The hardest part of writing important pieces is that the author is basically forbidden from coming out with her point in the opening paragraph. This is a conceit meant to invite the reader to come along on a journey with the writer into the realms of Critical Thought and Inquiry, and it’s somewhat a breach of protocol to do otherwise. The first paragraph isn’t for building a case or driving home a message. No, the start of most any good piece of writing is to make the reader say to the writer, “O where are you going?”
And then, in the second paragraph, you show your hand. I’m resigning from my position as Editor-in-Chief of The Ontological Geek, effective immediately.
I suppose it’s a tradition for Editors-in-Chief of this esteemed publication to leave for higher education. Nine months ago, my dear friend Bill Coberly1 left the captain’s chair to go to Law School. By all accounts he’s well on his way to becoming the Best Lawyer. And soon I shall also be going back to school, this time to get an MFA in Game Design from NYU. I am always a little uncomfortable saying that, as I don’t want to come across as boasting and in love with the smell of my own farts; I’m given to understand that getting into this program, or NYU in general, is kinda sorta a big fucking deal, but I don’t like to make too much of it2, and I don’t really know how to say I want to seem humble without seeming un-humble3. So let me say that I would absolutely not be going to NYU to study games and the design thereof without The Ontological Geek.
Writing for the Geek has been a series of incredible opportunities, and in my three years on staff I feel privileged to have been a part of Games Criticism as it’s started to become a Thing. At NYU they offer classes on Games Crit, but I like to think that I know a thing, maybe two, about that already. For one thing, I’ve gotten to work with some of the best thinkers in this up-and-coming field, and I’m proud of the fact that I consider some of them to be my friends. It’s a strange and disparate bunch of folks who like to think deeply about games, and we are Up To Something in a big way.
The Ontological Geek is, and has always been, a place where Great Things happen. It’s come quite a long way from some guy’s after-college project, and it’s poised to go even farther under the leadership of Oscar Strik, long-time contributor to the Geek, podcast-mancer extraordinaire, one of the finest writers whose prose I’ve had the privilege to edit, and something of a badass at running a website (a trait I lack, in case it’s not obvious). Oscar is on fire with passion and vision for this little blog that could and still can, and I couldn’t leave the Geek in hands more capable than his.
I’d like to thank Oscar for daring to take up the Onto Banner. I know he’s going to take the Geek many places and do great things with it. I also want to thank Bill Coberly for giving me this sweet buff to my résumé and letting me try my hand at running his brainchild for a bit. Thanks also are due to the rest of the OntoStaff: Tom Dawson, Owen Vince, Aaron Gotzon, and Jim Ralph are each intellectual and critical powerhouses, and I can’t wait to see the great work they’re going to do. I am truly honored to have worked with them. Further thanks are due to anyone who has submitted articles to the Geek for having patience with my editorial practices (which can best be described as “slovenly”)! This site is nothing if not a place for passionate fans of things, and to you, passionate fans of The Ontological Geek, I say a final word of thanks.
I’m not really planning on doing much more as part of The Ontological Geek, but I will always remember my time here. If nothing else (and there is so much else), it taught me how to engage with things I love intelligently and with like-minded people. Rather than being a Lonesome Road4, gaming can be a beautiful passion that unites us all in beautiful ways. As a game designer, I hope to continue that trend, to make things that the fine folks at the Geek and all the rest of you find meaningful and impactful.
I’ll see you around, friends. It’s been fun.