Good Afternoon, Good Evening, & Goodbye – Farewell from Ben

Well readers the time has come. Some of you will have already been aware of this with the rebrand and the statement that was released but time with CultureJam is at an end. Allow me a final chance for some self-indulgence and reflection as I sign off.

Five years ago I sat down at my computer, bought a domain and a website template and stumbled my way through creating ThoseGamers. Did I know what I was doing? Definitely not. Did I stop when I wiped the customisation to the website when I played too much with the template settings? Not a chance. I hung in there because I had a passion for playing video games and playing with the latest and greatest gadgets. I also had a vision. That vision was to create a website that didn’t care too much about grammatical correctness or journalistic structure. I wanted to create a site that was straight from the heart and provided you all with news from the gaming and tech world along with honest reviews of the games and products I was checking out.

As the site grew and we covered more things I realised there was no way I could do it alone and that the name did not accurately reflect what we were covering, hence ThoseGamers became CultureJam, a name that better reflected all that was being covered all the while sticking to the core value the site was founded on, honest coverage.

 Growth also meant I couldn’t do it on my own and I was lucky enough to have the supremely talented Brian McDonald join me and I truly believe that what started out as a vision, turned into something greater than I could have ever imagined. A place that never compromised its integrity and always delivered an honest assessment of what we games we played and what tech we were lucky enough to be sent to review.

We could not have continued for five years without the tremendous support of you, our readers. Whenever I looked at analytics, I was blown away by the traffic coming to the site and that is what kept me going for all those years. Make no mistake, aside from absolutely miniscule ad revenue from Adwords we have never generated outside revenue from the site. This was a labour of love that was spurred on by you all coming and reading what was written and for that I say a sincere thanks. The truth of the matter is, I never studied communications or journalism. I’m an Accountant and in all honesty not really talented in writing. Any of you that read my reviews will have no doubt noticed the grammatical errors, poor sentence structure and many typos due to my disdain for using spell checker. It was raw but I assure you it was 100% authentic to who I am. That is why in writing this I told Brian one thing, don’t edit this. Why change now right?

For any of you out there thinking you can’t do something like this you are wrong. You can do it! All you need to have is the passion and desire and you can make it happen.

My five years have allowed me to do things I always thought was a dream, going to E3, going to Singapore to cover the launch of a new smartphone. Those are memories I’ll never forget but what resonates greater is again your support.

Throughout 2019 something stuck with me that I couldn’t shake. I just wasn’t getting content out and wasn’t pulling my weight on the site I created. I wanted to, I really did but my biggest achievement in life is being a Husband and Father and the reality was that time working on CultureJam was time I couldn’t spend with my family and so I made the tough decision to leave CultureJam in the hands of Brian.

With that change of leadership and ownership comes a new era, gone is CultureJam and in comes 8Bit Island. A fresh start with a unique kiwicentric identity and I know it is going to be great beyond anything I could have made of CultureJam. There is no one more passionate about this stuff than Brian and as much as I hate to admit it the guy is the most talented writer I’ve come across. Brian has put together a great team and I completely trust what he is doing.

Again thank you so much everyone, this has truly been a pleasure. On that note there is only one last thing to say, Good afternoon, good evening and goodbye.

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