Sunday, January 12, 2020

10 Years of Commenters

When I started this blog in February 2010, I immediately found that I enjoyed the blogging process--enjoyed it enough, I thought, that I would continue to do it even if I didn't seem to have many readers, or any. After all, people enjoy writing in diaries with no expectation of external approval, and my blog was, if nothing else, an ongoing diary.

10 years later, I can't imagine the past decade without all of the readers who have commented along the way. I'm sure I've said this before somewhere, but I regard my commenters as co-bloggers. There have been plenty of times that the best information about a game, or the most unique perspective, was found not in my entries but in the comments. My commenters offer alternate perspectives, fill in gaps, solve mysteries, correct errors, answer questions, offer hints, and make connections that I often miss. They have individually gotten me past several blocks and collectively have guided the direction of the blog.

I've often felt bad that I've never done anything like The Adventure Gamer's Companion Assist Points and its associated leaderboard, constantly recognizing commenters for their service. For a while, I had a plan to start scoring comments and creating such a leaderboard. It's something that I might still do in the future, but I think it needs to be lower on my priority list than a few other blog-related tasks. For now, the best I can do is publicly recognize some of the people who have helped the most over the 10 years of blogging.

Before I get into the actual data, let me clear up a few things. First, I obviously cannot know for sure when two handles belong to the same individual, so some people may not appear on the lists by virtue of having their comments split. Second, because of the way I pulled the data, dates are somewhat approximate (and end on 12/13/2019). Finally, the totals refer to the number of entries commented upon rather than the sheer number of comments.

My 10 Most Prolific Commenters

I don't confuse quality with quantity, and plenty of the best comments on my blog have been anonymous or one-offs from people we've never seen again. But I'm lucky enough on my blog to have generally high-quality commenters, and so quantity does equal a certain aggregate quality. These are the 10 individuals who have contributed comments to the highest number of entries over the lifetime of the blog. Without them, the blog would be a very different place.

I like and appreciate all of the individuals below, so if any of my teasing comes across as having an edge to it, that's a fault of my prose rather than my intent.

10. UbAh. Comments on 325 entries between 11 May 2011 and 1 April 2018.

UbAh, whose name sounds like someone from Maine ordering a rideshare, was so prolific that he makes the top 10 even though he's only commented once since July 2015. A lover of roguelikes and (like many of my readers) skilled at obscure technical things, his comments are usually short and of the amiable, supplementary sort--rarely controversial, never rude--although there was one memorable moment where he took down a blowhard and almost immediately regretted it.

9. Alexander Sebastian Schulz. Comments on 336 entries between 30 September 2013 and 21 May 2019.

Alexander joined me after reading an article in Der Spiegel. (Why did every newspaper and magazine want to interview me during the first year, when my project seemed insane, but no one has contacted me in the last 5 years?) His comments show a certain universalism--a willingness to find value in every culture and every thing--a value that I (perhaps wrongly) associate with continental Europeans of my era. Alexander is always ready with a compliment and a congratulations and generally agrees with me about the games that I like. He was a big help with the translation of some German titles. Finest moment: waxing philosophical on how the world of Fallout reflects the modern world.

8. VK. Comments on 336 entries between 13 January 2013 and 5 December 2019.

Russian VK is one of my several--and I mean this affectionately!--"RPG nerd" commenters--the small cadre of people who have probably played more RPGs than me, particularly in the 1990s period. He's been my advanced scout on upcoming titles since his earliest comments (just a couple months ago, he warned me about some quirks in Challenge of the Five Realms), and he's frequently there to make connections that I missed and to offer defenses of games that I panned. He's not afraid to argue but doesn't seem to get overly worked up about his arguments.

7. Harland. Comments on 386 entries between 19 October 2012 and 15 December 2019.

To meet his full potential, a writer needs both champions and critics, and thus for every Alexander Sebastian Schulz, it's nice to have a Harland--someone who's always there to tell me what I did or said wrong. But he's also always there to swat spoilers, as well as commenters who start to grumble when I haven't posted in a while. And for all his grumpiness, I know he likes my blog. Maybe had a tough childhood because his parents gave him an Intellivision. His recent absolutist rants are a somewhat newer thing.

