Seven years ago while studying philosophy, I got an itch in my mind that the stories of video games had something important to say. With Nintendo announcing the remake of The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask, I decided to scratch that itch by conducting and publishing a weekly study of what makes Majora’s Mask artistically significant, which developed into the blog and theory called With a Terrible Fate.
Along the way, something unexpected happened: friends and strangers began reaching out to me, inspired to analyze the stories of their own favorite games using their own perspective, from personal experiences to academic background to general interests. We were united by a common feeling that video-game stories are miraculous puzzle-boxes that reward the kind of exploration one can only realize through deep analysis, and it was the bravery of these people reaching out that pushed With a Terrible Fate to grow from a blog and project into a publication, community, and ethos.
In the seven years since the advent of With a Terrible Fate, we’ve grown to count 17 video-game analysts among our ranks, published almost 250 articles, spoken at countless conventions and conferences, and—most meaningful of all—forged connections with an ever-expanding community of those who are developing a new language with which to understand themselves, and to share themselves with others, through the stories of video games.
Seven years is a significant moment. It’s the interval of time that Link jumps in The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time in order to overcome his childhood and confront The Great King of Evil as an adult. Whether you’ve been with us since the Dawn of the First Day, only just discovered us, or have popped in and out over time, I want to thank you for making this enterprise a joy for us to volunteer our time to.
The years have also seen us try, in fits and spurts, to turn With a Terrible Fate into something more “marketable” or capable of generating revenue, with little to show for those efforts. I’ve found in my own experience with the publication that the publication is at its happiest when analysts and audience alike are able to happen upon it and commit time to it whenever they like, without expectation or responsibility to do so. I think this is a significant part of what’s allowed us to capture and reify the childlike passion for games in an adult format.
With that said, I hope we all will be able to enjoy With a Terrible Fate for many years to come. The publication will remain focused on thoughtful, robust analyses of game stories, prioritizing quality of content over timely releases, and as the core team feels the impact of these seven years and begins telling other stories in their own lives, I am expecting that these releases may become less frequent. So, I encourage you to think of With a Terrible Fate in its next stage as a static library, always open for those who wish to peruse game analyses, rather than a publication of ongoing releases.
I personally am the rule rather than the exception in this trend of analysts working on other things: while I’ve been quiet about this effort on With a Terrible Fate to date, I’ve been working in my professional life to develop a startup, Quarter, which I hope and expect will make it much easier and more equitable for people of all walks of life to become homeowners. While the library of With a Terrible Fate’s analyses will always stay open and probably continue to expand over the years, I hope that you’ll also check out the other stories that the members of With a Terrible Fate‘s team are telling in their lives beyond this publication: without exception, they are all working on exceptional and exciting projects.
This is not a goodbye, but rather a celebration of where we’ve been and an explanation of why you may not see new analysis for some time to come.
No matter where things go from here, I hope that you all remain thoughtful in your gaming, and open-minded and open-hearted with the gaming of others; the work With a Terrible Fate will always be accessible here for gamers past, present, and future.