This is one of my favorite issues that we do. Largely because it's about you, the community.
One of the keys to the success of The Escapist has been how firmly we've embraced the idea of community, and how firmly our community has embraced the idea of us. Over the past few years, we've rolled out community-enabled features the likes of which most other sites can't even dream. We've got social networking features, badges, contests, you name it - and there's more coming. Some of the most exciting things that we're developing right now are community-related - ways that you can increase the interactivity of the website and get more out of what's already here. In fact, some people come to The Escapist solely to participate in the various community features, like the role-playing forums, and couldn't care less about our content. Fine with me. Follow your bliss, man. That's what it's all here for.
One inevitable side-effect of this advanced level of interactivity of our site is that we are keenly aware of our audience. This is both good and bad, of course. We made it possible for you to take ownership of the site and you did - with gusto. Forums have been created over the years that I couldn't even have imagined. Contests have unfolded in rare and wonderful ways, community members have stepped forward to create content, police the forums and aggregate various features of the site into handy walkthroughs. Plus, you have been all too eager to share your thoughts with us, good or bad, and we wouldn't have it any other way.
The "Everyday Gamer" issues take it a step further, though. You know a lot about us. We share our hearts and minds with you in our stories, share our opinions in our reviews and editorials, and share the fruits of our labors with everything you consume on this website. Yet we know so little about you, beyond what you choose to call yourself in the forums, how you feel about our content and what articles and videos you like to read and watch.
When we gave our community the opportunity to share the stories of their lives in our first "Everyday Gamer" issue, it was an eye-opener. We learned that gaming is still sometimes a secret hobby, that not all gamers are "gamers," that no bond is stronger than that between members of a solid gamer group and that sometimes the best fun is to be had from ruining the fun of others.
Most of all, though, we learned that behind the games, the hype and the stereotypes, there is a vast ocean of humanity - millions of individuals - each as unique as a snowflake, and all fascinating in their own their own way. And in the knowing, we feel we've become closer.
Therefore it is with great joy and high expectations that we once again turn the focus of our magazine to you, the gamers, for another helping of "Everyday Gamer." For Issue 254, Mur Lafferty wonders if it's OK to tell the kids "no," while telling yourself "yes"; Michael Comeau explains the challenges of being a gamer with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD); Logan Westbrook describes what it feels like to get "casual" with age; and Amanda Yesilbas shares her story of love and gaming. Enjoy!