Can you call yourself real? No, I would argue, you aren’t. That pretty much instantly disqualifies you from being a real one, so I’m off to a bumpy start here. But today is my last day at Kotaku, so I consider it my solemn duty to wrap up my awards ceremony “RIP to a real” Article series by praising an NPC who is very important to me: myself.
Nathan Grayson – who, to put it bluntly – I am – is the kind of character that doesn’t really make sense in any setting. It doesn’t have a clearly defined atmosphere or aesthetic. He’s not good at conveying his emotions or explaining his motivations. It’s not clear whether he is supposed to be a recruitable party member, a one-way side quest curiosity, or a Rando who dies in the opening sequence. Honestly, it seems like it should be the latter, but it sort of got shuffled into the main deck. He’s very lucky if you ask me.
It takes a while for it to grow on you. For example, five or six years of playtime (read: real time), and then he calms down as year seven rolls around. And yes, if he dies, he’ll keep all of the gear you equipped him with. So beat him up and rob him by 5:00 p.m. ET today if you ever want the $ 15 venmo payment, Ari.
You never get a good sense of your abilities. Is he an overly indulgent essayist? A reporter with too many opinions? A blogger who couldn’t submit a draft less than 1,500 words to save his life? It never becomes clear. It is fitting, however, that he achieved his goal of completing a reported 6,000 word feature in his last week. On his deathbed – which isn’t much of a bed because he didn’t sleep last night – he’s securing his place in the Real One Hall of Fame by temporarily releasing us from that endless slice. He says:
I’ve always been someone who pulls out ends. When I really like a game, a TV show or a book, I hit the home stretch and then … just stop. It can’t end if I don’t let it go That’s how I’ve treated all week, tangling loose ends on the floor and piling more to postpone the inevitable: the moment when it actually hits me that I’m leaving.
It’s stupid, but I’m remembering not being able to verify Kotaku I don’t sleep anymore and tears come to my eyes. It goes without saying that I can literally whip out my phone at any moment and be digitally surrounded by some of the dumbest people I have ever known. I won’t be able to do that in a few hours. It sucks!
I’ve been part of this for seven years. It made me – in most cases – who I am today. I showed up too Kotaku embarrassingly green as a reporter and person. For some reason then-EIC Stephen Totilo decided to give me a try, and while he certainly regretted it on several occasions, at least he was polite enough not to tell me.
I would never say my entire time here has been rosy. Gamergate sucked, and some happened about two years ago that really messed things up; Too bad we’ll probably never find out what it was. After that inexplicable event for which it would be impossible to blame a single person or, for example, several people at the top of a company, wonderful people got dirty. It’s hard to stay here when the ghosts of those experiences still haunt the place.
Still, I’m incredibly grateful for the numerous completely insane opportunities I’ve been given here. It took me a little bit to really figure out what all of my business was, but I always had the freedom to explore. I’ll never take that for granted, because it gave me two new reporting beats out of stone – first with Steam and then with Twitch. It is seldom that you, as a reporter, have the opportunity to define how an entire platform is covered; It’s even less common that you have multiple chances to do so, even though you definitely didn’t make it 100 percent the first time.
A couple of highlights: I’ve done numerous deep dives on Twitch and related topics, whether that meant spending months Chronicle of the rise of a groundbreaking starCataloging the evolving nature of universal subjects such as Fame and death, or shed light on how platforms like Twitch can make this easier the spread of misinformation. I kept companies like Activision Blizzard, Google, and Cloud empire games responsible. I’ve been investigating shady sports programs and the political affiliations of powerful people within large companies. i continued Kotakuthe long tradition of reporting labor practices in games, both Poorly and Good. I’ve tightened the reins a successful video game podcast and did it well not to ram it into the ground (I think). I made the front man of my favorite band do it talk to me about video games–twice. I ate a huge game controller gummy and somehow lived to tell the story. I’ve met the love of my life and your name is Warframe. Nobody has ever successfully silenced me my stupid player’s chair.
That’s all from the last couple of years. I forgot more things that I reported and wrote about than I can ever remember. I don’t want to say I’ve done everything because in many ways I feel like I’ve just started. But I’ve done a lot. In part – on top of other reasons I’m thinking of Fruit winefor some reason – that’s why I feel like it’s time to move on. Kotaku always has a way to keep you busy, but I never want to risk stagnating. It’s time to shake things up, at least for a little bit. Maybe I’ll come back one day. I would like that. It’s always good to come home.
I have no doubt about it Kotaku will keep killing it in my absence, mostly because Patricia knows exactly what she wants from the website and is perhaps the best person in the world making this possible. In all honesty, I’m a little worried that I picked the worst time to go: just like that Kotaku stands on the precipice of another golden age. But timing has never been one of my strengths (literally ask anyone who knows me), and it’s time someone else took that shine – to take advantage of all the opportunities I had.
As for me, don’t worry: I don’t go into PR or anything like that. I would be a goddamn PR guy and we all know it. I’m sticking to journalism and will continue to cover many of the same things that I do now. I’ll just do it elsewhere, which I hope to be able to tell people about soon. In the meantime, follow me on Twitter: I am @ vahn16. I know it’s a stupid grip. I did it when I was a teenager. If you don’t use Twitter, so can you just mail me.
That’s theoretically the part where I’m supposed to yell at individual people, but that always felt weird to me because someone inevitably gets left out. To my friends, you know who you are and I love you all. To my enemies: I forgive you, but will continue to say little things about you in a private conversation. To everyone who contributes to my roast contribution today: No, they Eat shit.
Wow, and then he died – just like that. RIP for perhaps the most real of them all.
Actually no, it doesn’t matter it was Axehead. That guy fucking ruled.