Good afternoon fellow SA Gamer readers. The time has come for me to say my goodbyes. Yes, this is my last day at SA Gamer and what an amazing ride it has been.
What started off in 2005 with few buddies and I running gaming tournaments in KZN and filling up malls, later developed into writing for El33tonline, then PC Format / G3AR and now SA Gamer. I can’t thank every person who helped me to get to this point enough. Every moment I’ve spent in this industry has been an absolute joy. The lowest of lows can’t even dream of meeting those unforgettable moments dreams are made of.
Some of my highlights include meeting Ed Boon for the Mortal Kombat reboot and taking a tour at Netherrealm Studios, interviewing Shinji Mikami for Vanquish and being completely starstruck in the process, chatting to Charles Martinet who voices Mario and meeting my man crush, Phil Spencer. For a guy who grew up in a small town in KZN, Camperdown, these were all unreachable dreams that somehow just happened. It’s, however, the people that surrounded me throughout this journey that made my time in this industry so special.
Here in South Africa we’re all fighting for a large piece of a very small pie and with digital and free-to-play taking over, that pie is decreasing by the day. I urge you all to support local media, whether it’s SA Gamer or any other local media – it matters. Local media works just as hard, if not harder, to bring you the various stories and reviews. Seeing as we’re at the tip of that “shithole” continent (Africa), we’re often the forgotten territory. To the other local media and distributors, you all know who you are, thanks for the amazing memories and support. I consider many of you as some of my best friends and colleagues. You’re a lovely gaming family.
To our team, Abigail Holden, Bianca Louw, Zain Moosa, Paul Roux, Tim Da Silva, Charles Small and Marko Swanepoel thanks for your endless dedication and hard work. Some people don’t know that most of you have day jobs and that SA Gamer is a passion project for you. You all deserve so much credit. It makes me sad that I’ll be splitting away from my partner in crime, the Wookiee (Garth Holden), but I know you are all in very good hands. After all, there is only one Goff and Dolman pairing in the world (private joke). I will miss our passionate discussions of all things gaming and I already long for our Tekken 7 bouts, but I know I have a humble and furry friend for life. I would also like to give a shout out and thanks to previous members who wrote for SA Gamer and contributed to its success as well as Waine, Neil and Renier that believed in me when I needed it most.
Lastly to our readers. Thank you for reading any word I might have written and for your interaction over the years. There are countless times that you made me laugh and times you made me cry (there is a difference between a remaster and a remake). Without you all, what we do is really pointless and I feel fortunate that we have such an awesome community – whether it’s on the site, forum or social mediums. Unfortunately you won’t see me in Mario Kart 8 or Wipeout Omega Collection evenings for much longer, but the crew here will continue those fun online events.
I got to live my dream, which is something most people don’t get to say. I’m very thankful for that. Thank you everyone and just enjoy your games.
dawid22 signing out.
Below you’ll find some images with friends and moments that I’ll cherish forever.
[But before that, surprise, it’s Marko. In some twist of fate, I got to be the one to edit your farewell post. As I’m sitting here behind my keyboard, it still feels surreal, but I’m here with a goal. Garth had some parting words he needed to share and it’s my honour to bring them to you.]
Garth: I’m getting this added to your goodbye post, because I will be in the air or sleeping when it goes live.
I’m sitting here with BlizzCon still washing over me, and I don’t want to break down and cry but I wanted to put a special thank you in here. Dawid, when we first started talking about bigger things I thought it was far too good to be true, you showed me how to dare to work on dreams and make them happen. I went from a place where I hated life and myself and pretty much straight into E3, something that seemed pretty much impossible to me. Since then we have traveled together a lot, worked to build something amazing and we still haven’t settled who is the best at Tekken, but I’m okay with that. I never want to know and I hope we get to play a lot more, to chat about a love of games and esoteric collecting and titbits.
I wish you all the best, and I’m gonna work hard to keep this thing you built going strong.
Marko: As long as we’re here sharing our feelings, I feel like it would be some sort of crime if I didn’t add a small word of my own. You gave me a chance when nobody else would, Dawid. I remember just emailing you out of the blue with nothing but a proposition and the hope that I might write for this fine establishment you’ve created and I was willing to do anything. You didn’t even hesitate, you saw the talent within me and the result was a wonderful relationship that I wouldn’t trade for anything in the world.
There’s a deep sinking feeling in my chest whenever I think about the fact that you’re leaving. In my years working for SA Gamer, you’ve always been the rock that holds everything together. I look up to you as a mentor, a close friend and somebody I could really count on. You were there for some of the lowest points of my life and each time you were a bastion of hope and kindness. Something that is so rare to find these days. You truly are one of the best people I know and I know whatever venture you take on next, you’re going to kick its ass. I have full trust in you, just like you had in me when I was but a young buck with sparkles in his eyes.
Sorry for hijacking your farewell post, but this is revenge for all the rugby talk I’ve had to endure all these years. Since you’re the master of the random, I think there’s one special note we can leave this on: It’s chaos out there. Be kind. We’ll miss you, Dawid.