The 'Shroom:Issue 200/Closing Statement
Well, readers of The 'Shroom, here we are. You've read everything issue 200 has to offer... or maybe you skipped down here straight away. Hey, no judgement here. I'm the Strategy Wing Director; getting you to the goal is a big part of my job! All jokes aside, though, getting down to the bottom really wasn't the "goal", was it? It was always about the journey through this issue, learning about battling robots, seeing users depicted on cards, playing through games, marveling at artwork, enjoying reviews, learning a bit about animation history, laughing at comics, and, of course, enjoying the fireworks.
Putting this issue together has been a journey of its own, and, like any journey, be it moving to a new town in real life or leaping and running through the Mushroom Kingdom as Mario, this journey has had ups and downs, twists and turns, moments of excitement and moments which required perseverance. The team behind this issue is extraordinary, a group which exudes passion and creativity in abundance. Make no mistake, it is because of their effort and dedication that this issue is a spectacle befitting this important milestone, and I would like to take a moment to acknowledge their contributions.
Our Graphics Design Manager, GBA (talk) went above and beyond this issue, not only providing us with a picturesque night night sky and a plethora of stunning fireworks, but also a lovely cityscape graced by The 'Shroom HQ, a staff portrait, a new banner for our archives, unparalleled expertise when it comes to color contrast and good page design, and much more. In close collaboration, former Graphic Design Manager TPG (talk) stepped up to help out and graced us with special assets for our 'ShrooMall staff collaboration, music, new SVG backgrounds, his own wealth of artistic knowledge, and additional assets including a staff portrait. Both of them worked hand-in-hand with our Website Manager and Programming Manager, Lakituthequick (talk), who made possible everything from the shooting off of the fireworks and the highlighting of buttons on the main page to the smooth implementation of our new backgrounds. Also doing technical-heavy duties, we have our highly-attentive Statistics Manager, Meta Knight (talk), who not only handled a massive number of applications for us, but made possible an entire overhaul of our archives, added new capabilities to the paper, combed through SOTM data, and lent a helping hand to Waluigi Time and myself over and over again throughout the year.
Rounding out our team of managers, I'd also like to thank and congratulate RHG1951 (talk) for so quickly taking to the role of Spotlight Manager, even bringing us new maintenance categories for the big two-zero-zero. Alongside these managers, I want to give a special thanks to a staff consultant who has played an outsized role in this issue, not only contributing over fifteen passion-driven sections, but also encouraging others in the community and regularly giving input on the issue. Thank you, Shoey (talk), for all of your support!
Our Team Directors, FunkyK38 (talk), Anton (talk), Roserade (talk), and Zange (talk), as well as the truly extraordinary Sub-Director who is Waluigi Time (talk), likewise put an immense amount of work into this issue. They not only prepared their teams and their usual slate of sections, but also contributed a number of special sections, attended meetings, gave issue-shaping thoughts and suggestions, took additional time to contribute to our staff collaborations, reviewed applications, and allowed me to use them as sounding boards at times. They did all of this while juggling increasingly busy schedules, sacrificing increasingly scarce free-time to make something wonderful for this community. For serving the community for so long, each in their own ways, and for their commitment to this milestone issue, I want to thank them all from the bottom of my heart, and I hope all of you will share your gratitude with them, as well.
In addition to these staff members, I'd like to extend thanks to someone else who has supported the paper - in multiple ways - for all of its existence, someone who has kindly allowed us to try new things, has offered technical advice, and who has graciously allowed us to host this paper on his servers and his website. Porplemontage (talk), on behalf of everyone involved in this project, I'd like to thank you for making it possible for this paper and this community to thrive.
It's not only members of the staff that I want to thank, however. I'd also like to extend my gratitude to all of you, the writers who submitted to this issue and the members of this community. For well over a decade, you have supported this paper and shared your passions within it. This project, this incredible journey from issue 100 to issue 200, has only been possible because all of you have continued to chat, to make and play games, to work on expanding and maintaining the wiki, to joke, to make and share art, to come together for Awards, and, of course, to write for and read The 'Shroom. Through all of the changes time brings, through all the community members who have come and gone, you have never ceased to impress with your hard work and creativity. Look at all the names throughout this issue and feel proud of yourselves, because this is a testament to you!
As we all know, however, though a level, or even an entire world, may be cleared when we finally touch the top of the flagpole and the fireworks go off, the journey isn't truly over. The next world always awaits us, and we never quite know what to expect. Will it be a desert, a tropical island, frigid mountains? We only know once we get there. I don't know exactly what the future holds for The 'Shroom, and we'll only know once we get there. What I do know is that this is a dynamic community, always in a state of flux in many ways, and its projects, as a reflection of it, demand a certain degree of dynamism, as well. I highly encourage all of you to take an active stake in community projects, including The 'Shroom. Don't sit on the sidelines! Help shape this paper! Have conversations about what you, the collective community, want it to be, what you want it to offer! There are many elements of the paper that work like a well-oiled machine thanks to years of effort from previous Directors and many staff members, but there may be other elements that need to change in the future. It's up to all of us to decide these things, but I know this community can keep this project going for some time to come. Whatever waits beyond the flagpole, this community will have many wonderful new issues of The 'Shroom to share!
It has been humbling to be trusted with this project, and it has been an honor to bring you so many issues and to work with so many talented people. I've made dear friends in the process, and I can't thank you enough for your trust and support. My journey as Director, though, will be coming to an end at the end of this year, and Waluigi Time's journey as Sub-Director will be, at least, on pause for 2024. It will soon be time for a new duo to lead The 'Shroom along on its journey, and, with the journey thus far as my guide, I am confident this community will produce an innovative, energetic set of leaders for the paper. A good thing that is, too, because, to borrow the words of my predecessor, long-time Director SMB, the countdown to issue 300... begins now!
A new countdown has started, and the next portion of our journey lays before us, so LET'S-A-GO! And...
THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR-A-READING THE 'SHROOM! WAHOO!
—Hooded Pitohui, Director