What does it mean to be the best? To be the best at what you do, to achieve the pinnacle of success, for people to know and to say that you do what you do better than anyone else. That alone can be a goal worth striving for, but at The Escapist, we believe that it’s worth even more if the struggle itself has meaning beyond who wins or loses.
This year, we were pleased to announce that we’d won three Webby Awards and you can watch those Webbys being awarded live via Facebook. One of those Webbys was for “Best Gaming-Related Website,” which was intensely gratifying for us, as you may imagine. Of all the websites nominated, both the Webby voters and the community at large decided we were best. That’s huge.
What’s even better is we didn’t win that honor through copying someone else. We didn’t win by looking at the crowded and competitive field of videogame journalism and cannibalizing and reproducing the efforts of others. Six years ago, The Escapist was founded for the single purpose of becoming the best videogame-related website on the internet, and we resolved that in order to get there, we’d do it our way. We championed the gaming lifestyle with a new way of writing about games, and a new way of reading about them. We innovated and strove and struggled and ignored conventional wisdom and traditional methods of writing about games. And now he we are. According to some, the best at what we do.
What’s next? We keep going.
Since 2005, we’ve made a lot of changes to our formula and continued to innovate. Through community interaction, through video and through continuing to offer print-quality videogame writing on the web long after “print quality” has lost whatever meaning it once had. Take a look through the iPad apps of other magazines and you’ll see a digital presentation of full-color illustrated page-by-page feature articles. They look amazing until you remember we did that six years ago (PDF). When our iPad app hits in a month or two, we hope you’ll be just as amazed by that as you were when we first debuted on the web.
All of this is to say that while we are immensely pleased to be named “the best” at what we do, we are also humbled, because we know there is still so much more to be done. We are continuing to innovate. We are continuing to strive to be the best. Not for the win itself, but because we honestly couldn’t imagine doing it any other way. At The Escapist, we believe that videogames and the videogaming lifestyle are worth championing, whether or not we’re doing it better than anyone else.
It’s fitting, then that for this week we’ve scheduled a “Best Of” issue of our feature magazine. Richard Dansky gets to the bottom of the ongoing controversy between vampires and zombies, Brian Campbell confesses to a lifetime of cheating, Tim Latshaw explains why red is really the only appropriate color for exploding barrels, Rob Zacny plumbs the depths of Alan Wake‘s innovative narrative and my exploration of the meaning of Minecraft‘s zombies comes back from the dead. Enjoy!