We've come a long way baby: Your GRcade journey.

Fed up talking videogames? Why?
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PostWe've come a long way baby: Your GRcade journey.
by Rax » Wed Aug 15, 2018 8:58 am

So this anniversary talk has got me thinking about where I was 10 years ago and how things have changed in the intervening years, its made me realise how far I have come in such a relatively short space of time. I still remember signing up to this place, seeing how shiny and new everything was, sensing the excitement of it all, seeing how many people were making the jump and it becoming clear that this was going to work. Might sound strange but its a very happy memory for me. Anyway, to give this thread a purpose, where were you when you signed up here? Where are you now? Whats happening in the intervening years? Have you had any GR in real life events?

I signed up as part of the first wave of migrants, at the time I was doing work experience with Intel and I basically had zero work to do most days so I spent a lot of time on here, lurking mostly as I do now. Since that day I have graduated, spent 18 months working for my Dad, strained my ACL playing rugby, tore my ACL while pissed, gotten surgery to repair it, been 6 weeks away from emmigrating, gotten a full time job, moved to Dublin, had that job taken away by the FBI, moved to a job I instantly hated, left that in less than 90 days, got a job at McAfee, moved back to Cork, been bought out by Intel so I technically worked for Intel again, met a girl, moved to a job I ended up hating, went back to McAfee who became Intel Security, went back to playing rugby, retired from playing rugby, saw Intel Security become McAfee again, moved to havea 90 min commute to my job, had a baby, got married, left McAfee on my 3 year anniversary, got a job 20 mins from home, started coaching rugby, have a second baby on the way and Im now head coach of a rugby team.

My GR in real life moment: I met Jiggles, though I didnt know it was Jiggles at the time. He was finishing up his placement at Intel and I was just starting mine, by pure fluke I was taking over from a friend of his and we met one day at some meeting.

TL;DR, I was a lazy student when I signed up here, now I have a full time job, a wife, a baby, a house and a rugby team. I also once met Jiggles.

Over to you GR, whats your journey been like?

Last edited by Rax on Thu Aug 16, 2018 10:29 am, edited 1 time in total.
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PostRe: We've come a long way baby....
by Moggy » Wed Aug 15, 2018 9:13 am

A lot of my life is the same as it was 10 years ago and a lot of it has changed completely. 10 years ago I was living with the same woman as I am now, in the same area and employed by the same company. But I have bought a flat, got married, had a kid and have moved departments at work. I also became an Irish citizen last year and obtained a degree in 2016.

So not much has changed but everything has changed.

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PostRe: We've come a long way baby....
by Preezy » Wed Aug 15, 2018 10:25 am

I joined in 2009 when I was at uni with Joer (hi Joer!) and a fair bit has changed:

- Now married (was with my mrs when I joined, I'm clearly a keeper)
- Got that degree, somehow.
- Now have 2 kids, didn't have any when I joined. This is a disastrous situation.
- Now own my own house (which is my second property), lived at my mum's when I joined.
- Had hair when I joined, I now regularly shave what's left on my head.
- Got a job after uni and have been with the same company for 7 years.

GRcade has been a comforting constant throughout :wub:

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SONM & Cake Sec.
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Location: Reading, UK

PostRe: We've come a long way baby....
by OrangeRKN » Wed Aug 15, 2018 10:48 am

I'd have just finished my GCSEs 10 years ago, so yeah things have changed. Sixth form, university, moved to Reading, started work. I started drinking, dating, met almost all of my current friends and my girlfriend. I've met Prince Edward and walked along the Great Wall of China. SONM has been and gone. And to top it all off, there have been four new Zelda games!

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Mini E
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PostRe: We've come a long way baby....
by Mini E » Wed Aug 15, 2018 10:49 am

I joined here in 2008, during my AS levels. Since then:

- Completed my A levels badly (CCD - crushed it)
- Two years of employment as a TA/Cover teacher/First aid bloke
- Moved out from my Mother's house and set up shop in the real world
- Snapped my ankle, 15 months of pain, physio then surgery and more physio.
- Gained 20kg
- First class BSc
- Lost 25kg
- MSc with Merit
- Three years into my funded (and now starting to over-run) PhD
- Diagnosed with an uncurable genetic condition which is going to cause me to lose my eyesight completely in the next two or three decades
- Ran nine half marathons
- Heartbroken (for want of a better phrase. One of them probably wasn't) twice in three years
- Met new girlfriend
- Had one partial breakdown (upon news of previously mentioned medical condition)
- Married said girlfriend and moved in together.

