Dead Man Walking?
Since the time we (thankfully) switched Game-Rave to a Wordpress site, I've been more aware of the small things in web-site management; SEO, database storage, backing your sh*t up, and more. One of Wordpress' more subtle features, at least to someone running a fan site, brought a depressing fact to life.

I am apparently a dying breed.

The feature I am talking about is the traffic option - that is, I can see where people are coming from to Game-Rave.com. There's the usual suspects like YouTube and Google, but the yesterday a link report featured a site I didn't recognize. Upon clicking it, it was a list of "Other Sources on the Web" for PlayStation games on some fan-site that hadn't been updating in almost 10 years. 

Glancing at the list, I started recognizing some of the names, including the once great and now dearly departed Demo Discs page once run by Lockshaw. In clicking the links, about 14 in all, 4 were dead, 2 were re-directs to web-hosting sites, and 2 were still present, but hadn't ben updated in 3 or more years. That left 3 sites still clearly active, Game-Rave included. The other two were gamefaqs.com and the PSX Data Center. 

The reasons for the other sites closures and abandonments are all varied - some moved on, some found more meaning in families and life, and the rest are simply empty shells with no forwarding address.   

Since accidentally deleting my site a while ago, and having mostly and frantically gotten it back up and running to 101% of its previous life, the shift has been in getting the basic game pages up and filling in the meaty parts (reviews, screenshots, videos, etc) later on. I've been averaging about 3 to 4 games a day, just not every day of the week, with sometimes up to 10 games on a weekend.  When I sit back and compare this to the sites long gone, I think I know what separates me from the others; two reasons actually. 

First and foremost, it's all of you guys and gals, but we'll get back to that in a second. 

The second part is that while I can not speak for other sites, the most important part of Game-Rave from the start was that it had to be a journey for me;   it had to mean something. As much as I HATED starting from scratch from the deletion, it meant that all of my previous mistakes, mis-steps and other wounds were gone. I had a fresh canvas to finally do things right. It made me realize in the decade+ that Game-Rave had been up, I really hadn't done anything with it. 

Any fool can buy a bunch of games, but it's what you do with them that makes them special.  I realized that just posting game reviews didn't mean anything - there had to be fun involved, a need to learn, or teach, based on which side of the screen you were on. The Living History Project was the core of that belief - not only was it a promise to everyone that I'd get every game on site, it meant I had a road map and a plan. From that plan came other ideas like the teaser Sampler Videos, where folks could sneak a peak at a game without people blabbing over a game or witnessing spoilers. More importantly, I'm having fun doing it all. Ultimately, the other reason for it all, is that you're all having fun.  That's what puts the rave in Game-Rave - all of us just having a damn good time. 

I think other sites fail / give up the ghost because they were too focused on the content and not the journey. Too many sites had all the games listed, but would then have just three screenshots of the first 5 minutes of the game , or stolen images, or clearly not correct cover scans, and so forth. These results are from wanting to be the biggest and best in the fastest possible time, which isn't possible. 

I wasn't joking when I said I'd probably be close to 50 years old when the Living History ends, but I'd be lying to say I can't wait to get there, even if I'm the last of my kind. <3

Jason  

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