Making It Reign 2

So, what do you do when you get hand­ed the reins to a web­site with a five-year his­to­ry1 and a col­lec­tion of essays that is impres­sive, to put it mild­ly? When your pre­vi­ous editor-in-chief announces you with a fan­fare that prac­ti­cal­ly makes one run in fear of not liv­ing up to the hype?

These are rhetor­i­cal ques­tions. Since I’m now the over­lord of Onto, as I like to call this place, I have the free­dom not to answer them. Clearly I’m drunk with power and unfit to rule, so I’m hop­ing Hannah, our beloved for­mer helmswoman, has a pret­ty solid rea­son for aban­don­ing you all to my whims.

It turns out she does. Getting into NYU to study game design? *whis­tles* Drop every­thing and go for it, baby! Like for­mer for­mer Onto boss Bill Coberly, who went off to become a lawyer, Hannah is pur­su­ing a dream, and that is some­thing any­one, espe­cial­ly in our gen­er­a­tion, thor­ough­ly deserves.

Since I don’t have any plans to become a lawyer or a game design­er, and I don’t have a PhD the­sis loom­ing over me any­more,2 I don’t expect I will be yanked away by life’s press­ing mat­ters any time soon. I will hold the fort for as long as I am able, or maybe even look for a less mar­tial metaphor to express what I want to express. Rather than intend­ing to defend our ter­ri­to­ry, cower the local peas­ants into sub­mis­sion, and con­quer the land held by my treach­er­ous cousin Kevin, maybe I should be talk­ing about grow­ing an orchard. There, that sounds much nicer.

Nicholas Roerich - Castle of King Gezar (1929)

Nicholas Roerich — Castle of King Gezar (1929)

I want to thank Hannah for embrac­ing the daunt­ing task of tak­ing over from our founder Bill when he went to law school. It’s never easy to inher­it a baby — since that’s kinda what a web­site like this is — from its daddy, hop­ing you’ll be able to raise it prop­er­ly, but that’s what she did. Hannah start­ed the web­site on its path to become a place to dis­cuss more than just videogames, and it’s a course I intend to con­tin­ue. While I have a par­tic­u­lar phi­los­o­phy to under­gird that direc­tion, this is not the place or time to dis­cuss it. More on that soon.

Briefly put, though: The Ontological Geek will be even more ded­i­cat­ed to dis­cussing pop cul­ture in a broad sense, and to plac­ing cul­tur­al arti­facts into a wider soci­etal con­text. This means you will still find thought­ful videogame essays here, as well as the occa­sion­al pod­cast. But also marathon dis­cus­sions of movie series,3 book essays and reviews, pieces about card games and table­top role­play­ing games, dis­cus­sions of game music and sound­tracks, and who knows what more will come?

I also want to thank Bill for tak­ing me on the reg­u­lar staff a cou­ple of years ago. I came knock­ing on the door with my usual brava­do, sug­gest­ing that the site might run a themed month of arti­cles ded­i­cat­ed to reli­gion in games. And it was so. Later, I sub­mit­ted some more guest arti­cles and even­tu­al­ly I got invit­ed to become part of the reg­u­lars. Thanks, Bill! The themed months are some­thing we’ve done two more times as well, gath­er­ing arti­cles on hor­ror and romance, and I look for­ward to curat­ing more of these themes myself now that I’m in charge.

Finally, thanks to all the reg­u­lar staff and our guest con­trib­u­tors, who’ve always been the lifeblood of the site, writ­ing with­out any com­pen­sa­tion to bring you the best in games crit­i­cism and relat­ed analy­ses.

My ini­tial arch­ness notwith­stand­ing, I’m actu­al­ly gen­uine­ly excit­ed to be tak­ing over as head of Onto, and I will do my best to keep the orchard watered and tend­ed. It will remain a place where our reg­u­lar staff can grow their fruits, but there’s always room for wan­der­ers to come along and join in. So here’s my offi­cial invi­ta­tion to all dear read­ers to have a look at our con­tri­bu­tion page and see whether you’d like to become part of this project.

Since I’m a lin­guist by trade, and Dutch to boot, I can’t help but see myself out with a bit of cheese. Now that I’ve been hand­ed the reins, I intend to reign just­ly and lov­ing­ly, in order that we can all make it rain.

Here’s to the future!

Yours truly,

Oscar Strik


  1. Almost! []
  2. That beast has been slain. []
  3. Of course, Bill can’t real­ly stay away from the site. []

Odile Strik

About Odile Strik

Odile A. O. Strik is editor-in-chief of The Ontological Geek. She is also a linguist from the Netherlands. She occasionally writes in other places, such as her own blog Sub Specie. You can read her innermost secrets on Twitter @oaostrik.

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