You all miss the Escapist's glory days, what are your ideas for how could they come back?

Guitarmasterx7

Day Pig
Mar 16, 2009
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I mean they used to have a lot more actual content. Animated series and stuff like that. For as limited as the animation was the fact that the Doraleus or Urealms guys were putting out a whole scripted cartoon a week was insane. You don't see that in internet nowadays. Either the money or the passion (or both) aren't there anymore.

As for the forums, that's not a purely escapist problem. The whole fucking climate of the internet is a lot more toxic now. Especially when it comes to entertainment media since society is at a point where it has to pick it apart to ascribe racism or sexism or some agenda to it. It's just gotten exhausting at this point where something that used to be about tuning out and having fun has become almost as political as actual POLITICS and no matter what side of it you're on, it's hard to say that doesn't kill the enthusiasm that videogames used to evoke.

Plus people take the internet so personally now. Maybe I sound like an old man but back in my day "who gives a shit, it's just the internet" was a phrase thrown around regularly.
 

Wrex Brogan

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Jan 28, 2016
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Enormous piles of money and content creators, but the problem there is I highly doubt anyone is willing to touch The Escapist with a fifty foot pole these days. Shit, I'm amazed the Critical Miss guys and Yahtzee are still being paid at this point.
 

bjj hero

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Feb 4, 2009
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Decide what you want to do.

There are some videos Ive really enjoyed, ZP, Extra Credits, Movie Bob, Jimquisition. I've spent far more time on the articles, editors comments, reading Shaemus's take on whats happening in gaming, the civilised forums and the game reviews.

Escapist had its USP. Other sites made fun of our forums because they were respectful or "boring". That may not appeal to youtube posters but if youre looking for that its hard to come by.

Remember when The Escapist prided its self on not giving a score for game reviews because the review was it the body of text not the stars at the end? Again, you don't get that ethos in many places.

The regular release of new articles on varied topics made me itch to get back each day and see what was here. Now it its just short "news" posts and I probably read less than 1 in 5.

So my advice? More written content.
 

PainInTheAssInternet

The Ship Magnificent
Dec 30, 2011
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undeadsuitor said:
1. Build time machine

2. Go back and ban discussion of Gamergate before it got big enough to drive everyone off the boards

3. Enjoy forums
While Gamergate really did cause a kerfuffle, I think it was only able to because the Escapist was so prone to such crap anyways. This site has a habit of picking one or two topics, often related, and not shutting the fuck up about them for years. How long has this site been going on about feminism in some capacity? I've been lurking here since 2009 and can't recall it not being the case. No matter your stance on a subject, I'm inclined to believe that seeing it take up half the space on a given site for several years will cause your enthusiasm about it to wane.
 

Disco Biscuit

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Mar 19, 2016
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LoL... no this place dropped more than two million clicks in the last 18 months, and that was after similar drops over the past three years. It's dead, the people who run it clear know that, and are squeezing whatever they can out of the corpse before kicking it overboard.

Although I would guess that Kross' little "gift" to you all probably hampered that a bit, they're probably still under the delusion that there are actual, real "NEW" users joining.

PainInTheAssInternet said:
undeadsuitor said:
1. Build time machine

2. Go back and ban discussion of Gamergate before it got big enough to drive everyone off the boards

3. Enjoy forums
While Gamergate really did cause a kerfuffle, I think it was only able to because the Escapist was so prone to such crap anyways. This site has a habit of picking one or two topics, often related, and not shutting the fuck up about them for years. How long has this site been going on about feminism in some capacity? I've been lurking here since 2009 and can't recall it not being the case. No matter your stance on a subject, I'm inclined to believe that seeing it take up half the space on a given site for several years will cause your enthusiasm about it to wane.
GamerGate just sped up a process that, as you say, was already ongoing. It sped it up a LOT though.
 

Neurotic Void Melody

Bound to escape
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Apr 3, 2020
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Maybe have contributers that aren't contracted...maybe more voluntary contributers? If it's merely a matter of currency, then a communual effort will be the only saving grace. There are plenty of people out there who enjoy their hobbies enough to willingly add to the content pot out of a passion for shared knowledge and communal interaction. There are plenty of user reviews and and other creative, inquisitive types already that could add their own colour to the site. Granted, I know little of the legal limitations that may halt this hippy dream, but the site has lately been nought much more than a glacial dripfeed of various advertisements and large publisher updates. Fortunately Marter is still going strong; Satan bless!
Still, I would like to believe we can do better than this. With a little moderation and inspired contributions from a passionate community, there could be a more dynamic, pressureless flow of content and interaction. There is always something new to talk about, new entertainment, new ideas, new research, new opinions, new people...I feel that there is some barrier blocking all this potential, some unnecessary barrier that exists for the sake of existing, and the sooner it is removed or watered down, the better. For now though? I dunno. A cuppa tea?
 

