Games

The End of an Era: Joystiq is Closing Down

joystiq

Go to Joystiq.com. Visit it every day until you can’t anymore. AOL is shutting Joystiq down on Tuesday, and that’s a crying shame. That site means more to me than any other gaming related thing, and I’d rather you read their words than mine right now.

Let’s take a trip back to the mid-2000s. Back when, for some reason, I played games more than I thought about them. I’d enjoyed games my whole life, but never sought out more information on them than I found in an issue of Nintendo Power or Game Informer. In 2008, I realized how powerful the internet could be.

I discovered shows like X-Play, Sessler’s Soapbox, and Zero Punctuation, and started to look at games a little differently. I was grasping the basic concepts of game criticism, and started to see my favorite form of entertainment as something more than just a way to pass time. Then I found Joystiq.

To be more accurate, I found the Joystiq Podcast. I was 16, and I hadn’t ever heard a group of people this entertaining talk about games. I’d never even heard of these “podcast” things at all. I listened and listened, and made my way through the back catalog of the show. Every Friday I would come home from school and eagerly download the newest episode. I joined Twitter to keep up with and chat with Ludwig, Justin and Chris. An entire community sprung up to appreciate how amazing Joystiq was.I eventually checked out the actual site, and was somehow *amazed* that there was more than just a podcast there. There were funny puns, terrible puns, breaking news, and personality in every post. I read it daily, and I ended up loving the site’s other podcast, The Xbox 360 Fancast as well. The entire site was (and still is) made of a diverse, lovable cast of people who loved games as much as me. It’s one of the few sites I can visit, read a post, and say “This seems like Jess Conditt’s style” without checking the byline.

I’ve read Joystiq ever since, and I’ve taken the lessons I learned from that staff with me. It will be a very sad day when that’s gone. I’ll always appreciate a perfectly executed pun headline. I grew up with Joystiq, and their silliness informed a lot of who I am today. I started writing a blog in 2009 after wanting to be like these people I admired, and I’ve been doing it ever since.

I’ll miss Joystiq, but I’m sure everyone else will be okay. Some other great writers (The McElroys, Chris Grant, Dave Hinkle, Jordan Mallory, and many others) have already gone on to try new, great things, and I know the rest of the staff is talented enough to find their new wings. Andrew, I mean Alexander, will go off and break news faster than anyone as always, and Richard will recount childhood memories on another podcast. Ludwig, I wish you the best of luck. Your writing has inspired me more than anyone else.

To EVERY person at Joystiq: Good luck, and I hope you end up where you need to be. Good night, sweet steed.

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