6. Raifield. Comments on 486 entries between 5 April 2011 and 12 December 2019.

Raifield is always polite, useful, cheerful, and to the point. And while I've covered 350 games in 10 years, he's managed to spend nearly that long on just three. I have this theory that the next Elder Scrolls game won't be out until he's finished with Skyrim.

5. PetrusOctavianus. Comments on 643 entries between 14 January 2011 and 12 December 2019

Blend the "RPG nerd" credentials of VK and the bite of Harland, and you have PetrusOctavianus, one of only two of the "Top 10" to have been with me since the first year. His count is artificially low because when I caught him saying some negative things about me on RPGCodex, I renamed his Secret of the Silver Blades character "Brutus," and he commented under that name for a while. Sometimes I get the feeling that he follows my blog more as a professional courtesy than because he actually likes it. But despite his obsession over something he calls "level design" and certain words that he finds problematic, his comments are invaluable for one major reason: He knows RPGs better than anyone.

4. Zenic Reverie. Comments on 697 entries between 14 January 2012 and 15 November 2019.

My counterpart at The RPG Consoler, Zenic puts me to shame by being much more active on my blog than I am on his. (Then again, one might say that he is more active on my blog than he is on his.) Despite his name, he admirably does not push the toy versions of various games on me, but instead simply offers perspectives on how games changed or adapted in their console ports. He seems to like non-console and adventure games, too, and he was a big help with Xoru last year.

3. Tristan Gall. Comments on 856 entries between 8 August 2012 and 15 December 2019

I've never told Tristan this, but I think he'd be the person I'd be most comfortable turning The CRPG Addict over to if I ever had to abandon it permanently--like if I was dying or something. I'd trust him to keep the tone and intent, while of course farming out most of the actual writing. He engages with other commenters as conversationally as he does with me. He has my dry humor. When he agrees with me, he often makes the point better than I do; when he disagrees, he often changes my mind. If he hadn't been so intent on being "right" in that argument on gambling probabilities, I'd probably put him in my will.

2. Kenny McCormick. Comments on 1,040 entries between 23 March 2012 and 8 February 2019.

Kenny hasn't commented in almost a year, and I worry that we may have lost him. What will we do without the master of the single entendre, the prince of puns, the great User of Exclamation Points! Without him, sure, I won't have to moderate things quite as much ("do all of your comments have to involve male genitalia in some way," I once had to ask him), nor scratch my head quite as often, but the comments section will have lost a lot of its life. Some of my favorite moments are when I tee something up and he knocks it out of the park.

1. Canageek. Comments on 1,266 entries between 2 January 2011 and 18 August 2019.

Canageek: the one commenter that I feel like if I ever meet him in real life, I'll know immediately that it's him. One so regular that I once heard from him more often than my wife, although for the past three years (since he started dating one of the Nine Divines) he's mostly relegated himself to random comments on games I finished ages ago. Though clearly very smart (he's a chemist), he's also so guileless than when I made an account called "MexiFriki," he had no idea I was sending him up. I particularly appreciate the comments that come from his perspective as a dedicated tabletop RPG player.

Honorable mentions: Helm (318 entries in 9 years); Gnoman (297 entries in 5 years); Gerry Quinn (292 entries in 8 years); JJ (290 entries in 10 years); PK Thunder (288 entries in 6 years); Amy K. (239 entries in 3 years); Joe Pranevich (238 entries in 7 years); Buck (231 entries in 4 years); william (223 entries in 9 years--you were never a "gadfly," buddy); Mikrakov (216 entries in 8 years); Petri R. (213 entries in 6 years); HunterZ (213 entries in 9 years).

My 5 Oldest Commenters

They might not comment very often, but these individuals have been around since the beginning and have all posted within the last year. (Note: I excluded a few people who used handles so generic, like "Brad" and "Robert," that I could never be sure if it was the same people.) These are sorted by the number of days between their first and most recent comments:

5. mprod. First comment on 8 October 2010, most recent on 5 December 2019. 20 total.

