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Welcome To Aftermath

We're trying something different, thanks for joining us

The Aftermath team
image: doubleleaf|

L-R: Chris Person, Gita Jackson, Nathan Grayson, Riley MacLeod & Luke Plunkett

Welcome to Aftermath, a worker-owned, reader-supported news site covering video games, the internet, and the cultures that surround them. 

We launch this week with four co-founders: Nathan Grayson, Gita Jackson, Riley MacLeod, and Luke Plunkett. You’ll also see buddies Chris Person and Alex Jaffe around the site. You might remember most of us from Kotaku, where we broke news, covered events, and brought you hard-hitting investigations. You might also have seen us at Motherboard by Vice, The Washington Post’s games vertical Launcher and The Verge. We got back together to start this site not just so we could all blog together again, but to try something new for ourselves and for games journalism. 

These days it’s tough for journalism, especially about games. The past few years have seen mass layoffs and site closures, with remaining writers being asked to do more and more with less and less. The ad-supported model is crumbling, social media is a mess, and the businessmen and private equity firms buying up news outlets don't care about workers, readers, and quality writing, they only care about profits. The four of us saw our sites closed, ourselves and our colleagues laid off, and our workplaces turned hostile in management’s pursuit of growth at all costs. 

This couldn’t be happening at a worse time for the games beat. There’s a lot going on: widespread labor organizing, industry-changing mergers and acquisitions, sweeping layoffs, and somehow through it all a ton of amazing new games from big studios and indies alike.  We need a curious, independent press to hold power to account, to cut through the marketing hype, and to elevate the voices of those affected by the gaming industry’s upheaval.

We’re going to do all that--and more--here at Aftermath. We know a little group of bloggers with a website can’t save games journalism. But we think there’s a better way than the exhausting rounds of layoffs and barely-functioning sites we’ve got now. 

As workers and owners, we’re beholden to no one but ourselves, and to you, our readers. When you subscribe, you’ll get access to writing that pursues the truth and casts a critical eye on gaming and the internet, that doesn’t need to placate capital or kowtow to PR. You’ll be supporting the kind of journalism our past experience has shown us you like best: honest and irreverent, written for people rather than SEO. You’ll get a site that prioritizes the reader experience, with no invasive popups or ads that burn up your device. And you’ll be supporting new ownership models pioneered by our colleagues at sites like Discourse Blog, Defector, Hell Gate, The Autopian, Remap Radio, 404 Media, and others– new kinds of media companies that don’t just bring you good stuff to read, but are helping chart a new future for journalism.

Through our different subscription tiers, you’ll have access to articles, comments, podcasts, a newsletter, a Discord server, and more. We wanted to give you flexibility not just in how much you want to spend to support us, but in how much you want to interact with the community we hope to grow around the site. We hope you’ll want to talk to us, and to each other, but you can also just read the articles, where we’ll keep you up to date on the worlds of video games, board games, comics, movies and tv, nerd culture, tech, streaming, and the labor issues that surround them. We’re launching today with a ton of great stuff for you to read, and we’ll be adding more in the days, weeks, and months  to come. 

We have big plans for the future, too. We’re eager to publish freelance work, bringing you new voices and stories and supporting the next generation of journalists. We’re excited to hear your thoughts as well: the stories you want us to explore, site features you want us to add, the communities you want us to create. You can reach all of us here.

There’s no way to know how this experiment of ours will go. The past few years have felt like so many endings. But we’re building something new in the aftermath, and we’re excited to build it together with you. 

THANKS

Starting Aftermath has been months of work, but we didn’t do it alone. We’ve been lucky to have the counsel of so many colleagues who paved the way, including Jack Mirkinson and Aleks Chan, Matt Hardigree, Max Rivlin-Nadler and Nadia Tykulsker, Jasper Wang, Jason Koebler, and Patrick Klepek and Rob Zacny.

Our amazing logos were created by Andrew Elmore, and the staff portraits were illustrated by Doubleleaf.

Our partners at Lede created the site you’re browsing on and provided vital tech support.

As bloggers who’ve had to turn into businesspeople, we received invaluable advice from Anna Flewelling, Parag Rajendra Khandhar of Gilmore Khandhar, Bruce Mayer of Wegner CPAs, Jessie Rose Lee, and Courtney Waid of First Turn Operations.

And finally, we couldn’t do any of this if not for all of our friends and peers in games journalism and beyond, who put up with so much to make great work in ever more trying circumstances. If there’s a future for this industry–and clearly we think there is!--it’s because all of you are fighting for it every day, and lifting each other up in the process. 

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