Bye Bye Kotaku!

Image by Jamie Watt

Earlier this morning I decided to delve deep into the recesses of Kotaku Australia's content management system.

I don't normally do this but today is different. Today is my last day at Kotaku Australia. I'm feeling a little sentimental.

I wanted to find my very first ever post on Kotaku.com.au.

At Kotaku HQ it's common knowledge that I'm leaving and for the past couple of weeks I've been having conversations with the people I work with. "Sad it's your last week" "Good luck!" "We'll miss you." Very nice conversations in the kitchen whilst making my 10th cup of tea for the day.

During those conversations I always say something like, "it's been six and half years. Time for a change."

Actually, I had it wrong.

I went searching, I found my first post. The date: October 11, 2010.

Turns out I've working at Kotaku Australia for seven and a half years, not six. I've been here so long I actually lost track of an entire year.

Jesus wept.

My first post on Kotaku Australia was this one: The Week In Gaming, a regular post that has now morphed into This Week In Games. I'm going to leave it there in all its glory. The writing, the terrible jokes, the formatting struggling valiantly against multiple redesigns...

A different time. A different world. Look at the video games: Medal of Honor, Just Dance 2...

FIFA 11 on the Nintendo DS.

Again: Jesus wept.

That was my first post on Kotaku Australia. This is my last.

Seven and a half years, two kids, dozens of consoles, hundreds of video games. At last count I've written 11,321 posts for Kotaku Australia. This one is number 11,322. I've spent more time doing this job than anything in my life besides being married. That's a terrifying thought.

One more time for the road: Jesus wept.

When I started at Kotaku Australia I wanted to focus on three things. I wanted to tell high quality stories about video game culture and the people who contributed to that culture. I wanted to shine a light on Australians making video games in this country. I wanted to build a community.

Turned out that last goal took care of itself. I didn't need to build a Kotaku community, there was a community here all along. I was just a small part of it.

Image by Dane Krams

In this my final post on Kotaku Australia I want to shout out the people who welcomed me so warmly when I started. People like Doc What, Tadmod, Sughly, Effluvium Boy, ShiggyNinty, FatShady, Strange, Batguy, Rocketman, Trjn, Handsome Alex AKA AlexPants, Big Hero 6 Alex AKA Alex Sharples, Blaghman, Ser Nobulus, Scree, Aleph-Null -- way too many to mention really. Every single one of you and more made me feel like I could do anything with this job, take it in any direction I wanted. The support I received in those early years truly made Kotaku Australia what it is today and I want to thank everyone for that.

I have so many incredible memories.

I remember the very first Kotaku community meet-up. I remember meeting 'Sir Eats-A-Lot' IRL and discovering the 'Sir' was actually a she! A she who would eventually become Zorine Te, Gamespot reporter and GLOBAL ESPORTS SUPERSTAR.

I remember bumping into Ruffleberg, a member of the Kotaku community, who somehow recognised me at a God-awful gaming event in Parramatta. That day we discovered we were both obsessed with UFC and Mixed Martial Arts and became buddies. Years later the 'Berg and I still watch every major UFC event together and will probably continue doing so till we're old and gray.

I've made real life-long friends through this job. I'm so thankful for that.

I remember going to Doc What's birthday party and meeting his ludicrously shredded Dad.

I remember helping the Kotaku community create a goddamn Zombie movie.

I remember when an entire squadron of readers burst into our offices with Christmas presents for myself and then Kotaku Deputy Tracey Lien.

I remember when the community pulled together and sent me a massive gift package weeks after the birth of my first son. I'll never forget that.

I remember R18+ and what a big deal it was. I remember watching almost every major games studio collapse in the wake of dollar parity with the US and the GFC. I remember video games being really fucking expensive. I remember going to PAX Australia for the first time and becoming truly energised after what was truly a dark year for video game culture.

I remember the people who were kind enough to open up and tell their stories. People like the Cusumanos, owners of the family-run Gamesmen stores -- who continued the family business after Angelo Cusamano (husband to Mary, father to Angelo Jr, Daniel and Chris) was cruelly gunned down in his own store after a botched robbery.

I remember people like the Stark family, who made a video game together. Or Chris Johnson and Matt Trobbiani, who gave me perhaps the most incredible interview of my entire career as a Games Journalist. I remember the former and current EB Games staff who were brave enough to open up to me for this story. I'm proud of the work I did, but I couldn't have written a single word without the trust of so many people.

