To preface, if you know what happened to these users or how to contact them, please leave a note below and let me know how to get in touch to tell them that they are missed!
I've been a regular user of Gamespot for almost a decade. In that time I've been spotlighted in the community, (briefly) served as a moderator, participated in tournaments, contributed artwork, helped folks build computers, been kidnapped by a fellow user (Part 2), shared some of my most beautiful and painful moments, helped a few of you look better (including me), and overall felt very proud of contributing to what is, in my opinion, the best gaming community online.
But in the past ten years Gamespot has also lost a number of great users for any number of reasons; whether is was Gerstmanngate, the allure of another gaming site, military responsibilities, or just plain boredom. Many of these users I considered friends; or at least as close as you can get to a friend through an online relationship via a game site. Some were simply remarkable people. Others were both. In every case I miss them, and Gamespot is diminished by their absence.
Gone but not forgotten
digi_matrix: To be honest, my opinions never really aligned with Digi Matrix (or Moeez at Giantbomb), his formatting was mediocre, and his writing was not stellar. One thing we did have was many common interests, he posted frequently, and I generally enjoyed the content. He usually took in major movies ahead of me, and his opinion - even if they were not the same as mine - helped me form my own. Granted we all like video games here on Gamespot, but his interests seemed to parallel my own almost exactly when it came to what movies I wanted to see or games I was interested in playing. I miss having him around more.
Donkeljohn: I used to talk with Don a lot via PM; he knew a lot about video game business and was enthusiastic, but was a pretty normal guy with real-life priorities. He worked at Gamespot for a time, and then in mid-2009 promptly disappeared. I'm not sure if World of Warcraft sucked him into a vortex from which he has yet to return, but his entries were always worthwhile, and he was just a decent guy. I hope he's doing alright, whatever he's doing.
Draqq_Zyxorian: Draqq wrote the best reviews on Gamespot, was an excellent editor, and a great writer. He used to be highly involved in the Community Contributions Union (CCU), and along with m0zart and MrCHUP0N, highlighted the best user reviews from the Gamespot community. The CCU was the best example of a functioning, community supportive Union on the site, and Draqq submitted some of its best content. I hope he is doing well whatever happened to him.
Dr_Boz: Dr. Boz is my better half, and she used to actually read my blog and post comments. Apparently she's too busy raising my kids to be bothered to log in.
EarthThatWas: I was first introduced to EarthThatWas when he earned the Soapbox emblem, and I would describe him in much the same way as I would Donkeljohn: A good guy, good writer, normal, above-average social skills. This might sound boring, on the surface, but every site needs more users like him. He uses basic courtesies, takes multiple points of view into consideration, doesn't jump to conclusions, and has reasonable, well-argued points of view. In the internet ocean of polarized opinions and outlandish personalities, EarthThatWas is a welcome voice of rationality and normalcy. Also: His Icon is Fizzgig from The Dark Crystal, which is just awesome.
Jaysonguy: Actually, Jaysonguy is still very active on the forums, you just don't see him blogging. The moderators are probably scratching their heads wondering why in the heck I'd have him on here, because he always - or at least used to - skate the edge when it came to appropriate conduct on Gamespot. But that's what I love about this user: He's challenging. He'll put out a very strong, outlandish, or contrarian argument, and he'll bring the goods to back up his argument. He's a character in a lot of good ways and, while he might be a little naughty, I like having him around and hope he returns to blogging some day.
MrCHUP0N: Like Draqq_Zyxorian, MrCHUP0N supported the CCU and ran TriGames.net, a game site most notable today for its podcast, and historically for its user-featured reviews. The CCU would hold monthly contests for user reviews, which were then featured on the front page of TriGames. As a result, MrCHUP0N ran a complementary site to Gamespot and raised the general visibility of rising-stars in the community.
