The Year in Arrows Starts Right Now!

On Feb. 12, 2012, Kotaku introduced "The Kotaku Network," which brings you the best that TV has to offer: regularly scheduled programming. We hatched segments like Off-Kilter, Melodic, Sportaku, and Panel Discussion, and dedicated blocks of time on the site to their topics. But soon into this idea, a problem emerged: How do we let people know when their favorite "shows" are on?

From this, we developed a solution. A ridiculous solution, a misunderstood solution, a pain in the ass of a solution. But it was the best solution: The Kotaku Arrow.

Beginning Feb. 13, 2012, Kotaku posted 284 arrows, a record for publishing images of pink arrows by a video game publication. Some were thought-provoking, even powerful. Others simply pointed to something above it, the arrow's centuries-old task, yet one still done with straight posture and basic dignity.

This is how they changed. This is how they changed us. This is the Year in Arrows.


The Year in Arrows Starts Right Now!

The First Arrow

Brian Ashcraft, February 13, 2012.
Kotaku's longest-tenured writer ushered in the Arrow Era with this accurate report on the time Kotaku East would appear.


The Year in Arrows Starts Right Now!

The Traffic Monster

Owen Good, March 30, 2012.
As you all know, we only do it for the clicks. This Arrow, which gathered 8,076 views for some reason, is by far the most efficient use of my time in four-and-a-half years with Kotaku. By comparison, I spent 17 hours reporting this 1,500 word NCAA Football feature, which raked in 3,642 clicks.


The Year in Arrows Starts Right Now!

The Great Communicator

Mike Fahey, Feb. 13, 2012.
I swear Stephen Totilo told us at least nine times to deactivate comments on our Arrow posts. Did we listen to him? Hell, do we ever? When we left them open, most of the comments were like "WTF is this?" and "I click on the arrow and only see a bigger arrow??" and "I'm commander shardik and this is my favorite show on the kotaku." The record for most comments was set early on, Feb. 13, when Zavios popped in to ask "What's the safeword!?" which was entirely on-topic considering both Off-Kilter and Mike Fahey were involved in the creation of this Arrow. When the dust settled, there were 32 comments, for which ImmaLion helpfully provided an appropriate soundtrack.


The Year in Arrows Starts Right Now!

AOTY

Owen Good, May 31.
Most everyone else said something like, "[Block name] starts now," but not me. I try harder than my co-workers. And my barbed wit symbolized both the Arrow and its creative purpose with "Any Rebroadcast of Sportaku Without the Express Written Consent of this Arrow is Prohibited." As this console generation draws to a close, this Arrow boldly stood apart from its design-by-numbers brethren and left an emotional mark on video game website arrows for all time to come.


The Year in Arrows Starts Right Now!

The Final Word

crunks (Kotaku commenter), July 17, 2012.
Crunks was severely disturbed by The Walking Dead's issue No. 100, but Evan Narcisse wasn't talking about that in his Panel Discussion on this day. In the last Arrow with comments enabled, Crunks managed to decompress with commenters Remember and willroyboy. The Kotaku Arrow: When you've got nowhere else to turn, it's always there. Pointing up.


The Year in Arrows Starts Right Now!

The Arrow Era Ends

Evan Narcisse, Aug. 7, 2012.
By July most of us had given up on posting arrows. I just started phoning mine in like they were a roster update or something. ("Sportaku is above this arrow," was my last. I mean, really?) Evan was the final holdout, bravely firing off arrows as the rest of us abandoned him.