Aged 17-27. It turns out a lot happens in that time. Oh and made IRL friendships with DML and PPM. They have great taste in football clubs and are thoroughly nice blokes.

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PostRe: We've come a long way baby....
by <]:^D » Wed Aug 15, 2018 10:57 am

this forum has stunted my mental growth and ruined my life

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PostRe: We've come a long way baby....
by False » Wed Aug 15, 2018 11:49 am

*Joined as a sad and lonely physically fit 18 year old boy
*Left school and all my friends and effectively started again with mostly sub par or disastrous results
*Got qualified, got good work
*Started getting nice cars
*Started really exploring my degenerate hedonism and partying hard
*Really started exploring my fragile mental state
*Annoyed a lot of people, made a few very good friends
*Pure chance landed me a lovely girlfriend who is the most annoying person I cant really do without and became a stepfather figure to an annoying and adorable little girl
*Got my dream car
*Mind continues to abandon me
*Still a degenerate, still imprisoned by my variable mental states
*28 year old boy who finds his body is shite and giving out but at least my car is fast

Ive had a lot of very good times as a direct result of my involvement to this place, I like most of you here and have fond memories of my arguments and bannings (including I believe two permas) but like a bad smell I stick around. Ive taken you with me on my journey with lots of horrible and hilarious exploits and experiences but I can say Ive always been honest and myself. I find myself a more rounded and developed person and acutely aware of my own strengths and flaws and I dont know how I would have shaped up if I was around another group of people. In so many of the times where I have been low and alone and reaching my wits end Ive managed to find a voice of sanity here who has helped me out or made me laugh and for that I should be grateful.

Still havent managed to trap Emma, though.

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Corazon de Leon
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PostRe: We've come a long way baby....
by Corazon de Leon » Wed Aug 15, 2018 12:45 pm

So I joined GRCade in August 2008. I was 18, and had just finished first year uni. I had shoulder length hair and was pushing 20 stone. I worked 8 hours a week in Morrisons. Since then, in some semblance of order:

- Got a slightly better job dealing with complaints in a call centre. Coming up on ten years in October.
- Moved out for the first time, to a house my mum inherited when my granda died. It was an unmitigated disaster. Tried again a year later, also a disaster.
- Met other forumites for the first time, at the meet and meat in 2009. I can honestly say that I've made genuinely great friends off the back of those meet ups, who I couldn't do without. Lost my hair in a freak balding accident a few weeks after I turned 21 in 2010.
- Completed undergrad degree in 2011(2:1 - the drinking man's degree). Started masters degree almost immediately.
- Completed masters degree in 2012(awarded with merit). Started PhD - self funded because I found I could never concentrate hard enough to really study for the top grades.
- Learned to drive in 2013/14, and got a car which I have spent the last four years absolutely running into the ground. It's an indispensable advantage.
- Spent almost three months in the States in 2014, performing, " PhD research." Most of this research was into how cheap one can acquire booze and fags in Texas. Somehow, I did not immediately fail the PhD when I got back.
- Lost over six stone, though I've since put about two back on.
- Got a dog in 2015. It wouldn't be an understatement to say that this was both the best and worst decision the family ever made.
- Immediately moved out away from said dog to Glasgow's West End, and have never returned to my mum's house.
- Also started teaching as a Graduate Teaching Assistant(same arrangement as Mini E most likely) in 2015, and have carried that on at a couple of institutions since. It's a job I genuinely love and hope to take forward as a career.
- Met my current partner in July 2016, moved in with her the following May. I've somehow become the owner of a cat as part of this arrangement.
- Finally, FINALLY, submitted PhD in 2017, and graduated last month for the third and last time. At least two GRCade members(and the dog) have a personal thank you in the credits.

Those are the most important things but it's been a pretty eventful. Travelled to the US a few times, spent almost a month in Asia, around Europe, spent myself into ludicrous debt, had all kinds of soap-esque family shenanigans and everything in between. No kids yet, and not married, but these things aren't a million miles in the future. Certainly by the time we get to 20. :lol:

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PostRe: We've come a long way baby....
by Tafdolphin » Wed Aug 15, 2018 2:09 pm

Less money
Fewer friends
More anger
More despair


+1 wife.

So all's well.

Gemini73 wrote:Yes your are a sanctimonious twat

Bloggy blog blog blog.

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PostRe: We've come a long way baby....
by Ironhide » Wed Aug 15, 2018 3:16 pm

Was 26 with a full head of hair when I joined, now I'm 36, balding and a bitter twisted husk of my former self.

