The Missing Link
I’ve been sitting here at ZeldaBlog HQ for the past two weeks deep in thought. You might notice that the number of articles I’ve been writing have drastically dropped off, racing quite quickly towards zero a week… a (quite sad) feat that I actually managed to achieve last week. Most often, when things like this happen, webmasters are quick to offer up a quick and handy excuse; maybe they’ve been working overtime, busy hanging out with friends, or perhaps they’re working on a super secret project for their sites. In short, somehow life ended up getting in the way of keeping the updates flowing. I, unfortunately, have no such excuse to give you. The past few weeks… sure, they’ve been busy, but not incredibly so. Truthfully, I’ve sat down at the computer several times with the intention (honest!) to type an article up, but my inspiration disappeared faster than the running man in Link to the Past. I tried, and I couldn’t get anything down on paper. So, instead of that, I’ve been thinking. And I’ve come to a conclusion.
I’ve decided to close ZeldaBlog.
Relax, be patient. I know this is out of the blue—sudden, even. Please, put down your pitchforks and lanterns. Allow me to explain myself.
I’ve been doing this whole website thing off and on for the past six years to the month. Quite literally, I first took the helm of TGA along with my co-webmaster (then known as Pigeon5) back in May 2001. I was a college sophomore then, and I had not even a half year prior discovered the joy in participating in an online community—message boards, websites, and fanstuff, oh my! I wanted to do something challenging and exciting. I knew I could run a website if I had enough determination and a little bit of help. And I succeeded in that.
Months later I got the idea for a great exclusive for our site, an idea that no one had ever come up with before (at least to my knowledge), to write a fanfiction that would be a (possible) chronology of the Zelda games—the timeline, if you will, one that would be entertaining to people who didn’t even remotely care about it. While it’s still not done, I have succeeded in doing that.
I had the desire to start my own website, a site that was drastically different from every other Zelda website so far in existence, a site that would offer something the cookie-cutter Zelda sites could not, a site that would unify and promote the community (the hardest task of all!)… and what’s more, be moderately successful with a decent amount of readership. Despite then being in the midst of a community uproar, everything has settled down; the community finally seems at peace. And ZeldaBlog received several awards for its uniqueness. As a result, I have to say that I’ve succeeded in doing all of that as well.
And after all of that—after all of my successes in the fandom, as the icing on the cake, I have always dreamed of finally getting into the business of making games instead of merely playing them, to go to work every day and work towards creating the thing I have loved for nearly two decades. I have done that, too…
But this last accomplishment gives me pause. I stop and look at this, this most recent bullet point in my life, and I realise that this single achievement of jumping into the gaming industry is far beyond everything that I’ve ever done for the Zelda community summed together. Just working for a gaming company has literally—in the blink of an eye—dwarfed (at least in my mind) all the accomplishments I have done for the community. This, of course, isn’t to say that they don’t mean anything to you, but to me, now, they’re so far down the list of cool things that I’ve done that they’re not worth mentioning.
Even worse—depending upon your definition of worse, of course, I must admit this face to you: Working for the gaming industry will without a doubt erode your fanboyishness (or fangirlishness as the case might be for some) for video games in general. Here’s a slight point of confession that I hope you’ll all forgive of me: For the past six months, I, TML, have been developing a game for a console that is not the Wii. (Horrifying, isn’t it? I was feeling the same shock you were six months prior when I was offered an interview with them!) And when you see things from an alternate point of view (especially when that point of view is backed by a biweekly paycheck), your opinions change quite quickly. Granted, I still want the Wii to do well, don’t get be wrong; I still love Nintendo and its games—especially the Zelda franchise. But some of you might remember the strong bias I had for Nintendo one year ago at the last E3 ever; that profoundly strong opinion has been throttled way back, and I’m looking forward to several games that will appear on both the 360—I pine for Trusty Bell—and PS3—Legendary Sword comes to mind.
When you factor together the diminished fanboyishness together with a diminished sense of achievement, it’s no wonder my motivation for posting has drastically dropped. For the past few weeks, it’s become something of a chore more than a delightful hobby. In a way, it almost feels as if I was taking my work home—despite the fact that Zelda will never ever be caught dead on the 360 or the PS3. Every few days, I come to the tragic realisation that I have to make a ZeldaBlog post (a) to keep the site running and (b) to please the ‘Blog’s readers, a.k.a. you. (Am I not right on the mark with that?) After all, the First Rule of the Internet is quite succinctly, “Post and they shall come; laze about and your site shall die.” Whether I like it or not, whether you like to admit it or not, you expect some semblance of schedule in order to make it worth your while to keep coming here, and, given my current life situation, that very sense of schedule adds a certain pressure upon me that makes posting less hobby-like than I want it to be. (No offence to you all, of course; you can’t help basic Internet physics any more than I can.)
Given this harsh and cutting facts, I was forced to make a hard choice: ZeldaBlog or my sanity. In similar situations where another object took the place of ZeldaBlog against sanity, I’ve chosen against my sanity several times before, and I have vowed to myself that I would not make the same mistake the next time around. Moreover, as I’ve looked back at the last six years of running websites and moderating forums, as I mentioned earlier, I’ve had a general track record of success in that. I’ve done some rather amazing things with ZeldaBlog and TGA, and that sense of accomplishment—diminished as it may be—still warms my heart. I figured that I could easily “retire” and be completely happy with myself because of I have achieved something during that time. Therefore, the dilemma was really no dilemma; the choice was quite clear.
Therefore, as of today, I am officially closing both ZeldaBlog and Zelda: The Grand Adventures. No more posts shall be made on either site (unless I have a miraculous change of heart); comments and registration at ZeldaBlog will likely be turned off sometime next weekend. Both sites will remain up for all to view for at least for a good while into the future, probably until the domain names expire or something equally disastrous.
Yes, I know the Spoiler Rule expires today. Yes, I know you all want to discuss it. Yes, I know you probably want to seriously maim me for announcing this on today of all days. Unfortunately, I cannot make good on our original deal given the circumstances. Please accept my apologies.
Despite the fact that I am closing the ‘Blog, this does not mean that I am going to drop a Deku Nut and disappear in a poof of smoke like a Sheikah. No, several webmasters in the community would literally hunt me down and kill me for even thinking that atrocious act. Nay, I know better. So in case you just have not gotten your fill of TML and want to follow me across the Internet like some sort of fan mob—now that’s a scary thought!—here are the Zelda community projects that I still have left up my sleeve:
So you see? I’m not leaving the community. I’ll still be around.
So I’ve said quite a bit about how I’ve come to this point and where I’ll be going from here, but one thing I haven’t mentioned enough is you, ZeldaBlog’s faithful readers. Back when this little bitty corner of the Internet was just a pile of hope and dreams, it was literally you guys that made this place possible. Quite frankly, seeing that over 900 people visited the ‘Blog on the first day of its existence floored me! You guys have been the driving force for this project. I wanted to provide you with something that you would enjoy and have fun with; the joy of knowing that I have brought a small smile to several people simply through what I write has always been my main motivator for staying entrenched in the community for all these years. (Indeed, that is the reason I write fanfiction as well.) So please, accept my most sincere thanks for staying with me through all the rough times, the server outages, the times I’ve broken the ‘Blog, the disappearances, and the articles that flopped. I certainly appreciate that.
So while this isn’t a goodbye in the truest sense of the word (in case you missed it, I’m still going to be around), sad as it is, it is a goodbye to ZeldaBlog. So as such, thank you for all the memories, may the way of the Hero lead you to the Triforce, and so long, and thanks for all the Zora.
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