In hindsight, there's no reason Chris Grant should have hired me.
Unlike my other co-founders, I hadn't launched, led or even been staff at major publication. I had experience as the editor of an unsavory blog and a gun-for-hire for a couple dozen outlets. I had a pocketful of big ideas I had no idea how to deliver.
The first time we met to discuss the idea that would become Polygon was nearly three years ago. Next week, I will begin my transition from Editor-at-Large at Polygon to Senior Editor at The Verge.
I am sad to leave the best publication I've ever worked for, though I'm only moving a few desks away. I'm not really leaving the physical space. And I'll still appear on Polygon as often as they will allow me.
This isn't goodbye. It's a chance to reflect on my experience at Polygon, and champion a few of my favorite pieces. We posted so many.
No Girls Allowed is, for me, the most important piece published on Polygon. Tracey Lien takes a gargantuan subject — the genderization of video games and their marketing — and makes it personal and understandable, without sacrificing its intricacies. I regularly find myself saying, "I want to do the No Girls Allowed of [Insert Controversial Topic]," before realizing what a Herculean task that will be.
I had the good fortune to watch some unbelievable interviews coagulate into powerful features, like Russ Pitts' Mirror Men of Arkane and Charlie Hall's Watch Dogs: Invasion. I will never forget sitting in a barbecue restaurant in Tokyo with Matt Leone, listening to recaps of interviews for The Oral History of Street Fighter 2.
At that table in Shibuya, I sat between Jimmy Shelton and Tom Connors. I've worked on sets for The Onion, Fox-Regency and BBC, and these two men, along with Caleb Green and the rest of the Vox Media video team, are the most talented filmmakers I've met. Just look at their productions.
I regularly recorded a podcast with two friends who also happen to be comedy icons. The podcast also featured a giraffe who happens to be one of my closest friends. Recording with a giraffe was an astonishing feat considering the logistics of recording in New York City, and without a doubt, a serious misuse of company resources.
I worked with a news team that is as smart as it is fast. They saved me from looking like a fool on a weekly basis. Samit Sarkar even copy-edited this post.
Brian Crecente taught me how to report like a professional, not a kid fumbling his way as he goes along. I am proud of the reporting I did on Take-Two and its developers over the past couple years, and I couldn't have done a lick of it without Crecente's and Pitts' guidance. Nor could I have spent so much time on so few pieces without a news team that kept the site running and growing on a daily basis. I envy their talent and energy.
Arthur Gies let me review the biggest game of last year. And he let me give Spelunky a 10. I don't know why he put up with me. I was a pain in his ass every time I struggled to write criticism. Sometimes people ask me if Arthur is as tough as he seems. He is not. He is a tattooed teddy bear.
Speaking of teddy bears, Ben Kuchera gracefully took my attempt at an opinion section and made it an actual section for opinions. Internally and externally, he has been an advocate for a diverse cross section of voices in video games.
I will miss Polygon, but I will love watching it grow from across the room. There's so much talent in every department, so much humor and positivity and insight and drive.
On the internet, it's easy to read an individual article and imagine it materialized fully formed from the person with the byline. You rarely consider the room full of editors, reporters, critics, videographers, developers, sales people and QA testers that keep a website from falling off the internet. You don't hear about Chao Li or Jake Lear or Tyson Whiting or Shaun McIlroy or our team of moderators or the hundreds of people who have been so generous with their time to chat with me in the comments and Twitter. You don't hear about these passionate, vital people that make my work possible.
I'm so fortunate that these many people helped me trick you into believing I had a clue what I was doing. I came here with a lot of big ideas, and they made them possible.
Thanks for sticking with me,
P.S. Please don't tell anyone at The Verge that I have no clue. I think I have them duped. I have the opportunity to help Ross Miller launch TLDR. After spending the majority of the last five years writing about video games, I'm eager to write about some of my other passions. With TLDR, I will cover whatever interests me — and what I hope interests you.