Figures… the day I end the hiatus and aspire to push on with my video game related writing and journalism is the day that the video game journalism world loses a hugely influential and important figure.
I have no personal story here. I’ve never met or chatted with Total Biscuit, though it was always kind of a dream of mine to be able to join that “inner circle” of sorts and show up on the Co-optional podcast or play on a stream with them… something like that. I’m not one of those that will be mourning the loss of a dear friend and family member. All the same, I’ll still be mourning.
This guy is immensely important to the work that so many people do in the video game writing and content scenes. He’s one of the key figures that people can look to on as having proved the viability of being a “content creator”. Whether that’s on podcasts, streams, YouTube videos, shoutcasting… he’s had a hand in all of it, and so many who now partake in this do so because of the ground work he laid down.
He had standards that he was rarely if ever willing to compromise in, both in his own work and in the video games that he looked over and reported on. At the same time, he was fair in covering the strengths and weaknesses of what he played, being honest about his feelings and experiences on them. More than that, he often covered indie games or lesser known titles that may have never gotten any kind of coverage or attention had he not.
It’s honestly crazy to look back and see how much has been influenced by his work. Hell, I first encountered him and Jesse Cox alike when they were covering the World of Warcraft: Cataclysm beta stuff. That would have been in 2010. Even by that point he was decently well known and established through WoW Radio stuff.
Throughout all of these years, the biggest lesson and message that Total Biscuit pushed to aspiring content creators was a simple one: be consistent. Set a schedule and keep up with it. Put your content out without fail, as much as you can, and stick with it. It’s a simple lesson, but an extremely important one… and one that the last update shows is one I sometimes struggle to take to heart, personally.
And it’s not just the writing and content creation part that TB is influential with, too. It’s been no secret that he’s been fighting a losing battle with cancer for years now, yet he never made it seem like a losing battle. The first diagnosis was terminal, but he chose to keep on fighting anyway like a goddamn rockstar. From the very outset he was determined to beat the odds, and his longevity means he very much did.
There’s been interviews and discussions that have talked about his battle with cancer that have honestly, legitimately saved lives through the information offered. All throughout, he’s been adamant on the notion of “It is the enemy, so I must fight it.” And so he did. He kept on with his content wherever possible, as unflinchingly as possible, and even in the final months when it was clear that he was in pain and suffering… still he pushed on. That’s probably why the news that he was finally retiring earlier this month, and this morning’s announcement that his fight was finally over really hit home.
You never knew me, John, but I — and many others — knew you. And we’ll carry on your work and legacy as best as we can. May you rest in peace.