10 Years of Commenters

From The CRPG Addict

When I started this blog in February 2010, I immediately found that I enjoyed the blogging process–enjoyed it enough, I thought, that I would continue to do it even if I didn’t seem to have many readers, or any. After all, people enjoy writing in diaries with no expectation of external approval, and my blog was, if nothing else, an ongoing diary.
10 years later, I can’t imagine the past decade without all of the readers who have commented along the way. I’m sure I’ve said this before somewhere, but I regard my commenters as co-bloggers. There have been plenty of times that the best information about a game, or the most unique perspective, was found not in my entries but in the comments. My commenters offer alternate perspectives, fill in gaps, solve mysteries, correct errors, answer questions, offer hints, and make connections that I often miss. They have individually gotten me past several blocks and collectively have guided the direction of the blog.
I’ve often felt bad that I’ve never done anything like The Adventure Gamer’s Companion Assist Points and its associated leaderboard, constantly recognizing commenters for their service. For a while, I had a plan to start scoring comments and creating such a leaderboard. It’s something that I might still do in the future, but I think it needs to be lower on my priority list than a few other blog-related tasks. For now, the best I can do is publicly recognize some of the people who have helped the most over the 10 years of blogging.
Before I get into the actual data, let me clear up a few things. First, I obviously cannot know for sure when two handles belong to the same individual, so some people may not appear on the lists by virtue of having their comments split. Second, because of the way I pulled the data, dates are somewhat approximate (and end on 12/13/2019). Finally, the totals refer to the number of entries commented upon rather than the sheer number of comments.
My 10 Most Prolific Commenters
I don’t confuse quality with quantity, and plenty of the best comments on my blog have been anonymous or one-offs from people we’ve never seen again. But I’m lucky enough on my blog to have generally high-quality commenters, and so quantity does equal a certain aggregate quality. These are the 10 individuals who have contributed comments to the highest number of entries over the lifetime of the blog. Without them, the blog would be a very different place.

I like and appreciate all of the individuals below, so if any of my teasing comes across as having an edge to it, that’s a fault of my prose rather than my intent.

10. UbAh. Comments on 325 entries between 11 May 2011 and 1 April 2018.

UbAh, whose name sounds like someone from Maine ordering a rideshare, was so prolific that he makes the top 10 even though he’s only commented once since July 2015. A lover of roguelikes and (like many of my readers) skilled at obscure technical things, his comments are usually short and of the amiable, supplementary sort–rarely controversial, never rude–although there was one memorable moment where he took down a blowhard and almost immediately regretted it.

9. Alexander Sebastian Schulz. Comments on 336 entries between 30 September 2013 and 21 May 2019.

Alexander joined me after reading an article in Der Spiegel. (Why did every newspaper and magazine want to interview me during the first year, when my project seemed insane, but no one has contacted me in the last 5 years?) His comments show a certain universalism–a willingness to find value in every culture and every thing–a value that I (perhaps wrongly) associate with continental Europeans of my era. Alexander is always ready with a compliment and a congratulations and generally agrees with me about the games that I like. He was a big help with the translation of some German titles. Finest moment: waxing philosophical on how the world of Fallout reflects the modern world.

8. VK. Comments on 336 entries between 13 January 2013 and 5 December 2019.

Russian VK is one of my several–and I mean this affectionately!–“RPG nerd” commenters–the small cadre of people who have probably played more RPGs than me, particularly in the 1990s period. He’s been my advanced scout on upcoming titles since his earliest comments (just a couple months ago, he warned me about some quirks in Challenge of the Five Realms), and he’s frequently there to make connections that I missed and to offer defenses of games that I panned. He’s not afraid to argue but doesn’t seem to get overly worked up about his arguments.

7. Harland. Comments on 386 entries between 19 October 2012 and 15 December 2019.

To meet his full potential, a writer needs both champions and critics, and thus for every Alexander Sebastian Schulz, it’s nice to have a Harland–someone who’s always there to tell me what I did or said wrong. But he’s also always there to swat spoilers, as well as commenters who start to grumble when I haven’t posted in a while. And for all his grumpiness, I know he likes my blog. Maybe had a tough childhood because his parents gave him an Intellivision. His recent absolutist rants are a somewhat newer thing.

6. Raifield. Comments on 486 entries between 5 April 2011 and 12 December 2019.

Raifield is always polite, useful, cheerful, and to the point. And while I’ve covered 350 games in 10 years, he’s managed to spend nearly that long on just three. I have this theory that the next Elder Scrolls game won’t be out until he’s finished with Skyrim.

5. PetrusOctavianus. Comments on 643 entries between 14 January 2011 and 12 December 2019

Blend the “RPG nerd” credentials of VK and the bite of Harland, and you have PetrusOctavianus, one of only two of the “Top 10” to have been with me since the first year. His count is artificially low because when I caught him saying some negative things about me on RPGCodex, I renamed his Secret of the Silver Blades character “Brutus,” and he commented under that name for a while. Sometimes I get the feeling that he follows my blog more as a professional courtesy than because he actually likes it. But despite his obsession over something he calls “level design” and certain words that he finds problematic, his comments are invaluable for one major reason: He knows RPGs better than anyone.

4. Zenic Reverie. Comments on 697 entries between 14 January 2012 and 15 November 2019.

My counterpart at The RPG Consoler, Zenic puts me to shame by being much more active on my blog than I am on his. (Then again, one might say that he is more active on my blog than he is on his.) Despite his name, he admirably does not push the toy versions of various games on me, but instead simply offers perspectives on how games changed or adapted in their console ports. He seems to like non-console and adventure games, too, and he was a big help with Xoru last year.

