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Why I co-founded another retro gaming website: Mach Riders

Collaborative retro gaming website MachRiders.net is now live, and can also be followed on Twitter, @MachRiders. I founded it, along with fellow “review questers” Tom Hall (@OcarinaOfTom) and Dylan Cornelius (@TheDylanThe). We already have a few dozen contributors on board, ready to push and promote a wide variety retro-gaming-related content.

To answer the article title in one word: Fun. I co-founded Mach Riders because I think it is something that can be enjoyed by lots of people, simple as that. I am excited to see it grow.

But am I not the same guy that once said that if people want to raise the prominence of retro gaming, we need to stop starting new projects and start elevating the existing community? Do I not already have a collaborative retro gaming website at 1MoreCastle.com? Guilty as charged, on both counts. In order to answer some questions I have received, while also explaining our vision a bit, here is the Mach Riders FAQ.

What inspired Mach Riders?

For me, the primary model was that of OldGameReviewer.com, a now-defunct nerd-friendly collaborative blog that allowed people to have a log-in just for asking, with contributors never needing to worry about deadlines or editing. We had instant live publishing, whether we wrote original features or just wanted to point to our work elsewhere. It was popular enough that I enjoyed the additional exposure there, and it was sad to see a 10,000-follower-strong Twitter account fall with it as well.

A while ago, I reached out to the OGR creator, and received the blessing to do something in the same spirit. It was just a gesture – it is not like either of us had any real-life obligation to the other, but it feels good to know that Mach Riders can hopefully help fill that void.

What is the difference between Mach Riders and 1 More Castle?

As hinted at above, Mach Riders is always going to be the opposite of exclusive. At the Castle, we have a team who regularly contributes columns, videos, a podcast, and other content. We have three editors. We have a loyal, core fan base, and intend to keep growing there. We have a rigorous schedule, serious conversations about publishing policies, and a lot of behind-the-scenes labor to work on our direction. I am very proud of the product we have at 1MC, and what we are doing to truly become the best retro gaming website ever.

Mach Riders, on the other hand, is founded on chaos and anarchy. There are no editors, nor deadlines. It is a willy-nilly maelstrom show of force. To use an analogy, at the Castle we have a fine selection of vintage wines, available for enjoyment by a discerning clientele – while, as Riders, we have tons of cheap beer and a constant raucous party going on. Is one worse than the other? Not really, they are merely different. I can tell you exactly what we have to offer at the Castle, but the Riders will be more unpredictable. That is the key departure.

You have already sputtered to a standstill on your personal blog, NintendoLegend.com. What makes you think you will have time for a whole new project?

Touché. Then, let us be completely honest and transparent: I can say, with full admission of selfishness, that another nice thing about Mach Riders is that once someone has a log-in, they can post freely. I am not an editor there, just a founder. Ideally, it should require very little actual time and effort on my part to keep running. In other words, that is another different between this project and others I have been involved with – I do not have as active of a hand in its day-to-day operations.

What place do you see Mach Riders taking in retro gaming web community presence? What is the mission here?

It has become practice to insult and downplay websites such as Buzzfeed, Cracked, etc., who provide “cheap” content based on quick video clips and list-based articles. However, I really do believe they serve an appropriate place on the web, and still stand as a guilty pleasure of mine. Now, I would hope Mach Riders would eventually earn a higher-class reputation; but, really, for now, I am okay with people thinking of it as their quick fix for retro gaming, the place where they can have a light meal, bite-sized chunks of interesting courses constantly served up.

I see MR being a destination for people to satiate their taste for retro gaming content, for new-to-the-scene people to find their footing as contributors a bit, and somewhere for people like me to discover dynamic new talent we can elevate and support in other arenas as well.

I enjoy posting stuff about old video games sometimes. Can I join Mach Riders?

Sure! Tweet me up at @Nintendo_Legend and we can start that conversation.

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Eric Bailey blogs at NintendoLegend.com, where he is reviewing every American-released NES video game. He also serves as Editor-In-Chief of retro gaming features site 1MoreCastle.com, and can be followed on Twitter @Nintendo_Legend.