Hi, my name is David and I’m the new editor of Kotaku Australia.
I’ve repeated that sentence to myself several times a day since I was told I had the job. It is only now starting to sink in. I’ve spent so long working to become the editor of a site like Kotaku, it’s hard for me to believe I’m here.
Writing a post like this, even as a tradition, is very strange indeed. Our outgoing editor, Alex Walker, once described it as a bit like being in a job interview, and he was right. How about some basic getting-to-know-you stuff? Yeah, let’s do that.
Stuff I like: Dungeons & Dragons, Formula 1, Japanese food, Sea of Thieves, a range of music so wide that Spotify doesn’t know what to do with me at the end of the year. I’ve worked at both EB Games and JB Hi-Fi, completing a traditional Australian games industry rite of passage. My first console was an Atari 2600, handed down by an uncle. I once paid $200 to import a copy of Chrono Trigger. I later gave that copy to a dear friend as a parting gift. My mother has been the reigning family Tetris champion since 1995. I own and covet a working Sega Dreamcast. I very nearly paid a small fortune for a Neon Genesis Evangelion 64 cartridge. That’s a game I know for a fact is terrible!
I’ve also written about games as a journo and critic since 2014.
My relationship with Kotaku is a long one. I’ve visited it daily since at least 2010. I’ve always loved the conversational tone Kotaku strikes with its readers. This site has always had the energy of a friend giving you the inside track on a missed industry yarn. Telling my friends about happenings in the games industry is something I’ve done compulsively for years.
I grew up with a Mega Drive which, as any Sega kid will tell you, immediately put me at a playground disadvantage. For Australian kids in the early ’90s, to not own a Super Nintendo was to be stuck outside an incredibly cool party. I knew what I had on my Mega Drive was great, but when the competition dropped masterworks like Donkey Kong Country every other month, it was difficult to argue my case.
Difficult, but not impossible. If the SNES kids wouldn’t hear my wailing protestations that the Mega Drive was good, actually, then I had to add a meaningful perspective. I had to flip the script and show them something they were missing.
The benefit of being the only Mega Drive kid in a 30-SNES town is that I wound up with a lot of great games few had ever heard of. I loved being able to show my friends games they hadn’t seen or heard of before. I loved watching them discover something new and enjoy it in ways maybe I hadn’t even thought about before.
All this to say, I didn’t realise that the provision of perspective on games was something you could do for a living. It didn’t really occur to me that was a job you could get until I started reading Kotaku.
Perspective has always been an important part of what Kotaku brings to the table as an outlet. The strength of this site has always been that it embraces a wide range of thought and experience to tell its stories. In a country as diverse as Australia, it’s important we work to be as inclusive and representative as we can, and recognise there’s always more to be done.
Given my position, obviously, my perspective will come through in my pieces on the site, but mine is the voice I’m least excited for you to hear from. While it’s important we continue to promote the Australian view on games that matter and the issues that face our industry today, I also want Kotaku Australia to be an outlet of broad perspective from a galaxy of voices. Australian women, LGBTQ+, and First Nations writers with a take on the gaming news of the moment are invited to pitch me! Writers with disabilities, I’d love to hear from you, too!
Succeeding Alex Walker, one of the best to ever undertake the editor role, leaves me with dauntingly large shoes to fill. The foundation that Alex and our fearless U.S. leader, Patricia Hernandez, have painstakingly built is a strong one. I want to honour the work they’ve done and carry it forward.
The sense of thoughtful discovery, of helping people engage with new games and the many facets of the industry in which they reside, is a part of the fabric of Kotaku itself. “See games differently” is quite literally the AU site’s tagline. It’s there in the tab at the top of your browser right now. Perspective is something this site has always sought to provide, and it’s why I’ve dreamed of finding a place here.
Time to get stuck in.