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BuizelBro
07-01-2014, 10:04 PM
First of all, wow. This is a big throwback from me, seeing as the last time I posted was some 3- maybe 4 years ago? It feels bizarre to be posting on this forum again, but it also brings back fond memories which I'm here to reminisce on and talk about. As I prepare for my first year of college in the fall, I find myself reflecting on my life so far (though it's only been 18 years) - how I've changed, what changed me, what made me who I am, e.t.c., and I remembered my time as a part of this community. A community that although I haven't been an active part of for a few years, I feel I will always be welcome in, and further feel that this community largely shaped who I am. It gave me close friends, experiences and values that stay with me today, and that are a core part of who I am.

I Joined TSG in 2009. I was 12 or 13. I forget how I heard about it, honestly. I was a big fan of Let's Players like ChuggaaConroy at the time, and he likely did a promotional video or something of the likes. My first marathon was the 2009 Resident Evil Marathon, during which I remember being an active part of the chatroom during the marathon, enjoying the intimacy between the commentator and the viewers. I remember being so captivated that first night, not wanting to leave the screen, not wanting to go away for fear that I'd miss something funny, miss something nice the commentators said. There was such an atmosphere of friendliness towards strangers and of camaraderie amongst long-time members of the community that I found so alluring. My fondest marathon memory is probably from that very first one. I remember the second night or so of the marathon, I stayed up until probably 3am or 4am listening to commentary when the size of the chat had died down considerably. A few dozen people were in that chatroom just having a good time, having a nice conversation with the commentators, Britt, Chase, and Rob. They were accepting emails with "In the year 3000" jokes and were reading them to the stream. I remember frantically submitting them, wanting to feel like a part of the community. I still remember rather clearly the crappy jokes that I sent in - "In the Year 3000, the Master Sword will be the Master Lightsaber" followed by the commentators singing "In the Year 3000" in a falsetto. I remember I wrote, "In the Year 3000, Sega still won't have rejoined the console race," which was read as the final submission and got a rise out of the commentators for being a big burn towards Sega. In my head, I was the ultimate badass, but more importantly, I felt like a part of the action, like there was a place for me here. I remember being part of the chat when "Blood Nog" was first conceived, a joke that a lot of you probably don't even remember, but I do. I remember that marathon so clearly because it was my very first, and I felt so very welcomed amongst this group of internet strangers I was watching play video games that were clearly for people older than the age I was when I watched.

Anyway, come one or two months later, and I had joined the TSG forums, and immediately felt welcomed into what seemed like a sprawling community - My introduction thread was full of warm welcomes, the TSG Pokemon league (where different forum members served as gym leaders in competitive play) seemed fascinating and fun, and the wide range of topics being discussed drew me in. From TSG I was introduced to a number of franchises that are favorites of mine to this day: Ace Attorney, Final Fantasy, Bioshock, Zelda, and so many more that I still play (perhaps too much) to this very day. This forum cultivated my love for video games, and opened my eyes to the true magic within them: that they can bring people together into communities like no other entertainment medium can, and the incredible potential they have as an art form and device for storytelling. Today I'm a huge Advocate for games as an art form, constantly writing, tweeting, or discussing the profound impact they can have and what makes them unique as devices for storytelling. Without this forum, I would not have developed this stance and enriched my subsequent experiences as a player, and simply just enriched my life in general. There was always something to talk about on this forum. From those early days in 7th-8th grade to my last posting, I grew from being just another rando on the forum to being a dedicated and loving member of the community, welcome people as I was welcomed and discussing as I had seen others discuss.

TSG gave me a powerful appreciation for charitable work. I have a deeply ingrained personal philosophy that everything I commit myself to in life should in some way benefit others, be it just one person or be it thousands, and that philosophy came from the charity work that this community has done throughout the years and throughout my time as a member. I begin my first semester of college in the fall, but I hope to join the Peace Corps for a time after I graduate. Throughout high school I've been a part of groups focused around helping others - I joined a club to prevent teen drinking, helped during my senior year in an effort to raise money for art supplies at a less-fortunate school, and became captain of the school's Model United Nations team in which we try to solve the issues of today with the leaders of tomorrow (I love model UN so much that I could write a similar post entirely about it. If you're in high school, join the MUN club) - all of this because of the example set for me by the founding members and community here at TSG. This forum indubitably shaped this key part of who I am.

