Firstly I would like to thank the numerous readers and viewers out there who offered their congratulations and best wishes for my 10 years of hosting a show about videogames.
In the interest of full disclosure, though, I have something I need to say:
It’s been 11 years.
I’m hazy on what bureaucratic formality occurred a decade ago, what form was signed, was desk was granted, who starting calling me by name but it seems clear that Adam Michael Sessler was associated with a start date some time in September of 1999. The mind doesn’t boggle as to how it all went down.
The truth is, the first episode of Gamespot TV aired on ZDTV on July 4th, 1998, taped a week earlier in a studio on York Street in San Francisco. Why someone thought it was appropriate to premiere a new television show on a fledgling cable network on a national holiday still strikes me as curious and the results were as inauspicious as one might expect. For me, I thought the world had changed. That night I wore what I deemed a nice shirt and went out to a fancier bar than I usually frequented and stood around thinking someone might notice that guy from the teevee. I went home three hours later slightly drunk, many dollars poorer and unrecognized. Welcome to cable.
The weeks that followed were something of a whirlwind; I was, unhappily, still a banker. Taping the show a 6:00 a.m. on Fridays and slipping into the office in the late morning, hoping no one noticed my absence and then fuming that no one accidentally caught me on the show over the weekend. Furiously, I attempted to find a permanent position on the show to escape the adamantine handcuffs of the financial industry. Luckily, due to my full lack of television production experience, I was eventually deemed suitable for the station, and presented a salary commensurate with my talents.
The next 11 years are still something of a surprise. A job that even I thought was flimsy in its longevity has managed to metastasize into something real, alongside the game industry as a whole growing into a serious entertainment industry far stronger than the titans of music and movies. Bearing witness to changing station ownership, changing sets, changing cities, changing marital status and changing hair growth rates has occurred with pummeling frequency yet, in the end, still comforting, thanks to the multitude of people who have been along for this ride and many who still hop in the car with this crazy man at the wheel.
To them I have nothing but thanks and probably such thanks that the English language isn’t sufficient to express them, maybe Farsi would work better. From sketches to skits to soapboxes to specials to sorry ass ideas that never should have made it to air or online, there are amazingly talented and patient souls that have made and still make the website and the show happen and eleven years wouldn’t be possible without any one of them.
I know this has the sound of a finale but I think round-number anniversaries, inadvertent or not, inevitably bring out a wistfulness to which I am falling victim. If I could get a time machine, I’d like to find that eager, hopeful and confused early-twenties me and let him know it’ll all work out, just not how you’d think and, for that reason alone, it’ll be a whole lot better.
Here’s to 10 ½ more……