The Community Spotlight 2023.01.21

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Marino

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Edited By Marino  Staff

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.

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borgmaster

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I hope Jess, Jason, and everyone else can find soft landings from this catastrophe. The shock of it all has to be devastating, and there aren't any words from a random community member that could make this any less bad for anyone involved.

On a different note, I think I speak for a decent number of people when I say that I sincerely wish the management at Fandom a very nice [REDACTED]

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CyrusRaven

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Sorry again for the cussing mods. I was in a place at the time of posting.

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#3  Edited By styx971

at this point theres just no more words that can be said about how bad this is , jason has been great staple in my life for the last 12? years since he was originally hired at GI then came here with dan , its horrible that a corporation would do something like this to him because numbers, its even worse knowing how his health has been in recent times, i hope he lands on his feet as quickly as possible.

Jess i feel like even tho i'd never really seen her stuff before Hot takeouts came to GB i recognized her name from my time as a screwattack fan and it having been mentioned somewhere on there, she seems like the type who will bounce back from this and do ok but i hate this for her since it was a dream job for her , also as the only actual core staff female this is kinda shitty in a diversitiy aspect.(sorry lucy is great but we rarely see her and she seems gs foremost)

As for the rest of those effected our sweet art boy who did amazing work aside i was not fromilar with them but its just horrible all around , i hope they too land on their feeet swiftly. as rough as this place has been the last few years the remaining staff are great , and its wrong they have to try to pick up the pieces with this one we all know how hard that is going to be for a video site with 1 production guys , poor jan i can only imagine how he must be feeling , grubb who just left something i assume was stable to come here , dan who came back , and even bakalar who you know being a management guy for both these sites has to have his handful right now too n then some. its just wrong

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tgjessie

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i'm just so angry and upset for everyone involved. it's a goddamn injustice and it fucking sucks.

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Locclo

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#5  Edited By Locclo

I love this website and the crew so much, and all the content has been a comfort watch for me for years. The announcement about Jess and Jason just sent me reeling, and I'm still really upset about it. Jason has been a rock, and I always enjoyed seeing him on content. Jess was such a big boost in the energy of this site when people started leaving, and she put out some great content during her all-too-brief stint. Loved Run for the Hills, and her editing for The Very Online Show really made it shine. Wishing the best to everyone who was unceremoniously laid off here, and I hope the crew can bounce back from this and continue putting out great content.

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@marino@zombiepie just wanted to thank you both for all the time and effort you put into the site over the years, I don't think I've commented much but always appreciated the community spotlight and community/discussions in general. this place was always improved by your time and effort.

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BladeOfCreation

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Seeing all those tweets in one place really drives home an element of this that I think is easy to overlook: the ones who want to continue working in this industry have public personas, and their professional networking is done at least in part via their public social media accounts. So they can't express anger. Sadness or disappointment, sure. But anger is a no-go, so they gotta come across like it's no big deal.

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Manburger

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#8  Edited By Manburger

I can only echo previous sentiments and express sincere graditude to Jess & Jason for everything they've done, and hope they are alright. Especially Jason, as he'd been dealing with health issues—hopefully he can be covered by his spouse's plan? Fandom can absolutely dissolve excruciatingly slowly in a shallow pool of acid.

I adore the site and the community, and would be remiss not to also offer grand thanks to @zombiepie, @marino and all mods for their constant hard work — and thanks to everyone who contributes/participates/hangs out. Hope everything works out ♥

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voidburger

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Making Silent Hill the Wiki Page of the Week is genuinely such a sweet gesture :') I love it. Thank you. Thank you all <3

Everyone's been so astoundingly kind to me in the wake of this and I'm lucky enough that my prevailing emotion is "grateful." I urge everyone to give Jason (@unstrike) and Justin (@megaberrycrunch) even more love and appreciation than you've shown me!! They're both total masters of their skillsets and kings of personality - I'm shook I got to work with either of these ridiculously talented and cool people. Please support them where possible <3

Love you, see you all around, and please be kind and patient to the remaining GB crew. Nobodywanted this, and everyone there are such talented and genuinely good people. This is a very weird situation, but I hope you can extend love and understanding to those that are still up in here, despite the circumstances. I hope you all can soften the blow for them as you have for me.

