One Year of Classic Computer Gaming!

Written By: Elijah Moon Blackwell

CD-ROM Fossil started out as a college assignment. Elijah Blackwell sat in his evening Editing and Design course. It was the last semester and senioritis had kicked in hard. Some seniors in college push themselves to finish the four year march strong. Others, like Elijah, struggle to crawl to the end.

To make this last class fun, Elijah based his final project on a gaming idea. Any time video games were involved, assignments were a little more tolerable. Long story short, CD-ROM Fossil became the project.

After realizing he liked the idea, Elijah decided to continue the project beyond graduation. Katelyn Vause, who was also a senior, was asked to be the editor.

Stephen Bryant, whoever that is, somehow found his way onto the team page. Who is that guy…we’re not sure.

Lastly, Matt Samples, a childhood friend of Elijah’s, was brought aboard to create thumbnails for the YouTube videos and other art.

After a lot of hard work (without any monetary compensation), the team successfully launched a website with social media and YouTube pages.

Working on CD-ROM Fossil has educated the team about a wide variety of topics. When forming the website, Elijah thought he knew a lot about the history of computer gaming. Turns out, each informative article posted is a journey in learning for both the writer and reader. That’s a good thing! It means research is being done and everyone is benefiting from the shared knowledge.

What is something each team member has learned in the past year?

Katelyn: I learned so much about gaming history! I always learn at least one new thing when reading Elijah’s articles, often more. I gained a better understanding about cultivating a brand and voice, and while I don’t think we have it down pat yet, we’re getting better all the time.

Matt: I’ve definitely learned a lot about collecting. Elijah’s article, Collecting for Beginners, jump started my interest in it. From there, I’ve done my own research and adapted it all to my situation. Through his videos and the various articles on the site I’ve absolutely broadened my knowledge of gaming history. It’s always fascinating to see major trends rise and fall to the wayside in this constantly changing medium.

Elijah: Learning about Mario‘s presence on computers still blows me away. The fact that Nintendo had their flagship plumber on a platform they no longer support is fascinating. Mario is Missing is my personal favorite game on computers. It is a point and click Mario game. That doesn’t even sound official. You can read all about it in the article I wrote Mario’s Short Time on PC.

When the team isn’t learning about classic computer gaming, they are actually playing some video games. Since CD-ROM Fossil rarely explores newer games (especially console ones, with the exception of Matt’s article Red Dead Survival), it’s time to see what the team has been playing on the side.

Katelyn: I’ve been working my way through Night in the Woods and I LOVE it. It can be found on PC as well as the Switch (which is where I’ve been playing it).

Matt: I’ve gone through some titles across the PS1, 3, and 4. In particular, I really got into Crash Team Racing and Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater. Follow my Instagram @mattsiepie to see some of the PS4 screenshots I’ve taken.

Elijah: I play the same few games over and over again. The one I play the most? Hearts of Iron IV. It’s a WWII strategy game. You can find it on Steam if managing logistics is your thing.

The past year has been chock full of gaming. Whether the team is working on the website or just trying to relax, gaming is a part of their everyday lives.

Now it is time to explore CD-ROM Fossil’s readership.  The following information is provided by WordPress using their tracking methods.

Before we get to the fun curiosities, the following two statistics are ones we can use to further improve.

Note: Data was compiled on April 17th, 2019. 

The Top 3 Most Viewed Articles

  1. Games That Defined My Childhood by Katelyn Vause
  2. Review: Tom Clancy’s SSN by Elijah Blackwell
  3. Games from My Childhood Library: Zoombini’s Island Odyssey by Katelyn Vause

The important takeaway: It’s hard to say why these articles reign supreme. When people talk to Elijah about the website they often cite their favorite posts, but rarely is one of those posts in the top three. So why are these viewed so heavily? SSN is probably so high due to it’s obscurity and lack of coverage. It’s a game rarely seen in the headlines. The same can be said about Katelyn’s article about Zoombini’s. Her other article is first probably due to the search engine optimized words. She mentions Nintendo, Mario, Donkey Kong, Pink Panther and many other popular terms. It may also have to do with the brief time we were on Facebook. Where our readers come from is very important. Where our website is being accessed from is called referrers.

Top Three Referrers

  1. Facebook
  2. Instagram
  3. Search Engines

The important takeaway: This is truly eye opening. Elijah ran the Facebook page for maybe two months before letting it lay dormant. Instagram, however, has been the key social media focus for Elijah since then. The two months with Facebook resulted in more views than the Instagram, which has been running for the entire year. Facebook seems to generate more traffic than Elijah previously thought. So, CD-ROM Fossil may return to Facebook. Search engines being third is a good sign. It means the website is showing up on Google, Yahoo or other sites when certain key words are searched.

