This time of year is traditionally (in Western cultures, anyway) a time of reflection. It's a time to look back upon the events of the past year and examine them - what did we do right, and what did we do wrong? How have we grown as people this year, and how would we like to continue to grow in the year to come? For all the schmaltz and New Year's resolutions that many of us will give up within a week, there is something to be said for having a quiet period of time to sit back and reflect on things.
We publish a lot of content in any given year, from our video series and our everyday news feed to our columns, webcomics and - of course - our weekly issue of The Escapist magazine. It is all content that we're proud of, but every now and then there comes a time to pick and choose the cream of the crop. What better time than this?
So here we are at the end of the year, with our "Best Of" issue of The Escapist - the issue made entirely of some of our favorite articles from the past six months. There isn't much that these articles have in common: They all originally ran in different issues, they're all by different authors and they all cover different subjects. Brendan Main defends the loathed sidekick Navi from Zelda: Ocarina of Time, Chuck Wendig relates the story of how a prepubescent English boy led his team to victory in Call of Duty 4 (and restored some hope in the Xbox Live community), C J Davies debunks some common videogame myths, and Murray Chu tells the tale of a gamer who discovered the rarest of rare items in Team Fortress 2 - and chose to destroy it.
There is one crucial commonality, though: They all make for some great reading for when you're curled up on the couch nursing a hangover from one of the other traditions from this time of year.
Happy reading, and a Happy New Year.