The Harkinator

Did something happen?
Jun 2, 2010
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Slowly and shrewdly, if at all. If they're going to build up their content library again it'll require them making funds available to hire new content creators and hiring ones that draw in the audience. There are plenty of good weekly video uploads on YouTube from creators that, if they'd been signed by The Escapist in the early days, would have greatly benefitted the site.

Think of groups like the Shoddycast who do history and lore every couple of weeks, or Honest Trailers who do one for film and another for games each week. If The Escapist could have gotten them near the start of their run they'd be bringing it in hugely. They have to look for things like that, and try to promote a variety of shows from reviews to humour to in-depth discussion. Is there anything out there to replace The Big Picture? Bob could be annoying and a bit insistent at times but he knew his stuff and was capable of speaking about a wide range of geek topics that managed to be relevant. Lots of his videos still hold up years later. So does most of Jim's work and the Extra Credits crew stuff.

If they can get good ones that people will happily check in with each week it'll work. All the better if they can collaborate with each other too. If they sign a bunch of duds that nobody watches then that's about it for The Escapist. It's basically sitting around for a slow death or launching a "Do-or-die" attempt to get more interesting content back onto the site.
 

Tsaba

reconnoiter
Oct 6, 2009
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Well, I do remember a day when at the top of the page in the dead middle was the forums /latest/etc, and everything was built around that, now I have to scroll down to see the forums updates. It used to be fun to hop on and exchange ideas. Now, it just seems so dead and political (and by political it's one sided), it honestly has ruined this place.
 

joshuaayt

Vocal SJW
Nov 15, 2009
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Well, remember when http://www.escapistmagazine.com/articles/view/video-games/editorials/17097-Free-Speech-Politically-Correct-Safe-Space-Trigger happened

and also http://www.escapistmagazine.com/articles/view/video-games/editorials/17074-Pundits-Are-Not-Journalists-and-Notch-is-Not-a-Villain happened.

and also http://www.escapistmagazine.com/articles/view/video-games/editorials/17057-A-Word-On-Cultural-Appropriation happened?

These were not high points in the site's life. They all also have a common factor.
 

maninahat

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Nov 8, 2007
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I agree with OP that the old content should be more accessible; it is really hard, finding old seasons from a decade back. The other improvements I would suggest is find a way to stop bleeding talent. The Escapist had a lot of good creators, and had to let them go for various creative, contract or funding issues. Every time one of those left, they took a portion of the audience. Twenty sided is one of the only other shows I come here for, and I am already expecting them to disappear. The other obvious suggestion is to cut down on the animosity in some of their notorious recent articles, which set a belligerent, arrogant tone for the site. Whilst in the past the escapist could have been said to be too milquetoast on topics and criticism, now it has gone way over in the other direction. The old writers seemed like a really friendly bunch who just wanted readers to get along. Now it feels like a website that wants to draw lines and appeal to one particular audience, which is in total contrast to its older self.

That said, we have a lot of rose tinted nostalgia for the old time, and the escapist had a lot of problems even back when. It didn't seem to have any screening process for quality, and we ended up with loads of really crap, unfunny, shoddy shows. Game Dogs sticks out in my mind, but there were actually worse stuff. And then there were issues like failing to pay its contributors.
 

Meximagician

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May 30, 2020
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I don't often visit Reddit (I prefer more topic specific forums, and closer moderation like here) but when I do I appreciate their formatting and that users can collapse sub-threads. Makes browsing a thread less of a slog when every other post isn't two people talking past each other. That's not just a feature I'd like on The Escapist, that's something I want everywhere.

I also second the call for less click bait. "A Real-Life Biotech Company is Trying to Reanimate the Dead"? Would it have killed somebody to more accurately write "Real-Life Biotech Company Trying to Reanimated the (Brain) Dead"? I realize this happened back in the heydays as well (back when I was just a lurker) but you gotta change with the times.
 

Trunkage

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The glory days are gone. Accept The Escapist for what it is. That's how you deal with it
 

Wareve

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Aug 17, 2008
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There are actually a LOT of good ideas here! It'd be fantastic if there was a way to bring them to the attention of someone at the company.

And honestly, I don't buy the "It's dead, move on" narrative. It once was nothing, and now it is not. It could be great once again, all it requires is faith, built up by people willing to do the hard work to get people to come back. That means content creators, active forums, and an openness to new ideas.
 

