Thank You

I want to say, deep down from the bottom of my heart: I love you all.  Two years ago I started Indie Gamer Chick with the encouragement of my best friend Brian.  Growing up with autism and intense shyness on top of that, being known for expressing my opinions is not something that would have ever seemed to be in the cards for me.  I don’t say that out of bitterness either.  I’m the luckiest person I know.  My parents grew up dirt poor in Cuba.  Today, we’re doing pretty well for ourselves.  Because of my father’s hard work, I’ve had a comfortable life.  It doesn’t mean there aren’t tough times.  When I was a kid, I gave people the creeps.  Other kids used terms like “robot” or “cyborg” to describe me.  I was pulled out of school in first grade when my teacher pointed at me and snickered to another teacher that I was the “retard.”  My parents were furious, but the teacher had tenure and the only thing they could do to her was make her take a weekend course on sensitivity.  I was home-schooled after that.  For most of my life, I had a tutor named Carol, and she was incredible.  It didn’t do much for my social life, but through various autism support groups, I got to hang out with kids like me.  A big part of that included playing games like Goldeneye or Perfect Dark.

But talking about games?  Yea right.  Not me.  I’ve always been opinionated, but expressing that opinion just wasn’t something I would do.  It wasn’t in my character.

And then I met Brian.  He says he didn’t do anything.  When you have the type of love and encouragement he’s provided me, I’d say that’s doing a lot.  And thus, I became Indie Gamer Chick.

But it wasn’t just Brian.  It was a whole community of hundreds of gamers and game developers.  All of them curious to see what I had to say.  All of them anxious to talk games with me.  All of them there to offer advice.  All of them ready to offer help if needed.  What an incredible feeling it is to have that much support.  Take the epilepsy thing.  I’ve literally had hundreds of people offer me all kinds of warnings on everything from games to movies to television about things that might set off my personal epilepsy trigger.  To have that many people looking out for me?  I can’t tell you how amazing that feels.  I hope you all get to know what that’s like.

Well, except the epilepsy part.  I hope you never have to deal with that.

I had no expectations when I started this, aside from “I bet I won’t even keep this up for a month.”  And yet here I am, two years later.  The most read Xbox Live Indie Game critic ever.  I’ve been recognized on the street.  I’ve done interviews.  I’ve had representatives from all three major console manufacturers reach out to me.  I’m being read not just by indie developers, but major directors of triple A games.  I’ve been into video games since I was seven years old.  To find out that I’m water-cooler talk for the people who made those games?  Surreal.  And awesome.

I’m a cheat code for God’s sake!  Me!  I’m like Up Up Down Down Left Right Left Right B A Start with a pulse!  My mascot is a hidden character in an upcoming game.  I’m doing a PC bundle.  Really, the only thing left is for me to buckle down and make my own game.  Which ain’t happening.  Probably.  This year at least.

In all seriousness, thank you.  All of you.  You guys don’t always agree with my reviews.  And that’s great, because I don’t always like your games.  But no matter what, you’ve all made my life more special.  I can’t thank people individually like I did last year.  We’d be here all day.  Just know this: I’m very fond of you all.  I’m grateful for the opportunities you’ve given me.  And I’m honored that you all treat me so seriously, because you’re the ones with the real talent.  The games you make can be spectacular.  When you reach your full potential, look out, because you’ll make a real impact on gaming.  I’m still getting the hang of this thing I do, but you inspire me to do better.  And I will.  I promise.  We’re all turning a new corner as this generation of games ends and another begins.  I’m sure this will lead to many of the guys who came into game development through XNA drifting apart.  That’s life.  But I think we shouldn’t drift too far apart.  I don’t think I could handle it.  You’ve all been there for me for two years now.  I don’t fancy going through the next decade without you.  So stay close please.  Continue to inspire me.  I owe you all a debt that I can never hope to repay.  You’ve changed my life.  And for that, as I said in the beginning, I love you all.

-Catherine Vice

June 30th, 2013

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About Indie Gamer Chick
The most read Xbox Live Indie Game critic in the world.

19 Responses to Thank You

  1. Well said, Cathy. Now, let’s take this shit to the next level. Sound good?

    • You mean the weather control device? It’s stuck in peer review. Apparently it does destruction quite well, but it locks up if you pull the memory card out while saving. Stupid evil checklist.

