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The Community Spotlight 2023.01.21

Ugh.

Welcome to the latest edition of the Giant Bomb Community Spotlight! I am you host, @zombiepie. That first sentence has never been difficult for me to write, but it sure was this week. As most of you already know, Jess and Jason were laid off as part of sweeping layoffs that hit virtually every site in the Fandom network. Other names impacted included Mat Elfring from GameSpot and Justin Vachon who was the Giant Bomb and GameSpot's lead brand designer. Some truly talented and wonderful people who are now gone and that's gut-wrenching.

Jess is an amazing person and highly talented video producer and their absence is a huge loss. She provided endless laughs and smiles as well as a steady supply of Giant Bomb content that got everyone through some incredibly tough times.

Jason has been a rock for the Giant Bomb community and their presence was something to look forward to for nearly ten years. Others have already thanked them for their mentorship and genuine kindness and I will join them.

Mat Elfring is a name that many in Giant Bomb community today may not remember. But, for those that were here long enough to recall the Whiskey Media days, you may recall them being a regular Comic Vine fan prior to rising up to become a face that welcomed you whenever you logged in.

The latest designs from Justin Vachon were amazing and they brought a new sense of freshness to Giant Bomb and GameSpot on the front page and elsewhere. I loved everything they made and wish them and their future endeavors the best.

Support these people.

Do what you can to follow them, subscribe to their current social media platforms or streaming accounts, and show them the love and appreciation you had for them when they were here. Below you can find a handful of helpful links on how to go about that in whatever way is possible. Here are some links Chroneus from the Giant Bomb Discord was able to nab and if you feel like there are other employees or staff links I can add to this edition of the Spotlight, feel free to drop a comment.

Giant Bomb

GameSpot

Secondly, the staff and team that remain on Giant Bomb are as gutted and upset as you. As you can see in the Tweets section, the loss of Jess and Jason has devastated them. Both the next Grubbsy edition of Spite Club and the debut of season two of Friday Night Forking are delayed until next week.

Finally, the forums are a safety net and a place for expression for so many of you. Expressing anger, disappointment, and/or frustration in light of recent events, when it is not at the expense of others, is and always will be allowed. The thread discussing the layoffs will remain open on the site and a place for everyone to share how they feel and to express concerns about the site's future. While I will not be linking the other thread that advocates on the behalf of the remaining staff due to its use of swearing in its title, I understand and emphasize with the sentiment and cannot deny I too have felt that way about the coming days, weeks, and years. The tweets I was able to find wishing everyone the best are just the tip of the iceberg. To everyone in the community leaving the site, I wish you all the best and want you to know that your companionship and interactions well over a decade meant the world to me even when I did not show it.

Tweets

Activities

The GB Album Club 020 - The Pleasure Principle by Gary Numan (By: @unclejam23)

It's time for some classic BOPS on the Giant Bomb forums!
It's time for some classic BOPS on the Giant Bomb forums!

It's time to tackle some clammy clam CLASSICS with the inaugural edition of the 2023 Giant Bomb community Album Club! This week the community group is looking at The Pleasure Principle by Gary Numan! Join the fun by clicking the link above.

Signalis Is The 1st Game Of The UUGPGC Year 2! Finish By 1/16/2023! SPOILERS OPEN +

Tinykin Is The 2nd Game Of UUGPGC Year 2! Finish By January 30, 2023! Mark All Spoilers! (By: @bigsocrates)

The community Game Pass Game Club has opened its discussion for Signalis to SPOILERS! What were your impressions of the game's titular protagonist, the events they went through, and how the game concluded? Tinykin is the 2nd game for the 2023 edition of the Giant Bomb Community Game Pass Game Club! If you have any early non-spoiler impressions of the game and how it plays or looks, feel free to join that discussion using the second link.

Galleria

Lucy James In The Style Of Adventure Time (By:@MOHAMMEDFI10)

Last week on Twitter, MOHAMMEDFI10 made a work of art envisioning Tamoor as a character from the Paper Mario franchise. This week they decided to tackle Lucy James but for this style they imagined her as a character from Adventure Time.

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Blogs

What's the Greatest Video Game: NBA Street Volume 2 (By: @imunbeatable80)

Remember when sports games were allowed to be goofy?
Remember when sports games were allowed to be goofy?

Remember when there were NBA video games that weren't just sims? Well, as part of their ongoing rankings of every single video game ever made, imunbeatable80 decided to give NBA Street Vol. 2 a shot!

Google Stadia Is Dead Because It Was Too Ambitious And Also Not Ambitious Enough (By: @bigsocrates)

The Google Stadia was both ambitious and not; bigsocrates has been thinking about that and why the platformed ultimately failed. Give their thoughts a read and feel free to share if you think Stadia ever had a shot.