4. Boroth. First comment on 5 August 2010, most recent on 8 October 2019. 105 total.

3. Adamantyr. First comment on 8 September 2010, most recent on 3 December 2019. 137 total.

2. Andy_Panthro. First comment on 13 August 2010, most recent on 8 December 2019. 130 total.

1. Cerdric. First comment on 21 February 2010, most recent on 21 September 2019. 18 entries total.

Honorable mentions who have all commented before my first anniversary and in 2019 or 2020: Eugene (79), Georges (176), Jason Dyer (181), Dungy (64), Alan Twelve (44), JJ (290), Reiko (62), Malkav11 (103), PetrusOctavianus (643), Moonmonster (14), tormodh (7), Kyle Haight (55), Bunyip (54), Giauz (94), trudodyr (90), HunterZ (203), Canageek (1266), william (223), Helm (318).


10 People Who Have Helped Behind the Scenes

These individuals may not have commented a lot, but they've done a lot of work to make my blog function. These are not sorted in any particular order, and I am deliberately excluding game developers who responded to my inquires or commented on my blog; they're a subject for another entry.
          
  • Abalieno kept sending me fixes for my Amiga problems until I ran out of excuses not to play games on it.
  • Adamantyr has been behind every successful run I've made at a TI-99 or TRS-80 game.
  • Buck made it possible for me to (vicariously) "play" Drachen von Laas and to win Seven Horror's. 
  • Bunyip and Gabor both read my entries shortly after I publish them and send me typos and other problems. So if you're in the habit of reading my entries more than 24 hours after initial publication, you're reading better versions because of their help.
  • Joe Pranevich worked out my collaborations with "The Adventure Gamer," basically co-blogging about the Quest for Glory titles. 
  • Lance M has made it his personal crusade to clear everything off my "Missing & Mysteries" list. He's also alerted me to a lot of typos and maintains my entries on HowLongToBeat.com
  • Laszlo Benyi and Nleseul. These two made it possible for me to play The Dragon & Princess (1982), the first Japanese RPG, and Laszlo has continued to help with my Japanese since then, he also got me a working version of the C64 Realms of Darkness, and he's sent me a lot of typos to fix on past entries.
  • Marc Campbell made a random name generating application in 2010 that I still use today, and he's helped me with a few Japanese RPGs.
  • OldWowBastard offered the site's first guest post. I thought it worked out reasonably well and I'm honestly not sure why I haven't followed up with more.
  • Sebastian from Switzerland made me a logo for Gimlet Publications. I haven't had a chance to use it yet, but it's coming!
         
I'm sure I've missed one or more people who deserved to be recognized, for which I'm sorry. I value all my commenters, and I look forward to 10 more years of analyzing RPGs with you!


88 comments:

  1. Hooray I was mentioned

    Thanks for you´re fantastic blog which I´ve followed since it was first ridiculed at the codex and watch

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  2. This place has an amazing community and it's always part of my routine with each new update to see what little codas and extra trivia the peanut gallery has rustled up. This is one of the few parts of the internet where the old adage "don't read the comments" doesn't apply.

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  3. What, no shout-outs to the obsessive lurkers who don't contribute???

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    1. I appreciate you, too. I just can't think of a way to work it into a "top 10" list.

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    2. While we're at it, there should be an honorable mention to the people who still refuse to use at least the Name/URL option and comment as Anonymous, making it nearly impossible to tell them apart. Present company included, of course.

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    3. Was trying to be funny :(

      But seriously love this site! Am a total CRPG junkie and have very fond memories of playing many of these games from my 386 at around the age of 11 or 12. It's great to both go down memory lane, and also see what I missed. So total lurker here just saying thanks to Ches...!

      Don't have a blogspot url, but does this work?

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    4. Lurker here too... way more posts under anon than under the 'dawg!

      I have enjoyed the blog greatly since stumbling in from the cold around 2013... hard to believe it has been that long!

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    5. "Was trying to be funny :("

      Me too, no worries.

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  4. Obdurate Hater of Rhythm Games should get a category unto his/her own.

    V_K and JarlFrank also deserve a mention for proving Codexers can exist outside their own echo chamber and engage in conversation, even disagreement, without having to resort to ad hominem attacks or general immature hysteria.

    VladimIr V Y will always get a thank you from me for showing me the existence of Laser Squad.

    There are dozens of fantastic commenters who didn't make the list, even as honorable mentions, but they help make this place what it is and are a big reason why I come back a couple times a week instead of a couple times a month.

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    1. Part of me was loathe to highlight the top x commenters by quantity because there are so many good ones in the mid-range, too. Sucinum, GregT, Rowan Lipkovits, Pedro Q., JarlFrank, Corey Cole, Bakuiel, Mento, the list goes on and on. I hope that recognizing some for one metric (quantity) doesn't suggest I don't feel equally fondly towards others.

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    2. OHRG is the only commenter I have ever completely banned from the blog. Hopefully he will remain such an exception.

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    3. I wasn't expecting a mention. Most entries I read, enjoy, but have nothing to say! If it were Facebook, I'd "Like", but Blogger doesn't offer an easy to way to show that I'm silently appreciating the content.

      I mostly only comment if it's within my specific areas of nerdery (e.g. D&D), if you veer into a discussion of game design or criticism at a more philosophical level, or if there's some "political correctness has ruined everything" grumpiness in the comments that I feel that someone should rebut... :-)

      And once again - anyone can play a bunch of RPGs and say something about them. I come to your blog because the writing is engaging, professional, and offers a personal perspective. :-)

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    4. My pleasure, Erik.

      By the way, back there I forgot to mention the Breach series, predating X-Com, but more obscure.
      https://www.mobygames.com/game-group/breach-series
      You may want to check it too.

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    5. Guess I lost a bit on the count, since I post without account while at work. Also I surely lead the commenting of dungeon crawlers with different rants in the tone of "DM is the tightest game ever".

      Afair, i follow since I read a spiegel online article from 2013 named "Dieser Mann spielt alle Rollenspiele durch. Alle." (I suppose I can't place a link).

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    6. If anything, I might have expected an honorable mention for dumping the highest amount of obscure RPGs onto Chet's list. With the entire Motelsoft catalogue and a whole handful of Mac-exclusive games, I think I've contributed around 40 games to the list.

      Considering that the list is already overwhelmingly large, Chet would probably consider it a *dis*honorable mention, though :p

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    7. IITC it was the other way around for me - I came upon this blog (shortly) before I registered on the Codex.
      I really should start spending less time on the internet.

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    8. https://www.spiegel.de/netzwelt/games/computerspiel-blog-chester-bolingbroke-spielt-alle-rollenspiele-a-924304.html

      Damn right, "alle."

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    9. die er durchspielen will, nicht möchte :)

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    10. I wish I had more to say more often, especially when I love your posts but thank you for the shout out in the comments. Keep up the good work, and thanks to all the comments mentioned here too for bringing such awesome discussions.

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  5. Have you ever thought of starting a forum where fans can converse in a more structured format than what Blogspot offers?

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    1. I brought it up as an idea once but people told me not to split the comments. I agree. I want the best discussion on my blog, even though Blogger isn't always the best technological experience.

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  6. This is one of the few blogs I follow that, after reading a post, I will often return a day or two later to read new comments. Quite a community you've developed, friend.

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    1. Same! Chet has the best blog on the net.

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  7. Wow, I got a mention. Now I'm curious what I commented on so early. I didn't think I started reading the blog during the first year, probably somewhere around the second year. But I did go back and read everything from the beginning, so I may well have commented on something posted earlier than when I started.

    At any rate, it's been a fun ride. Thank you for being so consistent at grinding away at these games. Your blog has been at the top of my live bookmark feed for years now and I check it several times a week. I don't often have much to say, but I do read every post and most of the comments as well. Thank you also to everyone else who helps keep things interesting here, whether visible comments or behind-the-scenes assistance. :) I also enjoy the overlap between here and the Adventure Gamer.

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    1. Well, this is odd. My e-mail shows that you offered THIS comment back in November 2010:

      http://crpgaddict.blogspot.com/2010/11/dungeon-master-level-3.html?showComment=1289962562978#c3418486187062280604

      Only it's attributed to "anonymous" now. I wonder if that's a result of the loss of OpenID on Blogger and, if so, how much that skewed my statistics.

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    2. Oh, duh. It wouldn't have skewed my statistics at all because I based them on my e-mail notifications of comments, not on their current status.