  2. Congratulations on your success! You indicate you’re the most read indie reviewer ever. I’m curious, how many page views have you had?

    • Most read *XBOX LIVE INDIE GAME REVIEWER”. I hit 700,000 lifetime views today. I hit 200,000 exactly one year ago today. My readers are cool about dramatic, milestone timing. That’s why they’re the best!

      • Dang, that is impressive. While I’m also in the six-figures of page views, even if you include RSS views I haven’t hit your total, despite blogging about XBLIGs for 963 consecutive days (and counting).

        • Believe it or not, I read Weapons of Mass Deduction regularly. You’re the most prolific XBLIG writer by far. It’s not remotely close. Combine me, Hurley, and Alan and we don’t match you.

          I think one of the factors has got to be game selection. You rarely cover brand new releases. By time your review goes up, you don’t get a good slot in search engine results.

          But I do tip my hat to you. When it’s all said and done, you’ll go down as an unsung XBLIG all-star. And you have my unwavering respect for that 🙂

  3. Jim Perry says:

    Congrats! Maybe for your next year you’ll get to rip apart one of my games. I just have to finish one instead of spending my time on the forums answering questions. 😦

  4. Tim Hurley says:

    Congrats, Cathy! It’s been nothing short of an awesome two years, watching the site continue to (deservedly) grow to the point of a landmark, not just in indie gaming, but gaming in general. It takes more than just reviewing games to reach that status, It takes a fiercely unique personality to impact a community in such a way as you have, and though that might have seemed improbable to certain people in your past, I didn’t have much doubt when I met you. I still remember telling Nate not too long after starting up that you were so far ahead of us in terms of nailing a tone, almost reviewing like an open conversation that dragged people in and invited them to stay and take part. Which of course, they have. 🙂

    Much love, my friend. For all you’ve done, for all you’ve inspired and generated in these two years. The community is truly in a better place because of your contributions and presence. I don’t know what Year Three holds in store, but it will most certainly be bigger and grander than what’s come before it.

  5. Very well done. I enjoy reading your articles, and the way you are honest about your feelings for them. Mostly some of the things you write make me laugh. One day I’ll hopefully get a review from you on one of my games (though I don’t do XBLIG any more).

    Stay well and carry on 🙂

  6. TheBigDaddio says:

    I’m glad to see you still here, and glad to be the creepy uncle you can chat with.. 😛

  7. xionix55 says:

    CONGRATS!!! You were the 1st XBLI games I ever discovered, I went crazy when I discover the indies wasting in crap (Alien vs Romans?, that is the most lame thing I have since that LA law in the adult industry). So it was good for opening my eyes. And for the Guy, that I did not even finish reading his first review, I liked the ones that came after so good best of luck of to him 2 . And the Mobile Phantom Gamer (does that guy exist? I mean if he real? Or a myth? WTF!!!!!) Although I do not agree, you explain the why, and that why helped decide buy the game or not. Best of luck!

    • Had second thoughts on Mobile Indie Gamer. I do regularly play games on my iPhone and if I passed that off to someone else, it wouldn’t be a great idea for me because sometimes I only have enough time to play games on handhelds, and I don’t want to just have Vita or 3DS as an option.

      It’s nothing Kalle did. Dude was awesome.

  8. I have a lot of respect for anyone who starts something and sticks with it for over two years, especially when you’re not getting paid for it. Hope you have continued success with your site!

  9. Argamae says:

    Congratulations! Thanks for sharing some of the more intimate details concerning your condition and being such a funny and clever read. Ever since I stumbled upon your blog I have been reading it regularly. And I agree with you more often than not but even if I don’t, reading your reviews, musings and other stuff has always been worth my while and offered new perspectives and insights.
    Count me as your number one fan from Germany. Keep it up, Catherine Vice.

  10. Cathy, congrats on another year of success and for setting that bar further and further out of reach for the rest of us. 🙂

    • Oh stop 😛 I often wish I was as good as you guys at being descriptive. I would probably be doing even better then.

      Much love as always Brandon. You’re one of my favorites.

  11. An XBLIG Guy says:

    Congrats for your 2nd anniversary!!! Keep the good work, the axes sharp and the shotgun loaded! Your articles are great, and provide great, honest insight to both players and developers! You have a great talent: very few people can communicate their thoughts in such direct and efficient manner, and make it entertaining at the same time. I really look forward for another year!!!!

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