Happy first birthday, IM PLAYIN!

I want to start this post by wishing a happy birthday to our website, or at least the concept of this website. A whole year ago to the day, way back when we were a nifty little WordPress blog, we posted our first ever article. It was a short review of Skyrim, which just so happens to be one of my favourite games, so it was a fitting title to choose for our first post. When I initially approached my three friends, Alex (Thinkbad Monkey), Con (Romnomnom) and Steve (Kailios), about starting the blog, I had very modest expectations. I wasn’t thinking about the possible future of the blog, I didn’t have visions of grandeur, of thousands of readers and millions of pounds. What I wanted was a platform to talk about the games that we were playing, to inform our readers of what we thought were good games and what we believed weren’t worth wasting their money on. But, most of all, I wanted my friends and I to create something together. Something that was ours, to do with as we wished and to shape in our own visions. At first, that was exactly what we created. A small blog with weekly posts talking about the games that we were enjoying at the time. It was simple, but probably not overly effective, yet it was ours and we loved it. Then, almost out of nowhere, people started noticing us. We had friends and colleagues approaching us, asking if they could write posts for the blog, or help in whatever way they were able. We took them on because we needed the help, but we also saw it as an opportunity to expand on our ideas and invite others to join us on our little adventure. After a few months a good friend of Steve and Alex, Den (H0NEYL00PS), joined us on a more permanent basis and he brought with him his knowledge of the inter-webs and designed us this nifty website that you see before you. Not only that, but he also writes articles for the site too! That was a simplistic summation of what has happened over the year, but, to be honest, it’s all happened so quickly it’s difficult to create some sort of narrative to the chaos. Well, maybe chaos isn’t the right word – excitement is a much better word to describe this past year, as well as the year to come.

From rather humble beginnings, we’ve quickly become something much more than I had ever expected. We’re releasing more content than ever before to a much wider audience and we have some fantastic readers who contribute to our posts and social media profiles with meaningful conversation. They tell us about the games they’re playing, rather than only reading about what we’re up to. Thanks to the community I even picked up a game that I would have otherwise never touched, and loved every second of it. Together, we’ve started an incredible community that discusses their love of video-games and technology, and that was something that I never saw coming, but is incredibly meaningful to the staff here at IM PLAYIN.

So I guess, now that the first year has past, I should probably mention my aspirations for the future of the site. I want IM PLAYIN to keep moving from strength to strength (obviously), for the community to keep growing and for the website to move in some interesting directions. But, most of all, I want people to talk about video games. I’d love to see more people talking about the games they’re playing, telling us about their favourite games or the games that they’re enjoying at the moment. I would love to see more writers, something that we’re working on at the moment. Whether it be a guest post or someone who wants to write on a more permanent basis for the site, it would just be great to have more opinions floating around our little slice of cyber heaven. (I guess I should mention that, if you happen to be interested in writing for us, drop us an email – we’d love to hear from you: info@implayin.co.uk)

So much has happened in the past year that we could never have expected and I feel like the website has really grown for the better. What will happen in 2014? I honestly have no idea, but if it’s half as epic as 2013, we’re in for a good year! So, here’s to the site, here’s to the staff and, most of all, here’s to you, the readers and our community. As a massive thank you to those who engage with us on the site and our social media, we will be giving away a free poster every month. As it’s the first month we’ll be doing it (and because we’re all giddy with birthday happiness) we’ll be giving away two posters. So I guess I’d best announce the winners!

Karl Green and Michael Scoates thank you for all of the comments you’ve left us and the conversations we’ve enjoyed over the past year. We’ll be in contact soon and we hope that you enjoy your posters! Everyone else, we thank you for your support and the time you spend reading our articles and engaging with us online. Keep it up and you never know, next month we might be sending you a poster too!

We here at IM PLAYIN can’t wait for what’s to come in 2014. I’m sure we’ll be making some exciting announcements, as well as more articles, more videos, more podcasts (we did our first one this year) and even more competitions! And who doesn’t love a competition?

  • Michael Scoates

    Many happy returns!

    Gonna give you some feedback now. What brought me to your site in the first place was a competition (I enter loads of them, it’s a hobby) but what made me stick around is that your whole site is built around one very simple concept that makes you stand out: You talk about what you’re playing. Not what you think we’d like to hear about, though new news is always welcome. Not what a company rep is asking you to talk about, though we like to keep informed. Not what’s going to generate hits, every site does that.

    I don’t care if what you’re all playing is World of Warcraft or Farmville each week, as long as the enthusiasm and passion and constructive criticism shines through the writing I’ll keep coming back to read it, because that’s what makes you unique.

    I’ve watched many other sites form and develop, then diversify and forget the core that made them so special in the first place. Please don’t forget your core 🙂

  • Michael Scoates

    Many happy returns!

    Gonna give you some feedback now. What brought me to your site in the first place was a competition (I enter loads of them, it’s a hobby) but what made me stick around is that your whole site is built around one very simple concept that makes you stand out: You talk about what you’re playing. Not what you think we’d like to hear about, though new news is always welcome. Not what a company rep is asking you to talk about, though we like to keep informed. Not what’s going to generate hits, every site does that.

    I don’t care if what you’re all playing is World of Warcraft or Farmville each week, as long as the enthusiasm and passion and constructive criticism shines through the writing I’ll keep coming back to read it, because that’s what makes you unique.

    I’ve watched many other sites form and develop, then diversify and forget the core that made them so special in the first place. Please don’t forget your core 🙂