This is going to sound corny. I know it.
Corn alert: The Escapist was always more than a website. It was an idea. A dream shared by the people in the home office and the millions of you who visited every day. It was a collaboration between all of us and the brilliant creators who invested their time and effort into making this a place worth spending time. It was an identity. We were Escapists. And that, once upon a time, meant something.
Corn alert: It’s going to mean something again.
First, we need to talk about Escapist Magazine Dot Com itself. As in the website. The technology that we inherited is over a decade old and had been poorly maintained. There haven’t been any significant upgrades to the visiting experience in almost four years. We’ve also had some issues with various bits of code, like the video player. We’re working on resolving those separate issues, and we’re also building something new and exciting for later this year. Stay tuned for more details on that.
Second (in no meaningful order), some of my favorite contributors and best friends from an earlier Escapist era are returning. Bob Chipman will be returning with The Big Picture, and possibly more. Cory Rydell and Grey Carter are returning with a new generation of Critical Miss. Shamus Young will be bringing his Experienced Points back to us. Yahtzee … well, he never left. But he’s staying! And that’s just the beginning. We’ll have more to announce about returning voices soon.
As far as new voices, we’re currently accepting pitches for feature and op-ed articles (see below), and we’re excited to give preference to voices that rarely get heard. There are people writing today from perspectives that are novel, unique, and even endangered. There are people not yet writing today because their voices haven’t yet found a safe and welcoming home. We want to read their stories and we want to share them with you. We hope those of you in unique or at-risk communities will consider sharing your stories with us.
And by “us” I mean me and the team of editors helping me bring Escapist Magazine Volume Two to life:
Christina Gonzalez first contributed to The Escapist in 2007, with her insightful exploration of Pyramid Head. Her examination of how Latinas are portrayed in games, Gangbangers, Victims & Whores, was recently reprinted as part of our build-up to the Escapist Magazine re-launch. Christina is a writer and community professional driven by curiosity and empathy. Her work has been featured in The Guardian, MMORPG.com, and The Escapist. She spends way too long in character creation.
Anthony John Agnello has worked full-time as a journalist and critic for over a decade with outlets like The A.V. Club, Edge Magazine, Joystiq, Engadget, and many, many others. Anthony first contributed to The Escapist in 2009, with In Defense of the Friend Code, an article about how we don’t know where we’re going if we don’t know where we come from. How even what seems like the stupidest creation in the world comes from a human place; it’s the work of one person reaching out to another.
Samantha Nelson has been writing about gaming and pop culture for nearly 10 years for publications including The A.V. Club, The Verge, Polygon and Waypoint. She is also a member of the Critical Hit actual play tabletop gaming podcast.
When I first began thinking of rebuilding The Escapist, I put together a short list of talented writers and editors with whom I wanted to work. Apart from being excellent writers and editors, the one thing Christina, Anthony, and Samantha all share is a deep passion for The Escapist and its place in gaming history. All three responded to my call with a fierce determination to revive the spirit of the original dream. They inspired me as much I inspired them. Now, mere weeks after getting to know them, I feel we’ve already formed a formidable team. I can’t wait to show you what we’re building together.
Here’s a glimpse:
Escapist Magazine Volume Two will combine the powerful, humanist, and timeless quality of the original (PDF!) Escapist Magazine features with the timely impact of op-eds, reviews, news, columns, comics, and videos. Hopefully everything you’ve always loved about Escapist, reborn and revised for an audience who has grown ups alongside video games and genre media.
Escapist Magazine features will be well-researched, well-written, and well-edited. An Escapist Magazine feature will not be simply a longer article, but a timeless exploration of a single person, place, or thing. Escapist Magazine features will embody the best traditions of great journalism, going to the places and people inaccessible to the average reader, and bringing back the flavor of that experience.
Escapist Magazine reviews will provide a definitive, authoritative take on the experience of the entertainment product. Escapist reviews will not seek to be all-inclusive. Each review will will be written for a justifiable reason, making each product we review special by virtue of our having reviewed it.
Escapist Magazine op-eds will be written by inarguable experts in their field. Escapist Magazine op-eds will be opinionated, political, thought-provoking, and discussable. It will be a badge of honor to be asked to write an Escapist Magazine op-ed. Escapist Magazine op-eds will answer the questions: What do the experts think? How does this impact my life?
Escapist Magazine news will be a digest of what matters in the world of genre entertainment. We will not report the news, but provide a lens through which to understand the news.
Finally, I am pleased to announce Escapist Magazine Volume Two is now accepting submissions for op-eds and features at submissionsATescapistmagazineDOTcom.
Your pitch for either a feature or op-ed will:
be written in the body of a one-page email
will not contain attachmentswill contain your full, legal name
clearly and concisely present your article idea and why you are the person to write it
include links to relevant, published examples of your writing
be responded to in writing by an Escapist Magazine editor within 10 days
Dream big, friends.