The next series of statistics are for your entertainment and curiosity. What we can do with this information is yet to be determined. All statistical data is important but putting it to use is a whole other ball game.

We are Global!

21 unique countries have viewed the website. Not every country has an English speaking majority either, which is a little exciting and curious at the same time. Here are the countries that read our website. They are in order of greatest amount of readership to least amount of readership.

  1. United States (Figures)
  2. Canada
  3. Germany (A country where English isn’t an official language in the top three? Cool!)
  4. United Kingdom
  5. South Africa
  6. Ireland
  7. France
  8. Italy
  9. Mexico
  10. India
  11. China
  12. Greece
  13. Australia
  14. Sweden
  15. Singapore
  16. Russia
  17. Puerto Rico
  18. Finland
  19. American Samoa
  20. Guadeloupe
  21. Netherlands

Hello to everyone across the globe! It’s exciting to see that our community is so vast across a variety of cultures! If you are originally from a country not listed but you currently reside in one that is, let us know! We’d love to know where you call home!

That’s A Lot of Words!

With all 25 posts combined, we typed a total of 31,143 words. That’s an average of 1,245 words per post.

Of course, some articles are longer than others. The article with the most words is Mario’s Short Time on PC with a whopping 3,204 words! Elijah doesn’t understand brevity. Remember, Katelyn is the editor. She had to read and edit that extremely long article. The rough draft had over 4,000 words! Wow!

The shortest article is the first one ever posted to the site, We Are Open, at a meager 202 words. There wasn’t much to say at that time.


Once you hit 100 followers you get access to the insights feature of Instagram. It is important to note that these statistics only apply to followers. So the following information is only relevant to the 175 followers. Here is what the statistics tell us about those 175:

As far as countries go, the top 5 is a little different than the website’s.

  1. United States (of course)
  2. United Kingdom
  3. Brazil
  4. Russia
  5. Morocco

Brazil and Morocco are unique to Instagram, which is rather interesting. It seems Instagram followers care more about that quick snapshot post rather than a 3,000 word history of Mario on computer. It could also be a failure on Elijah’s part. It could be that the website isn’t advertised clearly. We will work to figure it out.

Follower gender is also represented in the data. 81% of followers are male, while 19% are female. Many assumptions can be made based off this data, but until the follower account increases, we aren’t going to make any.

The last bit of info to share is age range. Instagram breaks them up based on gender, but we are just going to combine the numbers.

Out of 175 followers
7% are between 13-17
26% are between 18-24
44% are between 25-34
16% are between 35-44
4% are between 45-54
1% are between 55-64
2% are 65 or older

Who knows how accurate any of this data is but hey, it is still fun to look at.

What about YouTube?

Since the CD-ROM Fossil YouTube channel has under 50 subscribers, the stats are really skewed and hard to compile. We receive more views than we have subscribers and that also makes it difficult to track viewers.

If you like watching videos on YouTube, consider checking out the channel by clicking here!

For now we will just list the top five most watched videos:

  1. Review: Hellgate: London – A weird 2018 release
  2. The Virtual Society of 2B2T
  3. Classic PC Longplays: Killing Time [Part 1]
  4. Review: World Rally Fever Born on the Road – Prepare to Die Edition
  5. the Dead and Dying Multiplayers: MineZ

With a year of progress comes…well…more progress. Each team member has their own personal goals they hope to achieve in the short term.

What are those goals?

Katelyn: I’d like to write more; ideally, I’ll put out at least two articles a month. I’d also like to branch out from my nostalgia train trips and write more argumentative pieces. In particular, I’m going to write a piece defending point and click games.

Matt: My goals are to write more articles when I actually get ideas and to hopefully get better with the YouTube thumbnails. If we need them I’ll make new graphics for the site.

Elijah: To piggyback off of what Katelyn wrote, I too hope to put out at least two articles a month. I also want to start writing reviews again. We have so many games and I’d like to showcase as many as I can.

With a full year in the rear view mirror it is time to push forward. No official announcements can be made yet about upcoming articles or videos. If you would like to get a special look into what Elijah is thinking about working on, donate at least $1 to our Patreon. Elijah is going to start posting weekly updates about his works-in-progress to those who donate to CD-ROM Fossil. All the money goes to buying more classic computer games and hardware!

Thank you to all the readers, viewers, followers and friends of CD-ROM Fossil. This website would not be functioning if it wasn’t for our community of players and gaming historians! If you have any feedback, ideas or just want to say hello check out our Say Wassup section!

Here’s to another year of preserving PC gaming history!

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