NekoTheSpook: Neko is an interesting user because both she and her husband, formerly under the avatar "Spooksspouse," were very active and visible in the Gamespot community. Both were quite social, into gaming, and regular contributors in multiple areas of the site. She was, I believe, the more active of the pair, but their relationship fell on hard times and the drama of a divorce resulted in both members leaving the site. Maybe they're both still here under alternative monikers and I just don't know it - I love that idea - but the site lost two great users due to the breakup.
Reetesh: Reetesh is from India; Hyderabad if I am not mistaken, and we do not get a lot of Indian users here on Gamespot. The best part about having him around wasn't just his helplessly upbeat personality or quirky writing styIe, it was his unique take on the video game market. Reetesh loves video games, and it comes across in everything he has ever written. Reading his blog is not just an insight into what it's like to be a gamer in India, but also of titles I had never heard of like Tomba!. He even made a new avatar for my wife, Dr. Boz, when she gave birth to our triplets, giving Washu an extra mini-Washu. He's hanging around on Twitter and, I believe, still uses Giantbomb, but I wish he was back here.
Shifty_Pete: Shifty Pete got fed up post Jeff Gerstmann once Josh Larson was dismissed from Gamespot but he was and remains my favorite writer among Gamespot users. Out of nowhere he wrote a review of a Honeycrisp Apple that was so outlandish and well-written as to be oddly unforgettable. If you've never read his stuff, he has a lot of gems in there. I wish he'd kept the faith and hung-on to Gamespot a bit longer.
SlikNik27: it's not surprising that Nick drifted away from Gamespot considering his career in medicine, but I liked having him around. He was another level-headed user; just a normal guy with a good head on his shoulders that loved gaming. I could go out and have a beer with him and have a great time shooting the breeze, but alas, real life. I hope to see him return after his last blog entry announcing his triumphant return to video blogging fizzled, making me a Sad Panda.
SophinaK: Sophi is in the same ranks as Donkeljohn, EarthThatWas, and Sliknik27: An all-around good person with interesting opinions that I liked having around the community. She was a mod back in the day. Most of her posts weren't even about gaming; it was about life. These are always some of my favorite posts because, though this is a gaming site, I find that many of the users here tend to be of like mind, so our concerns and trials tend to align. I doubt very much we will ever see her come back: She went off to law school back in 2009.
ThaSod: ThaSod always had strong opinions, but they were typically well-reasoned and written intelligently. I have no idea what happened to him, but our mutual appreciation of Ayn Rand and gaming genres found us intersecting in many of Gamespot's communication channels. I'm not sure what happened to him, but I want him back.
U1: U1 is a UK gamer that made the switch to Giantbomb as Coffeesash sometime after Gerstmanngate 2007, but has since become largely inactive there, as well. Like many of the users you'll see here, she was a Soapbox emblem holder, and for good reason. She wrote a lot of entries about sexism in games, and played some pretty quirky titles aimed at girl gamers. She was also hugely focused on video game music, something a lot of the better writers do not discuss for lack of interest or knowledge. She had been cooking up a music quiz for some time that was never published, and I wish I'd had the opportunity to read it. She was also one of the nicest users on the site.
Veni-Vidi-Vici: Veni-Vidi-Vici was an Australian gamer with two potential careers ahead of her in vastly different fields. If you knew what they were, you knew she wouldn't be spending a lot of time on Gamespot, but she was very bright and quite funny. I'm sure she's doing great whatever direction she went, but her sudden disappearance from the site, including the removal of all of her old blogs - even her user avatar - left me scratching my head. A cryptic PM didn't help matters, and I haven't heard from her since.
Vikingwwu: Vikingwwu was a female gamer Washington state (at the time) that stormed onto Gamespot in 2007, posted furiously, gained a Soapbox emblem, started her own Union, then promptly disappeared, never to be heard from again. Even her avatar disappeared. To be honest, I found her combative and abrasive, but she had strong opinions and an intelligent writing styIe that I appreciate, and I'd like to see her return.
More users... that I miss, but about whom I do not have a lot to say include: