A way of catching up with you

It’s a funny coincidence that this week’s Retronauts podcast invokes the name of the Gaming Intelligence Agency, because I do believe it was ten years ago this week that the site launched.

WhawhaWHAT!? Ten years? Good lord. But yes: when the site launched, I was celebrating Thanksgiving in Kalamazoo, Michigan, and puzzling over the freshly-released Ocarina of Time‘s hunt for Saria in the forest. I tend not to do well with audio-based puzzles, for some reason. Ocarina, Myst, Tales of Destiny — each one threw me for a loop when it broke out the enigmatic sound challenges. That’s beside the point, of course; the real point is that the freakin’ GIA, possibly humanity’s greatest-ever video game journalism endeavor, launched 10 years ago. And already I was showing my remarkable inability to stick with any sort of long-term project: I’d been inducted to the site’s staff to help out with graphics early in the pre-launch phase, created said graphics and then bowed out due to time concerns.

Of course, I ended up launching this site a few months later, much to their annoyance, but so it goes.

I’ve learned I deal with smaller projects better than large efforts — less intimidating, less of a commitment. I fact, that’s exactly why I’m skipping out on Thanksgiving this year; I have a few standing offers to join in various forms of gluttony, but this GameSpite book project is looming over me and already is starting to take on an onerous feeling. But I’m nearly done, and I don’t want to end up in that frustrating holding pattern where I’m almost ready to go but it’s just so much trouble and really I can get to it later and oh hey suddenly it’s three years gone by and I never finished. Nope, not this time. I’m putting the wraps on this thing before the weekend. And it’s going to be awesome.

Not as awesome as the GIA was, but really, what is? Here’s to you, illicit GIA mirror! And more importantly, to everyone who worked on the site or took part in its community.

Special dredged-up-from-my-archives memorial bonus art after the jump. Have a good Thanksgiving, turkeys.

17 thoughts on “A way of catching up with you

  1. Often I’ll forget what site I was about to visit, and in running through the list of possibilities in my head The GIA always pops up. I guess I’ll never forget it, which is good because it was favourite thing on the internet.

  2. Over the course of a few years, the GIA alternately inspired me to finally try to get into writing about games, and convinced me I was nowhere near qualified to do it. I still go back and forth.

  3. How did I miss that you were from Kalamazoo, MI? Or do you just have family there? I knew you were from Michigan from something you’ve previously said on some podcast. I go to WMU, by the way, if my username didn’t tip anybody off.

    Also, Happy Thanksgiving to everyone at Gamespite!

  4. I’m not from Kalamazoo. I was born in Flint, though, and lived for a while in the Greenville area.

  5. The only thing I know about Flint, Michigan, is that it appears in every one of Michael Moore’s movies. If he ever does a movie about games (unlikely, because how are you going to do a movie about games and simultaneously distort the facts to make the establishment look as malevolent as possible?) you’ll be in it.

  6. How did I not see that GameSpite has become the spiritual successor to the GIA? Now that Parish has invited contributions from other writers, it seems obvious.

  7. The GIA. Never Forget.

    I still have the T-shirt I got in exchange for donating $10 to keep the site up. Imagine my horror halfway through my semester abroad in Japan when I read that it was closing.

  8. “I don’t want to end up in that frustrating holding pattern where I’m almost ready to go but it’s just so much trouble and really I can get to it later and oh hey suddenly it’s three years gone by and I never finished.”

    I think Axl Rose said the exact same thing.

  9. The GIA. Ahhhh, memories.

    Who shuts down a popular website on april fool’s day anyway? jerks.

  10. New wallpaper GET!

    I still bring up The GIA or its features everywhere I can, which I’m sure is very annoying to the people who visit and find a dead site. But I can’t help it. I miss Special Ops and Double Agent. :( The Final Fantasy Gaiden is also the best, and greatest, April’s Fools I’ve ever seen.

  11. Good golly, I have to deal with my family and being reminded of this. Its like 7 years ago.

    I guess now I’ll start out on a quest to save the world or at very worst annoy the people on said quest with memorable and infrequent encounters.

  12. If your book is done all sorts of on time, will you be offering mildly marked-up signed & wrapped versions for the “Hey, it’s already January but here’s a book from the internet” type of belated holiday gift-giver?

  13. Very good memories. *pours some out for The GIA*
    Back before they’d gone under, they chose my design for their t-shirts which was a huge coup for my teenage ego. Regrettably, I never got a shirt because I kept expecting them to send me a free one…
    On the topic of great game sites, long gone, remember Joe Chan’s PlayStation Gamer?

  14. Ah! I stopped playing games religiously around 2001 or so (and now I rarely play videogames at all — I switched out one form of nerdery for another, videogames for guitar), which is around when the GIA met its demise, I believe. If it weren’t for the GIA, I probably would have quit long before then.

  15. Late to the comments party due to being offline for Thanksgiving, but I can’t resist joining the nostalgia party. Mmmmmm, GIA.

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