I don’t know what that pane at the top right of the site is called. Maybe this is indicative of the problem. Anyway, whatever that thing is called, it has had this text on it for the last five years:
“We are a fun-loving, quasi-intellectual bunch of gamers and writers with so many opinions we just had to share.”
I’ve been responsible for maintaining a great many quasis in my time, but AR has been amongst my favourite.
Writing for AR has been good to me. It’s given me some confidence (and occasionally taken some away, but overall I think I’m up on the deal) and it’s given me some friends too.
When we started out I wanted to use a pseudonym, and asked Shaun not to tell any of our friends that it was me writing for the site. He ignored me. I asked him again; he told me to fuck off. That was probably a good choice in retrospect. I still haven’t ever shared any of my articles on my personal social media because I still shake in fear at the idea of my friends knowing what a talentless fraud I am, but every now and again I’ve liked the idea of people reading what I’ve written and enjoying it, which was pretty unimaginable before AR give me the kicking I needed.
It’s also helped me in my career. At my interview for my current job, the guy interviewing me said he’d been reading Arcadian Rhythms and was complimentary about the site. I think his words were “I knew I would like you when I read about that slimy passage, yawning rectum thing.” I feel that was a key turning point in the interview.
Over the years I’ve slowly stopped writing for AR. Not intentionally. I think I have as many half-finished articles as I do finished ones. Life has gotten in the way, but as well as that my relationship with games has changed. More and more I find myself bored with the games anyone wants to read about. I am developing an intense dislike for anything even vaguely popular. I’m turning into a whiny, negative old man who only wants to talk about how games used to be better back in the day, and I don’t think anyone wants to read that.
Even though I don’t want to see AR shut down, I can hardly complain. I was the first of us to give up, and I’ve done very little to help with the reduction in content.
Obviously, I have regrets; our controversial review of Assassin’s Creed springs to mind, or the fiasco that followed that picture of Shaun with the Doritos. On the other hand, we’ve had some major successes – the time we revealed that you can see Ellen Paige in the shower in Beyond: Two Souls, or our classic ‘Top 10 Funniest Moments In Final Fantasy VII’ series of articles, which I am so proud of us for successfully managing to turn into a 15-part crowdpleaser.
Still sad to see the old girl go though. I will raise a glass to the site, all it has accomplished in its small little way, and to Shaun and AJ for keeping it running for all the many years I spent not helping with that. Which is all just my way of saying that I am going to be very, very drunk on that final podcast.