Thoughts and Musings

And The Bomb Goes On

End of an Era

Today was the biggest announcement of my late teen life: the leaving of the biggest giants of Giant Bomb - Brad, Vinny, and Alex. I first heard the announcement in my friends' group chat in the car after my work shift was over, almost teary-eyed watching the clip from the video podcast. Seeing Brad deflect the dreaded news over to Vinny, struggling to get those words out. Alex then swooping in to bail out his cohort and friend, then Brad laying down the final say. And, of course, Jeff to bring it all back around with his sharp comedy. As if he's known this feeling. As if he's been in their shoes, around in these situations many many times before.

It's a heart breaker for sure, but knowing how professional, well-versed, and excellent in their work ethic they all are they'll do fine in whatever venture they decided to put their hats down, games or otherwise.

I remember getting into the sauce that is Giant Bomb around 2013-2014, right after I left high school. I've always known of Giant Bomb before that time, always in passing in other communities I've been in. The occasional gif of Ryan Davis burning cash money or him and Jeff shaking the Babysitting Mama baby among other reactions of theirs would always make rounds. Heck, I still remember the 8.8 meme and later on I realized that was Jeff who wrote that review. 

That time of my life I was starting community college, getting into a program where I felt like I was getting too over my head, and going through a rough break up. I needed something to distract myself, but I'm also very picky in the media I choose to consume.  Going through Youtube, clips of Giant Bomb videos started appearing in my recommended feed. They instantly clicked with me.

Perhaps it was how the crew felt super genuine and just enjoyed playing games with each other. Perhaps it was the more less-produced and less-edited format of their videos, such as the Throwdown Thursdays or Unprofessional Fridays. Perhaps it was the mix of them being industry professionals with a wealth of knowledge but also showing that they're all just goofballs who enjoy playing games good or bad. In any case, they got me. Specifically it was the two new hires at the time, Dan Rykert and Jason Oestreicher.

Before all this I felt I was shifting away from the whole "produced for Youtube" kinds of videos, like edited Let's Plays and various Machinimas. I started watching people like Slowbeef and Diabetus for their commentary on Long Plays, and others with that kind of long format one take no edits kind of deal.

I still remember my favorite videos at the time: Mario Party Party and Mario Party Party 2. Talk about long form content, those two streams are just perfect case of seeing how moral slowly goes down over time and the effects that follow. Chaos erupting, tensions rising, some even begging for a way out. But the party has to go on, they all agreed. And only one would come out the victor. 

Such an event still makes me want to have a Mario Party Party of my own, no less than 50 turns. One day.

I followed through with Giant Bomb all the way through college up until 2019ish. I used to listen to so many of their various podcasts on my commutes, just to catch up on the games new, get all of their opinions, and also I needed to hear talking voices so I don't fall asleep behind the wheel. Once I stopped commuting and entered a new phase in my life, I followed up with Giant Bomb less and less. Only watching the occasional Quick Looks or other videos that happened to pop up on my feed that seemed interesting.

And again, there it is. Life phases. The passing of time. Nothing can last forever, and change in always inevitable.

But instead of focusing on the sadness of departing, I want to focus on all the good times, and good moments. Those brought by the Ex-Giant Bomb members and friends. So many people have been brought on and left such a substantial mark on the site in their own ways. And every one of them when they left has created a kind of void in its place. Often times some places would try to fill the void, but I think Jeff of all people knows that sometimes nothing can fill what they left behind. It's about acknowledging it, and moving on to bigger, perhaps better things. To keep moving forward, and to cherish what they brought to the table.

I am soo thankful to have gotten to know Brad, Vinny, and Alex through Giant Bomb. Their stories, their opinions, their moments, and what they brought to the many, many years to the site. And in another way, to Dan, Patrick, Austin, Ben, and Abby.

One thing is for sure, Jeff knows how to pick them. And with the interview with Gamespot and the words he gave them, it makes me a bit excited and curious what he has planned for the next era of the site. Giant Bomb has always been in the forefront of content creation, so will this next new plan become a start of the trend? Only time can tell.

I think I want to dedicate the rest of this post to my favorite moments including Brad, Vinny, and Alex (which I'll update over time when I have time). Until then, there's always my favorite song from the end of Adventure Time that I use to cope whenever big changes happen: "Will Happen, Happening, Happened". Even though they have left, they'll always have the videos and content we can experience in the moment, to be back with them even for a little bit and share a bit of joy and laughter.