When I started Point & Clickbait, I was really just looking for a way to blow off steam.
I was in the middle of an extremely nasty exit as the editor of the now-defunct games.on.net, I was deeply disillusioned with games journalism as a career, and, like the early achiever I am, I was on the way to a nice and tidy mid-life crisis at the ripe old age of 30.
I'd been writing the occasional satirical article on games.on.net for a while, and at the urging of my wonderful partner - who quite reasonably took it very seriously when I said that writing these satirical pieces was "the only time I felt happy anymore" - I launched Point & Clickbait, put up some pieces here and there, and kind of didn't think about it too much.
Well, it's probably time to start thinking about it.
In the three years since then I've written 500+ more articles, designed and printed a whole damn magazine, run a successful Kickstarter, and gathered a wonderful community together on Discord with a rich subculture of emojis and nonsensical in-jokes. This is, by any measure, a “success” for something that initially only started because iiNet are cowards who wouldn’t let me use the word “fuck” online.
And still, despite all of these things, as the end of 2018 crept into sight, I was starting to become a little bit disillusioned. The updates grew more sporadic and, in my darkest and truest heart, I knew they were becoming repetitive, that I was circling around the same festering, unresolved topics, making the same jokes in a dozen different ways. Wisecracks about “deleting the website” and “meeting the Schick Hydrobot in hell” came up more and more often, but the kernel of truth inside them grew bigger each day.
About the time that Taco Bell and Xbox partnered to release a special limited edition console which played the Taco Bell theme on startup, was when I finally admitted to myself that I was being constantly outplayed by the very culture I sought to satirise.
I started very seriously thinking about putting the website on an indefinite hiatus.
While doing Point & Clickbait makes me feel better, there’s only so long you can hurl wisecracks into the abyss before you are forced to realise that not only is the abyss vast and uncaring, but the abyss has a YouTube channel and it thinks it is a fully qualified political scientist. It gets to you. It wears you down.
I desperately don’t want Point & Clickbait to get into a rut or become too repetitive. Kris Straub of Chainsawsuit, which is frankly one of the best and most timeless webcomics out there, observed exactly this problem with his own work recently. People asked him (in 2018) why he wasn’t mocking that year's latest Apple product announcement and he replied that he’d already done it over and over again and nothing had changed. There is, as Straub has observed, a Chainsawsuit for every occasion.
Point & Clickbait was, I had to admit, reaching that point (and clickbait). And for me, the solution seemed to be to put it on ice for a while and move on to something else. But when it came down to it, I realised that I couldn’t.
The simple fact of the matter is that I just bloody well like Point & Clickbait. I like it and I’m proud of it. I wouldn’t be so grandiose as to say that I think Point & Clickbait needs to exist, to fill some kind of void in the industry or whatever, but I will say that I want something like Point & Clickbait to exist, and that’s got to be good enough.
But what this whole process showed me was that I had taken Point & Clickbait about as far as I could take it on my own. It was clear to me that if something didn’t change, I was going to have an aneurysm during the next The Game Awards and be hospitalised.
I also knew that as much as I loved my day job as a union officer, it was making me tired and cynical, and I could feel that energy seeping through into the Point & Clickbait content and updating schedule (or lack thereof).
So I decided to ask someone for help, and the person that I asked was James O’Connor.
James has already written a bunch of articles for Point & Clickbait, all of which have survived my “editing process” largely unscathed because James' work is (and always has been) damn good. Above all, I think, James “gets” the Point & Clickbait approach. You’ve seen his work before in pieces like 25 Good Reasons Why Tracer, Who Is Not A Lesbian, Kissed That Other Girl and What Videogames Can Learn From The Demon That Destroyed Seattle, and now you can look forward to seeing it a lot more because I’ve asked James to come and "work" at Point & Clickbait "full time" (or whatever the equivalent of that is).
Point & Clickbait doesn’t really make a ton of money through our beloved Patrons (the figure is right there on the site!), but what it does make we will now be splitting 50/50. I’m very upfront about this stuff and I don't see any reason to hide the finances or whatever. If you back Point & Clickbait on Patreon, you're now backing both of us, and we thank you for it.
Hopefully this will mean more updates and more often, but what I'm also very much looking forward to is freeing up some more time for me to work on other Point & Clickbait tasks that desperately need doing - much-needed website maintenance and working on the 'Best of 2017' goddamn magazine chief among them.
That's the big announcement. Going forward, you'll see James and I sharing duties on the site's content, and hopefully see more other stuff appearing as well, including more videos which I love doing. In the meantime, you're right here on Patreon dot com, so if you're not already backing us we would love it if you could help out! All of your support is deeply appreciated.
I'm making this post backer-only for now, but I'll make it public in the morning. Thanks again for your incredible support over the last three years, and I hope you'll stick around for even more of the website you love, or at least are trapped in a confusing and complicated relationship with.
All the best,