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    3. Lol. Well thank you for checking. If I'd looked back at that post, I probably wouldn't have even remembered that I'd written that comment since it doesn't appear as me now.

      So that means that you have kept the entire history of your blog comments in your email? That's...kind of scary, actually.

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    4. I mean, if you have Gmail, it pretty much archives every past message for you. My 10 years of comments in there make up 8% of my storage, so there's no reason to delete them.

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  8. That your efforts have generated and allowed for so much discussion is a credit to you Chet.

    The fact that your passion and unquestionable commitment shines through in your work will surely keep people coming back as long as you continue to play and write.

    Well done indeed!

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  9. Chet, what is the total number of different commenters? How many people have you reached in total? May be difficult with the possiblitily to post something anonymously...

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    1. 2,132 unique commenting names, including "anonymous," "unknown," and common names like "Joe" or "Robert" and single letters.

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  10. Would have been cool to list the amount of Devs who commented, since at the beginning of this post you explicitly said you'd only list non-dev commenters.

    Now I'm curious about how many devs in total have posted on your blog.

    (And how many have replied to your emails, but not gone ahead to post on the blog, too)

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    1. Maybe 20-25 have posted on the blog and another 20-25 have helped off-blog. Few enough that it's hard to make a "Top 10" list without feeling like you're snubbing a lot of people; too many to easily compile without individually scanning every entry.

      I want to say that Corey Cole and Tarn Adams are the only (non-independent) developers to comment on games other than their own, but I'm probably forgetting some people even there.

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  11. the comment section is almost always a fun read, so It is nice that you took time to aknowladge this. Out of curiosity how many readers to you have?

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    1. I'm not sure if there's any way to tell for sure. According to Google Analytics, I have 2,300 users in the past 7 days, 6,100 in the past 28 days, and 72,000 in the last calendar year. But i'm not 100% sure how it identifies unique "users" or how to tell how many of them are regular.

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    2. those are still impressive numbers, concidering most printed papers would love such a readerbase

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  12. I sure miss good ol' Kenny. Yes even (or maybe even especially) the riskier comments ;)

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  13. You haven´t mentioned dissent. It´s not an easy topic but commenters who disagree with your thoughts, challenge you, who will never see your perspective are an important element too. It´s part of democracy, respect and maturity to allow dissent, to welcome it, to even recognize it and praise it. Nobody says it´s easy to consider those who think differently to you,
    but they could also have a top 10. If you only preach to the choir, it might be a little sad indeed. There is a dividend of welcoming other views. It will spread the word and broaden your blog´s appeal more widely.

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    1. I did mention dissent; I just used more favorable terms like "alternate perspectives." There are types of dissent I appreciate and types that I don't. I don't want to value it for its own sake.

      Anyway, this entry was about lists that I could easily compile with data. (Even the last list I figured out based on a search of my sent e-mails in which I said things like "thank you.") More qualitative lists ("The Top 10 Dissenters") would require me to read thousands of old comments, and that wasn't something I had time for this month.

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  14. Thanks for the kind words.
    I'm surprised I made the list, though. I didn't think I had posted that much, especially since Google's constant multiple CAPCHA naggings. I have to use a different browser to avoid it (for the time being at least).

    I like your blog, it's in fact my favourite blog. But like Wikipedia it has grown a bit too verbose (I often use the Norwegian version instead for that reason), and coupled with so many comments and too many Ultima clones being covered I no longer read everything written here.

    But your blog has grown into probably the foremost source for info on old, obscure CRPGs, and has become more and more valuable for that reason, and also for covering the _history_ of CRPGs. You seemed rather clueless in that regard in the beginning, but then so did I when I started my own chronological, less complete project. You learn as you play, and especially if you also _write_ about it.
    I've just completed Diablo 2 (mid 2000) with all seven classes. I don't have a blog, but I write regularly on the RPG Codex.

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  15. I enjoy these reflective posts. I was wondering (since I had a retro-style games blog for a few years but can probably count the total number of comments on one hand) how quickly did your blog start getting a regular flow of comments?