Huge thanks to the tremendously talented people I've worked alongside over the past seven years. People like Alex Walker, who is the hardest working journalist I know. People like Tracey Lien, Elly Hart, Nick Broughall, Logan Booker, Anthony Caruana, Adam Wells, Jeremy Ray, Ben White, Rae Johnston, Luke Hopewell, Angus Kidman, Alex Kidman, Spandas Lui Hayley Williams, Chris Jager, Jackson Ryan, Danny Allen, Amanda Yeo, Tegan Jones -- the list goes on and on. Every single one of these people challenged me to do better.

Huge thanks to the incredible US team. Particularly Luke Plunkett, for living in the same timezone as me and understanding football. Our shared love for Olivier Giroud's perfectly sculpted face and body has gotten me through many a difficult day.

This job has been an absolute blast, the best job I've ever had. I'll miss it all. Thanks for sticking around. Thanks for slagging me off about porridge, fairy bread and my terrible, terrible takes.

Most of all thanks for reading.

SEE YA!


Comments

    Oh. I see how it is. Just leave me off the name drop list.
    Sure.
    No biggie.

    *sobs quietly in corner*

    You've been great, Serrels. Have fun at your new job!

    Bye, good luck with whatever you do next. !

    No mentions of oats or yogurt? Can we be sure this was posted by the real Mark Serrels?

    See ya Mark, been great reading your work over the years. Best of luck with your future endeavors. Sad to see you go.

    You were a good read, Serrels.
    When I read other people’s articles, I’ll be fantasising that they’re you.

    Your incessant Dark Souls articles got me into the series, which is now my favourite gaming series of all time. Following your Dark Souls 2 chronicles is one of my very best memories of Kotaku. Enjoy whatever you do next.

    We'll miss you, Mark, but not your bad takes on fairy bread and other good foods.

    Seeya! Good luck on your future endeavors!

    Although before you leave the content management system, can you shut off the repeated posting of that Brisbane cosplay article?

    Thank you for everything, Mark. I started reading Kotaku around the same time as you started, I loved reading your articles (especially about sharing your experiences as a new dad).

    Your support of TAY allowed me to meet wonderful people and I now count some of the fellow readers as my closest friends.

    My best wishes for your next venture.

    Personally, I'll probably miss the random updates on your kids latest exploits myself.

    Snapping discs, tossing controllers in the bin, 9999 coins for a skin used for 5 minutes, 3DS cartridges in the Wii U... That stuff will be missed.

    Fare thee well, sweet prince! now you get to join us in trolling @AlexWalker

    Your articles were always great to read, Mark. You'll definitely be missed, best of luck with your future plans. If they're public-facing be sure to let us know so we can support you.

    Gunna miss your stuff mate, some real top quality stories. I fondly remember your quest for 100 steetpass in one day.

      The quest to make everyone uncomfortable by wearing a sleeping bag around the city was one of my favourites.

    And we never got a proper article about porridge out of you either.

    [EDIT: Hang on a sec, I think we did actually..?]

    One of the reasons I began to frequent this particular website is for Mark's relatable, informed and personable posts. With so many websites out there drip-feeding news and talking hype to cover a lack of talking at all these articles have been a hit, I think.

    Thanks for your tireless efforts, Mark!

    Last edited 02/02/18 12:02 pm

    Good luck and all the best Mark. I'm gonna miss the stories about your gaming struggles, the times you've put your body on the line to eat nothing but junk, sleep like Superman, and the times you've dealt with with being a gaming parent and the trials your kids put you through. Thank you

    Fine, go, see if we care... *silently weeps into pillow*

    All the best Mark. Your recipe for steel cut oats porridge will linger here forevermore!

    Happy new chapter Mark!
    It’s the internet, rarely is it ‘Goodbye’.
    I’m sure we’ll see the odd post back amongst newer articles (or I should say, I certainly hope we’ll see that).

    I’ve enjoyed listening to your perspective as a ‘family man’ trying to enjoy games, whilst not having the time to commit to it that you once did. (And some of the shenannigans that your kids got up to, like inserting a DS game into an optical drive slot).

    Happy travels Mark, I certainly hope you bring your open optimism to your next pursuits!

    No more Spectrum delights!!!! Bugger!!!
    All the best and thanks for the reads!!

    Mark!!!!

    All the best, eat lots of porridge.

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