This site went live in September of 2005, and has remained running for the last 16 years. If this blog were a person, it would now be old enough to get a job and apply for a driver’s license in these parts. It also would never get invited to parties with any of the cool kids at school because it just won’t shut up about Mars Effect or whatever that stupid videogame is called.
So let’s celebrate with a bunch of trivia.
There are 487,980 comments on the entire site. I’ve written 7,229 of them. Which means that about 1 in 67 comments are from me.Actually, this is kind of strange. The comment interface claims I’ve made 9,460 comments, but the database says I’ve posted 7,229. I guess I trust the dB more than the WordPress interface. Weird.
The longest site outage was during these six days in January of 2018. The longest-lasting site theme is the one you’re looking at now, which has been largely unchanged since early 2017. Back when the site was young, I used to get tired of the current theme and rebuild it every other year. But while the change of scenery was nice for me, it was disruptive for regular visitors. Also, there’s always a shake-out period for new themes where I have to chase down aberrant behaviors with popular but troublesome browsers and devise workarounds to correct for their idiosyncrasies.
Is this still a problem today? I kinda doubt it. I mean…
Microsoft wants to pretend they’re still in the running, but the truth is that the browser wars ended years ago, and they… didn’t win. Microsoft Edge is like those stories you hear about a lone soldier that goes into the jungle and lives there for decades because nobody ever tells him the war is over and it’s time to come home.
Having said that, we do need to take the above chart with a grain of salt. These are global stats, not stats for my site. The audience here is a little more tech-savvy than the general population. If we could view the stats for my site in isolation, then I expect that Firefox would be quite a bit higher and Safari would be much lower. (Not because Safari users aren’t tech-savvy. It’s just that Mac gamers aren’t that common, and this site skews towards Windows PC-focused games.)
Why don’t I have stats for my site? I use Cloudflare for DDOS protection. So my site traffic is hidden within their content delivery network, and I’m too cheap to pay for the premium package that would let me see the stats.
Anyway, I’m actually getting the itch to fiddle with the site theme again. I’d like the images to break out of the column and reach across the page. Right now images are capped at 1024 pixels wide, which feels kinda 2009 at this point. I’ve actually been uploading larger images for the last few months, knowing that someday I’ll make this change and we’ll all be able to see the larger images.
So let’s look at how many posts I publish a year:
These are just mine, ignoring guest contributors. We’re two-thirds of the way through 2021, so that last column should grow a bit by the end of the year. Still, this is quite a surprise to me.
I knew I’d missed a few posts this year, mostly due to health concerns. But I didn’t realize quite how many until I compiled these charts. The Diecast is probably the biggest casualty. I can work around bad health by getting stuff done on the good days. But the Diecast requires me to be to be healthy and awake at a specific time in the week.
I have surgery in 14 days. I know it sounds weird, but I’m actually really looking forward to it. If all goes well, I should get a nice boost to my quality of life. I’ll get better sleep and be in less pain, which ought to translate into a more reliable output.
Getting old is terrible. The only good thing I can say about it is that it’s better than the alternative.
Mentally, I divide the site into three eras:
- The Early Days. (2005-2010) The proofing is pretty bad, and the content is pretty scattershot. In the first couple of years I often treated the site as a way to communicate with my friends. Also, I hadn’t authored any of my formatting tools yet, and I was using a cheapo webhost with some low data caps. So these posts are filled with postage-stamp images and random formatting oddities.
- The Spoiler Warning Era (2010-2017) By this point I’d gotten better at proofing and I’d standardized my formatting so I could change the site theme without breaking old posts. I was posting three videos a week with Spoiler Warning and (starting in 2013) posting a weekly podcast. This lead to a large number of short posts. You can see the transition away from this in 2017, when the number of posts fell sharply. (See the red chart above.)
- The Retrospective Era (2017-Today) I stopped messing with the site theme. Since I wasn’t working with the SW crew anymore, I decided to really focus on long-form retrospectives. They perform well, I enjoy writing them, and they are ideally suited to the format of a weekly blog series.
The really big retrospectives actually began in 2015 with the Mass Effect series, which ran for an entire year. So like a lot of attempts to divide things into “eras” and “generations”, this ends up with some messy overlap and a bit of arbitrary line-drawing. It’s fine. I don’t need precision, I just need a way to mentally organize things so the history of the site doesn’t become one big blur.
This is the total number of words per year across all of my posts. Again, we’ve got a third of the year left, but it still looks like this will be my lightest year since 2014 or so. For context, 187k is the length of The Fellowship of the Ring, and Return of the King is 137k.
Erm. I’m not crazy about the methodology I’m using here. This isn’t a count of swear words, it’s a count of posts that contain swearing. If BioWare announced that The Illusive Man was getting his own spinoff series and my response was an article consisting of the word “fuck” repeated 1,000 times then – as Gimli says – it still only counts as one. Maybe the next time I do one of these I’ll do a proper word count. (I would have done it this time but I need to figure out the MySQL for a multi-word count search. I didn’t have time to sort that out for this post.)
I think I’ve got some guest content coming up in the coming weeks. I’m still hashing out the details, but if all goes well we should have something besides Prey to argue about.
Speaking of Prey: I’m still fiddling with the ending, but my guess is that the series will end on part 23 or so. That would land on the first week of December.
I’m not sure what my next long-form retrospective will be. It really depends on what I’m able to hammer out with my guest contributors. Specifically, I want to tag-team a particular game with alternating posts. This is a big project and we’re still hammering out the details. Hopefully it all works out.
That’s it. Thanks for reading.
 Actually, this is kind of strange. The comment interface claims I’ve made 9,460 comments, but the database says I’ve posted 7,229. I guess I trust the dB more than the Wordpress interface. Weird.
Why I Hated Resident Evil 4
Ever wonder how seemingly sane people can hate popular games? It can happen!
Bethesda felt the need to jam a morality system into Fallout 3, and they blew it. Good and evil make no sense and the moral compass points sideways.
The Game That Ruined Me
Be careful what you learn with your muscle-memory, because it will be very hard to un-learn it.
Trashing the Heap
What does it mean when a program crashes, and why does it happen?
The Witch Watch
My first REAL published book, about a guy who comes back from the dead due to a misunderstanding.