As PretendRaceCars.net is a small sim racing blog (with a very big following) run by three guys sitting around on Teamspeak after hours, we don’t actually have an official Facebook, Twitter, or even an Email address. Maintaining multiple social media accounts just takes too much damn time, even with the built-in WordPress plugins that automate that sort of thing. Spawned on this very day one year ago during a dreadful platter of NFL Playoff games, the idea behind PRC was to become a trusted source of sim racing news with as little work on day-to-day maintenance as possible. In short, I didn’t want to spend all my time clicking around on the internet or assign others to look after certain social media pages; we wanted to be able to play the games we’re talking about as much as we’re writing about them.
Of course, the big numbers the site attracted during our reports of the on-going Project CARS disaster, not to mention the flurry of comments we received from the SimRacingDesign cyber-stalkers after making their antics public, and lastly the apologists rushing to defend iRacing from our very valid criticisms, brought out some extremely interesting characters for the world to see. About once every two or three days, somebody leaves an absolutely mind-blowing comment on one of our articles that make us keel over in laughter – or question our own sanity. Part of the fun of giving everyone anonymity is that people don’t think before they speak, as there aren’t any consequences for saying something stupid, leading to downright comical results. Yeah, we’re well aware that our comments section can be a total shit-show. It’s free entertainment. We aren’t in the position to be surprised by a new PRC article while on the shitter at work, so we needed a way to make the site fun for us.
And avid PRC.net reader FMecha has began documenting the truly baffling and bizarre comments of PRC on the Twitter account pretendracecars.txt. This is the closest thing you’ll get to an official PRC.net Twitter feed, so for all the guys who feel it’s necessary to get their news in under 140 characters, give this account a follow on Twitter. Don’t say anything stupid in our comments section. It’ll end up here. You’ve been warned.
I was really hoping to write some sort of first birthday entry to celebrate 365 days of Pretend Journalism, but there is no way I can adequately measure the impact this little site has had on the sim racing community. It has been an absolutely crazy ride so far, and we’ve got confirmation there’s much more absurdity on the way – beginning with our logo adorning the side of a very prominent iRacing entry. With almost a million hits and 250,000 unique visitors, I can now say the experiment of combining TheDirty with VirtualR was a smashing success. And I’m happy the abnormal way this site covers issues has inspired other publications like RaceDepartment and SimHQ to take a more critical approach at certain stories, rather than just regurgitating press releases. As someone who used to read SimHQ back during the days of their seven page odysseys, it’s extremely neat to see the website I once took inspiration from, now take inspiration from what’s written on here.
I’ll leave the bulk of the birthday party festivities to the “Wild West” below, as we’d love to hear from you guys on what your favorite PRC.net article has been since we started this whole thing up last year! And last but not least (seriously guys, don’t let me upload a random NASCAR 15 picture when there’s more important shit to post), here’s the full gallery of banners seen during our contest from a few months back: