Whateva I do what I want

What’s this out of the ordinary looking article doing here you are likely wondering. You are also likely wondering what South Park imagery is doing here on a Zelda-focused Nintendo fansite. It is time for answers to those questions, as well as many more. After E3, and all of the awesome support from our fans, we’ve decided to give you a bit of a behind the scenes of Zelda Informer.

Imagine if this was a story on one of those “current affairs” shows. It would have headlines like “The Dirty Secrets of Zelda Informer Revealed”, or “Zelda Informer Exposed”, or “Behind the Scenes of Zelda Informer”. Whatever you want to call it, this is the truth of Zelda Informer. Who we are, what we stand for, why we do this, and what the classic line “Whateva! I do what I want” from South Park has to do with it all.

Since before we were even a website there was bitching. Heck, the whole reason we exist is because we had a big bitch at Zelda Universe. Apparently we had problems with their management and heaps of other stuff to whine about. Who really remembers, it was four years ago. We were young. We were fans who wanted a place to talk, share, love, and appreciate everything Nintendo. ZU wasn’t that place. But hey, we’re still good friends with ZU. Just look at the videos we produced together from E3 this year (namely one and two).

We were just fans back then, and we still are. We aren’t journalists employed to do what we do – we’re just your average guys and girls that love Nintendo. We are teenagers and tweenagers. There’s the short muscular guy who looks six years younger than he is; the obese guy who’s older than everyone else here but still has no sense of grammar, and the average sized ginger with glasses.

There are males and – increasingly at the moment – females that make up Zelda Informer. There are those of us who are single, those of us in relationships, those of us with broken hearts and those of us who are married. We range from being full time university students and high school students – who work part time at McDonalds – to guys working there full time, and even guys having extremely premature mid-life crises which leave them to taking time off from uni.

We barely have anything in common – except for a love of Nintendo and a passion for running this Nintendo fansite in whatever free time we have. We are a bunch of nerds who spend way too much time on our computers, talking on Skype and running this site. We fit it in whenever we can. We update between classes, when we get home at 2am from a Saturday night out, and amidst writing essays for uni. Everywhere we are always thinking, checking and making sure that the site is being updated with all of the latest news and that there isn’t ever a dry spell with no new posts.

I mean, Alex brought us awesome coverage and impressions direct from E3 during the very same week he had some good ol’ final examinations. We stay up way later than is healthy. 3am and we can’t sleep, no problem, we’ll just whip up our latest article. After drunken parties, after the worst day at work or uni, after the best moments we’ve ever had – we come back to ZI to give you the latest news and articles.

So yeah, we’re really just a bunch of randoms who are dedicated to a hobby more than most people are dedicated to their spouses. Sad but true. Sure, we can be pretty screwed up though. We have our personal faults and issues, but when we come together we get something way beyond ourselves. The short muscular guy and the four-eyed ginger are two excellent writers, and news posters. The fatty is superb at running the technical side of the site, including PR, SEO and all that awesome stuff. We may live seemingly average lives, but when we contribute to ZI, we are so much more.

ZI's Secondary Staff

Maybe the only thing we have in common apart from Nintendo and this website is being the opposite of financially affluent. We pretty much take whatever job we’re offered because we all fit the financially-struggling-student stereotype. Some of us are way in debt, others are just scraping by. It’s no secret given all of the donation drives we’ve done in the past. And look at all of the advertisements on the site these days to keep it afloat, and cover our competition prizes. Just like this Duke Nukem shit. That’s right I called it shit. You know, I can even call it a fucking shit douchy penis. Whateva! I do what I want!

Yeah, so I have no idea what that even means, but the point is – we can do that because we are not professionals. We are not IGN or Destructoid or Kotaku. We aren’t paid journalists – even if one of us will eventually graduate with a degree in journalism. We aren’t employed; we do this because we want to. It’s always a real laugh when commenters on our articles say that we can’t do this or that, or that we can’t say such things in the position we have. Whateva! I do what I want!

We are fans running a fansite, and so by definition, we have free reign. We could spam up the whole main page with porn if we wanted to. The reason we don’t is because we don’t want to. That would ruin everything we’ve worked for. We could though. We can do whatever we want – in fact, that is exactly what we do. That’s exactly what we’ve done for years. Writing articles, posting news and being one of the most popular Nintendo news sites on the web – that is what we want.

This is why its so bad when we constantly outdo IGN, for instance, when it comes to Zelda. They are paid and professional. We just do what we want. Thing is – they lack passion, whereas that’s all we have. Just like E3, where so many journalists loathe the extra work that they have to do at this time of year. We love it. Alex was even the first person to arrive for Nintendo’s E3 Press Conference. Our dedication and passion is worth more than the pay checks of IGN’s staff!

If you look to big sites, such as IGN – our example for the day – authors write their articles, and that’s all you see. They get the cash, and grab some pageviews. You’ve probably noticed how actively we at ZI comment on our articles and take part in the discussions. It’s because talking about Nintendo is what we love. We’re just fans like anyone else. If we weren’t running this place, we’d be on forums and commenting on other websites. Instead of that, we decided to expand our Zelda coverage to all of Nintendo, and now we’re all happy in one place. Our viewers are happier as well.

No matter what happens, we will always be a fansite, not a corporate hub of journalistic integrity or some shit. We will always be by fans, for fans, with fans et cetera, so forth, continue cliché… Nevertheless, that is so true for us. As soon as we are not a fansite, ZI is dead. We are a community, where our staff are at one with everyone else. On the mainsite, the forums and even our Facebook page. This stuff gets us excited and giddy. Screw being professional. Just look at our header, its BEN saying “you shouldn’t have done that”. Whateva! I do what I want!

