A Resignation and Reflection: My watch has ended, but my work for you has only started
After 12 years of having the honor to write and create for you and this community, I’m stepping down as the head of Blizzard Watch. Tomorrow I will join Blizzard Entertainment as a Lead Program Manager on the Battle Net team.
Over the last decade, we’ve grown up together. We changed from a small blog covering World of Warcraft, to one of the premiere sites covering all of Blizzard’s games. We went from having AOL as a corporate overlord, to striking it out on our own and standing tall five years later. We experienced good expansions and bad, the rise and fall of games, and shared our thoughts and feelings in millions of comments. You were there when my apartment burned down in the middle of a podcast, when I got married, and as I welcomed my son into this world. We’ve been through a lot, and I am so grateful for your support.
As I move on, the largest change is going to be on the business side where Dan O’Halloran is taking over. Liz Harper will remain as the lead in editorial. I don’t know how to say enough nice things about these two, and how much confidence I have in them to take my internet-baby and grow it well into the future. They are the people who taught me how to do this Thing that we do here.
They’re the ones who gave Alex and I the courage to start Blizzard Watch; it was their insistence that yes, we can actually do this. They are the ones who originally hired us in 2008. They’re the ones I turn to when I need to have a reality check. They’re the ones who I listen to, consult with, and confide in. Blizzard Watch, on the editorial or the administrative end, has always been a collaborative effort amongst decade-long friends. We’ve all come and gone at different points in our life, and when one of us drops off for a bit, the others fill in without missing a beat.
Four months ago when my talks with Blizzard became serious, I withdrew myself from the site almost completely. I refuse to have any real or perceived conflict of interest. Liz and Dan have been running the show ever since.
I could not be happier. The site is thriving in ways it has not for years. Every time I pop my head in there’s some new and great surprise. Whether it is an amazing day of revenue, a surprise weekend with a ton of page views, or a Know Your Lore series that I can’t put down.
WoW Insider and Blizzard Watch have always been an escape for me. They have been a place to go where I always have friends on AIM, Campfire, Slack, or Discord. I can always pop in the Queue comments and see what weird stuff people are talking about, occasionally chiming in on amazing chili recipes. I can randomly click on a Scott Andrews or Matt Rossi article and learn something completely new. It has always been a place that reflects the values of people who are friendly, welcoming, and accepting.
As I step away, I have one final request: you must never allow that to change.
The world we’re living in right now is one where these values are threatened on a global scale. Our friends are being dehumanized because of the color of their skin, where they were born and live, who they love, who they are, or how much money they make. While we have always seen the rallying cry of the Alliance or Horde as a fun extension of the game, a perverse, dark, black mirror has appeared where similar chats exist on a disgusting scale that generates more tribalism and hate than any argument about pixelated internet dragons and elves ever could.
As a community you must continue to show the world what real gamers are all about; show the world what humanity can be at its best. You open your arms to everyone, play with everyone, make friends with everyone. This community is the world that I want my 11-month old son to see one day. This community of inclusiveness and passion for gaming is the real world I want. It is the real world you have created. You have made my, all of our, World of Warcraft a place of joy. From the inner geek that exists at the very center of my soul: Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
My friends, my watch is done. I am beyond excited to go to work for you tomorrow.
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