Freedom of choice is a bitch.

Sure, it’s nice to be able to pick your career or your place of residence. I’m not advocating a police state where your life is assigned to you based on aptitude tests and five-year plans. But sometimes, having too many choices can be a little overwhelming.

Case in point: laundry detergent. A few weeks ago I went to the grocery store to pick up some household items. Everything was going swimmingly until I found myself standing in front of an extravagant array of garment cleaning products. High efficiency color-guard liquid. Triple-concentrated allergen fighting powder. Blue eucalyptus & lavender-scented stain remover. I tried feebly to calculate the price-to-performance ratio of a handful of potential candidates, but it was no use. I was paralyzed. Hours later, long after the cleaning crew had arrived and the entrances were being shuttered, a security guard found me curled up in the fetal position next to a baked goods display, muttering incoherently about fresh-cut grass and spring showers. I was ushered out of the store, empty-handed and consumed with quiet rage.

I’m not entirely certain, but I think our Editor-in-Chief may have had a similar experience in mind when she designed The Escapist‘s inaugural editorial calendar. See, pitching an article can be a lot like buying detergent. Without a bit of guidance, it’s easy to find yourself rocking back and forth next to your own metaphorical baked goods display, waiting for a mental security guard to show you to the exit.

Occasionally, however, our contributors boldly flout the confines of the Calendar and tread their own path. For them, writing within a prescribed topic simply won’t do; they have an idea, a vision that begs to be brought to the page, no matter how absurd or unorthodox it may seem to onlookers. These brave souls rush through that figurative aisle and grab their detergent with the confidence of an Olympic relay runner. And for that, we salute them.

This week, Tom Rhodes examines how internet culture is redefining human sexuality in “Click Here for Hot Man Love!” In “Piracy and the Underground Economy,” Ryan Sumo offers an honest assessment of videogame piracy in the developing world, and how developers can realistically counteract it. Anthony Burch catalogues designer Rod Humble’s contributions to the budding “artgame” movement in “Stars and Squares,” and Chris LaVigne critiques the alternately childlike and childish approaches of Super Mario Galaxy and Gears of War in “Like a Kid Again.”

Jordan Deam

You may also like