Aftermath is a new worker-owned video game site co-founded by alumni from Kotaku, Vice's Motherboard, The Verge and The Washington Post: Nathan Grayson, Gita Jackson (who contributed several articles to Offworld here at Boing Boing), Riley MacLeod and Luke Plunkett.
The past few years have seen mass layoffs and site closures, with remaining writers being asked to do more and more with less and less. The ad-supported model is crumbling, social media is a mess, and the businessmen and private equity firms buying up news outlets don't care about workers, readers, and quality writing, they only care about profits. The four of us saw our sites closed, ourselves and our colleagues laid off, and our workplaces turned hostile in management's pursuit of growth at all costs.
This couldn't be happening at a worse time for the games beat. There's a lot going on: widespread labor organizing, industry-changing mergers and acquisitions, sweeping layoffs, and somehow through it all a ton of amazing new games from big studios and indies alike. We need a curious, independent press to hold power to account, to cut through the marketing hype, and to elevate the voices of those affected by the gaming industry's upheaval.
I'm looking forward to reading this daily. Three to get you started:
Nathan Grayson covers the industry's no-good but hopeful year: crushing layoffs, but growing union clout.
Gita Jackson explores the Exuberant Kitch of Alan Wake II, a kooky spooky game that weds unparalleled realism with a genuinely fascinating knack for imitation, Finnish eccentricity and intentional banality—the same developers made Control, which I loved a few years back here at Boing Boing.
Luke Plunkett's Starfield's Coffee Situation Is Dire is a funny, tongue-in-cheek look at the repetetive worldbuilding blocks of open-world games and the grim political economy they imply if taken at face value.
There is no greater indication of this site's incipient excellence than the hostile reaction to it from the usual morons, but beyond pointing that out, the great thing about sites like this is it's a great place to not run into them.