Earlier this morning I decided to delve deep into the recesses of Kotaku Australia's content management system.
I don't normally do this but today is different. Today is my last day at Kotaku Australia. I'm feeling a little sentimental.
I wanted to find my very first ever post on Kotaku.com.au.
At Kotaku HQ it's common knowledge that I'm leaving and for the past couple of weeks I've been having conversations with the people I work with. "Sad it's your last week" "Good luck!" "We'll miss you." Very nice conversations in the kitchen whilst making my 10th cup of tea for the day.
During those conversations I always say something like, "it's been six and half years. Time for a change."
Actually, I had it wrong.
I went searching, I found my first post. The date: October 11, 2010.
Turns out I've working at Kotaku Australia for seven and a half years, not six. I've been here so long I actually lost track of an entire year.
My first post on Kotaku Australia was this one: The Week In Gaming, a regular post that has now morphed into This Week In Games. I'm going to leave it there in all its glory. The writing, the terrible jokes, the formatting struggling valiantly against multiple redesigns...
A different time. A different world. Look at the video games: Medal of Honor, Just Dance 2...
FIFA 11 on the Nintendo DS.
Again: Jesus wept.
That was my first post on Kotaku Australia. This is my last.
Seven and a half years, two kids, dozens of consoles, hundreds of video games. At last count I've written 11,321 posts for Kotaku Australia. This one is number 11,322. I've spent more time doing this job than anything in my life besides being married. That's a terrifying thought.
One more time for the road: Jesus wept.
When I started at Kotaku Australia I wanted to focus on three things. I wanted to tell high quality stories about video game culture and the people who contributed to that culture. I wanted to shine a light on Australians making video games in this country. I wanted to build a community.
Turned out that last goal took care of itself. I didn't need to build a Kotaku community, there was a community here all along. I was just a small part of it.
In this my final post on Kotaku Australia I want to shout out the people who welcomed me so warmly when I started. People like Doc What, Tadmod, Sughly, Effluvium Boy, ShiggyNinty, FatShady, Strange, Batguy, Rocketman, Trjn, Handsome Alex AKA AlexPants, Big Hero 6 Alex AKA Alex Sharples, Blaghman, Ser Nobulus, Scree, Aleph-Null -- way too many to mention really. Every single one of you and more made me feel like I could do anything with this job, take it in any direction I wanted. The support I received in those early years truly made Kotaku Australia what it is today and I want to thank everyone for that.
I have so many incredible memories.
I remember the very first Kotaku community meet-up. I remember meeting 'Sir Eats-A-Lot' IRL and discovering the 'Sir' was actually a she! A she who would eventually become Zorine Te, Gamespot reporter and GLOBAL ESPORTS SUPERSTAR.
I remember bumping into Ruffleberg, a member of the Kotaku community, who somehow recognised me at a God-awful gaming event in Parramatta. That day we discovered we were both obsessed with UFC and Mixed Martial Arts and became buddies. Years later the 'Berg and I still watch every major UFC event together and will probably continue doing so till we're old and gray.
I've made real life-long friends through this job. I'm so thankful for that.
I remember going to Doc What's birthday party and meeting his ludicrously shredded Dad.
I remember helping the Kotaku community create a goddamn Zombie movie.
I remember when an entire squadron of readers burst into our offices with Christmas presents for myself and then Kotaku Deputy Tracey Lien.
I remember when the community pulled together and sent me a massive gift package weeks after the birth of my first son. I'll never forget that.
I remember R18+ and what a big deal it was. I remember watching almost every major games studio collapse in the wake of dollar parity with the US and the GFC. I remember video games being really fucking expensive. I remember going to PAX Australia for the first time and becoming truly energised after what was truly a dark year for video game culture.
I remember the people who were kind enough to open up and tell their stories. People like the Cusumanos, owners of the family-run Gamesmen stores -- who continued the family business after Angelo Cusamano (husband to Mary, father to Angelo Jr, Daniel and Chris) was cruelly gunned down in his own store after a botched robbery.
I remember people like the Stark family, who made a video game together. Or Chris Johnson and Matt Trobbiani, who gave me perhaps the most incredible interview of my entire career as a Games Journalist. I remember the former and current EB Games staff who were brave enough to open up to me for this story. I'm proud of the work I did, but I couldn't have written a single word without the trust of so many people.
Huge thanks to the tremendously talented people I've worked alongside over the past seven years. People like Alex Walker, who is the hardest working journalist I know. People like Tracey Lien, Elly Hart, Nick Broughall, Logan Booker, Anthony Caruana, Adam Wells, Jeremy Ray, Ben White, Rae Johnston, Luke Hopewell, Angus Kidman, Alex Kidman, Spandas Lui Hayley Williams, Chris Jager, Jackson Ryan, Danny Allen, Amanda Yeo, Tegan Jones -- the list goes on and on. Every single one of these people challenged me to do better.
Huge thanks to the incredible US team. Particularly Luke Plunkett, for living in the same timezone as me and understanding football. Our shared love for Olivier Giroud's perfectly sculpted face and body has gotten me through many a difficult day.
This job has been an absolute blast, the best job I've ever had. I'll miss it all. Thanks for sticking around. Thanks for slagging me off about porridge, fairy bread and my terrible, terrible takes.
Most of all thanks for reading.