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Gerstmann Goes Off

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Jeff Gerstmann and I got to work together at GameSpot for 10 years. It seems he didn't get a chance to properly say goodbye here this week. This is simply the opinion of a longtime fan of this site: As the longest-tenured GameSpot editor, Jeff Gerstmann deserved a respectful send-off.

My last day at GameSpot was pretty good. It was on a Tuesday early this year. I had already packed up my stuff, had already told my team I was leaving and where I was going and what I was going to do next, and that I believed in them. What I really wanted to do was put in one last day's work at the site. I shot a video review, submitted and prepared a few pieces of content including a final review of mine, met with my closest colleagues, made my rounds with some of the others I'd always wished I got to talk to more, and tied up what seemed like a last few loose ends. I had a brief exit interview as well. It was an oddly liberating experience. As great as it was to work at GameSpot, I rarely felt a sense of closure at the job, because there was always lots more work to be done and more I could have been doing. The game industry never stops, and there are always more games I could be playing. It occurred to me that most of the closure I'd been feeling over the past decade came from finishing games.

I shouldn't lump myself into the same category as Jeff because we're pretty different people in spite of us having the same feelings about games and similar perspectives on a lot of subjects related to games. But I think guys like him and me see closure as a nice-to-have. We'd rather be moving on to our next assignment. So I said my goodbyes here in January not to provoke and get off on the generous flattery provided by a subset of people who took the time to respond, but to provide what I considered to be a basic, human courtesy to all those people who were familiar with my work over time. Some of those people hated my guts for all I knew--they had a right to know I was leaving same as anyone else. So then, to those of you familiar with Jeff's work: You should rest assured he'd take the opportunity to do what I did, not because we presume to know it's the "right" thing to do, but because we basically trust our instincts. It's not hard--it's rather easy--to imagine him saying goodbye here in his own way. And I have every faith that we'll be hearing from him again soon. I look forward to that moment.

As for the rest of the team that makes GameSpot's content: What you do next is more important than what you've done already. Every day you should be reminding yourselves that, because of the magic of the Internet, someone could just flip a switch that causes everything you've ever done here to just vanish. But the influence of your actions never disappears, and whatever integrity or credibility this site has gathered over the years is due to your hard work. I have no right to telling you what to do. But as a user of this site, I've come to expect a lot, and I know you listen.

Master Chief says it best: "We'll be fine."

And that's all I wanted to say here and I don't have anything more to add.

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