(Editor’s note: This article was originally published in the February 2009 issue of GameCola, back when GameCola was published in a monthly online magazine format.)
New Haven, CT 06511
I had a fantastic idea—no, really, it was the best—for my “Dear Readers” column this month, but, after listening to this month’s GameCola Podcast, now I have to throw it away, because I have to talk about how awful The Gates of Life isn’t.
Yeah, you heard me—loud and clear, because I, unlike The GameCola Podcast, don’t have audio quality issues!
SUCK IT, POD-PEOPLE!
The GameCola Podcast trashed The Gates of Life—GC’s monthly fantasy-adventure story that lets its readers vote on how its plot progresses—so now I’m going to take this time to talk about how stupid their podcast is defend the article that I co-write. And the time couldn’t be better for such a defense: Matt Gardner, myself, and GC newcomer Kate Jay have been working our asses off this month to bring you an all-new, reader-friendly TGoL.
KEEP READING PLEASE.
There we go. Sorry; that was for the people who stopped paying attention when I started talking about The Gates of Life.1
The Gates of Life has been getting poor hit counts for a long time—pretty much since we started publishing it, about six years ago—even in terms of GameCola articles in general, which tend to get about as many visitors as a mausoleum. The reason for this, I believe, is not because TGoL isn’t well-written, funny, or entertaining, because it is all those things. The reason is that the story’s just been way, way too confusing for anyone to get into it or even follow it.
Are you still paying attention? If not, here’s the crux of what I’m saying:
THE GATES OF LIFE ISN’T CONFUSING ANYMORE.
We’ve cleaned up the format to make the articles easier to read; we’ve made the articles shorter; we’ve added gorgeous illustrations; we’re adding recaps of previous stories to help everyone keep up; and, most importantly, we’re writing stories that are coherent. They’re still funny; but now, you’ll be able to understand what’s going on, too.
We’re starting a new “season” of The Gates of Life this month—Season Two. If you haven’t read Season One, that’s OK; we’re not going to write anything that requires any prior knowledge of previous episodes. That will be the case from now on, in fact; we’re going to do our best to ensure that every single episode of The Gates of Life makes sense independently, so you can read any one without having read any of the others. They’ll still all tie in to one main plot, but you’ll be able to jump in at any time.
We’re trying very hard to put together a fun story, so please, for the love of God, read the all-new The Gates of Life.
(How’s that for a hard sell? I actually wish I could’ve found a way to make you feel guilty if you don’t read it, to, but, well, I’m on deadline.)
After you’ve read TGoL, there’s plenty of other articles for you to check out this month. Here’s some of the highlights:
A bunch of jerks made a new podcast.
Vangie writes about how to explain your Pokémon-obsessed boyfriend to your family in what is now one of my favorite GameCola articles of all time.2
Special guest star Jeff Day, of random.access, debates the use of “Christ” in videogames with Meteo in this month’s Versus Mode.
Two classic GameCola columns make a return:
The Grass is Always, in which GameCola award-winners Michael Gray and Marianne play and talk about Duck Hunt and Super Mario Bros.
Mid-Boss, in which a mystery writer apparently has a death-by-Nintendo-fanboy wish.
Michael Ridgaway talks about Barbie for the third straight month in Quantum Geek.
Captain Eric talks about the game that ruined his psychic vision.
Enjoy GameCola! Except for the podcast, because it’s stupid, and so are the people who did it.
editor in chief
P.S. You might notice that our comments and article ratings systems have been upgraded this month. Keep your eyes open for it, and keep your eyes open in the coming month for a significant upgrade to GameCola itself. There might be some “teething issues” with all the the hi-tech hi-jinx happening now, so if you see anything that’s broken, or have a suggestion on how something can be improved, post a comment about it here.
1. Which is probably a lot of you, since the only people who have been reading TGoL are me and Matt, who write it, and my girlfriend, who probably wouldn’t read it if I didn’t promise to watch Gilmore Girls with her every time she did.
2. I was laughing so hard when I read it that I started tearing. I don’t like to say that, because it sounds like hyperbole, but it was true in this case.