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Johnny Ryall
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Location: Box Elder, MO

PostRe: We've come a long way baby....
by Johnny Ryall » Wed Aug 15, 2018 5:44 pm

I'm a home owner which 20 year old me would scream and run away from so that's something

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PostRe: We've come a long way baby....
by Qikz » Wed Aug 15, 2018 6:28 pm

I'm scared to think of what's changed in my life. Is that worrying? :fp:

The Watching Artist wrote:I feel so inept next to Qikz...
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PostRe: We've come a long way baby....
by Meep » Wed Aug 15, 2018 6:53 pm

I have a few more qualifications to my name, more money in my bank account, have a car that I am qualified to drive and am a lot fitter despite the extra decade thanks to actually taking an interest in exercise these days. Not as much of an improvement as I was hoping for but better than nothing. Was kind of hoping to own my own place by now but I suppose I'll get to that point eventually even if just by inheritance so I'm not too down about it.

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PostRe: We've come a long way baby....
by jawafour » Wed Aug 15, 2018 7:02 pm

Ten years ago I was working in a decent job that paid enough to handle the bills but I grew increasingly... uhm... frustrated and down about it.
Now I'm outta work, afraid that I won't be able to meet the bills if I don't sort myself out, but a little bit happier. GRcade has been a big help to me during this period.

Life is weird.

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PostRe: We've come a long way baby....
by Cuttooth » Wed Aug 15, 2018 7:28 pm

- Living at home at 18 with only bad GCSE grades to my name, feeling miserable about my career prospects
- Do nothing for three years or so (peak GR posting days)
- Realised I should probably do something other than nothing all day so volunteered with a charity as an administrator
- Get some kind of BTEC IT thing?
- Get offered a part-time paid job at the charity which is cool until the funding dries up for it
- Find a job in the energy sector; within two minutes I sit down next to who'll turn out to be my partner (made her laugh or some nonsense)
- Buy my brother's camera set up off him for cheap and start a love/hate relationship with photography
- Decide taking future partner back to my parents' house with two older brothers also still living at home for various reasons sounds like a terrible idea so move out to a nice, if dingy flat
- Pretty quickly get made redundant again but ask her to move in after about six months knowing each other (risky!)
- Get diagnosed with a shitty lifelong arthritic condition at age 25
- Find a better job in the energy sector; move closer to it
- Start making a decent wage and buy a house
- Get a cat maybe?

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PostRe: We've come a long way baby....
by Wrathy » Wed Aug 15, 2018 10:29 pm

Jesus... I wasn't on GRCade (obviously) but 10 years ago I was a mod on ONM, when it was still vaguely good. Going through my late teens and early 20s means there's been a shitload of change, some of which I'm going to leave out, some of which I'll horribly abridge, and some of which I'll give disproportionate focus to.

- Academically GCSEs (breezed through to easy straight As; get that nerdy entitlement thing smart kids who aren't challenged enough get, fail AS levels miserably with ACC grades, turn it round for A*AA at A2)
- Moved away from my small hometown in Northern Ireland to the English city of Birmingham on my own
- Failed a law degree
- Nearly failed my emergency backup degree (Politics with Philosophy) in second year (2014) due to a mental health emergency (attempted suicide)
- Finally graduated on time, one year late, with a 2:1
- Got a job on Vodafone's graduate scheme which was a clusterfuck of two years that didn't turn out to be my true calling or forever industry
- As part of the above, moved to Glasgow (on my own) and then Reading (shared flat - horrendous) and finally Southampton (on my own again)
- Went out of work for five months as I struggled to convert my failure into something positive
- Eventually found a job in the shipping industry that I'm genuinely interested in and valued within
- Seen Metallica 17 (!!) times, Muse 13 times (!!), and a shitload of other bands I never thought I'd be privileged to see even once as a kid growing up in the backwaters of Northern Ireland
- Finally picked up a proper hobby of Pokemon cards, which I'm relatively good at and am competing in the international championships after qualifying in my first year by accident

Still haven't met a partner or started making enough money for meaningful savings, still not sure where I want to live permanently when things settle down, life feels precarious due to Brexit and I'm terrified of the future. I think it'll turn out ok though.

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PostRe: We've come a long way baby....
by Tsunade » Wed Aug 15, 2018 11:11 pm

You're amazing at Pokemon wrath, you're off to the world's soon, not many Pokemon players can say that!

10 years ago I'd have been twenty, just made redundant from my admin job as my apprenticeship had ended and they already had another person doing another one, with a one year old, using ONM as a bit of an escape when I was able to get online.

