A New Golden Age
December 27th is our anniversary around here, the day that the Gold-Plated Games curation page came into being on Steam. We’re four years out from that auspicious occasion now, and things have changed more than I ever could imagine. I’m not talking about reviews or the website or even our Twitch streams, though. Something truly remarkable has happened in the last year, so instead of our traditional look back at what was and look forward at what will be, this time we’re focusing on the here and now. It’s a new age for all of us here at Gold-Plated Games, and not just for me.
In 2019 we accomplished plenty of what I set out to do. I’ve kept up with both reviews and streams, actually maintaining a fuller schedule than I had originally aimed for. Website traffic is double what it was last year, we’re closing in on 400 followers on Twitch with dozens of regular viewers, and even our Steam curator has continued to grow in the thousands. But we’ve also expanded in other directions, and one of those was Discord. If you don’t know, Discord is a gaming-centric chat service for text and voice, and groups of all kinds have their own Discord servers now. I was strongly encouraged to start a Discord server for GPG shortly after I started streaming, and because I am weak to any sort of suggestion whatsoever, relented. As someone who generally avoided online chat and new social settings, it was something I had never remotely considered before that.
Gold-Plated Games was originally me tossing reviews out into the void. I would post them on SomethingAwful and spur little discussions here and there, and post them on Steam for the faceless masses to consume, but it always felt like a one-way relationship. Don’t get me wrong, I have always appreciated all the support from readers and viewers from the very beginning, but it hadn’t occurred to me how much of a solo affair it was until we started up our Discord. Now there’s a life to my work that persists far beyond the writing and the posting and the numbers. There’s a place I can go to get immediate feedback on something, to see a discussion continue from something I’ve done, or find out I’ve made a dumb typo somewhere.
But it’s even more than that. Gold-Plated Games isn’t just me anymore. It’s a community. It’s a growing group of people that bring their own likes, dislikes, perspectives, and ideas to share. Our Discord quickly outgrew the single channel we had, splintering into dedicated forums for discussing games, music, movies, books, and more. There are channels I barely touch that have vibrant discussions, that teach people more about the world than I could ever offer. It continues to grow, not just in numbers but in what people do with it, too. At this very moment, people are organizing a book club and discussing play-by-post roleplaying. GPG now represents more than I ever thought possible, and more than I ever would have accomplished on my own.
So that’s where we’re at, here at the start of 2020. Reviews and streams are going fine, I’ve found a good pace for those and a better feel for what I should be focusing on. What really matters, though, is what’s grown around that. We have a very real, very healthy, very active community, and it’s become more important to me than any metric or milestone I could set for myself. I’ve achieved a goal I didn’t even know I had, which was to gather a group of people who can help us all grow in new and exciting ways. I’ll continue to keep the website and social channels spinning but I can see that our community is the real path forward, both for success and for new ideas, friends, and fulfillment every day.
As I do every year, I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for joining me as a reader, viewer, supporter, or visitor. I couldn’t have come this far without your time and attention, and I never would have discovered how rewarding this work could be when it started to grow beyond me. If you’re not a member of our Discord community yet, I heartily encourage you to swing by and give it a look, even if you’d prefer to just observe instead of chat. That’s what I thought I’d do, after all, and it’s turned into so much more. It continues to surprise me what we’ve accomplished, and I have you to thank for it.
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