Hello readers! Thank you for joining me on this momentous occasion…Oh hang on, you just came for some witty video game banter, a Top 5 and a beer? Well ok, I’ll see what I can do, but before that I just want to let you know that the point of today’s post is to celebrate the first birthday of the Shoot the Rookie blog!
Self-congratulatory nonsense isn’t really up my street, but I do want to reflect on what has happened over the last year. This post might serve as a bit of an introduction for any wonderful new readers I may have, as well as an opportunity to thank some incredible people for the help they’ve given me. It may also take on a slightly more personal tone than usual, but that is because some of these things are really important to me and definitely not because I have forgotten how to write silly puns about fictional dogs walking down runways. Oh no.
Shoot the Rookie launched with its mission statement on August 1st 2017. This was primarily an explanation of me as a gamer and what I might be going to write about. Basically, I suck at video games but I still love them and want to write about how this works. Having just looked back at this to see what I’d written, I noticed two things. Firstly, there is a typo IN THE FIRST PARAGRAPH *weeps uncontrollably*, and secondly, I apparently promised to write about difficulty in video games. That doesn’t seem to have actually happened very often.
Since the blog launched, I have published forty six articles and written close to fifty thousand words. According to WordPress, my most popular one (by likes at least) is The Video Game World Cup 2018, proving that the combination of soccer, video games and extreme silliness is hard to beat.
Despite me saying that I haven’t written about it as much as I planned to, I have discussed the blog’s core theme a bit, including an in-depth look at Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker, a delve into the world of Rhythm Action Games and a discussion of Fighting Games. On top of this I tried to establish one regular slot in the blog to ensure I posted at least one article each month, and this took the form of a monthly Top 5 list.
Something I didn’t expect when I started writing was how much time I would spend participating in community events, discussing collaborations and generally making friends with fellow games bloggers. I’ve taken part in so many amazing things that I don’t think I can list them all here, but they include writing for the amazing Final Fantasy: Crystal Compendium, organised by the Well-Red Mage, and for the recently published Zelda guide, Hyrule: See The Sights! Hear the Sounds! organised by Matt from Normal Happenings. I’ve taken part in the Charming and Open question series run by Ian from Adventure Rules, and another event organised by Ian which was one of my favourites, the blogger’s Secret Valentine event! All that and I haven’t even mentioned Creative Christmas or Question of the Month yet, although maybe I should, since I am very proud to announce that I won July’s installment of it!
I’ve taken part in other competitions too which really tested my creative writing skills, and one of my proudest moments was being crowned champion of GamersUnitedGG’s blogging competition back in January. Huge thanks to Luna from the Gamers UnitedGG blog for organising that, it was genuinely a huge moment for me.
When I started writing today’s post I wasn’t sure how far to go with my thanks. There are so many people I want to thank that I’m scared I’d miss someone off if I wrote a list, so I’m going to keep it brief, but please please know that if you are reading this blog, if you follow me, or if you’ve ever commented or liked something I’ve done, then I think you are awesome. Every little interaction means a lot to me, and with many of you I’ve had much more in-depth discussions for which I am very grateful.
A few people though need a more personal thanks because of how much they have contributed in different ways to helping make Shoot the Rookie a success. I do apologise sincerely if the rest of this post sounds like an awards acceptance speech, I’ll do my best not to cry!
So firstly, I want to say thank you to the lady who gave me a way into the blogging community, who opens doors for bloggers old and new and who is always around for friendly banter (particularly if it revolves around Guybrush Threepwood). Most of you probably know who I mean, but just in case you don’t, I am of course talking about Kim from Later Levels – organiser of Question of the Month, hostess of the best Blog Parties on the planet, and just generally awesome person. In blog terms, just look at it this way. Before I met Kim I didn’t have any followers. That soon changed though when I attended one of her blog parties and met loads of other talented bloggers who were (for some reason I can’t really fathom) interested in reading what I had to say. If you are a new blogger reading this then make sure you look out for the next one, they are invaluable and a lot of fun!
Secondly, and I have already mentioned him, but I want to say a huge thank you to Ian from Adventure Rules. His community events are second to none – the sheer effort he puts into them makes them a cut above. I’ve already mentioned Charming and Open and the Secret Valentine, but his biggest undertaking, Blogger Blitz: Black Sheep is now upon us and I’m really excited that I’m going to be a judge during this year’s event. These events offer so much to so many bloggers and Ian’s determination to make them succeed and make them grow is an inspiration to smaller blogs like mine.
Next I want to thank Chris from OverThinker Y for all his work and commitment (and, erm, fashion nous?) on our collaborative project High Score Haute Couture which pitted fashion icons from the world of video games against each other in an epic catwalk, the likes of which had never been seen before. Sure, it might sound ridiculous, but who says you always have to approach blogging seriously? We had a fun idea and went with it, and what came out of it was some extremely over-the-top writing, a few laser beams, and a whole heap of laughs. I am very proud of what we accomplished with it and genuinely hope it will return at some point.
Finally, I want to thank my amazing partner who has supported me every step of the way with the blog and who still reads all my articles (and points out when I spell Mortal
Combat Kombat wrong). He has come up with so many things for me to write about, and helped me straighten out a lot of messy ideas I’ve had in my head. He is also unexpectedly good at coming up with funny #hashtags about the world of video game fashion, which wasn’t a skill I knew existed! Thank You ♥
So, what’s next for Shoot the Rookie? Well, I’ve just finished my first community event – The Video Game World Cup (and again, a huge thank you to everyone who was involved), and as I noted earlier I’m just beginning my stint as a judge for Blogger Blitz: Black Sheep so that’ll be keeping me busy! I *may* be participating in a couple of other upcoming collaborations (but shhh, I haven’t written posts for them yet), and I’m always looking for new collaborative ideas so if you fancy working with me let me know. I’m also hopefully going to be introducing a guest writer on the blog, so look out for that too – it’s something I’m really excited about.
Other than that, I have no plans to make any major changes. This blog is very much a spare time activity for me, started when I desperately needed a hobby to give me a creative outlet, so I’m going to keep it casual, with no strict scheduling or anything like that. What I’d really like to do is actually have more games to write about, which means making time for playing games as well as writing about them. That perhaps sounds daft, but despite my love of games, it is actually something I find quite hard to do.
So that as they say is that! Shoot the Rookie Is One! Thank you all so much for your support over the last year, I’m looking forward to more fun blogging exploits in the months to come. If there’s anything you’d like to see me write about or if you have an idea for a collaboration, please let me know below.
As always, thanks for reading!