GIA staff changes

[01.10.00] » Join the GIA in starting 2001 by thanking some old friends and saying hello to new faces.

    In the two years since its birth, the GIA has gone from humble beginnings to one of the leading independent gaming sites on the web - and we never could have done it without the excellent, talented, and dedicated team working here. Unfortunately, the last few months have seen the departure of a few of the long-term staffers. Though the GIA will continue without them, we thought we'd take the opportunity of the beginning of a new year to bid farewell to those who have moved on, and to introduce you to some of the newer staff.

   As most regular visitors to the GIA probably noticed, site founder and longtime Double Agent Andrew Kaufman resigned from his weekend letters column in November. Andrew's work on the site, from writing to behind the scenes server duties has been crucial, and without his help, there may not have even been a GIA -- and no one wants to imagine what kind of freakish, dystopian world that would be. AK's wit will be sorely missed, but we have managed to convince veteran letter columnist Drew Costner to forgo his Virtual Farm and suppress his hate for 95% of the population long enough to take over weekend letter duties. Drew's an old hand around here, and we're happy to have him back.

   After over a year on staff, and numerous highs and lows, the tireless Nich Maragos moved on to pursue other opportunities in December. We asked Nich about his time in the trenches as the GIA, and here's what he had to say:

   "I made a lot of friends and a lot of enemies during my fourteen-month run at the GIA, but it was usually lots of fun, and I'd like to thank the rest of the staff for letting me handle marquee titles like Chrono Trigger, Metal Gear Solid, Chrono Cross, and Final Fantasy VII. (In particular, thanks for indulging my selfish desire to do every MGS GBC-related update from the game's announcement to its release.) They let me cover some lower-profile personal favorites as well, such as Revelations: Persona, Rhapsody, and Tron Bonne, and let me put in all the obscure references I wanted into captions, pull lines, and alt texts. Though school's heating up, I'm still keeping an eye on gaming--you might see me around in a freelance vault or working on a review ... and who knows where else?"

   Vault maintainer and gaming soundtrack guru Arpad Korossy was lost in the middle of this last year to an organization even more powerful than the GIA itself: the US military. An intrepid GIAgent contacted Arpad during his training:

   "On June 30th, 2000, I reported to the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, MD, for Induction Day, the beginning of the six week long plebe summer training program that would change me from a grungy civilian into at least a reasonable facsimile of a good midshipman. About two months later, starting into my first semester, I realized that for the time being, at least, it wasn't really possible for me to fulfill my new set of duties and do justice to my duties at the GIA. All concerned agreed that it would be better to step down at least for my first year, and so my illustrious one year long career with the GIA came to a close. I passed vaults into the very capable hands of my good friend and recent addition to the GIA team, Jeff Davis, and prayed that someday we'd get a proper searchable database online so I could put the disturbing nightmares of wrestling with our copious archives to rest at long last. Nevertheless I still have only the fondest memories of my unfortunately brief stay. The GIA started out relatively small, but in little over two years it has risen to become the premier amateur site in its field, and I'm happy to have had even the smallest part in that. And I have no doubt that if we keep getting people as dedicated, professional, and competent as we have in the past, we can become the best site in our field, period. As for me, I'm still working on a project or two on a freelance basis, in particular, a comprehensive feature on the entire Final Fantasy series. So keep on reading, and we'll do our best not to let you down."

They wouldn't even allow the poor freshman to have consoles, but once he emerges from the depths of Annapolis, he just may find active duty again.

   Lastly, long time GIAgent Brian "Big Lick" Glick seems to have just disappeared. Though we sent a brave GIAgent into the savage, untamed backwaters of Canada to find him, he was "unavailable to comment." His corporate office, however, issued the following statement:

   "Founded in 1980, Brian Glick Enterprises has recently diversified into real-life revenue streams, focusing its efforts on academic classroom attendance and social life development. 'After years of serving the RPG community, we've reached most of the goals we originally set out to attain, and we now plan to fade into the background,' the company's CEO affirms. Nonetheless, BGE assures investors that a long-term affiliation and partnership with the Gaming Intelligence Agency has already been negotiated and will remain in effect for the long-term."

   Translation: he got a job. Poor kid. The GIA wishes him the best of luck in his vain pursuit of filthy lucre. The Big Lick may be gone, but he'll never be forgotten. To Brian, Nich, Arpad, and Andrew and the others who've worked in the limelight or in the shadows, our thanks go out for the time, talent, and sacrifices it took to make the GIA what it is today.

  As old staff have gradually moved away from the site, we've welcomed a few new staffers on board as well. As mentioned above, Drew is back in his old letters groove. In addition, all-around human dynamo Fritz Fraundorf returned from a brief stint as a freelancer to full GIAgent status in September. Longtime readers will remember Fritz from his excellent coverage and the odd (in more ways than one) feature. The GIA's cold, flinty heart grew three sizes the day Fritz returned, and he promises to uphold the GIAgent code, as soon as we find the bourbon-soaked bar napkin we scrawled it on.

   As Arpad already mentioned, the position of Vault editor has been taken over by classic RPG devotee Jeff Davis. A veteran of a number of RPG sites, Jeff joined up with the GIA five months ago. As a fan of and expert on classic games, he been hard at work back in the dusty recesses of the site's Vault to bulk up our coverage of older titles. Jeff's been branching out into reviews and previews lately, but he promises the coming year will bring expanded coverage on the games of the past.

   Rounding out our new staff is the a relative newcomer to the world of gaming coverage, Zak McClendon. Moving up from the bush leagues of freelance work for the GIA, Zak signed on for the full course of news, reviews, and upcoming coverage. He's also writing most of this feature and is demonstrating his enormous restraint by not heaping glowing praise upon himself. His editor (hello!) later secretly added this line praising his work ethic and pointing to his superlative Final Fantasy IX review.

   There you have it -- the changing face of the GIA. Though the staff may rotate and the server may crash, we promise to provide the same timely, informed, and intelligent coverage for which we're become known.

   Now back to work.

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