I won’t lie – our laid back “whatever” attitude has caused some problems. It is probably one of the reasons why we struggle to get dedicated new staff. Sure we help and guide them on how to do stuff, but our instructions are pretty much “post news, write articles, make content, do whatever you want”. Sure its the perfect job. You can show up drunk. Screw deadlines, we just write when we want to. But the lack of deadlines and expectations is why no-one seems to stick around.

ZI Staff Triforce

Other than ZI’s main staff Triforce, we are always lacking. We have Nathanial Rumphol-Janc as the Triforce of Power, Alex Plant as the Triforce of Wisdom, and yours truly – Dathen Boccabella – as the Triforce of Courage. Then we have our above average dedicated staff who are really appreciated. There’s Elijah Holt, Ben Lamoreux, Caleb Wise and Dennis Wyman. Then there are all of the others who come and go, doing very little from time to time. We’ve gone on a bit of a hiring spree post-E3, so as well as welcoming our new staff, we hope that they stick around.

While a continuous struggle, mere staffing is not the biggest of the concerns our “whatever” attitude has triggured. It is the type of attitude that makes you a lot of enemies. You need to make some enemies when you become as prominent as we have, but we’ve made more than that. IGN’s a longstanding enemy ever since they accused us of plagiarism, but then slunk away when they were wrong. For just telling things like they are I’m even hated by one of the people I respect most in the world of online Zelda communities – Mases Hagopian of Zelda Dungeon.

Then we’ve had big controversies when some people have done just a bit too much of what they want. From confirming fake rumors (Remember Zordiana) to burlesque stripping, we’ve done wrong. From those events many of our staff members have left us. Some have even left because they demanded money for their work. Over time we’ve learned. More importantly, we’ve come to know what we all want as a whole. There is what we want, and what we all want. A part of what we now want is not to wreck what everyone else has put in to the site. We’ve drawn lines and we’ve made boundaries. The best thing to do is admit mistakes, learn for the future, and move on.

Unfortunately some people can’t move on – hence all of the haters we have. Mind you, I find it hard to hate haters with all of their classic remarks. Some if my favorites include “Zelda Misinformer” and “Nathanial Rump-hole Janc”. It can be pretty intense though. I’ve been told to go die in all sorts of varying situations, right through to the flipside with people begging me to “have their babies” in some rather disturbing contexts. Of course, with all of the hate – we also get heaps of love too. Thankfully, we get a heck of a lot more love mail then hate mail.

And sure, you guys may love us – but do you have any idea how much we love you? This is cliché, sure, but it is you viewers who have pushed us to success. Four years ago, never would we have thought that now we’d be getting pre-release press copies of Nintendo games. Never would we have expected to be featured in the Official Nintendo Magazine. Never would we have expected we’d be invited to Nintendo’s E3 press conference.

It is so amazing. We’re just a bunch of fans, but we get so much recognition. People envy us. Other websites wish they had our dedicated news team. We’ve even won awards for our Zelda news coverage specifically. In some ways we have no idea how we got here. We are so unorganized, so unstructured. On the other hand, we know exactly how we got here. Passion, dedication and drive! Some even argue that we’re the best Nintendo news site on the web, and looking at this E3 specifically – we easily outdid GoNintendo with live coverage of Nintendo’s Press Conference.

Zelda Informer isn’t just our hobby, in many regards, it is our everything. We wanted to run a Nintendo fansite and here we are, living out a dream. It comes with the ups and downs. Some days we can’t be bothered, at other times we don’t want to do anything else more. Sometimes we lack time to actually play the games we love because we are here. In many regards, Zelda Informer is our constant with all of the changes and crap that goes on in life.

Screw You Guys I'm Going Home

We ride ZI with the rest of you, and the thousands of fans we have are worth far more than the few haters there are. Ultimately, we do this for ourselves. We are fans, and it pleases us. But we also do it for you, of course. We crave your input and feedback. Sometimes you crush my spirits, and at other times you make my day. Sometimes you make me smile, and at others times I’m like “screw you guys, I’m going home!” But I just wind back up here, because ZI is home. You are our money, our payment, our reward.

The site is growing rapidly. We are changing, even becoming more structured. But even with the changes, we still just do what we want! We always will. We will always be fan oriented. We will always provide quality and analysis over spitting out the bare bones of the news like GoNintendo does. We will always be here, because Zelda Informer’s drive cannot be stopped. Global Financial Crises, whatever, nothing can quell the passion of fans.

Through this, even if just a little bit, I hope you’ve come to understand what Zelda Informer is all about and why we are the way we are. Feedback from you has always been one of the greatest things we receive. Whether you love or hate, agree or disagree, want more or are disgusted: so long as you’re stirred and moved, then we’ve made an impact.

You are all of the fame that we’ll ever need. We give you our all, and in some articles, we give you our very intimate selves. In many ways, this has been one big cliché fest, but thank you everyone. We love you guys and girls. You are awesome, we are awesome – and if you want in on our awesomeness, you can apply for a staff position anytime, by the way.

A lot of the time, we’re just immature kids. But regardless of who we are, and how we come together, Zelda Informer has it all. Fanboy rants on occasions. Speculation and rumors from time to time. Quality content. Accurate industry analysis. From massive hits, to massive flops. From some of the best things you’ve ever seen to massive WTFs. We’ve got it all. News, articles, demos, reviews, comics, videos – that’s ZI for you. And believe me, it is for you!

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