Last night around 10:30pm I ate In-n-Out and thought about the future of Intelligame. Year one’s been quite the ride, and I’m sure year two will be, too.

A year is a strange amount of time in that it both feels like forever ago and yesterday at the same time. Still, we attach significance to this particular measure of time, the number of days it takes for the Earth to revolve around the … “Congratulations! You’ve seen another revolution around the sun! Well, kinda, since you’re not actually seeing it…”

That’s not really the point, though.

The point is that it’s Intelligame’s birthday today. At 5:17pm a year ago I published Let’s Intelligame, the equivalent of the website’s “Hello, World!” There was much internal celebration. Instead of being at home celebrating this year, I’m in San Diego for TwitchCon…which explains how I was able to procure In-n-Out (which I adore). Sitting at the table with my burger and fries, I thought a bit about Intelligame’s launch a year ago, my expectations, and what came of the time with the site.

The year that followed went by came with plenty of highlights, many of which I documented here. Recently, the Intelligame Podcast highlighted some great stories from my friends Carol Mertz and Dylan Higgins; if you haven’t checked them out, you should (not just because I made them, either). I spotlighted some of my favorite games, including Firewatch, Yomi, and Jurassic Park. I even did some in-depth, long-form analysis of portrayals of war in video games and shoddy “video game journalism.” I attended conventions, met new people, saw new games.

That said, the world wasn’t entirely bright and shiny in the past year, though. Shootings of black men in the United States, particularly those of Philando Castile and Terence Crutcher, have weighed pretty heavily on my mind. Though I wrote a piece inspired by Philando Castile’s shooting, I’ve somehow simply felt…overwhelmed since Terence Crutcher’s. I’ve battled sickness and some fairly consistent depression as I’ve traveled for shows and dealt with personal issues. Some of those battles resulted in unannounced radio silence, which tended to compound the depression and pressure.

Those things said, Intelligame is something I’m proud of. It’s been a year of experimentation and learning, and I’ve been so happy and thankful to see the responses from the works published here. It’s been fantastic watching the community grow, and I’m hoping to see it grow even more in the coming months. The next year comes with new challenges: redefining focus, trying out new types of content (including livestreaming and recorded videos), and other new ideas.

Intelligame’s birthday is my birthday, too. I’m hoping the site benefits from a creator who’s ever-so-slightly wiser; I’ll still aim high as always, but I’ve learned a lot from the challenges and successes of the past year. My goal is to make new experiences for you all that are quality and consistent, and provide new opportunities for you to engage with Intelligame.

Thank you so much for the support and love you’ve shown me and Intelligame in the past 365 days. The brand is taking off, and this year I’ll be attending events specifically under the Intelligame banner:

  • I’ll be speaking at PixelPop Fest next week
  • attending IndieCade in Los Angeles the following week
  • hosting the gaming section of Nerd Camp later in October
  • speaking on multiple panels at Orycon 38 in November
  • hibernating from November on forward through the rest of life

The hibernation bit is a joke, but it really is going to be a busy time for IG! I’m also excited to talk about TwitchCon 2016; learning more about the game streaming platform and its community is giving me plenty of ideas. I’m excited to continue the Intelligame Podcast and highlight stories from amazing people, and I’m looking forward to learning more about what you want from Intelligame in the future as well.

So, in summary, thanks for everything, and I hope you’re up for sticking around with me for a bit longer. Here’s to another year.

Let’s Intelligame.