    Like, did it take a few years or did it happen right from the beginning? What do you think made it possible - did you do any sort of promotion or is it 100% from Google searches or started with a large network of people to share it with? From this and other blogs I've been reading, it always seems it "just happens" and I'm always wondering if that is in fact the case.

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    1. I had a handful of comments on each entry almost from the beginning, mostly (I think) because I announced it on Reddit. Comments started getting into the dozens when it started appearing on other sites. I have no idea why I seem to get more comments than other blogs covering similar material. I'm just grateful for what I get.

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    2. Your consistent quality, number of games played, and regular updates certainly help in cultivating a returning readership that also hops in to comment whenever they feel like it.

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    3. I, like many others I'm sure, found this blog via the Game Informer spotlight. Although I rarely post (and did so as Anonymous for several years when I did) I still always check back to read the comments a few days after each post.

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  16. You really did not expect success..at all? Come on, you can't be serious. Your blog's topic was too good :-)

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  17. Such a nice idea for a post :). Reading through the comments here is always great.

    Ohg lbh zvffrq na bccbeghavgl gb jevgr cneg bs guvf cbfg hfvat ebg13.pbz, gur hafhat ureb bs gur pbzzrag frpgvba... ;)

    Thanks for the longevity mention, if you're still blogging in another 10 years, I'll still be commenting.

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  18. Wow I need to post more... glad to get a mention!

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  19. Yaaay, comments! I just wish I was talented enough to translate obscure European RPGs, track down vaporware or debug the dozens of emulators you must have. At least when you get to the later 90s and early 2000s you'll start getting into some RPGs that I might have played at release.

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  20. IMHO, after reading this article I feel it conveys a truer understanding of the appreciation and, dare I say, love you have for your readers than any points-based ranking ever could. As someone who has only recently stumbled upon your blog (and who immediately became hopelessly addicted and greedily binge read every entry), I was impressed by the anedotes and personal history included with each contributor.

    I look forward, however impatiently, fo following along with all of you as Chet continues his journey through the games that defined a part of my life I remember with great fondness and nostalgia.

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    1. I binged the entire blog after first finding it at the expense of getting anything done in the computer lab at University.
      However that was when the blog was still kind of new. I can't imagine how much time it would take to binge it now. My RPG heyday was late 90s early 00s so I hope Chet keeps at it long enough for me to read his experiences with games from that era.

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    2. Fingers crossed. I'd actually be fine if Chet would jump the time line once a year to review a classic, or even a new game. When I'm newer rpgs I often find myself wondering what the CRPGAddit would think of it. Especially Pathfinder: Kingmaker.

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  21. Er...I wrote a big long comment expressing my surprise that I commented that much and saying some other stuff, but either blogspot ate it or it's stuck in moderation queue.

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  22. Thanks for the mention, I don't comment so much these days, but maybe I'll have to up my game over the next ten years to try and break into that top 10!

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  23. Still stuck in 2013 at the moment. I should be caught up with you for the 20 year celebrations.

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  24. I am pleased to be listed, but also that you mostly remember our positive experiences working together on TAG collaborations rather than some of the utter crap that I tracked down for you. (Lone Wolf?)

    For no reason that makes sense, our CRPGAddict/TAG collaboration on "Seas of Blood" is one of TAG's top 15 posts of all time (just fell out of our Top Ten), despite the fact that the QfG collaborations were significantly cooler. I never fully understand traffic patterns.

    The community is one of the things that makes this site great. This was a really good look at the many voices that help keep this adventure going strong.

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  25. My daughter, who was born between the first and second posts of my blog (hence the gap), was diagnosed with brain cancer in October. This has distracted me somewhat from Skyrim and most other things related to my life.

    But this post has actually made me smile for the first time in months and I ran over to my wife to excitedly tell her to go to a website whose address she greeted with one raised eyebrow.

    Thanks for the mention and thanks for sharing your journey with us.

    I have this theory that the next Elder Scrolls game won't be out until he's finished with Skyrim.

    Oof, now I have to fire up the game again. I can't let Bethesda of all companies beat me to a final release.

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    1. Oh, Raifield, that's terrible. I hope things are going as well as possible. I have a few other things to say, but I'll contact you by e-mail.