This forum taught me to discuss games in an in-depth, intellectual, and entertaining manner in the Gaming section, showed me the diverse community through The Lounge, taught me to be a better creative writer through the Creative section (I go to college in the fall to double major in Journalism and English, hoping to write both journalistically and creatively for a living), and taught me how to debate in the Discussion section (which may or may not even be around anymore). Many of the social lessons I learned, skills I cultivated, and interests I developed happened because of this forum.

All that is pretty amazing for a little gaming website, but it's not even half of why TSG matters. Not even a third.

What I remember most, and with such fondness that I cannot express it properly, is being a member of this community - this family. That's was TSG was, and will always be to me - a family. My involvement stretched beyond simply posting in the forums and being in the chat during marathons. I would spend nights on skype with the great many friends I had made on here. I remember playing Cards Against humanity with members like Wee187, Yuso, Capcommaster, and so many others (some that aren't members anymore and some that still are, most of whom are my close friends) and laughing myself to tears, I remember the community marathons I organized with someone70, I remember late after the superbowl my freshman or sophomore year when I asked for advice on how to handle the first girl I fell in love with. I remember it all clearly, dearly, and intimately. I never struggled with making friends at school, but the friends I made here were often just as valuable as those I saw every day in my classes. They offered relief from the day-to-day issues I dealt with at school; they offered outside opinions on issues that my friends or family wouldn't understand. I love them dearly still, though I have lost touch with far too many of them.

I remember dramatically making a "I'm leaving" post my sophomore year after getting into an argument or two on the forum. I don't even remember exactly what it was that made me so upset. It was petty, it was melodramatic, it was stupid, and of course I came reeling back because I loved this place so much. But eventually I stopped posting entirely. I'm really not sure why it is that I stopped so abruptly. It wasn't because I didn't like people here - I loved them all, even those that I had argued with. Maybe I just outgrew posting on the forum, though it wasn't any fault of TSG's. I don't really regularly post on any online forum anymore. So yeah, I guess I outgrew posting on here every day, but I always find myself reminiscing of this place when I talk to close friends I met here, or when I discuss games, play games, reflect, and so much more. Even if I outgrew the routine of posting every day, every week, every month, I never outgrew the sense of belonging, the sense of purpose that this place gave me.

There's so much more I haven't even touched on. The pokemon fanfiction I wrote, the way this forum introduced me to fantasy worldbuilding, all the promotion I did for marathons, the youtube videos I made my freshman year of high school, all the bands that Caramelslice got me into (Look up Eisley - one of my favorites that she showed me)! There's So so so so so much more.

So why does TSG matter? Because I say it does. Because you reading this says it does. It may not matter to governments, to Gods, to politicians, to whatever grand powers that may be, but it does matter to every person that it manages to reach out to and touch. It matters to everyone who finds comfort in its caring community, everyone who finds a friend on this incredible forum, and everyone who it helps through the incredible amounts of money it raises for charity each and every year. So congratulations Britt, Chase, Phil, all the founders of TSG, all the members. What you've built and cultivated is magical, special, and unlike any community on the internet. It transcends the internet, even. TSG is and will always be a home for any and a home for all. That's why TSG matters.

Side notes: Buizelbro is an old username that I used to use. If you want to keep in touch, you can still find me under buizelbro on Skype (though I'm not on very often), or you can follow me on twitter (@Mogsike).

GoldGameMaster
07-01-2014, 10:48 PM
Oi, I remember you. Was it really that long ago since you left? Anyways, you hit the nail on the head with that post of yours. Quite a special community we got here, isn't it?

notmman
07-01-2014, 11:44 PM
I basically came back for the same reasons you did, though my participation is practically non-existant except for forum posts.

localretard
07-02-2014, 09:56 AM
Thank you Buizelbro for the fantastic write up. You completely understand why we continue to do what we do. We love reading posts like this as it goes beyond any impact we ever thought we'd have. It makes us feel like a weird version of Reading Rainbow (topical!) We go into it wanting to help charities as much as possible, in fact every decision we make comes back to the question "will this help raise more money for the charity?" It's a fascinatingly selfless process that I try to make as transparent as possible. We are so lucky that we have this opportunity to be so influential in our community's lives. It's been rocky at times, and sure we haven't been perfect, but remember we're just some 20-something year olds as well, learning as we go along.

