Arpad Korossy's farewell message

There's an article I remember well from U.S. News and World Report regarding the Game Developers' Conference at which Bill Gates unveiled Microsoft's plan to enter the console market. In a sad example of journalism, the author remarks on how this scraggly lot of programmers has gathered mainly to discuss more realistic ways to depict blood and gore. The photo accompanying the article, which takes up most of the page, depicts two kids about ten years old sitting in a darkened room, their faces eerily illuminated by the television, jaws hanging open, and with a completely blank stare towards the camera. About all that's missing is a gob of drool trickling down the side of their mouths. This, unfortunately, is a rather fair representation of the public stereotype of video games. I mention this article because I couldn't help but think how different it might have turned out had the author been acquainted with some of the GIA staff.

My first chance to meet the staff was perhaps one of the happiest days of my life. Through some incredible stroke of luck I had actually gotten hired as a staffer, and I was in nothing short of awe the first time I joined the staff IRC channel, and found myself face to face with the people I had idolized for so long, being the fanboy that I was. Although some degree of reality eventually set in, my respect and admiration for the rest of the staff has never abated. Although we're all fanboys to varying degrees, no one on the staff has let gaming consume them as an obsession, to the exclusion of all else. These are all well-read, cultured, intelligent people, who can hold their own on any topic of discussion. You'll scarcely find a more literate group of teens and twenty-somethings anywhere. And this has made all the difference in the GIA's coverage.

It has always been the belief of the staff that video games are not just the sort of mindless diversion so frequently portrayed in the media, but a new art form. Not a mature one, to be certain, but nonetheless worthy of intelligent analysis and discussion. And this is, I believe, what has made the difference in the GIA's coverage. You'll never see a GIA staffer pretending that a game is the equal of Shakespeare; they know better. But there's always been that underlying belief that with time, gaming will produce its own William Shakespeare, its own Alfred Hitchcock. And auteurs such as Shigeru Miyamoto and Hironobu Sakaguchi may already be gaming equivalents of Eisenstein, pushing a budding art form to new levels of artistic expression.

Standing here at the end of three and a half years, with the site finally come to its logical conclusion, my only regret is not doing more. The site has cut into my time, my sleep, and sometimes my grades, but being a part of something like the GIA, working with one of the greatest staffs in the world so dedicated that they'll work for free and then even pay out of their own pockets to keep the site running, and being able to be a part of making it all happen just at the time when it was slowly beginning to dawn on the rest of the world that maybe there's something more to games then just slack-jawed children and bloody shoot-em-ups: this is priceless. I've always been hesitant to really call myself a GIA staffer because the others have all done so much more than I have, but they all have my sincerest gratitude for letting me join them anyways. I will cherish the memories and friends I have made these last few years for a lifetime.

- Arpad Korossy

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