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    2. hope things get better

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    3. I wish there were a better way to express grief for someone over the internet, but I don't know what it is, so just know that even though I don't know you or your family, I am hoping and praying for you all.

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    4. @all:

      Thank you all for your well-wishes. Fortunately things appear to be going as well as is possible and I'm looking forward to resuming my blog soon.

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  26. This is wonderful.

    Regarding points/a leaderboard, my two cents are that I've seen that kind of thing turn the comments into a competition instead a discussion. Also, all of the discussion and tallying of points at TAG made it a little harder for me to get into. It kind of makes the blog feel like a private club that I'm spying on rather than something open to casual readers. But that might just be me.

    You've called out insightful and/or helpful comments in your updates before, and that feels more natural than any kind of scoring system. You could maybe try to pick out some "best comments and thank-yous" and add them to your GIMLET posts?

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    1. Fair enough. I get pretty good comments as it is, so I guess I don't need to rock the boat.

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  27. Weirdly, I don't remember how I discovered this blog. It *could* have been reddit but I didn't read it much back then.

    I also don't remember commenting back then, although I did dig around and find an anonymous comment of mine (I pointed out you can pay to have level draining healed in Bard's Tale).

    Managing to crack Mission Mainframe is still one of my most vivid gaming memories and I'll still probably remember it when I'm 100.

    Cheers!

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  28. I really like your perspective on commenters as co-bloggers! In fact, I often go back to your posts to read new comments. These are an integral part of the project now.

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  29. Hahaha, I acknowledge that I was _particularly_ vehement in that conversation.

    Thanks though, I really appreciate the words.

    ---

    For those curious about their fellow commenters: I'm an Aussie, about a decade Chet's junior, and apparently an eternal student - my studies have taken me to pretty much every faculty on campus, but I guess if I have a core skill set it's within the realm of stats or econ.

    My favourite RPGs are generally party-based and turn-based. Perhaps scandalously, I like most of the quality-of-life improvements which have come from the modern era, though quest markers may be the exception.

    I also enjoy the new breed of indie rogue-lite titles, which condense the core gameplay loops to the point where a run can be played in one sitting: Desktop Dungeons, FTL, Dungeon of the Endless and Slay the Spire are all quality examples.

    My favourite RPG moment was probably my first critical hit with an SMG in Fallout (or with the Gauss Rifle in Fallout 2), and the best RPG I've never seen mentioned on the blog is Rebuild 3.

    Funnily enough, RPGs are my leisure downtime, I'm probably more of a card-gamer - I would travel to events all over the country (particularly for Magic: The Gathering), though these days I'm basically relegated to playing digitally.



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    1. I hadn't heard of Rebuild 3, but looking at the Steam page it looks like the authors themselves and everyone in the reviews calls it a "strategy game". Any particular reason why you designate it as an RPG instead?

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    2. It's a strategy/RPG hybrid. The survivors you rescue can be equipped with gear, level up, etc. However, "you" really aren't any of the characters as much as the omniscient overlord directing the survivors.

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    3. Excellent game all round in any case.

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    4. Tristan, how wonderful of you to mention Slay the Spire, the little indie game I was part of creating! Specifically, I was the backgrounds (and title) artist for it. Always glad to hear people are enjoying something I contributed to.

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    5. @Bruce You did a great job. Slay the Spire's art feels clean, clear, consistent and full of character.

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  30. I've been reading for years but rarely comment. This is my favorite blog, and the only one I read on a consistent basis. It's greatly missed when there's a post drought and excitedly read when there's something new. Old PC games fascinate me, as I was a console gamer as an 80s kid without a computer, but loved reading about the games I couldn't hope to play in magazines. These games haven't aged well to play now, but are delightful to read about.

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    1. This describes me and my sentiment very closely as well :-)

      This was a great entry as usual coupled with great, interesting, and insightful comments, also as usual.

      I offer up my appreciation to Chet for the fantastic (and verging into epic territory in terms of material covered) blog, and to the great community of commenters who add to the depth and intricacy of the whole experience.

      I feel the same way about The Digital Antiquarian (which is incidentally where I first heard about this blog, probably about 8? years ago now), although I am yet to comment there as the content and discussion generally leaves me marvelling but feeling quite intellectually inadequate and a bit of a literary dullard :-)

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    2. I'm one of those lazy, useless commenters who wait for someone else to do the hard work of typing and then just add their: Exactly what I wanted to write.