As the years went, i was ill a few times, my mental health started to deteriorate and so did my health condition. I stopped looking after myself and ended up in critical care at one point with septaecemia (I've probably spelt that wrong) 4 and a half years ago. It made me start trying to look after myself better, not just for my sake but for my daughters too.

I got into a few relationships, the one I'm in now being the best and longest one, (hopefully he keeps putting up with me and my madness for the long run). I know I'll probably never get married but I think I've made peace with that.

Im 30 now. I've watched Ella grow up into a very chill 11 year old, moved out of mum's into my first place and my health condition is a lot better (though i constantly have to monitor it) my mental health does have ups and downs still though and I'll still get anxious at a drop of a hat.

I do wonder what I'll have to say in ten years time. Will I have finally moved out of Birmingham and somewhere not crime ridden? Will I hopefully still be with my partner? Will I still be lurking on this gaming forum?

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PostRe: We've come a long way baby....
by Minoru » Thu Aug 16, 2018 12:29 am

I only signed up to Grcade when SONM was closing, but I joined ONM in 2006, would've been 14. Since then I have... done nothing with my life. My anxiety has gotten a whole lot worse and I've gotten better at isolating myself.

I haven't had a job, or finished uni, or got a partner or moved out of my parents or met any significant new people or learned new skills or got any hobbies. I'm a miserable failure who has done nothing with their life.

On the plus side, I've been to Disneyland :toot:

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PostRe: We've come a long way baby....
by Karl » Thu Aug 16, 2018 1:45 am

This is a wonderful idea for a thread. Genuinely fascinated by reading these.

I am going to just go ahead and write this as a stream of consciousness. I'm spoilering this because it's probably a bit long & depressing. Sorry about that. ...I'll try to skim over the worst parts.

I signed up to GamesRadar when I was 9, which is now over 15 years ago (God...). It's outside of the time range, but for the sake of completion, the 5 years before GRcade were not great for me. I was badly bullied at school. I had undiagnosed, quite serious childhood mental health problems. (I remember my first suicidal thought - it's weirdly clear, kind of burned into my brain - which was even earlier, about 7 or 8.) At that age I couldn't possibly have understood why I felt like I did. I struggled to connect to people in any kind of genuine way, and was generally very unhappy. My parents argued. Was there anything good? The bad moments drown it all out. I loved my Nan a lot - she was a very kind, selfless person - but then she got cancer and passed away. I'm struggling now; it's a weird thing but I guess I remember really liking The Powerpuff Girls, which probably set the tone for the TV I now like later in life (for a western cartoon it was really very anime).

I could have really used a therapist, but I guess I had you lot instead! I wasn't always the most popular on GR, but most of you were nice and it felt good to know I had friends out there somewhere. Thank you all for that.

By the time GRcade rolled around I was just about finishing up at secondary school. At that point I was bullied less intensely, though I hadn't made any lasting friends (with one exception: a very decent chap who ended up going to the same University as me). I was naturally academic and got all As despite not trying very hard.

I was very personally invested in GR/GRcade at that age. It's a second family, after all! I had big, loud, obnoxious opinions about how the site should be run. Most of the Mods viewed me as a trouble-maker, I think, but I know Gecko knew it was coming from a good place. Eventually I got added to the staff roster to help sysadmin the server and code themes and extensions.

I played a whole lot of TF2 with Winckle. I was a bit of an easily-frustrated baby, but we had a tonne of fun. At one point I was part of a clan that could keep up with pros, which is probably my proudest gaming moment (now I play Overwatch and I'm only plat, such a fall from grace...). Then we were part of the PCGT crew - Kezzer, Falsey, others - and we would all play MW2 and CSS together.

Winckle also introduced me to hit year 2000 cyberpunk FPSRPG Deus Ex, the best game of all time.

At sixth form I studied double Maths, Computer Science, Physics, History, and I did an AS equivalent in some research skills programme I can't quite remember the name of. I placed top 10 in a national computer science competition. With a little more effort I carried on getting all As. My parents split. There were suicide attempts in my family. I became even more intensely suicidal myself. I began to feel extremely lonely, both for real-life friends and for a relationship, but I also knew I wasn't mentally healthy enough for the latter, and that began to frustrate me.

My Mum got cats. They're great. Big fluffy cuddly sweethearts.

I became an admin here. At some point along the way it became obvious that we weren't going to become the next NeoGAF, or even the next Rllmuk or whatever. So I haven't always done a fantastic job, but my focus has always been on care-taking: keeping the community running smoothly for the people who are here. For what it's worth I think that's the right road for us to travel, and picking up new members by forging relationships with similar small forums is far better than trying to entice randos from the outer Internet.

