It’s typically hard for me to brag much about myself and my accomplishments. I have accomplished much, and am proud of my achievements, but I really don’t toot my horn too much.
Today, though, I have to say that I’m exceptionally proud of what we’ve put together over at The Portable Gamer. Not on my own, of course, as it’s a team effort, but I looked at the site tonight and felt genuine pride of ownership, pride of effort, and pride of belonging.
We’ve taken a little nothing bit of cyber data, and turned it into something that supports independent developers and quality, thoughtful reviews and community discussion about portable games. These aren’t your big company, triple a titles coming out for the Sony, Microsoft, or Nintendo corporate megacrushes (though we do want to expand our coverage to more of those companies’ portable offerings), but iPhone games, for the most part.
These games are typically created, marketed, and loved by independent developers and small publishing houses. Yes, there are exceptions to that rule, as always. As the platform matures, more and more big names get into the game, so to speak. But it’s still these little one-or-two-person teams that just thrill me to be a part of telling people about.
There’s married couples putting out games, there’s one guy developers who take their spare time at night, away from families and friends, to code and design and build these fantastic little apps. They take us away from our daily routine on the bus or subway, spare us the monotony of the bank line or dentist waiting room. These sometimes quirky, sometimes amateurish, always loveable little games have become special to me, as has the site that we work on to get the word out.
Looking at the site tonight, for example, I see a review about a Curling game, not your typical handheld experience, for sure. I see some witty and well written commentary about SimCity, an EA Mobile title, sure, but a quality game port of a beloved series of games. I see a rhapsodic fugue about LIttle Red Sled, my latest love of a gaming app. What I see there is what I do not see on many of the other app review sites, no matter how polished or ad supported: I see love. I see a free banner ad or two for developers who have become friends, who’ve shared their joy with us. I see the iCasual Report, the brainchild of an ever-enthusiastic and friendly game-app lover from the other side of the country from me, who continues to grow and review, and expand.
Best of all, I see the original vision of what Jason allowed me to participate in last August: a gaming web site that did it differently, from the heart, not just the brain.
And, dammit, I want to continue to see it. I don’t care if the site makes us a little extra cash or someday pays some full time employees (well, I do care, but not to the point of stress): this is and will continue to be a labor of love, conventional wisdom be damned. I refuse to believe that I need to push the site into the square holse of gaming journalism. If I want to rave on about the musical score of a tiny little $2 game, well, by golly, I’m gonna. I believe our readers respond to our passion, joy, and love.
I hope you get a chance to head over to ThePortableGamer.com, spend some time looking at reviews, reading about our Grand Opening giveaways, listening to our fantastically personal and intimate iCasual Report, join in the conversations, and feel the love. Because, trust me, it’s there.