I’ve never really been one for introductions, so consider this a statement of purpose more than anything else.
My name is Renata Price and I write about video games. And I talk about them. And I produce videos and streams of other people playing them. I do a lot of shit with video games is what I’m saying. But I never really expected to be doing this.
A few months ago I resigned myself to something difficult, that I would never really have a place in the games press itself. Instead, I would sit in my little corner and write my little words for the people who wanted to read them. I would do my best to make people feel things about games, while working my day job in another field. In fact, I was putting together a list of MFA programs to apply to. As if academia and working artistry would be any better. I did this because I could not envision a version of this job that let me do the things I want to do.
And what is it that I want to do? Well, that’s simple. I want to imagine a better world and then do it, one that is utopian and hungry and lacking in restraint. A place where good criticism and good storytelling and good community give people the tools and language to materially improve their own lives. All of this embodied by a website that, along the way to good writing about machines that go beep boop, makes people better people. And I think Kotaku can be that website. And so, for as long as I am here, I will do whatever I can to make sure that we have sharp and beautiful teeth.
Some days that will require in-depth explanations of mechanical minutiae and systemic analysis, other days it’ll involve just telling you a good story, and I hope that most days I will get to do both. All of this in service of translating into language what games do best, make us feel shit.
And I am just as interested in how they go about making us feel. To this end, I hope to interview as many people as I can. We have seen firsthand what the myth of the auteur can do to games and the studios that make them. The abuses and poor management of once-lauded developers are, while not our fault, facilitated by the narratives we create about who makes games and how they do it. It is much easier to push back against the shitty behavior of someone whose name isn’t plastered throughout every single article about any game they’ve happened to touch. And also, interviews with people who aren’t PR trained are just more fun.
I believe in this vision because I lived it. I could’ve grown up to be a lonely shithead who took her isolation out on anyone with a heart bigger than hers and a desire for something better. Instead, a small community of brilliant weirdos who loved video games asked me to grow up, and then gave me the tools to do it. When I was a desperate and annoying kid, they taught me how to actually be funny and connect with other people, instead of just making an ass of myself. When I was afraid of a world that seemed violent and absurd, they taught me how to understand it as a system that people built and that people can change. When they wrote about video games, they did so beautifully, and so I could not help but want to write, myself. And so, here I am a decade later at Kotaku.
Let’s get to work.