I scraped into Oxford to study Physics (and got a very rude letter letting me know where I came in the ranking of admissions: right at the bottom, which kind of put a brown lining around something that should have been unambiguously happy!). I also got a scholarship for being poor. I had been mentally ill for so long it seemed normal and I couldn't remember being any other way. I got very sick with bronchitis in first term and missed all my lectures. I started having anxiety attacks before mock exams. My tutors told me I was smart but I didn't test well. I made the friends that I still speak to today, and began to feel a little more socially connected despite everything else. My insomnia became so bad I couldn't go to lectures in second or third term either. I was pretty open about wanting to die, not feeling "connected" to the world or to my body, feeling like an imposter and wishing I were someone fundamentally different: but between here and the friends I'd made IRL, at least I had people to tell.

I drank a lot. Somehow I passed the exam to enter second year by 1 mark. In second year I had a breakdown (a long time coming) and got some help. I frightened off a fair few of my pals (and that was absolutely a fair enough reaction on their parts), but the ones who stuck with me I'm still friends with now. I drifted apart a bit from my family -- but there's no animosity, and things have been calmer lately when I do see them. Mirtazapine was a band-aid, ultimately, but a sturdy one. It saved my life and let me get on with my course.

Third year had a research-based coursework component which I got ridiculously high marks in, which convinced me I wanted to carry on with research. Weird Libyan men approached me on Facebook and asked me pointed questions about that project, which was secret & NDA'd; obviously I blocked them, locked down my Facebook, and to this day I wonder, like, what exactly was going on there? (Were they spies?!) Despite feeling mentally a little healthier, I still threw up so hard before my exams that the blood vessels in my eyeballs popped. I got a 2.ii. overall, which is probably what I deserved.

I went to Swansea to study a Computer Science M.Sc. with funding from the European Union. I learned how to wrangle supercomputers, which is now half of my day job. I was in halls with the international students, and at the risk of sounding like a twat I really enjoyed meeting & living with people from all over the world. I started going out with a girl who lived a few doors down from me. She stayed in the UK for me and we're still happily together. For some reason she likes me despite all the above!

I began to finally understand myself a bit better. On top of depression and anxiety I suspect I have some other conditions which might never be diagnosed - I think it would be rude to those with proper diagnoses to speculate, but I'm sure some of you might have some ideas... - but I don't mind as knowing and mitigating is most of the battle. I also started being a more active ally to feminists and LGBTQ+ people, which has become something that's important to me. There are a lot of aspects of queer culture in particular that I find relatable, and supporting that kind of social movement has brought me some comfort.

At the end of that year I did a placement, where I learned structural bioinformatics - how to make little 3D models of proteins - which is the other half of my present day job. I passed the M.Sc. with Distinction.

My second full time job (my night job!) is Ph.D. research in computational biology. I'm working 12 hour days plus weekends a lot of the time, but I'm decent at what I do and my boss (who is also the researcher supervising my Ph.D.) is very encouraging. If I have a regret about the situation, it's only that I wish I had more time to myself to be creative. I've been sitting on two episodes of the podcast for almost two months for sheer lack of spare hours to put into editing (it's almost there, but I've been saying that for weeks...); I barely draw or paint, despite enjoying it; I'm in to writing (Lovecraftian horror short stories!) but I never have time to complete anything; lately I don't even have time to play videogames or watch a show or see a film. But being busy isn't a terrible thing. I'm glad I get to be busy doing something interesting, and that I can spend the free time I do have with my partner, and that I can procrastinate by posting my meandering life story here.

Over the last few weeks I used up a bit of research group funding: I built a cluster from second-hand parts and set it up from scratch. It works! 80 cores, 320 GiB of RAM, 12.5 TiB of storage. It's not IBM Watson - it's only barely "super" and I'm actually used to working with much larger systems - but it's mine. We're going to double all of those specs with some more parts soon. That's pretty exciting! I'm excited. :toot:

Overall I guess that's a mixed bag, but it definitely starts out worse and gets more positive, and I think you all are a part of that improvement. I'm grateful this place was here, and glad we're still going. Cheers.

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PostRe: We've come a long way baby....
by Moggy » Thu Aug 16, 2018 7:28 am

Karl wrote:Weird Libyan men approached me on Facebook and asked me pointed questions about that project, which was secret & NDA'd; obviously I blocked them, locked down my Facebook, and to this day I wonder, like, what exactly was going on there? (Were they spies?!)

You strawberry floating idiot, they were going to give you plutonium for the time machine. You could be back in the 50s right now getting off with members of your family.

Karl. :fp:

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