This is a tough one to write. For those of you who know me, in person, by my writing, or through social media, I’m not one to openly share much about my personal life. Particularly not when there’s struggle. But a few events have invited me to do so here, if only to explain why I’ve made the decision to shut down Bit Creature.
In the span of three days, a few weeks back, I was in a wreck that totaled my car and I learned that my daytime job was going to be eliminated come Memorial Day. The collision was a complete surprise, but the layoff wasn’t – I’ve worked at the same startup for almost three years now, and when you are in the universally cagey ecosystem of corporate infancy, you learn to read trends and forecast fates and you make peace with what is out of your control while you are still in control.
Knowing it could come, and knowing it could come back when I started Bit Creature, I made the decision before we even launched: if there’s ever a time when I can’t rationally justify the investment, I need to end it. It was an easy decision to make, back then, because I hadn’t yet grown to love every single writer on my staff dearly, and I didn’t realize how lucky I was to be working with a group of such talented, courageous people on a truly meaningful project.
This lets me pull the brakes and leave it clean, with its integrity intact.
Without breaking into litany, I want to thank the Bit Creature readership for embracing our little experiment and creating some of the best discourse surrounding video games I’ve ever seen. The community around the site has been inspiring, and I will be proud and envious to see the conversation continue at the remaining – and incredible – video game websites that we have long looked up to. You know the ones. If you don’t, just read the bylines of every single writer on this staff.
I also want to thank each member of the writing staff here for expanding Bit Creature beyond what I could’ve dreamed, and for giving me the opportunity to work with you. I’ve learned a tremendous amount. Across the board, the level of writing talent I’ve collaborated with far surpasses my skill as an editor, and if it wasn’t for your thoughtful, careful execution of the craft, this site would be nothing and I would be left with history’s most thoroughly designed and developed personal diary.
Before I close this out, I need to acknowledge Rich Shivener, who kept the site (and me) on track, and who helped develop an editorial voice that I believe is truly unique, all while managing half of the editing duties. The site would have dissolved long ago, and I would probably be dead, if he wasn’t a mountain of good-natured reliability that I could lean on. And, of course, Jeremy Zoss, who has long counseled and guided me as a writer, and whose advice I’ve kept with me through each step in the life of the site.
I can’t say entirely if this is the full stop for Bit Creature. I say “(likely) permanent hiatus” in the subtitle of this because I won’t rule anything out. I’m really not sure where I’m headed. It’s electrifying – when responsibility disappears that void is filled with opportunity. I have been given challenges and a reason to fight. I wake up every morning feeling fierce.
Who knows what’s next? But if this it for us, now, I’m elated – I could’ve have asked for a better run. Thank you.
About the Author:
James Hawkins is the founder of Bit Creature. He's a published poet, dabbling sportswriter, and former Senior Editor of Village Voice Media's Joystick Division.