I hope one day there will be another forum golden age, but with the rise of Facebook, Twitter, and Skype people close them off to their chosen social circles that the resurgence of the forum activity to what it was 3-4 years ago seems highly unlikely. We'll still be here. I even check this daily.

jdtwins2009
07-02-2014, 10:14 AM
Fantastic post Buizelbro! It's been a long time but I will always being around these parts with you!


Local, I read these parts "I hope one day there will be another forum golden age... We'll still be here..." in Optimus Primes voice :lol:

StopDropAndBear
07-02-2014, 10:48 AM
Thank you for the kind words, BuizelBro, it really means a lot <3

JasefWisener
07-02-2014, 10:53 AM
This is the most delightful post that I've ever read.

caramelslice
07-02-2014, 11:20 AM
Wonderful post. Good to hear you've been doing well, BuizelBro.

MSico
07-02-2014, 11:50 AM
Good times. What's that? No, some raindrops fell into my eyes. Yeah it was raining a second ago. Just directly above my eyes

BuizelBro
07-02-2014, 12:18 PM
Thank you Buizelbro for the fantastic write up. You completely understand why we continue to do what we do. We love reading posts like this as it goes beyond any impact we ever thought we'd have. It makes us feel like a weird version of Reading Rainbow (topical!) We go into it wanting to help charities as much as possible, in fact every decision we make comes back to the question "will this help raise more money for the charity?" It's a fascinatingly selfless process that I try to make as transparent as possible. We are so lucky that we have this opportunity to be so influential in our community's lives. It's been rocky at times, and sure we haven't been perfect, but remember we're just some 20-something year olds as well, learning as we go along.

I hope one day there will be another forum golden age, but with the rise of Facebook, Twitter, and Skype people close them off to their chosen social circles that the resurgence of the forum activity to what it was 3-4 years ago seems highly unlikely. We'll still be here. I even check this daily.

Be there another "forum golden age" or not, the impact you've had on the lives of both members and donation recipients is undeniable. If the internet were to just up and disappear one day, or if the forums ever go down permanently, I'm sure that people who had the pleasure of being part of this community would never stop speaking its praises as an example of the positive impact the internet can really have. I'm glad a lot of you enjoyed this post and I'm sure the community means a great deal to you all, too.

Baltes
07-02-2014, 12:43 PM
Got really choked up reading this.
Welcome back buizel!

cHicKeLoR
07-02-2014, 01:47 PM
Really great post :)

TheSpeedGamers
07-02-2014, 04:01 PM
I love this post. I really do appreciate it and reading things like this actually make a big difference for me and I'm sure the staff as a whole. We are going on our 6th year and it has been a blast but of course there has been ups and downs. Reading this is almost like a recalibration for me and keeps my mind on what our focus is. We always want to stay community centered because that's what makes TSG so special. All the material we get , the jokes, the Blood nog, and most recently the great gravy battle are results of the interaction between us and the community. Usually these type of community moments are birthed from the most random of topics. Forcing these type of things never works because it would not be special. We always remember these moments and talk about these stories fondly.

I'm very proud to hear about these positive experiences that you have had. We will strive to make TSG a place that many others can join in on the fun and share similar experiences.

Slowflake
07-02-2014, 06:36 PM
As much as I'd like to add something of substance... I can't. It doesn't happen too often that I'm short on words, but here you go. Everything that's been said in the posts above sums it all up.

And I wholeheartedly agree about this being unlike any other community on the internet. The amount of respect we have for one another is something that's just about impossible to find anywhere else, what with there being something about the internet that tends to bring the worst out of people. But not here. And I'm eternally grateful for that.

Sangome
07-03-2014, 12:47 PM
What a lovely post. I don't really have much more to add than that...you summed it up all very nicely.

I myself am a bit of a shy person, so my activity tends to stick to marathons. But whenever I'm around it's almost like I never left, which is always a nice feeling. The advent of Twitter helps with that, too.

Godzilla145
07-05-2014, 07:22 PM
Buziel, you'll always be my bro. But I much like you, have lost the time to post, not the drive though, it's just too much going on with too little time in the day. But I'm happy to hear things are going well for you, and this place has done wonders.

MrMahoses
12-15-2014, 10:06 PM
You hit the nail on the head. This community is so accepting and welcoming, and I am profoundly grateful to whatever introduced me to TSG.
Stay classy!