My account turned 5 today. Well actually yesterday, since it's a little past midnight here. I haven't really been using this account since 07 since I had registered an account with a much better username during a suspension.
I actually first discovered Gamespot well before my August 2004 sign up date. I first heard of it in December 2001 from a 2001 Video Game Yearbook magazine put out by Gamespot to promote the site among people who still got their game information through magazines, like me, and it worked! I didn't even know it was from a website until I saw an advertisement on the back cover showing one of those guys standing in the middle of a busy sidewalk wearing a sign that usually reads "the end of the world is approaching!" This guy had a sign that read "No one can stop Mr. Domino" and then there was a Gamespot.com url posted somewhere in the ad. I had no idea of the game it was referencing, apparently a Ryan Davis favorite, but it got my attention and caused me to log onto the site.
On a side note, November 2001 marked the point where I really got into video games. I've been playing video games ever since I was a little, little kid. I can remember playing Sonic 2 when I was a kindergartener. So I've been interested in games since at least 1995, but I've always been a bit behind the times. In late summer 2001, I decided that I wanted to get a Gamecube at launch and stay current with the video game times. On November 18th 2001, my current interest in the industry was born.
So back to the whole Gamespot thing, or at least getting back on track. I began reading video game magazines in late 01, and EGM came out as an early favorite. It probably had something to do with the fact that the great January 2002 issue 150 was the first that I got. It included a Top 100 Games of all-time list (with Super Metroid taking #1), Seanbaby's 20 worst games of all time (with ET taking #1), a holiday buyers guide, and reviews for some of the top holiday games, including Halo, MGS 2, and GTA 3. I had no idea of the magnitude of these games. What a killer issue.
So EGM remained as my main source for video game info until July 2004, though I stuck with the magazine until early 2005. The big thing about this month was that I got a new computer, and high speed cable internet. Like I said earlier, I first started checking out Gamespot around December 2001, but I had to do it on a computer that was using dial-up internet. Even back then we all knew it sucked. It was in July 04 that I regularly began using the site.
Some of my memories from pre-cable Gamespot was looking at screenshots of Sonic Adventure 2 Battle and Mario Sunshine in 02, regularly checking the site for new Sonic games, celebrating the news of Sonic Adventure 1 being ported to the GC, checking out the first Sonic Heroes screenshots, reading Gamespot's Best and Worst of 2003 awards and finding that the Wind Waker getting GOTY surprised them, which surprised me. It's LoZ, come on. I also remember that reading E3 2004 coverage was an absolute pain in the ass because my computer was absolute crap by that point, so images loaded extremely slowly and then AOL would kick me off.
The July 04 revolution came, and the potential of Gamespot was born. I spent a lot of time reading coverage about the upcoming Nintendo DS and Sony PSP. I was stoked, I couldn't wait for the DS to launch. I watched any and every video for Super Mario 64 DS tons of times. I practically signed up this account so I could post on the forums about the DS. As November grew closer, my involvement with the site grew as well. During November 04, I discovered two things that strongly shaped my view about Gamespot, and turned it into my favorite website. They were On the Spot and System Wars. I first watched On the Spot because they were showing off DS games the Thursday before its Sunday launch. "That's the business" became a household phrase, and Rich Gallup became a legend. I spent the rest of the time on SW, arguing for the DS, Gamecube, and Xbox, against anything Sony. I remember Halo 2 review day being a day like no other. The PSP launch was crushing, and E305 was crushing. It was a losing battle against the cows until August 05, when the one-two AAA hit of Nintendogs and Advanced Wars DS hit, and now the DS was the heavy hitter, and it never looked back. It's all too evident 4 years later.
So my SW stupidity continued past the legendary E3 06 and up until summer 06, where I began to fade away from it. I just lost interest. In fact, Gamespot was beginning to lose a bit of my interest. I regularly checked the site, but I didn't post as much on the forums and I had already stopped following On the Spot by spring 05, for some dumb reason.
My interest in the site wasn't sparked again until June 07, when a friend of mine told me to check out OTS again. I instantly snapped, Jeff isn't a jerk, he's hysterical. So is Ryan! And Rich is still the greatest host of all-time. I continued regularly watching OTS throughout the summer, bidding farewell to Rich as host and all. Once school started up again, my viewing stopped, but my revived interest in the site continued.
11.28.2007. A day that will live in Gamespot infamy. In fact, the day Gamespot.com died. I didn't find out about Jeff's firing until 11/30, when a friend told me at school. I couldn't believe it. I went onto the site the minute I got home and yep, it was true, Jeff was fired. I payed my respects by giving Kane and Lynch a 1, and that was that. My interest in the site collapsed. It was a video game site, just like any other. No Jeff, no Rich, no thanks.
I loosely followed Jeff and Ryan's next venture, the Giant Bomb blog through spring/summer 08. When I checked it out on July 24th 2008 to find that the actual website was finally up, I was stoked. I immediately signed up an account, and my new favorite site was discovered. I still check out Gamespot every day, but it will never hold the value it held from July 04-November 07. Who knows how things will pan out in the next 5 years? I'll make sure to make a way too long blog about it in August 2014.