I think I’m finally able to discuss this in a rational manner, in a way to talk via this site, my main outlet for reaching out to readers who may not know, in a way better than my Twitter the past week.
Years ago, I met a wonderful man on the wide world of VG twitter: JapaneseNintendo, a blog created by the man known as Brian Cooper. This was a blog I ended up stumbling upon, thanks to being sourced on a site I frequented heavily, GoNintendo. I ended up following this blog due to being a really big fan of JP import games, along with how this guy seemed really good at finding out new Arcade Archives and ACA NEOGEO releases. Eventually, following and commenting frequently on his blog, led to him following my own and chatting with me in DMs on occasion: it ended up being a good friendship.
Granted, I have a ton of gaming press/reviewer friends out there, and follow hundreds of fellow content creators. Yet, Brian Cooper was one of the ones I found myself closest too, next to some folks at Source Gaming and TouchArcade. I think it mainly stems from having a ton in common with him: we both owned our own websites, mostly worked solo on it, and did our own things and worked our asses off to get noticed: For Brian in particular, I know he’d often struggle with sites being stupid and not sourcing his website properly, leading to cases where outlets would sometimes copy paste his entire article, 1:1, without an inch of credit. But when they did cite properly, or were just willing to help out, he was a great guy and was friendly with everyone.
Eventually we were just so friendly via comments and mutual support to one another, that he’d openly tag me the second Hamster announced a new ACA game, even if it was late into the night in his time zone. He even DM’d me a few times, though being the shy guy I was, I mostly just kept things basic, even though I still very greatly appreciated his support. Even with my shyness, he was willing to put up with me, talk and alert me to stuff I know, even if it was niche as heck, and it made me very, very glad. Finding out we both were mega PC ENGINE fans helped tons too.
So unfortunately, I was none the wiser on how he just went MIA in late november. I was working obsessively at my new job to prove myself to others, and as you can tell from my output in late Nov/dec, I didn’t have much time for much else. It should also be noted that I was aware he put the site on the backburner earlier in 2020, due to the unfortunate low turnout on articles and such.
Still, he really enjoyed writing and did things anyway, which is the sort of motivation that keeps me going despite how some of my own content can be hundreds of views at times, while others stay in the single digits for years on end. it’s the cruel nature of the internet’s dice roll, for small creators, and sometimes it feels like you’re in a dark room, which is why it’s so important for small outlets to be supported or even to have friends made. The fact we had a lot in common, even with our limited interactions, made Brian Cooper one of my best friends in the community, since every interaction with him was golden and he would help me out at times, and vice versa. I followed his twitter accounts for other things, and continued to check back now and then to give a like or simple comment, even if I was still a shy wall, as I usually am to non-dev folk.
But it seems that alas, that late november vanishing was a bad sign, for Brian Cooper passed away on Nov 27, 2020. It wasn’t publicly known until last Wednesday, the 6th, which is horrifically depressing for me, seeing how it was a case that gave me tons of regrets: such as, why didn’t I talk to him more? Why didn’t I get out of my shy shell and just chat him up first? Why did I take things for granted? Why was I stupid enough to not notice his interview with Miketendo until it was too late, which explained some factors of his life I never knew about? When I lost another bestie in 2019 to Diabetes, at the young age of 21, I felt horrific guilt and broke into madness, wanting to learn necromancy and all sorts of dark rituals to bring him back by whatever means: I also was obsessed with feeling that I could have saved that friend somehow too, by maybe doing this or that or being more active, or just getting to say goodbye somehow.
Losing Brian, honest to god, has me in the same pit of desperation: the only difference is, I know from the first attempt that no such thing will bring him back nor take away my guilt. That, and I know for a fact that Brian would want me to keep going at my own pace and working on my site to the fullest, like he did with JN. I may be a broken wreck thrown back into the pit of writer’s block hell, alongside the extreme anxiety of getting covid and dying from it (just for being 23, no health conditions besides mild overweightness) putting me in a bad spiral that nothing seems to get me out of. Neither my furry side, my gaming side, or my IRL side is productive at all right now.
Yet, I pushed myself really hard to get this done at least, for it took me a full week to get my fingers on the laptop keyboard to punch this article out. I was too scared for so long on how to do it: I was scared this may blow up, and get more views than my reviews, and I’d feel like I was grifting or doing something shitty by talking about a bestie only for that to do better than my content. I was also scared, that it would just make me seem like a crazed lunatic who takes big losses such as these horribly, considering that I was not fucking kidding about my attempts at being a necromancer.
I don’t know when I’ll be in full gear for reviews and finally tackling the queue, and outside of a big game I aim to try and get for Steam/XBO, I ceased all review requests and rejected every code thrown my way this month. I need to get shit done, but I need to do it when i’m not a wreck so they aren’t of bad quality. But mark my words, if I ever get out of this spiral, i’ll do my best to make Seafoam Gaming my best work.
I’ll do it for Brian, and all the fellow website owning friends I know. Just please… Bear with me. And remember how great of a man Brian was, even if you may only know of his work in passing, he as a person did so much good and made a lot of folks besides me upset and sad at his loss. I’m only just now getting to grips with it, but imagine how hard it is for his family, his closer friends. Just please, keep everyone safe and monitor your health.