      Thank you, kittycatgirl2k!

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    3. Exactly what I wanted to say :D Thank you Chet!

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  31. Long time lurker and a former Amiga fanboy here. I only commented once or twice on Amiga cRPGs. I feel constructively ashamed by this post and my New Year commitment is to comment more on your blog since I have personal experience with a substantial number of cRPGs from the 1990s.

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  33. ...and have you tried Persona...

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  34. "Why did every newspaper and magazine want to interview me during the first year, when my project seemed insane, but no one has contacted me in the last 5 years?"

    Because, back then, magazines still employed journalists, as opposed to the current outrage manufacturies employing clickbait bloggers :P

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  35. I'm surprised I made it onto the list of most frequent commenters considering I mostly just comment along the lines of "nice post" most of the time, but I have been reading your blog for a while now so I guess it adds up. Up until now I think I've only played about 10 games you have blogged about, but from 1992 on it's about 5 a year, so I might even be able to make a few comments of substance!

    This is pretty much the only site that I read the comments section of on the Internet, which is actually quite a feat that you attract such civil commenters. At first I thought it was because of the subject you blog about, but then I found out about the cesspool that is Codex, so now I'm not sure.

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  36. I have fond memories of the time I sent Chet a screen shot of my glorious nethack run that went south, and he mentioned it on the blog. He understood exactly why I had to share it.

    I'd also like to mention that in my minds eye, Chet looks just John Candy playing the character of the same name in the 1988 John Hughes classic "Great Outdoors".

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    1. <-A comparison I make in the most enduring, heartfelt way.

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  37. Just found this blog last year, and I have thoroughly enjoyed most of it. I agree that part of what makes this blog so great are the comments, but Chet, you still put out great content with your style of writing and wry humor.

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  38. I'm surprised I commented even 94 times. I just usually don't have much to add compared to the more cultured Addict and other commentariat. Thanks for the mention, Chet!

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  39. Ha, thanks for the shout-out!
    Has it been that long since I last commented?
    Well, I'm still here and read every post. I've been meaning to congratulate you on your milestones for a while now. Keep up the great work!

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  40. I am totally out of this league, but at least I am happy that Chester mentioned me in one blog entry (Hera).

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  41. I decided to write more often after you mentioned that comments were down a bit, but I'm surprised I wrote comments on so many entries. Also surprised that it's already been four years.

    It's generally a pleasure reading the comments on this blog and it bridges the time between updates nicely.

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I welcome all comments about the material in this blog, and I generally do not censor them. However, please follow these rules:

1. Do not link to any commercial entities, including Kickstarter campaigns, unless they're directly relevant to the material in the associated blog posting. (For instance, that GOG is selling the particular game I'm playing is relevant; that Steam is having a sale this week on other games is not.) This also includes user names that link to advertising.

2. Please avoid profanity and vulgar language. I don't want my blog flagged by too many filters.

3. Please don't comment anonymously. It makes it impossible to tell who's who in a thread. Choose the "Name/URL" option, pick a name for yourself, and just leave the URL blank.

4. I appreciate if you use ROT13 for explicit spoilers for the current game and upcoming games. Please at least mention "ROT13" in the comment so we don't get a lot of replies saying "what is that gibberish?"

Also, Blogger has a way of "eating" comments, so I highly recommend that you copy your words to the clipboard before submitting, just in case.

I read all comments, no matter how old the entry. So do many of my subscribers. Reader comments on "old" games continue to supplement our understanding of them. As such, all comment threads on this blog are live and active unless I specifically turn them off. There is no such thing as "necro-posting" on this blog, and thus no need to use that term.

As of January 2019, I will be deleting any comments that simply point out typos. If you want to use the commenting system to alert me to them, great, I appreciate it, but there's no reason to leave such comments preserved for posterity.

I'm sorry for any difficulty commenting. I turn moderation on and off and "word verification" on and off frequently depending on the volume of spam I'm receiving. I only use either when spam gets out of control, so I appreciate your patience with both moderation tools.