In February 2009 a group of Metroid fans wanted to create a podcast together to discuss their love for Metroid and general Nintendo gaming. Originally planned to be called Hyperbeam, the podcast set to work planning on various topics of discussion. Eventually the name was dropped and replaced with the current name of Shinesparkers. This is how it all began.
Four people were part of the original group; Darren Kerwin, Conor Godfrey, Ben Stewart and Owen Chapman. The four were keen Metroid fans and were happy to discuss their thoughts on the franchise publicly and to a wider audience. This was their opportunity to talk about a series that they had followed for a long time. The ideas started to flow and everything came together. The podcast was eventually recorded and released a few months later but due to a lot of unforeseen editing issues and putting it all together at a quality that was acceptable, was time consuming. Due to this the life of Shinesparkers as a podcast was put on hold until a new and more effective way of delivering it was discovered.
Time had passed and there was no solution in sight for a more effective way to offer the Shinesparkers podcast. But another idea was put forward in the form of a web community. On the 17th May 2009 Shinesparkers made the transition from podcast to forum community and the site was focused on a larger goal and run by podcast member Darren to try and bring together members from a previous failed Nintendo forum called Nintendo-Online. Overall the community was a success but towards the end of its life suffered due to disputes throughout the forum and a general lack of interest, which had plagued previous communities. The forum turned into a website and moved over to its own host a few months later, courtesy of Wavehack who kindly provided hosting for the project.
The site succumbed to the same fate as the previous forum and many thought it was the end. But the community then transferred over to “The Joypads”, a community set up by two previous members of Nintendo-Online who were much more focused and dedicated to providing a service for the community it was saved and even improved! Darren continued to help the community to grow by taking up a position on the website to provide news and articles. But in the background he was already planning the future of Shinesparkers, an idea he had contemplated from the very beginning before even coming up with the suggestion of a podcast. A website community dedicated to his passion and love, Metroid.
To do this he needed a new approach and a plan to ensure that the new project was a success. He decided he didn’t want to take it on alone, so searched for a team of Metroid fans as passionate as himself that could make the whole thing work. In June 2010, Ben joined the staff to offer his talents and help in the new approach of Shinesparkers. Wavehack also came on board to provide behind the scenes technical and website support while Ben worked on the overall design of the site, while Darren provided the content. Everyone was working to their strengths and on August 31st 2010, the site launched and Shinesparkers was born again as something new. Since the launch of the site the website has delivered exclusive interviews, featured content and up to date news which has assured Shinesparkers has become one of the fastest growing, most reliable Metroid fan websites on the Internet and continues to grow.