Salut

Salut
Image: Kotaku

Like Link so often does, it’s time for me to drift off into the wind.

It’s staggering, even still, to be walking away from something I’ve loved so much for the last six and a half years. Writing and serving this community, along with any and all who fall into our orbit through the whims of algorithms, has been the best job I’ve ever had, and easily the best phase of my life. But all things come to an end.

Today is my last day at Kotaku Australia.

Even just looking back on how much has transpired, and the cycle of life I’ve been able to report on and witness, is daunting. There was the wild ride of Valve being taken to Federal Court, then the High Court, and losing. There was the excitement, the scandal, the quiet death and then outstanding rebirth of No Man’s Sky. There was the fallout of EB Games in the wake of our investigative reporting, the follow-on tribunals and settlements.

There was the bizarre times that video games entered the orbit of the real world. It never ceased to be funny to me that Adelaide’s 7 News — and it was always Adelaide — would have a crack at Grand Theft Auto or some GTA mod at least once a year. And almost without fail, our internal analytics would show that those same stories were receiving referral traffic from South Australian police forums.

There was the incredible stories on the road at events locally and abroad, something I’m always eternally grateful for. That led to the discovery of some incredible indies, amazing stories, some not-so great stories, and just the weird and the wonderful that epitomises why people love this industry so much.

I still remember the first time I sat down with Mark Serrels, the-then editor of the site, and we had a chat over hot chocolates about the kinds of stories that would best live on the website. We spoke about esports and how insular a lot of its coverage was; we spoke about PC gaming, and how the sites could really use someone with an appreciation and grounding in that world.

What we didn’t talk about was the silent quality that has always made this place so special. Something many folks will never understand — but long-time readers of the site will — is just how much flexibility, leeway and personality you are expected and allowed to bring to the table. Kotaku produces stories about video games, but its readers have always wanted stories about the people involved with video games, whatever form that experience took. Online media is slowly changing to encourage people to put more of themselves on the page, particularly in Australia, but Kotaku and Kotaku Australia was there long before them — and most crucially, so were all of you.

Without that, none of the magic is possible. To each and every one of you, from the bottom of my heart, I am forever grateful.

I have grown up surrounded by two groups in my life: those who understood the power and connection of video games, and those who continually fought against it, diminished it, stigmatised it and pretended it would fade into the horizon. I’m fortunate enough that life panned out in such a way that I could share my love of that world with so many other folks who loved it just as much, folks that helped push me to explore those connections deeper, to understand it and myself in ways I would have never imagined.

The saving grace is that I leave this fine place, this no-longer-writing-raw-HTML CMS chassis, for another space full of folks who care just as much. But as a friend told me recently, you never really leave Kotaku: a part of its DNA lives with you, always. In many ways, you can see that throughout the internet — the way features and headlines have changed, the transitions outlets have implemented through the recruitment of Kotaku alumni, or backend moves spurred on by their reporting.

Kotaku Australia has played its own part in that, and I’m proud to leave as the site prepares to welcome two new fresh faces to the fold. My one promise was that I wanted to move on making sure there was space for others to enjoy the incredible journey I have been on.

Before long, you will meet those new people. Welcome them with open arms, be kind to them, and give them space to reflect upon what we all believe: video games is a weird, wonderful, wild, worrisome universe, and may this website continue to appreciate every element of that – the good, the bad and the bizarre – in all its glory.

Thank you, truly, for everything.

Comments

  • Sad to see you go Alex, i wish you all the best in your future endeavours and hope you will still pop into the discord every now and then 🙂

  • Thanks for your writing, Alex, best of luck on your future endeavours.

    Current Affairs and News outlets still amaze me how out of touch they are with their video game storied… then you find out the source is usually a self serving group or psychologist trying to sell a book or workshop.

  • When Serrels left all those years ago and it was announced you’d be taking the reins, I said that this site was in good hands. And I was right.
    You should be proud of your time here. You and Leah did real good work and I’d always enjoy whenever you’d put an article out.
    GAMURS is lucky to have you.
    I’m pretty bad at writing out my thoughts so I’ll leave it with: good luck to the future, and thanks for all the scribbletakus!

  • You have been an absolute powerhouse for this site, Alex. I’ve never seen anyone so simultaneously prolific yet committed to impeccably high standards of not only writing quality but even-handed fairness in attitude.

