Black Woman Says Goodbye To Kotaku

Black Woman Says Goodbye To Kotaku


After a year and some change and never seeing any of my coworkers’ beautiful faces in meatspace, I too must bid y’all farewell.

There was a time when I thought that this was going to be my only shot. I had convinced myself that I was so poor in skill and talent that Kotaku was going to be the only place I’d ever work and that someone would have to peel me off the walls to get me to leave. When Stephen Totilo left, I thought no one else would ever take a chance on me like he had, and that I had better do my damndest to ensure no-one had cause to let me go.

But working here with my ludicrously talented colleagues and editors I have grown so much, developed so far beyond the terrified woman who started here last May, that I now have a wonderful opportunity to spread my wings and fly.

For all my sorrow at leaving treasured friends, I am not sad. Today has given me a great gift, a sign that says, “It’s ok. You can go.”

Back in November I wrote a blog about holes. I enjoyed writing that blog. I made its lead image myself and was pleased with that bit of creativity. But for what was a fairly benign, tongue-in-cheek blog about trypophobia and why the Xbox Series X might not be my console of choice, I received the worst harassment I had ever experienced in all my years of being a Black woman on the internet. For a week, people sent me emails filled with trypo-trigger images for no other reason than to be cruel.

I’ve gotten over that time. I can look back on that moment with amusement, laughing that I made some of y’all so mad that you took the time to send me so many damn emails.

Today, thanks to the benevolence of Final Fantasy XIV director Naoki Yoshida, I was able to revive the spirit of that blog, writing another one about holes.

Another bone of contention with my haters is whenever I write about Black people doing things in video games. A couple of weeks ago, I wrote a blog about Linda Guillory, a Black woman from Texas who earned two Guinness World Records for her collection of vintage handheld gaming machines.

The headline read, “Black Woman Gets Two World Records For Her Vast Vintage Gaming Collection” and folks yet again blew the fuck up over something that should have been so benign.

After that blog, I got in touch with Ms. Guillory and listened to her tell me her story of how she amassed such a beautiful collection. Today, on my last day, that story is live.

I like when things have symmetry. I like bookends. I was able to end my final day at Kotaku writing about the things that have come to represent my time here. My favourite pieces of work have been about Black people in gaming. My favourite game that I’ve discovered while working here is Final Fantasy XIV. My least favourite thing was that holes blog. Today, I’ve miraculously managed to find a way to write about all of those things, closing my chapter here, giving my heart the punctuation it needs to move on.

I will miss (some of) you. Take heart that I will still be in games journalism, still being horny on main and writing about Black people doing Black things in video games Black-ily. Thank you for what you’ve taught me, thank you for what you’ve shared. I won’t say goodbye, only see you later.

If I could summarize my time at Kotaku in a single quote, it’d be one from the eternally slept-on Paper Mario: The Origami King.

“This is what every Bob-Omb hopes for — a chance to change something for the better. To make an impact.”

I dearly hope I have.

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