All Saturn Games In Order: 1995 Round-Up (By: @borgmaster)

How was 1995 for the Saturn and how did the console's first year compare to the PlayStation's? That's at the heart of borgmaster's wrap-up blog on the site now that they have played every single Saturn game that released in 1995!

Go! Go! GOTY! 2022: Escape Academy + Indie Game of the Week 303: The Gunk (By: @mento)

Where should Escape Academy rank on Mento's 2022 GOTY list? Today they attempt to get to the bottom of that question with a look at what the game brings to the table and if it can hand with the other games on their list.

Likewise, Mento also has a new edition of their "Indie Game of the Week" and this one is all about The Gunk! Read why they thoroughly enjoyed the game and disagree with the general consensus it is a weaker entry from Image & Form.

The Quest For The Worst Adventure Game Puzzles - The Legend of Kyrandia - Book Three: Malcolm's Revenge [Part 2] (By: @zombiepie)

The on-site community blogging network is still here. If you can, tell your favorite blogger on the site how much you appreciate them.
The on-site community blogging network is still here. If you can, tell your favorite blogger on the site how much you appreciate them.

ZombiePie wraps up their two-part retrospective on The Legend of Kyrandia: Malcolm's Revenge with a look at the many puzzles that define the game's back half. Read why they can't help but lament that this game ended the series.

A Devil’s Advocate Reviewing the Last of Us HBO Pilot (By: @infantpipoc)

It's not in their wheelhouse, but infantpipoc decided to watch the pilot for HBO's The Last Of Us. If you want to join the discussion about the show give it a read! Note: This blog has concealed/marked possible spoilers but you should know they exist.

Wilsown's Top 10 (And 1) Games of 2022 (By: @wilsown)

Who doesn't need some STATS in their life?
Who doesn't need some STATS in their life?

wilsown returns to blogging on Giant Bomb with a comprehensive rundown of their favorite games they played in 2022! Click the link below to give their blog a read, and here's a hint of what to expect!

Discussion Threads

Jess and Jason Have Been Laid Off (Updated) (By: @alistercat)

For Jess, forever and always.
For Jess, forever and always.

As mentioned at the top of the Spotlight, these forums have stood as a place of expression and outreach for nearly 15 years. The anger and concern you have all expressed has and always will be welcomed on this site. I and the rest of the team simply wish to ask you to avoid speculation on where everyone goes from this point forward, and to not direct attacks on your fellow community members or the staff still on the site.

Your Early Speculation On The Upgraded Version Of Xbox Series X And PS5? (By: @gtxforza)

We have yet to see a performance upgrade for the Nintendo Switch, but do you think there's any hope of new SKUs with performance improvements for the Xbox Series X and PS5?

Ubisoft Want You To Know Beyond Good & Evil 2 Is NOT CANCELLED; Original Teaser Trailer Turns 15 This Year (By: @zombiepie)

Ubisoft recently clarified Beyond Good and Evil 2 is TOTALLY NOT CANCELLED! However, do you actually believe them? What's your reaction to the game now passing Duke Nukem Forever as the most delayed AAA ever?

Lists

GOTY 2021 (Adjusted) (By: @mento)

Also, I don't think I have ever talked about this, but as the person who accidentally leaked Jason and Dan's hiring when they first joined, I (ZombiePie) never apologized for that. -- Editor's Note from Marino: Notice that he still didn't.
Also, I don't think I have ever talked about this, but as the person who accidentally leaked Jason and Dan's hiring when they first joined, I (ZombiePie) never apologized for that. -- Editor's Note from Marino: Notice that he still didn't.

Last year moderator Mento ended up playing games from 2021 that they meant to play when they came out but didn't. As a result, they decided to readjust their 2021 GOTY list and you can see what now has made the cut!

My Top 3 Backseat Gaming Games Of 2022 (By: @pamsteropolous)

There were a handful of times when pamsteropolous would kick it up and watch their husband play a video game and they ended up sharing the games they most enjoyed being a backseat gamer.

Best Games Played 2022 (By: @chlomo)

chlomo only included six games on their 2022 GOTY list and didn't limit themselves to games released during the year as well, but don't use that as an excuse not to check out their introspective and entertaining list on the site.

User Reviews

This game turning fifteen soon grew at least ten gray hairs on my head.
This game turning fifteen soon grew at least ten gray hairs on my head.

Wiki Page Of The Week

Silent Hill

Many thanks to Jess for spearheading Run For The Hills with Jan.
Many thanks to Jess for spearheading Run For The Hills with Jan.

As another tribute to Jess for everything she has done for the site, this week's "Wiki Page of the Week" is the Silent Hill franchise page! Give it a read to see how the series has evolved over the years and been represented in other media. Also, if anyone is interested in editing the page to add recent titles coming up, that would be greatly appreciated.