    I can’t really tell from the job announcement what it is specifically that you’re doing in your new position, but I’m hoping it affords you a bit of breathing space from the crucible of your relentless pace of content-generation here.

    • (Whatever it is they have you doing there, I know they’re going to benefit enormously from what you’ve accomplished here.)

  • Alex, I’ll miss your articles here and your Friday Kotaku Twitch streams with Leah. Both of you have done such a great job with Kotaku Aus over the years.

    Good luck in your new job – I’m sure you’ll smash it!

  • Its hard to describe in words what I feel right now. Your writing was the reason I continued to read Kotaku after Mark left. You’ve done an amazing job as the editor of KotakuAU and will be greatly missed on in this area of the internet. I am very excited to see more of the gaming sphere over at GAMURS and wish you all the best for your future. Congratulations!!!

  • All the best Alex. Always enjoyed your content, especially the Pc focused stuff. All the best in the future!

  • The Australian writers are always a cut above compared to whatever the American ones put out, will be a major loss for Kotaku internationally. Best of luck in the future and over at Gamurs.

  • Legend.

    I’m sure the office will be quieter without you abusing your keyboard.

    C’mon, let’s see some stats. How many words and articles have you punched out over 6 years? It’s gonna be astronomical.

    Also, thanks for letting me write for the site ????

    • You were brilliant; anyone who didn’t let you write for the site would have been a fool.

      As for how many articles, I don’t know: a bug in the redesign meant thousands of my stories got shunted out of my profile and into an “Alexwalker-USA” version that I can’t properly search in the backend.

      I’d written 6000 articles by 2018, so I’d say it’s probably around the 8500-9000 mark all up.

  • Take care, Alex. In the words of the Doctor, you’ve been Fantastic and one of the reasons to keep coming back to the site.

  • You had big shoes to fill when you took on this job after Serrels and fill them you did. I feel like you had an uphill battle with all the issues you had thrown at you, but you not only dealt with them, you did it all while trying to make sure the community was happy. There were some things you couldn’t do anything about and you expressed frustration along with the rest of us.

    I personally have thanked you many times for not only giving me the opportunity to write for the site, but for also teaching me how to become a freelancer. All this on top of everything you needed to get in order before you left! Due to being a full time carer, this is very much something I can do and I’ll forever be grateful to you for your help (Mum is grateful too!).
    Best of luck in your new job, although you don’t need luck, you’ll smash it. =D

  • Good luck Alex. You navigated a lot of difficult industry and cultural issues in your time and you always did it with decency and a good heart. You have a lot to be proud of. All the best.

  • Good luck, Alex! Thanks for all your tireless efforts, not just for the great articles/local content creation, but also the thankless background work that was required to keep this place running smoothly. Won’t be the same without you.

  • When Serrels left, I worried for the future of the AU section- I need not have. You did a brilliant job, not only with your articles, which have been absolutely first-rate, but also with your management of an extremely opinionated and feisty community. Best of luck going forward, Alex.

  • Holy crap, I only just found out!!

    Unbelievably sad to see you go mate but super happy for you as well.
    You’ve been a voice of reason a balance in a world divided and I eagerly awaited your reviews for the fair and measured analysis, an under appreciated quality in this day and age.

    Wishing you the absolute best, mate! Hope to see you around the way.
    *raises a beer*

  • Bizarre. I remember when you first started and it didn’t seem that long ago. Wtf does the time go…. And how many years have I been reading this site ><

  • Good luck and take care, the Australian part of Kotaku was always out of the reach of the American side for the articles you guys put out.

  • Your editorship made Kotaku Au what it is today, and can’t be understated.

    You brought an understanding of the local audience and how we interact, consume, and engage with the industry that the parent site misses, and is the main reason I continue to visit the site frequently after so many years.

    Will have to check out what you do with GAMURS, and all the best, I’m sure you’ll be awesome :).

  • Congratulations Alex, six years is a long time to be anywhere. A new challenge, and one presumes a bit of extra cash, will one hopes do you the world of good.

    Many thanks indeed for the effort that you have put into this site over the years. I’ve appreciated your balanced and thoughtful articles, as well as your sense of humour and commitment to directly engaging with us in the community.

  • Late to the party but thanks for everything Alex. You’ll be sorely missed. Hope they will let you be a force for good at Gamur as you were here.

  • Also late to the party, had to ask in TAY.
    Farewell Alex. Youve always been a good writer. May your next stop be a good one.

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