Introduction

It’s the last hours of Halloween, and this issue is late.

2018 has been a year.

A year of accelerated fascism, of normalization, of exhaustion, but also resistance.

This past week brought us the release of Red Dead Redemption 2, years in the making, we went from anticipation, to hard stands against labor abuses, and then we watched, some of us in horror as the game studio that worked people half-to-death, that stripped people of credit for their own labor, was given such exalted praise it bordered on sycophancy by the cis-hetero white male gaming establishment. Even if they had previously taken a hard line on the exploitative conditions it was made under.

“Games cannot save us,” Austin Walker said. I’ll emphasize that games journalists and critics can’t either.

But as I read the work that contributors send in. See sites by marginalized editors for marginalized writers, like Deorbital, blossom anew. As more and more people become sick of the status quo in games and criticism, and turn to new avenues, new voices, new ways of exploring the possible, I retain some measure of hope.

This issue is late. This year, exhausting. But through it all, I see us finding each other, finding ourselves, and doing more.

And I have to hope these are just the birthing pains of a long-in-coming new beginning. ◒