What's good internet? If you've listened to today's episode of Waypoint Radio (or simply read the description) then you've heard the news. Danielle Riendeau is heading off to new video games journalism pastures, and though you'll still be able to hear me on the podcast every week, I'm stepping back from my editorial role at VICE. I'm betting you have some questions, but first and foremost, I want to underscore that this good news for everyone involved. The ship is not sinking, the alarms are not sounding, there is no fire in the barn (is that a saying?).
We dig into all of this late in today’s podcast (timestamp: 2:10:39, or a little later if you’ve got an ad). That said, I’m hoping I can anticipate some of your questions RIGHT NOW and offer you some answers. So, let’s start:
Q. What does this mean for the future of Waypoint Radio?
While Danielle is off to new adventures, I’ll be remaining on the podcast for the foreseeable future. (Labor-conscious friends: Yes, I’m being fairly compensated.) The team also hopes to expand the degree to which we bring special guests (both in the games industry and fellow journalists and critics) onto the podcast in the future!
Q. Will you still be writing articles for VICE Games?
Yes, but less frequently than before. Part of the reason I’m stepping back is to reduce my workload over all, and to let me feel a little bit less like I need to be part of every single emerging conversation.
Q. Is VICE Games shutting down?
No! While it has been a year filled with lots of changes, it’s also been VICE Games most successful year yet in terms of traffic and growth. We’ve got great editorial support from the incredible folks at Motherboard and the new head of Audio has been a great resource for us. It looks like we might even be getting a new podcast studio soon!
Q. What does this mean for the future of VICE Games?
It means that it’s in good hands. Cado, Patrick, and Rob are going to continue to carry the ethos and mission of Waypoint forward, and I’ll be here every week on Waypoint Radio to check in on them. On top of that, VICE Games will be working with new, diverse voices through freelance contributions to the website and additional guests on the podcast.
Q. Are y’all going to hire more people?
Now that I’ve left the editorial leadership team, this is one I actually can’t answer directly! That said, please know that we’ve voiced our own concerns about our team’s diversity with management and I know that the VICE Games team will keep that in mind if and when they are able to fill out the team with new, full time members!
Q: Why are you leaving?
Because it’s time, more or less. I first got into games journalism and crit over a decade ago. I took a pause for some grad school in there, but all said, I’ve devoted a lot of time to pursuing this career. And all the while, I’ve been working on side projects and developing hobbies into secondary careers in the background. The truth is, I’ve been ready to make this move for some time, I just needed to be confident that it was the right move (both for me and for the folks I was handing the keys over to).
And now is the right time.
But I’d be a fool if I tried to convince myself that I was ready to leave games behind entirely. I will always love games and have OPINIONS about them. I’m thrilled that the team here at Waypoint Radio (and my friends and management in VICE) are happy to let me continue to have those opinions in front of a microphone every week.
Q: So wait, what is next for you, Austin?
A lot of naps, hopefully?
A big part of why I’m stepping back is because I’ve been ignoring my own advice, burning the candle at both ends, and neglecting my own work-life balance by juggling my full time job at VICE, my part-time job with actual play podcast Friends at the Table, and an increasingly busy schedule of talks and panels and other side projects.
That is, of course, the other reason I’m doing this. If you follow Friends at the Table (or have heard me run the yearly Beastcast holiday RPG), then you know that the only thing I love as much (if not more) than video games, is “critical world building, smart characterization, and fun interaction between good friends.” Stepping back from VICE is going to give me the opportunity to do a lot more of all three of those things, not only in the context of FatT, but also in my own personal and professional life.
Speaking of that… make sure to keep an eye on my Twitter feed later today for the announcement of the first new project I’ll be working on. It’s something I’m really excited about, and I’m working with some incredible people that I’ve wanted to link up with for a long time now. Should be fun!
Thanks for your support all these years. Some of y’all have been following me on this journey for a full decade now, others hopped on around when we started Friends at the Table, or when I joined Giant Bomb, or when we launched Waypoint with a ridiculous 72 hour live stream three years ago. Some of you probably only just learned who I was! Whatever is the case for you, please know that I’ve only been able to make it this far because of your encouragement. It means the world to me that you’ve cheered me on all these years. And SPECIAL THANKS to the incredible Waypoint mods and community team. Y’all some real ones.
I cannot wait for the next chapter of Waypoint Radio and VICE Games to begin. Until then… (then = Monday, I guess?)… … … Peace.