But where exactly did we get our starts? This week I asked the team members to share a bit about their individual origins in the MMO blogging world.
I started blogging in 2002, covering my band's travels while touring. I moved on to covering MMOs around 2006 by covering Ryzom and even started a podcast about the game. I haven't looked back. MMOs are easy to blog about because they're not just games; they're also worlds and miniature societies. The people make the topic much deeper than many people realize.
I had a (lame) personal blog for a long time, and I wrote fanfic and guild posts and ran a modding site, but no one really called them blogs back then, and most of my stuff was hidden on private boards. I didn't start public blogging as a Structured Thing until Shawn brought me into Massively as his official wordy person. Then I got my personal blog back online, belatedly realizing that everyone else had one and I should too!
I wrote MMORPG.com's Star Wars Galaxies column for part of 2008, as well as a few one-off reviews. Greener pastures and real paychecks beckoned, but I got the blogging itch again in late 2009 and applied to one of Massively's call-outs. Shawn hired me to write about Aion in March of 2010, and I've been bouncing between game columns, news, and whatever since.
I first started blogging in 2008 after years of reading others' blogs. When Warhammer Online started to become a big thing, I wanted to jump on that train as one of the first big blogs. So WAAAGH! was born, and I did that blog for a couple of years (and got a couple of mentions on Massively back in the early days!). I then transitioned over to my multi-MMO blog Bio Break, around which time Shawn brought me on board Massively as well. It really was just a simple jump to go from reading others' thoughts to wanting to share my own, and I haven't been able to shut up since.
I didn't blog, but I did chronicle my gaming adventures on my guild websites, from the first guild I joined back in 2003 to my own that I've run since then. I also started doing fiction for games before they came out as I was waiting to play them. My first actual MMO blogging began right here at Massively when Jef suggested I apply for a certain column that he was aband... I mean, moving on from, and Shawn brought me on board (possibly just so he didn't have to start playing Aion!). He really had no idea what the site was in for, did he?
I started MMO blogging at Massively; MMOs aren't really my native habitat. I have been blogging about games since around 2002-2003, back when blogging was really taking off. At the time, I was mostly talking about 1v1 competitive games. I wrote a lot of guides about tempo control, space control, match-up knowledge, and counter-picking back when there really weren't many good guides about how to teach new players to the competitive scene. I was not really successful, mostly because I am really bad at marketing myself. I continued writing little guides, including a couple at GameFAQs about obscure fighting games. A friend pointed me towards a writing job at Massively, and I applied because I was playing Champions Online at the time. I've always liked MMOs (I played EQ1 in 2001-2002, and many others after that), but I never really wrote about MMOs in particular before coming here.
Sadly, my earliest blogs no longer exist, but they began with the original beta for World of Warcraft. My friends and family were huge fans of the original EverQuest, and while I felt that MMOs were extremely compelling, I quit my adventures in Norrath after seven months. When I got invited into the WoW beta, I knew immediately that it was the game for me. The problem was, I needed to convince my gaming crew to follow along. So I created my first website giving my impressions of the game along with screenshots from the beta. I sent the link out to everyone, and seven years later we were all still raiding four nights per week in the game. After that, I wrote for a WoW website called Project Lore, which spiraled into writing for other sites and eventually streaming and making video content.
I turned Livejournal ramblings into MMO blogging in 2005 with a little Guild Wars fansite called GuildCast. I also ran a Tabula Rasa podcast/fansite in 2007 and did some random fanfic for Lord of the Rings Online. I was hired by Massively in February of 2008 based on my work on those sites and then I hired all of these people. I'm so sorry.
I started blogging about Star Trek Online before the game actually launched. I wanted to chronicle what it was like to be a new MMO player from the very beginning. I tend to bust every gamer stereotype there is. I'm a childless, married woman of almost 50, and the post I wrote about buying my computer was particularly funny in that the sales people at the store seemed shocked when I told them that I wasn't buying the computer for my kids but for me so I could play STO when it launched. I've always been a hobby-writer (fan-fiction, poetry, and children's books), and I took the opportunity to apply for Massively when the position as the Star Trek Online columnist opened almost two years ago. I've been having a great time covering the ups and downs of a game that had a rough start but has shown a consistent sense of improvement ever since.
What do you get when you throw the Massively writers' opinions together in one big pot to stew? You get The Think Tank, a column dedicated to ruminating on the MMO genre. We range from hardcore PvPers to sandbox lovers to the carest of the carebears, so expect some disagreement! Join Senior Editor Shawn Schuster and the team for a new edition right here every other Thursday.