This is a goodbye post

Two thousand, two hundred and thirty three days ago, I wrote my first post on Joystiq. Just days before, I was still employed as a carpenter while writing video game reviews for an alternative newsweekly in Philadelphia. My first weekend with the site was marked by the launch of the Xbox 360 and the import of the "next generation" moniker wasn't lost on me. Realizing the scale of the opportunity I had, I started working full-time as a freelancer for what was then a bustling Weblogs, Inc. Six months later, at just $5 a post, I had exhausted my savings and made a plea to become a full-time AOL employee. Option B was to return to carpentry. Finding out I would be hired as Joystiq's first salaried editor easily ranked as one of the greatest moments in my life, and still does.

But I'll be leaving Joystiq, effective the end of the month. In my six plus years at the site, I've found myself surrounded by some of the most talented and dedicated writers covering an industry full of talented and creative developers. More scrappy startup than corporate outlet, Joystiq has been defined by the commitment of its team more than any other factor; this team lives at Joystiq, with equal parts wit, enthusiasm, and caffeine. It's been thrilling, humbling, and exhausting; a truly formative experience for me. But like all formative experiences, this one has come to an end.

Joystiq has always evolved – the integration of the Fanboy sites (Ultrastiq) or our 2010 redesign (Futurestiq) – and it will move forward under the guidance of a veteran team led by the singularly talented Ludwig Kietzmann replacing me as editor-in-chief. Now it faces another evolutionary phase, marked by my absence, and I'm no less confident in the team's ability to address that challenge. After all, the boss always changes into a different form.

I want to thank Joystiq's original editor, Vlad Cole, for offering me the position in the first place. I want to thank the original Weblogs Inc. team including Jason Calacanis, Brad Hill, Barb Dybwad, Brian Alvey, and others, along with the original Engadget team, including Ryan Block, Peter Rojas, and current Editorial Director Josh Fruhlinger. While it might not have seemed like much at the time, these people offered me an opportunity that changed my life with the kind of permanence and indelibility usually reserved for tragedy or parenthood. I couldn't be more thankful.

And lastly, I'd like to thank everyone reading this site. Video game media is changing and has been changing for as long as I can remember and there's one simple reason for that: the readers. Weaned on innovation and excellence, video game players are practically bred to be the most critical, passionate, and invested audience imaginable. There is no harsher critic or stronger supporter and that investment will continue to lead to great things.

And that's where I'm going. To discover the next generation again, and see what other opportunities are available. You can follow me on Twitter (@chrisgrant) to find out more but, until then, I can promise you the latest, breaking news on what I'm having for lunch.

This article was originally published on Joystiq.