<>

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I know many have stated they are cancelling their premium, but not me. Giant Bomb is the only site (game-related or otherwise) that has had a perfect score on the people they've had work for them over the years. I get giddy no matter who is on a show. As such, I would prefer to not punish them by cancelling (and it wouldn't hurt the big money investors anyway, they don't play by the same rules the rest of us do). If I had what I wanted I would return everyone back to Giant Bomb, keep the newer crew as well, and that includes resurrecting Ryan Davis. I can't have that though, so instead I'll just keep supporting GB along with Jeff G, Nextlander, Abby, Patrick K, and now Jess & Jason.

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XenonXylophone

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ALLTheDinos

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@voidburger: You were the best thing to happen to this site in a long time. Still can’t believe that’s over.

PS your Twitch streams with Josh are awesome. The Final Fantasy character guessing game one was legendary.

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PimblyCharles

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Ugh is right. This hits close to home. The business I work for has been laying off lots of tech workers. I fear I may be next at any point. Doesn't seem to be any rhyme or reason why people were let go. It's scary and infuriating. My team has been cut in half while the work is now requiring more time and effort that we don't have the manpower to keep up with long term.

My heart goes out to Jess, Jason and everyone else involved. I will never understand why and how management makes decisions like this. It seems so cold blooded. Maybe budget better to avoid lay offs? Anyway, I truly believe you both will land on your feet soon due to the incredible talent you both bring. Some company or business is going to be incredibly fortunate to have either of you with them. Best wishes! And F.U. management.

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daavpuke

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I am still fuming, downright fuming, at this situation. And the more I let it sit, the more it festers in me.

I can only hope to see Jason and Jess somewhere again soon.

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Broshmosh

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#15  Edited By Broshmosh

This is probably the most tasteful way this could've been handled this week. Thanks ZP.

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wilsown

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I know my stuff is pretty trivial compared to what's happening, but thanks for the list share and for putting this together this week.

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Y2Ken

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#17  Edited By Y2Ken

Appreciate y'all putting this together. @marino and @zombiepie - you do so much for the GB community, and at a difficult time like this I want you to know how much we appreciate it.

@voidburger Bless you for this, and know we'll support you, Jason, and Justin wherever you go from here. Safe travels and keep being awesome! <3

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Nes

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God, this is so upsetting. Here's hoping the best for Jess, Jason, Justin, and everyone else involved!!

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sparky_buzzsaw

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Group hug? Group hug.

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CyrusRaven

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#20  Edited By CyrusRaven

@voidburger: ❤️💙 Good luck out there Jess o7. I've been kinda busy lately so I've only just now started watching your FF7 (og) playthrough with Chip. It's fun!

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Valhallen

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What happened to this site man... not even 10 years ago it was all so exciting still. A shell of a shell of a shell of its former self. Hope everyone laid off bounces back ok.

Oh, and fuck you Fandom you're actual dogshit!

(please delete my account)

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cyberspacecat

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It's such a bummer to see you go, Jess, you were such a nice addition to the site, not to mention Jason who has been a mainstay for so long it's hard to imagine a GB without him.

GB feels so independent that it's hard to think of company wide shakeups affecting the staff, best wishes.

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Smeat

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#24  Edited By Smeat

o7 to jess, Jason, and all the others affected by the recent layoffs. Hope for nothing but the best for their future careers.

If GB ends up getting sold again in the future, hopefully it's to someone who would treat them a lot better than Fandom has so far.

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erelven

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is there anyway we as fans and supporters can help? premium was supposed to be ther armor protecting gb from this type of stuff. is premium not generating enough revenue anymore? im sure this is gonna cause a lot of people to stop subscribing to premium, and honestly i get it. if my money is going to fandoms ceo and not to protecting the jobs of the people who actually run the site then why would anyone continue with premium? How can we prevent this from happening again, how can we help create security for the remaining people? Are we just supposed to sit back and watch the thing we love get destroyed?

ps if yall were to somehow restart independently i would 100 percent subscribe to a premium subscription there instead.

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MaxxCanti

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Holy fuck! Red Ventures and Fandom destroyed this website. This fucking sucks.
Giant Bomb should have stayed indie.
What is the point now?
When are the next layoffs?

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Zelnox

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I just learned about all this today. I feel gutted.