will change the entire look of the website. It promises to fetter out the glitches. It brings many changes and deep cuts. Needless to say, not everyone is on board.
Throughout my years here in GameSpot, as well as the majority of my personal life outside of it, I've learned that changes do happen whether or not we appreciate them. Every member and visitor of GameSpot will come to grips with stuff in their lives that will be far more profound than the mere tweaking of a video game website. The death of a family member. Moving to a new neighborhood. The loss of a job. The failing of a marriage. A medical diagnosis. Even an accident that will suddenly rob you of your ability to walk. Severe life changes. No self-respecting human being wishes for any of that to happen to themselves or anyone else, but it does happen. Do you despair of life itself? Do you give up? Or will you adapt to the change? Will you grow from it? Will you become stronger for it?
My good friend @Uesugi-dono quoted one of my favorite films of all time "Rocky Balboa" in his recent blog, which you should read. In it, the aging boxing legend gives a harsh pep talk to his son about the cruelty of life and how it can beat you to a pulp and keep you on your knees. I want to add to that presentiment by quoting the great Bruce Lee. "Notice that the stiffest tree is most easily cracked, but a bamboo or willow survives by bending with the wind." I hope those who do leave will keep to heart these wisdoms.
The exodus being felt in GameSpot is almost an allegory to the struggles of life and how people respond to unfavorable situations. I do understand their frustrations over the matter and respect their choices, and wish them all the best. It's just sad that many people that do decide to leave are good friends of mine whom I may never see again. If I can impart one last lesson to them, it would be this. Have courage, be prudent and persevere when greater challenges come their way.
As for me? Let's be very clear. I will be staying. Not because of the changes being made or the politics behind them. N But because I'm the bamboo that can bend with the wind and adapt. Most importantly, I stay because of my friends. They're far more important than the website. I may not be here forever, but I'm going to be here for quite a while yet. Do not mourn for me, for I won't be joining the exodus. Don't bid me farewell, because I am not going anywhere. My Death-Adder rank and emblems will be gone, but Asagea_888 will still be standing firm and stout -- ready to take on the changes; in both this website and my own life in general.
So, I'll end this blog with a reassuring note. Keep calm, game on and may the Force be with you.