Look behind any story and you will find tragedy and joy. It's the duality we all carry within us every day, the reflection that allows us to relate to others' lives. Our friendships and families take shape around our shared humanity and our shared experience of knowing another and feeling truly seen. Over time, we learn the rhythms of our tribe, begin to feel an echo of that rhythm within. That is part of the reason change can be challenging—we feel the broader rhythm shift while our inner metronome holds pace.
The last year has been a wild ride for many of us who operate behind the scenes at GWJ, as well as for the community as a whole. When Shawn asked if I was willing to take on GWJ, I thought I was just giving him the opportunity and space to step away for a while, grow, grieve, and process. I did not account for how much the rest of us would need to take personal stock of the hands dealt to us, our own needs, our own limitations. I want to honor and support all of my friends here, both on mic and off, particularly during times of difficulty, change, and adjustment. Many of the changes to come are in service of honoring and supporting those who have given so much to this community.
Early on, I learned (sometimes painfully, sometimes with love and guidance) that I cannot wear Shawn's boots and walk through this the way he would, that I cannot simply cling to the past and operate in the shadow of his absence. I already knew that not all of his connections, resources, dynamics, or bonds would be mine to assume, that I needed to establish my own set of resources to grow GWJ into something I drove on my own. I'm confident the road will be bumpy at times, but I am equally confident that I am among the best of friends, and I would not want to take this journey without you.
Over the last few months, I've had surgery, dealt with various ongoing medical issues, gone through a separation (the divorce comes later in Canada), caught a nasty flu, moved across the country, and am now wrangling a new, full-time job. All of that conspired to limit my ability to actively begin the process of change at GWJ, but it also gave me plenty of time to think about and plan for upcoming change. If anything, GWJ was one of the few constants that saw me through so much, helped me cope with the outer world. You have been my rock, and an amazing source of support! Thank you!
I also appreciate the patience and dedication you've shown GWJ during this transitional time. I'm not sure words can adequately express the gratitude I feel for your continued patronage and trust. My aim is to ensure that GWJ continues to provide content and supportive spaces where we can bond over our shared love of gaming, play, and community. So, let's get into some of what that is going to look like.
I would like to officially introduce you to some faces you might recognize! These wonderful people are taking an active part in reviving, supporting, and creating content for you to share in and enjoy. Please join me in welcoming the following folks to the GWJ admin team. In alphabetical order, we have:
Antichulius GWJ Editor-in-Chief. It is with great pleasure that I officially announce Antichulius as our new Editor-in-Chief for the GWJ Writer’s Guild. His thoughtful and thorough editorial hand has already helped maintain this space many of us call home. He’s also fun to play games with, an all around good sport, and a longstanding member of the GWJ community. We appreciate his efforts and are glad we get to have him on our team!
Mudbunny Forum Moderator. Another long-time pillar of the GWJ community, Mudbunny graces us with his warmth, wisdom, and good-guy energy. We are honored to have him join our forum moderation team, and we appreciate his dedication to keeping an eye on this place as we venture toward the future. He also helps maintain the Canadian quota for Gamers With Jobs while Shawn is away in the States.
Staygold Writer’s Guild, Podcasting, TBD. Hooray, another Canadian! Relatively speaking, Staygold is our “newest” team member, coming in at a little over half-a-decade with Gamers With Jobs. Within that “short” period of time, we've witnessed his ingenuity, creativity, efforts, and dedication to this organization. He has been helpful in assisting various teams behind the scenes. We’re excited to work with him on upcoming features for the podcast, Writer’s Guild, and more.
Additional members of the team will be introduced over the next few weeks and months. As we roll out new plans and projects, you may see some new and some familiar faces come to the fore.
Gamers with Hope
With Antichulius officially at the helm of the Writer's Guild, one priority will be to push more content to the front page. We have a variety of plans down the line we hope you will enjoy, but at the top of our list is to revive the Gamers With Hope Initiative into an ongoing project.
"Gamers with Hope" are stories from members of the community that focus on gaming as an uplifting force for positive change. You can read the original call for submissions here. Keep an eye on the front page for more information in the coming weeks, but also consider this your official notice that submissions for Gamers with Hope are open. Our writers and editors will work with you to share your stories with the rest of the community, even anonymously if you prefer. We invite you to contact us at submissions at gamerswithjobs dot com. Personally, I'm really looking forward to this series.
Twitch & YouTube
I'm currently corresponding with folks involved in streaming and creating video for the official GWJ Twitch and YouTube accounts, including a handful of people who have been hosted by our official channels during charity drives and special events. It is my hope to continue to highlight these community members by featuring them directly on our channels. Once we find our stride, I look forward to branching out to include additional voices. Any inquiries you may have can be directed to call at gamerswithjobs dot com.
My intention with the Conference Call is to focus on bringing in new and varied voices, allowing our veteran podcasters some well-deserved breathing room and providing our community with fresh perspectives to enlighten new and interesting aspects of gaming. As I see sparks of promise or reflections of relatable insight, I want to share those with the world. I hope to invite guests, discover regulars, and broaden all of our friendships within the community.
I am looking to roll out some new content within our podcast feed. To begin, I want to bring in new topics and a variety of hosts and guests for our regularly-occurring shows. Down the line, I plan to explore additional, and perhaps familiar, standalone projects, as well as entirely new ventures. This is a moment of exploration, of discovering what the creators and community enjoy. Dad's away on business, and he left us the keys. You may hear from new voices on the show and wonder why. Hopefully, everything will become more clear once we're able to produce and release the projects we have planned with some of these new voices.
I'm not trying to play coy, though. Resisting the temptation to expose planned projects has been difficult. And I ended up not saying much at all these past months. That was a disservice to this community. I hope I can answer one of the larger questions right now.
Recently, a lot of folks have been wondering if we'd be doing a bold predictions episode of the podcast this year. I realize now that this is a feature a lot of folks care about, and I apologize for not recognizing it sooner. In the past, it was something that Shawn/Sean gave an immense amount of energy, personal time, and production skills. This year, I focused more on GotY and GotD, and bold predictions wasn't something I could see us pulling off this time around. If we had tried, it would have felt rushed and hollow. I hope we can tackle this head-on next year, when we won't have the end of a decade to contend with. Hopefully fewer of our site-runners' lives will be flipped upside down during the ramp up to the holidays, as well.
We will still host the traditional Bold Predictions post on the front page, and I encourage everyone who would like to participate in the comments section. Look for that to arrive in the next week or so.
Finally, I wanted to reiterate my gratitude to everyone in the community. Change is never easy. It takes profound courage, especially when facing change of something we love. Even as new possibilities and exciting opportunities manifest, there is always going to be a yearning towards the way things used to be. Thank you for having the courage to face this change with grace and love. I am excited to see where we go together.