Three years of Massively: A few of our favorite things

Three years ago today, Massively cartwheeled into the MMO blogosphere, providing fresh fields on which its writers could ruminate (and a credible reason for its editors to go prematurely grey). If you don't remember those earliest days, it's probably because you were too busy "actually gaming" to "read about gaming." But if you're here reading this now, then you understand the unavoidable, irresistible lure of the gaming meta and why we writers do what we do (protip: it's really, really not for the money).

To commemorate the occasion of our having existed three whole years without being thanklessly defenestrated, dethroned, or otherwise decommissioned, we asked the Massively staff members to reminisce about their past articles and offer up their favorite posts from the site for your amusement. Join us after the break for a retrospective of our very best work -- funny, sad, ranty, weird. Then hit the comments and let us know which of our posts really made a splash for you this year.

Happy birthday, Massively! Let's eat internet cake!
Beau Hindman: I'd have to say that, in recent memory, anything in Lisa Poisso's MMO Family series (like this one from August) deserves all my praise. As a writer, she has shown me how to provide information without being boring. As an adult, I can appreciate the fact that she is writing for other adults and keeps the language free of negativity. Despite not having children, my wife and I deal with them in gaming (my wife hosts a popular Wizard101 podcast) and have seen how gaming with the family, when done right, can be a great thing. Honestly, I wish I could write more like Lisa. She makes me feel proud about writing about this (sometimes) very silly hobby.

Brendan Drain: Without a doubt, my favourite thing on Massively this year was our MMOrigins series. It provided a really special insight into how each of my friends here at Massively got started in the gaming world, and it encouraged me to write about my own history. I'm also really pleased with our EVE Online coverage this year. WIth my weekly EVE Evolved column reaching its second-year anniversary back in April, there's now a great wealth of EVE knowledge here at Massively.

Brianna Royce: Three posts from the last year of Massively keep coming back to haunt me. The first is the EVE news post about making the game more attractive to women and the eye-opening comments that came along with it (which reminded me just how much this hobby is still crippled by misogyny... it's easy to become complacent about that issue when so many of Massively's loudest voices are female). The second post is Beau's article about the charm of Zentia; Beau always makes me remember that games should be toys first and foremost (and his enthusiasm for trying new things is indefatigable). And the final post is the free-to-play edition of Ask Massively in which staff members offered up opinions on the freemium genre. Eleven opinions emerged, each one unique, each one an illustration of just how diverse our writers are -- which is exactly why Massively is such a great team to begin with!

Eliot Lefebvre: There are a few things that I'm proud of over the last year -- the column on what CoH needs in the future and my series on Chains of Promathia capped it off. Of course, my most popular post is probably my first entry in the Soapbox column, which I'm not all that fond of. Hmm.

Greg Waller: Even long before I started writing for Massively, I was hooked on the site. Two columns in particular kept me coming back for more: Anti-Aliased and The Daily Grind. In recent memory, this Anti-Aliased post was especially relevant to me because of my outright frustration with the profusion of bots in Aion at the time. And then there was this Daily Grind. I spilled my coffee that morning because the header image was just so precious. I was also caught off-guard by the way it hilariously reflected my own reaction to fresh beta news regarding games I'm interested in.

Jef Reahard: This post sums up Massively for me: great writing and an occasionally epic comment thread. Sorry it's not quite a paragraph, but detailing even a few of the things that inspire/amuse/titillate/frustrate me about Massively would take several thousand words. Happy birthday to the best in the business.

"Justin Olivetti: [E]very post and column on Massively puts a lump in my throat and a tear in my eye."

Justin Olivetti: While every post and column on Massively puts a lump in my throat and a tear in my eye, I'm going to have to go old school and say that the most memorable article on the site was the very first one. Back in 2007, I was an avid World of Warcraft player and WoW Insider reader, and the concept of a new MMO blog in the same vein intrigued me. I had no idea that Massively would go on to link to my blog from time to time and then eventually hire me -- a true "jump the shark" moment indeed.

Larry Everett: When I'm playing a game, I want people to see whomever I present to them -- not a journalist, or computer geek, or white dude, or mid-westerner, or long-haired hippy, or any other word that could be used to describe my outward appearance. I am a community person, truly, but I like to see people as people, not some predetermined stereotype. So when Sera (then writing as Colin) wrote about MMOs as the great equalizer, it really hit home for me. I'm not myself transgendered, but there are many human truths in that article. I have been reading Massively ever since then, and it is a tremendous honor to work with the team now. It's like Sera said in that article: "I know that I don't consciously think about where someone lives or who they really are when I meet them in Second Life or Metaplace. I'm too busy chatting with them about shared interests." Massively is about honestly talking about our shared interest in MMOs.

Lisa Poisso: I was so happy when MMO Family had covered all the basics of internet safety and could finally start tackling real strategies like how to combine MMO gaming with family life. There aren't many places out there for parents (especially gaming parents) to find good information on how to get their kids involved in gaming in an active, fun, healthy way -- I'm so proud of Massively for being a leader! We still get a good number of comments from readers who can't yet wrap their heads around the vast difference made by active parental involvement... but we're getting there.

Patrick Mackey: Massively's never shied away from the big ticket issues, and for most of us, the social element of MMOs is the most important. So when Tateru hit the big online romance button, it was a major selling point for me. I think that gaming is a great way to meet people and really connect, and not just in superficial ways. I think that, as social interaction vehicles, MMOs have many ways to grow.

Shawn Schuster: I'm going to cheat a bit and say my favorite part of the site is working with such amazing talent. Not only do we currently have a solid team of friends, but in the past, I've had the pleasure of working with or managing some of the best writers out there: James Egan of CCP, David "Crazy Kinux" Perry, Brenda "Tipa" Holloway, Tracey John, Tim "Van Hemlock" Dale, Tateru Nino, Joe "Rekhan" Blancato, Adrian Bott and many, many more. Not to mention the person who created this site (and all sites in the Joystiq network), Barb Dybwad. She's gone on to create several other successful geek-related websites, including her newest venture, Tecca -- officially released yesterday. So this is a thanks to the people behind the articles and behind the scenes -- and to many more years!

Now we turn it over to you, the readers -- what posts from Massively have had an impact on you in the last year?

This article was originally published on Massively.