Howdy, I’m Emily, The New Writer At Kotaku Australia

Howdy, I’m Emily, The New Writer At Kotaku Australia

Hi, I’m Emily Spindler, and I’m the new Multimedia Reporter for Kotaku Australia.

Introductions are always a bit daunting, because how do you sum up all the most important bits about yourself in a few short paragraphs? Even while writing this, I’ve forgotten every single video game to ever exist. So, after a few deep breaths and a quick Google search to remind myself what video games even are, let’s do this.

I’ve been writing about games since 2020, having previously been the gaming and tech section editor for my university’s student-run publication, before becoming co-editor in 2021. In more recent history, I was a Staff Writer over with our local friends GamesHub after completing the Wordplay games journalism program and then jumping into a more regular gig. At GamesHub, I got the chance to write up all sorts of stories about the local industry, TCGs and TTRPGs, and reviews from the perspective of someone who conveniently never seemed to have played the prequel to any recent franchise release (I promise I play games).

I’ve been a big gaming nerd since I was sentient enough to form actual memories, although to begin with, a lot of those first key gaming experiences revolved around watching my sister play Spyro and Croc while I offered increasingly unhelpful suggestions. Final Fantasy IX was probably my first gaming love, and I’m still (impatiently) waiting for a remake so I can make it my entire personality again – and for the record, Vivi is the best video game character ever, and no, I will not be elaborating further. This is closely followed by Final Fantasy X, mainly for the absolutely iconic scene where Tidus and Yuna force the cringiest laughter I have possibly ever heard.

My first proper forays into gaming on my own, though, are owed to Pokémon Emerald on my Game Boy Advance (which set me up for a life of Pokémon taking up about 50% of my brain space), and the frankly innovative PS2 game, Dog’s Life. If you’ve never experienced the pissing mechanics in Dog’s Life, you’re missing out. An honourable mention goes to Barbie: Race & Ride for completely changing my brain chemistry as a kid, too.

Barbie Race & Ride
Barbie Race & Ride walked so Red Dead Redemption 2 could run. Image: Runecraft / Mattel Interactive

Since my early days getting into video games, I’ve jumped wholeheartedly into just about any genre I can get my little mitts on, but I’ve got a soft spot for single-player RPGs, first-person shooters, and MMORPGs. I’m almost not terrible at Valorant, so that’s gotta count for something towards my gaming cred. I’m also pretty fond of cozy games, games with queer storylines and characters, and anything with an open world. More recently, indie games of all kinds have been a huge focus of mine, and I’ve been so lucky to be able to play them, love them, and cover them as part of my work. 

I like to look at games as a work of art and experience first and a product second. The ‘how’ and ‘why’ a game is developed are super interesting to me, and I’m a fiend for looking at story and themes, as well as how you, the players, are impacted by these games. Did gaming change your life or form a community that is now a core part of who you are? I want to hear about it.

Accessibility in gaming is also of particular interest to me, with so many amazing accessibility advocates in the games space, both locally and globally, doing fantastic work to bring gaming to more people. Australian games hold a special place in my heart, and our local industry is absolutely crushing it on a global stage – championing Aussie games will always be my mission as I continue to word vomit about gaming to anyone who’ll listen to or read what I have to say.

Beyond video games, I’m massively into TCGs (Magic: The Gathering and Pokémon), TTRPGs (Dungeons & Dragons and dabbling in Tales From the Loop), metal and heavy music, trashy queer cinema, and cosplay. The other 50% of my brain real estate not taken up by Pokémon and gaming is mostly monopolised by Live Action Role Play (LARP) – I’m known for dressing up weekly as a little medieval guy to swordfight and for disappearing into the woods for a week at a time to ascend to my true form as a bog witch. 

Writing for Kotaku Australia is my first big boy job, so to speak, and I’m excited to info dump about games full-time now. I’ve got some pretty big boots to fill following on from the amazing and hilarious Ruby Innes, that’s for sure. I hope that my writing gets you to maybe check out some local indie titles, or at the very least, you come away thinking about the games you’re playing in a different light. 

You’ll see my work on the Kotaku Australia website, as well as across our social media channels such as TikTok going forward. I hope you enjoy watching my dyed hair slowly get more and more faded in our video content as weeks go on. 

I’m so keen to scream into the digital void about gaming with you at Kotaku!

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