Two and a half years ago, the world was a very different place. We millennials have an alleged tendency to catastrophise, but I don’t think anyone would argue that life was a bit simpler back then. Two and half years ago, I was a fresh writer with a ton of goals. I wanted to write about everything: the games I loved, the hard-working people in our local games industry, and every bit of weird history I could find. Personally, I’m pretty happy with what I achieved — but like all things, this story has an end.
After two and a half years, I’m moving on from Kotaku and Gizmodo Australia. Today is my last day.
If you’ve ever read my writing or popped into the local Kotaku Australia Discord to say hello, I wanted to thank you. The concept of people reading my work is still wild to me, and I appreciate each and every one of you — even the ones who love starting mean Reddit threads about my work. You’re all gems, and I’m glad to have met you.
Before I go, there are a few things I want to impart. I’ve been told I’m quite wise on occasion, and I feel it’s important to share my wisdom before time runs out.
First: play The Sims 2 on Nintendo DS. This is very important, and will make you a better person. Second, play The Urbz on Nintendo DS. It won’t make you a better person, but there’s some cool Shawshank Redemption references in the game you can point and laugh at. Third, you know what to do. That’s right, play The Sims 2 on Game Boy Advance. Also, The Sims: Bustin’ Out.
Not only is this great advice, it’ll also help me achieve my true, nefarious goal: to spread the gospel of The Sims handheld.
For my fifth piece of advice, I’m going to impart something serious (wild, I know).
The most important thing I can say before I leave is this: stop playing games you aren’t enjoying.
Life has changed for the worse over the last two years. Sometimes, games have been a reprieve from the chaos. Sometimes, they’ve become a mindless slog. In comments and on Twitter, I’ve watched as people have grown more and more frustrated with games they once enjoyed. When you start angry-tweeting devs, that’s the time to take a step back.
Gaming should be fun. It should always be fun. It’s not a chore. Nobody is making you do it. What you play, and how you engage with it is entirely up to you.
If you’re not enjoying something, it’s okay to walk away.
Even if it’s a game you grew up playing, or one you have tied to strong memories. If you’re not having fun, take a walk. If you’re heading to Reddit to make long, angry posts about the games you hated, you’re not doing it right.
There’s no expectations with gaming. You come as you are, you take what you want, and you move onto the next thing. If it makes you angry or sad, stop engaging with it. If you feel tired or burnt out, take a break. Choose what you spend your energy on wisely.
Gaming will always be there when you come back. And if you don’t come back, that’s perfectly okay too.
Folks, I’ve had an absolute blast in my time writing for Kotaku and Gizmodo Australia. I’ve learned a lot as a writer, changed as a person, and become infinitely stronger for the experience.
This isn’t a goodbye in the traditional sense — I’ll still be writing about games in my next adventure (and you can follow me on Twitter @legenette to find out where that is) — but it is a small goodbye for now.
I’d love to see you on the next leg of the journey but in the meantime, this is me signing off.
In short: The Sims handheld games rule, so do you, and I hope to see everyone down the road.