Like Link so often does, it’s time for me to drift off into the wind.
It’s staggering, even still, to be walking away from something I’ve loved so much for the last six and a half years. Writing and serving this community, along with any and all who fall into our orbit through the whims of algorithms, has been the best job I’ve ever had, and easily the best phase of my life. But all things come to an end.
Today is my last day at Kotaku Australia.
Even just looking back on how much has transpired, and the cycle of life I’ve been able to report on and witness, is daunting. There was the wild ride of Valve being taken to Federal Court, then the High Court, and losing. There was the excitement, the scandal, the quiet death and then outstanding rebirth of No Man’s Sky. There was the fallout of EB Games in the wake of our investigative reporting, the follow-on tribunals and settlements.
There was the bizarre times that video games entered the orbit of the real world. It never ceased to be funny to me that Adelaide’s 7 News — and it was always Adelaide — would have a crack at Grand Theft Auto or some GTA mod at least once a year. And almost without fail, our internal analytics would show that those same stories were receiving referral traffic from South Australian police forums.
There was the incredible stories on the road at events locally and abroad, something I’m always eternally grateful for. That led to the discovery of some incredible indies, amazing stories, some not-so great stories, and just the weird and the wonderful that epitomises why people love this industry so much.
I still remember the first time I sat down with Mark Serrels, the-then editor of the site, and we had a chat over hot chocolates about the kinds of stories that would best live on the website. We spoke about esports and how insular a lot of its coverage was; we spoke about PC gaming, and how the sites could really use someone with an appreciation and grounding in that world.
What we didn’t talk about was the silent quality that has always made this place so special. Something many folks will never understand — but long-time readers of the site will — is just how much flexibility, leeway and personality you are expected and allowed to bring to the table. Kotaku produces stories about video games, but its readers have always wanted stories about the people involved with video games, whatever form that experience took. Online media is slowly changing to encourage people to put more of themselves on the page, particularly in Australia, but Kotaku and Kotaku Australia was there long before them — and most crucially, so were all of you.
Without that, none of the magic is possible. To each and every one of you, from the bottom of my heart, I am forever grateful.
I have grown up surrounded by two groups in my life: those who understood the power and connection of video games, and those who continually fought against it, diminished it, stigmatised it and pretended it would fade into the horizon. I’m fortunate enough that life panned out in such a way that I could share my love of that world with so many other folks who loved it just as much, folks that helped push me to explore those connections deeper, to understand it and myself in ways I would have never imagined.
The saving grace is that I leave this fine place, this no-longer-writing-raw-HTML CMS chassis, for another space full of folks who care just as much. But as a friend told me recently, you never really leave Kotaku: a part of its DNA lives with you, always. In many ways, you can see that throughout the internet — the way features and headlines have changed, the transitions outlets have implemented through the recruitment of Kotaku alumni, or backend moves spurred on by their reporting.
Kotaku Australia has played its own part in that, and I’m proud to leave as the site prepares to welcome two new fresh faces to the fold. My one promise was that I wanted to move on making sure there was space for others to enjoy the incredible journey I have been on.
Before long, you will meet those new people. Welcome them with open arms, be kind to them, and give them space to reflect upon what we all believe: video games is a weird, wonderful, wild, worrisome universe, and may this website continue to appreciate every element of that – the good, the bad and the bizarre – in all its glory.
Thank you, truly, for everything.