Time to break kayfabe for a bit, since you’re interested!

First off, I promise I am not actually this intense. It is really fine if you don’t like Final Fantasy VIII! This whole thing is a little tongue-in-cheek, but I do genuinely love Final Fantasy VIII and am annoyed by the knee-jerk dismal of it. I love bristling against the consensus on this, and I am thrilled to play the heel here. And I do think it’s really interesting, from a history angle, how this game was so hyped up as the follow-up to Final Fantasy VII but quietly took a back seat once Square realized they could turn VII into its own franchise.

I was inspired to start this website mainly because I thought the domain name was funny. I have been yelling about FFVIII for a while now and developing a reputation among friends and colleagues for always going to bat for this game. I thought it would be fun to have a separate place where I could dump my (and others’!) rambling thoughts about FFVIII without them seeping into the rest of my writing. I love novelty domain names, and I had a lot of ideas for an FFVIII superfan domain, including using the .love and .church top-level domains (or another top contender, yellingaboutff8.institute). This one was the funniest to me.

One of the main motivations for starting this site was to help me break writer’s block. I write a lot in different formats (for work, for my main hobbyist blog, and for a book I need to finish), but ever since I moved cross-country, I’ve been having trouble breaking through the writing fog and motivating myself. Part of the reason is that I have high standards for myself and put a lot of pressure on myself to do well (thanks for helping me recognize this, therapy). Most of the writing I do tends to have higher stakes for me than social media shitposts or Discord convos, which is just about all I was able to motivate myself to do at the time I started this site.

The fun part about this blog is that I have absolutely no standards for it. It’ll probably be confusing and riddled with typos and overloaded with emotions that are way too intense. I don’t care about SEO. Honestly I don’t care if anyone reads this at all! Writing here is FUN because I get to have no inhibitions. That’s what I want to recapture for myself, to remind myself why I love doing it.

There’s another part to this, which is that I want the internet to be weird. I’m writing this in February 2024, and over the last year, I feel like we’ve seen the open web degrade at an alarming rate. Google’s search algorithm has been moving hard in favor SEO mill content and eCommerce, and the rise of LLM AI has produced the information equivalent of grey goo. With these two things combined, it feels like we are leaving behind the idea that the web can be personal or a place for expression or fun ideas. It’s becoming a slurry of interchangeable anonymous Content, and we’re used to the idea that the real creativity happens on Twitch, Discord, YouTube or other closed spaces.

You can make a website and nobody can stop you! Right now, you can buy a domain name and set up a site where you can do whatever the hell you want. There are so many TLDs now that anyone can land a fun name, without having to resort to one of those fake tech company alphabet soup names that’s missing vowels.

I miss websites where people would come up with silly ideas and share them just for the hell of it, in a permanent home that anyone could reference without having to backscroll. I love the phenomenon of somebody sharing a link and saying “hey what the hell is this,” and it’s not just a tweet.

I long for a world of a million Zombo.coms. This unhinged, aggressive, but sincere website is my attempt to keep the torch lit.