Happy Anniversary

Happy Anniversary
The Escapist's Bold Experiment

Allen Varney | 6 Jul 2010 13:26
Happy Anniversary - RSS 2.0

As consort of Zeus, Themis was mother to the Horae: embodiments of the right moments for planting, harvesting and introducing website video. "If you look at web traffic data from 2007 and beyond," says Macris, "sites that adopted video grew; sites that stayed focused on text were flat or shrinking. Having experienced being both early and late to the market, it was exceptionally gratifying to fly right through that narrow window of perfect timing.

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"The introduction of video has definitely tilted the site to include as much entertainment as journalism, but we're certainly not the only news organization to have made that shift."

Moving on

Having edited or supervised over 200 issues of The Escapist, Julianne Greer left Themis in June 2009, just short of the magazine's fourth anniversary.

"For the first couple of years we were open, we tried to get Epic Games to talk to us," she says. "They're just 15 miles down the road! We should be pals! They never seemed to have time to talk to us, so we kind of gave up. But we did still decide to do a profile on them, regardless. Just after we talked about doing this profile, we received an invite sent to local games industry people to a giant party at the home of Epic president Mike Capps. At the last minute I decided I'd go, make some contacts and finally get a damn interview. I actually ended up hitting it off that night with Mike and we started dating, as well as set up (much later) a great studio visit for the profile. I'm quite certain it wasn't planned this way, but seven months later, the day The Escapist Epic profile went live, Mike proposed to me in Paris." [Issue 149, May 2008.]

Late in Greer's (now Capps's) tenure, Esquire profiled art-game designer Jason Rohrer; and of course, The New Yorker had long since profiled Will Wright. Developments like these prompted new Editor-in-Chief Russ Pitts to ruminate on the magazine's next direction in "Time to Move On":

What we realized in the past two years or so was that, while we of the Old Guard were pacing around in the echo chamber of our own circular arguments, debating with ourselves over how to convince the populace at large that games are important, dammit, the populace at large was figuring it out for themselves ... [A]lthough this Brave New World of mainstream gaming may not have been entirely of our own making, it is a world in which we can nevertheless find a place for ourselves as leaders, mentors, and guides.

Themis was a mentor; the Romans reinterpreted one of her aspects as Iustitia, personification of Justice. That's my cue to apologize for doubting The Escapist's survival. The site enjoys deserved success as the web's leading independent games media outlet.

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