Welcome to PixlBit!
Come in, kick your shoes off, and set a spell.
Hello there. I’m Julian, and I’m ostensibly the previews guy around PixlBit, but lately I’ve been doing a lot of reviews, podcasts, and features, so that’s kind of a less than truthful title. I’m writing this piece, and it’s a bittersweet thing to do. On one hand, we’re seeing an influx of new members to PixlBit, and I couldn’t be happier to see that. So, welcome, one and all! I just wish that influx wasn’t the result of 1up getting shuttered. With that being said, I’d like to explain a little about our roots in 1up, and take you new readers and contributors on the grand tour. Please, join me.
I think it’s okay to say that 1up was one of my favorite gaming websites. Our small staff is comprised of some huge game fans, and we spend a lot of time checking out other sites and listening to other podcasts. I normally don’t participate in gaming communities, because I tire of the hyperbolic rage that seems to permeate them. It’s something I actively strive to avoid doing at PixlBit, and I hope that comes through in my writing. But 1up was different. I started blogging on the site a couple of years ago at my then-girlfriend’s suggestion, because she knew how passionate I am about games and that I like to write. At the time, 1up was moving away from the 24 hour news grind and attempting to foster unique and interesting features and reviews, and the community was doing the same. I fit right in. Then a fellow 1upper, Jesse Miller, suggested I apply at this website, and the rest is history.
I go back with games—way back. Electronic Gaming Monthly was my monthly dose of gaming nirvana, and unlike Gamepro or Nintendo Power it seemed to grow up with me. EGM delivered mature content and truly excellent articles, and when the original magazine shut down in 2009 1up became my safe haven, since a lot of the magic of EGM still lived there at the time. When I heard that 1up was closing, it was, at least for me, the final nail in the EGM coffin. Sure, the magazine came back, but it’s never felt right, probably because it had its roots in the Dave Halverson (GameFan, Play, Gamer’s Republic) school of video games writing.
Anyway, 1up was a great place to be as a gamer that was interested in reading thoughtful articles and reviews. The community was always polite with my blogs, even when I wrote something that wasn’t a popular opinion (which seems to happen a lot lately). I’ve met some really excellent people because of 1up, including Matt (toomanywires), Ben, (BrokenH), Michael (Michael117), and of course the wonderful people here at PixlBit.
So, let me show you around. We’ve been in a little bit of a downturn lately, thanks to real life stuff interfering with writing. I think we’re also trying to find our voice. For a while we were trying to compete with the other sites and cranking out tons of news every week. But I don’t know about you, but most of the headlines of the day are just that, and it can become a real grind trying to keep up when you have a day job. We pride ourselves on reviewing some of the smaller games alongside the bigger ones, and we’re this close to getting into Metacritic. Yeah, yeah, I don’t much care for it either, but getting onto Metacritic means we get access to more games to review, which helps the site to grow. So you can actually have a large impact on the growth of this site by telling your friends, blogging, and commenting. How often can you say that about IGN or Kotaku?
I encourage you to get to know us, because that’s important when it comes to reading reviews and opinions on a gaming site. We recently wrapped up our 2012 Game of the Year deliberations, which is a great way to see what we’re into. I spent a large portion of 2012 researching and writing a 25th anniversary retrospective on the Final Fantasy series, so feel free to check out all five parts of that. Our own Jesse Miller spearheads a lot of our features. He’s juggling a job and a pregnant girlfriend at the moment, but we should have some new installments of Missing in Action soon. In the meantime, check out some of our older ones.
You want podcasts? We have a ton of them. I won’t sit here and tell you that they’re going to replace Games, Dammit! or Retronauts, but we’ve been putting out some fun shows. Every Wednesday you can listen to Jason Ross talk about the news of the week with his own spin with PB & Jason. Every other Friday brings with it my show, Nerds Without Pants. We take a gaming-related topic and expand on it, but save room for discussion of comics, movies, and our obsession with Jason Statham. Angelo Grant hosts Backloggers Anonymous. He’s on vacation right now and probably hasn’t heard about 1up yet, but his crew is currently playing Darksiders, so get caught up while you can! Last but certainly not least is Push Start to Continue, a show hosted by Mike Wall and Jesse Miller. They’ll bring you news, rants, indie game talk, and more, so check it out.
That brings me to you, valued readers. Dive in and communicate with us! You can make use of the blogs of course, and I encourage you to fill out your gaming collections, which is a pretty handy way of tracking your games. Comment on our stuff and let us know what you think. We’re not like your normal games writers—we’ll join in on the conversation with you. We’re generally not defensive about our stuff, and enjoy seeing both sides of any discussion. We’re also open to ideas and feedback—throw them up in a blog or a comment, or hit us up directly through our Twitter feeds, which you’ll find on the right side of the home page.
Whew! I’m rambling a bit at this point, so I’ll wrap it up. Once again, welcome to PixlBit. I do hope you’ll stay a while. Amongst the members of the staff we have RPG junkies, gaming historians, Nintendo zombies, Sony fanboys, and Xbots, so you’re pretty much covered. Thank you for taking the time to read this. The staff will be saying hello in the comments, and feel free to introduce yourselves as well, either here or in the blogs.