Sudden fond memory of Austin joking about how the team could probably get away with not doing any games crit work for a few months before upper management would notice, sometime in the Pride and Prejudice / Be Good and Rewatch it era.
Then a few months later that pod came to a halt and they had to refocus lol
It’s really hard to pick from the smorgasbord of stuff Waypoint produced over the years, especially when so many of my favourite bits basically boil down to reactions on pods or streams or little in jokes that I’m not even sure I could explain any more.
Some of my favorite Waypoint moments have been funny moments from pods and streams, but one of my favorite written things they’ve done is the guns and games series. Like where else do you find a major games crit site devote an entire week to stories tackling the topic of gaming’s obsession with guns?
Also that time they asked a bunch of game devs at E3 about crunch culture. Mad respect to them for that
Oh yeah, Austin shouted it out in a tweet, but the backstory to the name Waypoint is also a good read.
For me, one of the things that Waypoint has done so well, again and again is document someone getting into something new in games, and they way it changes they look at things (and consequently the way I, as a listener see those same things).
Danielle’s arc of “Baby Tactics Gamer” to “Zen Master of Into the Breach” in the space of a month. Patrick getting into VN’s via 13 Sentinels. Rob just going Full Rob with Demon’s Souls. Tactical Tuesday’s cross pollinating Austin’s narritivization of games with Rob’s tactical obsession. All of this is fun on the surface, but it’s such a nice in to “why we play.”
I’m positive there’s more, but these are what immediately come to mind. These few are probably my all time favorites. I think these few pieces changed how I read and thought about games dramatically and forever.
I forgot they were putting out these 2 minute perspectives on games for a while. It’s really challenging to be concise so it’s all the more impressive how they always managed to get their point across in that space.
(Timestamped @ 48:02) Danielle playing the Donkey Kong Country cartoon intro for the crew.
I thought I’d share some of my favorite Waypoint stories over the years. It was hard to pick because they’re all so near and dear to my heart.
I mostly interacted with the site through the written articles and the podcast, since I’m not much of a livestream watcher, so please post your favorite livestream clips so I can see/remember them too. I also don’t have any podcast clips saved anywhere so that’s another big hole that needs filled.
First up is this article from early in Waypoint’s existence that might have been the first time I thought hard about game development as a process. It was the start of my journey into labor rights and considering the material reality of how things actually get made in the real world.
Of course I need to include something from At Play in the Carceral State. My favorite is this one on Dungeons and Dragons, but the entire feature is magnificent work, especially the series from Muira McCammon reporting from Gitmo. It’s a real treat for people who may have started following this site later on.
Related is this piece from Duncan Fyfe on the Daryl Gates Police Quest game. This is a little cheating because Duncan’s writing is so consistently excellent anywhere it’s published. I also love his Oral History on Tim Curry’s role in Red Alert 3.
Cam’s writing is such a huge part of what I think of when I think of Waypoint. I was really bummed when his Postscript column ended in 2019, but thankfully he was able to continue to contribute to the site long after that. This piece sits at the nexus of a lot of my interests including urbanism, climate, and the ending of things.