Hero of Lime

Staaay Fresh!
Jun 3, 2013
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I can honestly say everything that I used to come here for has been replaced and improved upon. So sadly, anything I can think of to make this site awesome once more is kinda redundant.

For a sense of an online community, I have EZA for that. The twitch streams, the forums, I feel much more positive vibes there. It's smaller, which also helps a lot. EZA among other online content creators have already make stuff I just love, and I never cared for most of the content creators here. So bringing them back would do nothing for me, personally. Nor do I think any of them want to return. New creators would be nice, but why work on a site like the Escapist when you can just be more independent on Youtube? And I doubt the Escapist has the money or clout to possibly coax people to post shows exclusively here.

For online friends and interaction, I've found really amazing people who I hang out on places like Discord. Not that I'm trying to say no one here isn't worth befriending, it's just easier to make friends in smaller groups I feel, as opposed to huge forums. And honestly, no one seems to make the effort to really communicate here. Most people just post what they want to say in a thread, and move on. This post right now is on the second page, I doubt many people will even see it, or read it for that matter. I'm guilty of the same thing, I admit that.

I check the forums here fairly often, but I don't really have much to add to many conversations anymore. I would love to see the forums light up like they used to, but things would need to change from back then. Before I actually joined, I lurked on the forums, a lot. Sure, there were plenty of diverse opinions, but the community was in a bit of an echo chamber. The people who were really outside the majority eventually left, then hot topics and controversies scared so many others away, or forced them to hide in groups as opposed to posting in forums. The damage has been done.

Do I think The Escapist could rise again? Yes. Would it be via emulating what made it successful in the past? Probably not. In its current form, I really think this site has nothing to offer that you cannot find elsewhere, and much better.
 

Fox12

AccursedT- see you space cowboy
Jun 6, 2013
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Stewie Plisken said:
Nuke Youtube.

That's about the only thing that'll work. This is a dying business. The Escapist got big, primarily because of its video content; the type of which no competitor provided. It can no longer keep up with Youtube and crowd-funded seris and no matter how many news articles and editorials it puts out, it can at best survive on ad revenue from its loyal audience. Which is to say, the glory days won't come back, but it won't necessarily die. It probably should look to becoming an alternative to the likes of IGN, without going full moron like Polygon. Good luck finding the silver lining there, though.
Maybe the escapist should start a patreon to keep it on life support. I imagine that wouldn't impress the money overlords though.

I don't know what the deal with this place is. Everyone gets fired, and we don't get any updates for months. Then there's an article about how the site is going to be about the hobby instead of politics. Then nothing changes, and we we don't hear anything for months. Then everyone gets fired. Then we get an article by the same dude about how the site is going to about politics instead of the hobby. After he gets off his soap box, nothing changes and we don't hear anything for months.

Now we only have two content creators. Honestly, I think the site is following the same path as Spill.com
 

bartholen_v1legacy

A dyslexic man walks into a bra.
Jan 24, 2009
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Let's be honest: the "glory days" are never coming back. Not that I ever watched much else here than ZP and the webcomics, so I don't have such a strong feeling of melancholy over it. With the firestorm of Gamergate burning entire sites to the ground and the rise of Youtube/Patreon creators, the landscape of the internet has shifted, and in that new era the old school website no longer sits at the throne.


The only plausible way I could see singular .com websites regaining their status is a breaking point of the Youtube/Patreon phenomenon where everything is splintered into single creators. I could see this reaching a fever pitch at some point, after which Youtube channels will start withering away, and websites with funding other than Patreon will start gathering up talent again.

If Spoony's current state is any kind of precedent, this might be coming sooner than we think. After leaving TGWTG and setting off on his own he seems to have stagnated completely. All he seems to do these days is livestream, with the occasional video about wrestling on the side. Not everyone is cut out for running a solo operation for years and years on end, and that's where websites with resources and management can come in handy.
 

Guffe

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Jul 12, 2009
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Well there were a lot more shows, and they came out once a week, I think back in 2010/11 (when unforgotten realms was here) I had 1 or 2 shows every weekday to watch.

And as for what the users can do, derailing threads! We had some masters of that craft here back in the day, and following their masterfully crafted derails were some of the most fun to search for :D
A few of my posts even started a few derails...
 

crimson5pheonix

It took 6 months to read my title.
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Guffe said:
Well there were a lot more shows, and they came out once a week, I think back in 2010/11 (when unforgotten realms was here) I had 1 or 2 shows every weekday to watch.

And as for what the users can do, derailing threads! We had some masters of that craft here back in the day, and following their masterfully crafted derails were some of the most fun to search for :D
A few of my posts even started a few derails...
What are you talking about, thread derails are against the rules and this site takes a firm stance against such tomfoolery!
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