3. Tristan Gall. Comments on 856 entries between 8 August 2012 and 15 December 2019

I’ve never told Tristan this, but I think he’d be the person I’d be most comfortable turning The CRPG Addict over to if I ever had to abandon it permanently–like if I was dying or something. I’d trust him to keep the tone and intent, while of course farming out most of the actual writing. He engages with other commenters as conversationally as he does with me. He has my dry humor. When he agrees with me, he often makes the point better than I do; when he disagrees, he often changes my mind. If he hadn’t been so intent on being “right” in that argument on gambling probabilities, I’d probably put him in my will.

2. Kenny McCormick. Comments on 1,040 entries between 23 March 2012 and 8 February 2019.

Kenny hasn’t commented in almost a year, and I worry that we may have lost him. What will we do without the master of the single entendre, the prince of puns, the great User of Exclamation Points! Without him, sure, I won’t have to moderate things quite as much (“do all of your comments have to involve male genitalia in some way,” I once had to ask him), nor scratch my head quite as often, but the comments section will have lost a lot of its life. Some of my favorite moments are when I tee something up and he knocks it out of the park.

1. Canageek. Comments on 1,266 entries between 2 January 2011 and 18 August 2019.

Canageek: the one commenter that I feel like if I ever meet him in real life, I’ll know immediately that it’s him. One so regular that I once heard from him more often than my wife, although for the past three years (since he started dating one of the Nine Divines) he’s mostly relegated himself to random comments on games I finished ages ago. Though clearly very smart (he’s a chemist), he’s also so guileless than when I made an account called “MexiFriki,” he had no idea I was sending him up. I particularly appreciate the comments that come from his perspective as a dedicated tabletop RPG player.

Honorable mentions: Helm (318 entries in 9 years); Gnoman (297 entries in 5 years); Gerry Quinn (292 entries in 8 years); JJ (290 entries in 10 years); PK Thunder (288 entries in 6 years); Amy K. (239 entries in 3 years); Joe Pranevich (238 entries in 7 years); Buck (231 entries in 4 years); william (223 entries in 9 years–you were never a “gadfly,” buddy); Mikrakov (216 entries in 8 years); Petri R. (213 entries in 6 years); HunterZ (213 entries in 9 years).

My 5 Oldest Commenters
They might not comment very often, but these individuals have been around since the beginning and have all posted within the last year. (Note: I excluded a few people who used handles so generic, like “Brad” and “Robert,” that I could never be sure if it was the same people.) These are sorted by the number of days between their first and most recent comments:

5. mprod. First comment on 8 October 2010, most recent on 5 December 2019. 20 total.

4. Boroth. First comment on 5 August 2010, most recent on 8 October 2019. 105 total.

3. Adamantyr. First comment on 8 September 2010, most recent on 3 December 2019. 137 total.

2. Andy_Panthro. First comment on 13 August 2010, most recent on 8 December 2019. 130 total.

1. Cerdric. First comment on 21 February 2010, most recent on 21 September 2019. 18 entries total.

Honorable mentions who have all commented before my first anniversary and in 2019 or 2020: Eugene (79), Georges (176), Jason Dyer (181), Dungy (64), Alan Twelve (44), JJ (290), Reiko (62), Malkav11 (103), PetrusOctavianus (643), Moonmonster (14), tormodh (7), Kyle Haight (55), Bunyip (54), Giauz (94), trudodyr (90), HunterZ (203), Canageek (1266), william (223), Helm (318).

10 People Who Have Helped Behind the Scenes
These individuals may not have commented a lot, but they’ve done a lot of work to make my blog function. These are not sorted in any particular order, and I am deliberately excluding game developers who responded to my inquires or commented on my blog; they’re a subject for another entry.

  • Abalieno kept sending me fixes for my Amiga problems until I ran out of excuses not to play games on it.
  • Adamantyr has been behind every successful run I’ve made at a TI-99 or TRS-80 game.
  • Buck made it possible for me to (vicariously) “play” Drachen von Laas and to win Seven Horror‘s. 
  • Bunyip and Gabor both read my entries shortly after I publish them and send me typos and other problems. So if you’re in the habit of reading my entries more than 24 hours after initial publication, you’re reading better versions because of their help.
  • Joe Pranevich worked out my collaborations with “The Adventure Gamer,” basically co-blogging about the Quest for Glory titles. 
  • Lance M has made it his personal crusade to clear everything off my “Missing & Mysteries” list. He’s also alerted me to a lot of typos and maintains my entries on HowLongToBeat.com

  • Laszlo Benyi and Nleseul. These two made it possible for me to play The Dragon & Princess (1982), the first Japanese RPG, and Laszlo has continued to help with my Japanese since then, he also got me a working version of the C64 Realms of Darkness, and he’s sent me a lot of typos to fix on past entries.
  • Marc Campbell made a random name generating application in 2010 that I still use today, and he’s helped me with a few Japanese RPGs.
  • OldWowBastard offered the site’s first guest post. I thought it worked out reasonably well and I’m honestly not sure why I haven’t followed up with more.
  • Sebastian from Switzerland made me a logo for Gimlet Publications. I haven’t had a chance to use it yet, but it’s coming!

I’m sure I’ve missed one or more people who deserved to be recognized, for which I’m sorry. I value all my commenters, and I look forward to 10 more years of analyzing RPGs with you!

Original URL: http://crpgaddict.blogspot.com/2020/01/10-years-of-commenters.html