What it gave me, at first, was an outlet for all the stuff that had been forced to stayed cooped up in my brain for the best part of a decade - and once the cork was off the bottle... well... you only have to look at the insane, three posts-a-day, schedule I was managing when I first started. I had a lot of itches to scratch.
I did, in the early days, hope Digitiser2000 might take off in its own way, but I realised relatively early on that the site existed in a completely different media landscape to the one the original Digitiser launched in, back in 1993. To stand a chance of breaking through would've required me to kind of compromise on what I wrote, and I fast became aware that I didn't want to do that.
Truthfully... we don't really get a lot of people reading these days, barring the occasional article which gets some interest outside of the core audience, though any disappointment over that has long since dissipated.
I've tried, on and off, experimenting, but ultimately I had to conclude that I needed to write what I wanted to write, and to hell with trying to compete for clicks, or making the entire point of this site in any way coherent and consistent.
There have been times - even relatively recently - where I've wondered why I continue in the face of widespread apathy (blunt I know, but there's no real way of dressing it up as anything else), but I think I enjoy the structure it gives me. I like having a schedule to keep to, and I like the mental workout of having to think of what to write.
And I like that there are at least some people who appreciate it.
It might seem strange to 'celebrate' an anniversary by saying that the thing you're 'celebrating' hasn't lived up to initial expectations, but success can be measured in lots of different ways.
Digitiser2000 has become a kind of centre of gravity, around which has orbited stuff like Mr Biffo's Found Footage, Digitiser the Show, the Digi Minis, Digifest and Digitiser Live. And, hopefully, next year... something new.
Heck, there are solid signs that the Digi YouTube channel has finally found a foothold, and is arguably now more popular than this site has ever been, even if it's still a long way from the heady days of my 1990s prime.
In the last five years I've met and worked with so many interesting people, and made friends with many I admire, and had so many experiences and opportunities that I could never have anticipated; fannying around on a speedboat to shoot Manorak, hanging out for two days in an old nuclear bunker, putting on a live comedy show that was, if you don't mind me saying, spectacularly shambolic...
None of that would've happened if I hadn't launched Digitiser2000 first, and - along with a lot of what I've written on this site - the last five years represent a body of work I'm immensely proud of. More significant still to me... on this day five years ago I could never have imagined a time when I'd have been comfortable being on camera.
That's happened because of Digitiser2000, but I've also learned to edit video, direct, organise big events - I've even learned to enjoy performing in front of an audience. That alone isn't so much something that's new, more something that I've rediscovered I enjoy.
Frankly, I was a horrible little show-off growing up.
Of course it's a customary cliche at times like this to thank the supporters, but in this instance I mean it entirely sincerely when I say none of it would happen without you lot.
It was the audience - via Twitter - that encouraged me to set up a Patreon to fund a new site, and then risk a crowdfunding campaign for Found Footage. Some of you have been backing me ever since, and a lot of you have joined along the way. More than anyone, I do this for you.
Plus, it was everyone who came to Digifest, the Found Footage premiere, and Digitiser Live, everyone who has left an encouraging comment somewhere, who has taken the time to watch, or read, or share, what I've written - all of that is the sort of encouragement I could never have dreamed of this time five years ago. Without it, what would be the point?
Back then, I felt like nobody would be interested in what could be offered some washed-up games journalist, whose last public outing was a pretty unpleasant fall-out with members of his own message board.
In light of all that, the support I've received has been so unexpected, and so positive, that I've become confident enough to push myself further and further out of my comfort zone. All of the things I've done in the last five years, as Mr Biffo, is because of you lot. There's no way of understating that. I feel utterly blessed by it.
On an entirely personal level, it has been incredibly, profoundly, healing. Five years ago, I was scared and anxious at the thought of putting myself out there again. Actually, scared doesn't even come close to conveying it; I was terrified. The night I went live on Twitter I more or less had a full-on panic attack.
Yet at the same time, not having an outlet for my weird sense of humour, and my writing, was kind of stifling me. I felt trapped and claustrophobic, and I missed it so much. Once I started, I couldn't stop.
I'm glad I took the risk. I'm glad so many of you have encouraged me to continue taking risks. And I'm very glad that I've reached a point where I feel pretty much fearless about life, and am comfortable just being me.
Again, thank you.
So, Digitiser2000 isn't Digitiser. I know the original Digi is my Beatles; I don't expect ever to top it, in terms of creating something that means as much to people.
That happened by accident anyway. It was just a job, that took on a life of its own. But... it meant as much to me as I know it did to many of you. Why else would I have bought the trademark, and still be doing stuff under the Digi banner? I realise now it'll be with me forever.
It's a weird thing, to feel like I'm one of you, despite being the co-creator of the thing we all love... but it does feel like it's a shared history we all have, and a journey we've gone on - and continue to go on - together.
Sorry if that all sounds a bit overly sincere, but if you can't do it for anniversaries, when can you do it?
So, a few further thanks to some of those who have been instrumental over the past five years:
Larry, Octav1us and Gameplay Jenny for being part of Digitiser The Show.
Everyone else who was in Digitiser The Show and Mr Biffo's Found Footage, especially those celeb cameos, and everyone who worked so ridiculously hard behind the scenes.
Dan Farrimond, who was the very first person - other than my wife and Mr Hairs - who I told about Digitiser coming back. He helped to organise that first Digifest, along with Carl Attrill,
Steve Horsley for keeping the Teletext flag flying, and being an important part of Found Footage and Digitiser the Show.
Stuart Ashen and the Barshens crew - Eli, Barry, Chris, Izzie - for inviting me into their orbit.
The brilliant Chris Jerden-Cooke, my musical partner-in-crime for Digi and Found Footage.
The organisers of Play Expo and Retro Revival, for thinking I'm interesting enough to be on a panel.
Everyone who has invited me onto a podcast, for thinking I'm interesting enough to be on a podcast.
Darran at Retro Gamer for letting me write a column for them every month.
Tim "Mr Hairs" Moore, Adam "Mr Cheese" Keeble, and Gavin "Mr Udders" Lambert, for building the foundation of all this with me.
The superlative Super Bad Advice, who has written many, many excellent articles, in a style that fits seamlessly.
Chris Bell, keeper of the Super Page 58 flame, and all the people who have donated tapes to help with Jason Robertson's ongoing heroic efforts to recover the entire history of Digi.
Paul Gannon, for being my co-pilot on the Digitiser Minis. Long may that continue, because I love doing arsing around with him as much as I did writing Digi with Tim back in the day.
Everyone who has been patient with me in getting the Digi Kickstarter rewards sent out, and everyone who has been patient with me replying to emails and DMs. I do get around to responding eventually. I just get a bit overwhelmed.
Lastly, of course, my wife, who was the one who encouraged Mr Biffo out of retirement in the first place, because she thought he was funny, and who is incredibly protective of him, especially when people are dicks. She has tirelessly kept the Digi ship running behind the scenes for the past five years, encourages me to be true to myself, and I couldn't have done any of it without her.
It's Digi Friday Letters Page day tomorrow, so it'd be nice if we could continue the celebrating with some Digitiser2000-themed letters.
Email those things to this place here: firstname.lastname@example.org
Read now: THE TERRIBLE BEST OF DIGITISER2000