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The State of Escapist Magazine

11

Well, we did the thing.

Websites come and go, so it’s probably less interesting or meaningful to many of you that Escapist Magazine Volume Two managed to arrive than it is to me and the dozens of humans who worked to make that happen. But I have to tell you: it’s a phenomenal feeling to be sitting here at my desk as editor-in-chief just over one year after I decided to try to bring this website back to life.

I’m thrilled beyond measure that Yahtzee is still with us, and joined by Bob Chipman on the video front producing “The Big Picture” and “Escape to the Movies” again. Bob has also brought over his game-centric show, Game OverThinker, making it the first time that show has appeared at Escapist Magazine.

Also returning are Shamus Young with his “Experienced Points” column, and Grey Carter and Cory Rydell with a new comic “Critical Mix.”

There is so much history here. I was here for the start of the journey, but I don’t even know all of it. As exciting as it is to be able to come back and help write the next chapters, all of us know we can’t possibly reproduce everything that made Escapist Magazine what it is. Some of those things we wouldn’t want to recreate. Some we don’t even like to think about. But there are a lot of truly great pieces of content and experiences that, as wonderful as they were, simply have to be left behind.

Things like March Mayhem, the Holiday Advent Calendars, the Podcat (although we will have our own podcast coming soon), and more. Video series we loved dearly whose creators have moved on. Columns that existed as echoes of their time and are simply no longer relevant or interesting. Experiences we can’t recreate, even if we wanted to.

Instead of remaking Escapist Magazine in the image of what it was at one time or another in its history, our goal is to take over and guide it as best we can through the changes yet to come.

Escapist Magazine was founded in 2005. That was two Xboxes, three PlayStations, six Nintendo devices, and approximately 13 PC GPU generations ago. Suffice it to say, a lot has changed in gaming over those almost 14 years.

More importantly, though, a lot has changed with us as people. We’re older. We like different things. We see the world in different ways. We have new priorities, less time, and higher standards. Escapist Magazine Volume Two reflects all of those realities.

There are some things that haven’t changed, though. From the beginning, Escapist Magazine was never exclusively about games. Movies, comics, culture and life with all of its complexities have always had a home in the pages of The Escapist. Attempting to reduce our perspective to “only” games is infantile at best, and at worst destructively neglects the rich tapestry of experiences that are reflected in the games themselves.

The best video game developers have told us repeatedly that game makers must have a breadth of experience. They must see the world, have relationships, read books, and yes, participate in politics. Game makers, they tell us, who only make and play games will be stuck in the same ruts with the same mindsets and making the same mistakes for generations. And their products will reflect that.

I’ve always believed that games play a part in a well-rounded lifestyle. And The Escapist has always aimed to be a publication for that lifestyle. That hasn’t changed. And it never will.

So you will continue to see in Escapist Magazine Volume Two the same breadth of content you have always seen. Maybe a little different, reflecting the changing times and our changing selves. But it will always be a reflection of our entire culture as described to us by our talented writers and creators, edited by our veteran staff, programmed by the growing team at Enthusiast Gaming, and illustrated by (among others) the same artist who was there with me at the beginning, all those years ago.

To address these changes, we’ve added new content lines already. Sean Sands writes a regular column called “Parent Level,” about the challenges of being a gaming dad. Adam Adler has added his keen legal mind to our brain trust with his weekly series on the legal issues surrounding the world of entertainment, called “Escape from the Law.” Our own Samantha Nelson explores the world of tabletop games in her weekly “Escapist Unplugged.” And “The New Mythology,” also edited by Sam, explores the characters and tropes that our entire fandom is built on, with guest columnists from some of the most prominent publications around contributing every week. Last, but not least, Anthony John Agnello streams for us twice a week with guests from around the industry.

I hope you’ve enjoyed what we’ve accomplished so far. It is only the beginning.

Russ Pitts
Editor-in-chief of Escapist Magazine. VP Enthusiast Gaming Media. Co-founder of takethis.org. Co-founder of polygon.com. Former producer @ TechTV. Creator of Human Angle, Press Reset, and Stage of Development. Former six-time Webby Award-winning editor-in-chief of this very website. Twenty+ year veteran of the entertainment and media industries. Capricorn. Loves dogs.

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