I was idly checking my old posts and realized that Mint’s Café is officially two years old as of three days ago! That set me to reminiscing, so here we are.

I have started many, many blogs since I was a wee Mint, and they’ve all been based around videogames to some extent. Did you know? My very first attempt at reviewing a game came about when I was 12 years old. It was a video review of Okami, cut from video clips I was able to download off of IGN. It was very much based on the old-school “Graphics, Audio, Story, Gameplay” header video game reviews, put together on Windows Media Player. How simple things used to be. From there I would start and stop wordpress blogs, destructoid blogs, kotaku blogs, and even Atavist, which doesn’t exist anymore, all under different monikers I used to use. You can probably find some if you know any of my old usernames. I will not be sharing them with you, because they’re embarrassing. My interests have expanded far beyond videogames in the past 14 years, but they continue to be my favorite thing to talk about, and are a big part of why I have the friends I do.

I can pretty easily say that Mint’s Café is the longest I’ve ever maintained a blog, and there are a couple of good reasons for that. The first is that this is my first personally hosted blog, built on Ghost, with a URL I purchased myself and my blood, sweat, tears and pixels poured into making sure it worked and looked good. The difference having a job can make, heh. The second is that my Mint persona/mascot/whatever has been my most comfortable online identity, and that’s helped me with how I express myself online as a whole. And the blog has only picked up steam since I finally came to terms with my ADD diagnoses, allowing me to focus on the projects I want to work on.

Beyond that, though, what’s made writing on this blog so much fun and long-lasting for me is you, the reader. Whether you’re one of my close friends, indulging me as I talk about Gravity Rush or evil corporate-generated anime girls, a patron that supports the maintenance of both mints.cafe and sunset.camp, or just a person passing through, this place would not exist without you, and I thank you for that. I hope that you’ll continue to stick around as I eject these cursed thoughts from my brain and into the internet so that my head doesn’t explode.

So, with a new year of Mint’s Café comes a new look! You probably noticed it by clicking on this link, but I’ve redesigned the site a little bit. Hope you like it! If not, feel free to tell me — I can always revert back to the old one if enough people are disappointed in the new look. I also have some cool ideas in the pipeline that I hope to implement in the coming months, so stick around for that!

On top of that, I want to celebrate! So I’m holding a giveaway for a $60 gift card for the videogame shop of your choosing (Nintendo eShop, Playstation Store, Microsoft Store, or Steam)! All you have to do is follow me on Twitter and retweet the link to this celebratory post. I will be randomly selecting a winner in 48 hours. I am allowed a bit of marketing-based exposure after two years of work, as a treat. :)

Thank you again, everyone! May this Café continue to be your number one stop for thoughts on games and crying about the creative process!