Welcome to Orbytl

It’s hard to say how, exactly, we got here.

Some years ago, an idea was hatched over drinks: What if we spent time sharing the good stuff people create in the gaming space rather than give hits to the trash? It wasn’t exactly a groundbreaking idea–certainly, others were doing it–but our mission became more urgent, more pronounced, as we planned.

We called our vision “changing the discourse”. We sought, with every event, with every message, to change how people talk about gaming media. It meant a change from the inside, led by some of the best and brightest in gaming media. Support emerged and Good Games Writing (GGW) was born.

We’ve had a tumultuous few years, with ups and downs, but we’ve earned a following. We thank you for your support. But as realities shifted and changed around us, it became apparent GGW could not sustain itself off of my labour alone. It became taxing: Death threats rolled in, people became more and more demanding, and the stress of it all piled up. I threw in the towel. – Ev

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Orbytl started back in January as a concept only. We sought the help of GGW to turn our concept into a reality. We wanted to bring several niches under one umbrella–to bring them under one sensible umbrella–and produce writing we’d want to read.

No excuses.

We wanted to cover tech and gaming together. GGW made it happen. We proposed ideas that sounded a lot like Robert Rath’s “Critical Intel” series…GGW supported us, developing that idea into what we call “Intersections”. We wanted to feature competitive gaming–things like high score challenges, speedruns, etc.–with the same seriousness eSports are dealt with. We wanted to talk about play outside, in the classroom, at home, and on table tops. Offline was born out of this.

We came to accept that we were building something that pushes beyond the boundaries of what types of gaming coverage were typically paired with one another. We thought of ourselves as a satellite. The name Orbytl was born out of Star Fox Assault’s Orbital Gate.

And then we got the news telling us GGW was ending its support of projects and perhaps even closing. -Nicole

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It was late when I got the call from Nic. She seemed excited about the prospect of GGW’s closure. (Most were, uh, distraught might be the word?)

Could Orbytl absorb GGW? If Orbytl is a place without boundaries for gaming coverage, couldn’t it also take on gaming media coverage? Announcements about publication hires, expansions, or even closures would make sense. So, too, would sharing the work of the best and brightest.

It all jives, man. GGW doesn’t need to close.

And here we are. -Ev

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Orbytl is an independent games media website mostly made up of a team that has never covered gaming and technology before. We are a collective of teachers, business writers, labourers, academics, students, and otherwise. And we’re here to create the writing we want to read.

Good Games Writing is our parent. We are governed by its vision of “changing the discourse” and will strive to be positive in all we do. We are also its home. While goodgameswriting.com is re-designed to look like Orbytl–increasing its aesthetic appeal, allowing for better search and categorization, and building on its community–all of its work will be found right here. (Thereafter, we will syndicate from GGW, but for the full meal deal, you’ll need to go there.)

We hope you’ll join us in our quest to go beyond boundaries.

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