Maddy Myers, deputy editor and undercover Samus clone, has wrangled her last blog and now prepares to take up a new position as weekend host for Here’s the Deal.
As is tradition, we will now say mean things about her, only it’s hard, so we mostly said nice things. Who cares if she’s disappointed about that because she’s leaving us now and can eat shit.
I’m deeply sorry to see Maddy go, and am humbled to have worked with such a talented ahhhh damn wait we’re supposed to say something mean. Uhhhh......EAT SHIT.
I’ll miss our conversations about this wild and messed up industry, and I can’t wait to see the spectacular career you create for yourself in the field of updating spreadsheets for disorganized white men. I will not miss the neck cramp I get from looking down every time we walk more than five feet together. I’m keeping this roast short in your honor.
I’m sure you’ll kill it at your new job teaching Chozo martial arts to disenfranchised youth. Just don’t break a hip.
Maddy is really good at her job, whether that job is writing good writing, turning someone else’s bad writing into good writing, saying interesting things into a microphone, or, you know, making a concept album about Metroid. One time on our podcast I spent like 30 minutes subjecting her to bad gamer jokes I found on the internet and she was remarkably cool about it. She’s also the reason I finally played a Kirby game (sorry Stephen), and thus the reason I finally faced the horrifying implications of Kirby’s powers. Maddy: I’m glad I got to work with you at Kotaku, even if I never got you to share my appreciation for sad dad games. I’ll always cherish the times we both agreed that Jason was wrong about something.
While I do not endorse or approve mullets in everyday life, we must take a moment to consider the ways they, arguably, improve the lives of the wearer. Take, for example, Exhibit A: one of my favorite X-Men, Longshot.
[gestures to slide]
Longshot’s most notable mutant power* is “probability manipulation,” this means he is supernaturally lucky. This luck can be good or bad, but it generally depends on his outlook and intent. This gift, in addition to those given to him as a result of his unusual birth, make him a dashing and reckless rogue.
*Is Longshot a mutant? Some would say that as a genetically engineered life-form created in the alternate-reality game show land of Mojoworld, he is not. To them I would say: Wow, who made you comic book Rush Limbaugh?
This recklessness being the exact sort of thing that is only enhanced by a mullet.
...wait, what’s that? Maddy’s leaving Kotaku? Ohhhhh...I thought you said Maddy’s needing a TED talk. How embarrassing. This site has a strange name. Why couldn’t you fix that while you were here, Maddy you fixed so many things (no really. So many. ) Oh well. Have fun....wherever it is you’re going. Hope you survive the experience!
Maddy and I were the first two members of Compete, there right from day one. And despite never meeting or even talking to each other prior, it wasn’t long until a sort-of camaraderie formed. Most of the early days consisted of pitching stories and then piping back in for edits, hoping somebody remembered we did, in fact, have an esports site. I dropped a lot of memes in our DMs throughout that time.
I’d love to roast Maddy for something, other than her choice of main in Blanka, but it’s hard to. Maddy was—is—an excellent editor, colleague, and Slack pal. While I’m certain she’s moving on to bigger, better things after jettisoning out of here, her ability to find angles and unique ways of looking at things will always be what strikes me. Maddy takes gamer drugs to see what happens. She’s the reporter that doggedly hunts for the man or machine that runs the circle at the Overwatch League. It’s an angle that no one else cares for, or maybe they overlook it because of the shiny lights and loud music, but Maddy sees a story.
GG Maddy, hope you still hate-enjoy your gaming chair.
I love Maddy Myers with all my heart and also will never forgive her for trapping me in the media industry. The story of how she got me into journalism is a lot less fun than the story of our first meeting though. She was cosplaying Dark Phoenix for a cosplay dating game at our local rinky dink anime and comics convention. You have not lived until you have seen Maddy say, “Do you like action movies?” in character as Dark Phoenix. Despite all this, she intimidated the shit out of me.
As a writer for The Phoenix—yes, she cosplayed as the Phoenix and worked at The Phoenix in Boston—she always seemed impossibly smart and eager, the very definition of a girl friday. She always seemed to be one step ahead of everyone else, seeing the trends that no one else saw. She called for the end of the term “male gaze” in video game criticism in the year of our lord 2014, your fave could never.
If I’ve painted a picture of an annoying know it all, well, no comment. It is a little annoying to be friends with someone who is right literally all of the time. But it also means that I trust Maddy more than anyone else in the entire world. She’s the person you want in your corner when the chips are down, because she will always tell you, truthfully, that you can do it. I’ve never had a better friend than Maddy. I know you’re reading this, so next time you’re in town from Boston, let’s get dinner together so I can tell you to eat shit.
The scariest part of editing Maddy was probably going to Roth or Jason and asking if they agreed that the 3,000 words she just filed were perfect and could run unedited. The second scariest part was probably waiting days or weeks after a deadline to get them, a genuinely white-knuckle experience that had me fearing she had given up on writing entirely nearly every time. I’m glad she’s sticking with it for the benefit of readers everywhere, and the benevolence of unnamed corporate hacks who are so bloodless that let’s just say they make Jim Spanfeller look like Jordan Belfort. Also this is meaner than the normal Kotaku roast, but Maddy is meaner than the normal Kotaku employee.
Peace to one of the coolest people I’ve met during my short games media tenure. Maddy’s easily in the top 20. It’s a shame she’s leaving to start up a YouTube channel dedicated to making citypop songs about Samus, but whatever makes you happy I guess. I’ve got a few questionable under-the-influence YouTube subscriptions so what’s another to add to the list?
Thanks for always letting me bug you with the thousand questions I’ve had during your time as managing editor and always lying to me and telling me my headlines were great only to get ripped apart by the other editors. You a real one. You let me believe in myself only to watch me get roasted and booed off stage.
Seriously though, seeing you work remote, in the office, or the times we talked during E3 gave me the chance to learn so much from you. Like whatever the hell “pocket healing” means and how to get destroyed by Sonicfox in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. I will frame my Compete shirt and maybe get around to finally playing Super Metroid in your honor. I’ll see ya around, Maddy.
Something weird happens to you when you start blogging full-time. Caught in the ebb and flow of online content the days, months, and years begin to merge together as your brain soaks up everything from the important to the idiotic to the completely meaningless. First you forget that somebody already wrote a thing. Later you forget that that somebody was you. You may even begin to forget that you wrote anything at all outside of whatever was published the day before. For a time I relied on Slack logs to remind me of what came before. Sometime last year even those records started auto-deleting after 90 days.
I blame this blogger’s brain for why I can’t remember more of what it was like when Maddy first joined Kotaku back in February 2017. And for why I can’t remember more of what it was like after Compete—one of the only esports blogs ever worth a damn—was unceremoniously shuttered in June 2018 and Maddy became an editor at Kotaku proper. I’m not even sure when I first started to consider her a good friend.
Instead it feels like she has always been the brave, generous and unflinching cornerstone of a site which has been under siege long before she even got here. The person whose penchant for leading meetings with “I guess we really don’t need to be here” belied a thorough and polished no-bullshit calculus which she deployed judiciously, and often behind the scenes, like when she would tell me a heavily edited post was “perfect.”
Feeling as though she has always been Kotaku’s deputy editor and has always been livening up the Slack with a well deployed “heh,” it’s even harder to imagine that after today she won’t be. She’ll be somewhere else making some other site great and from time to time gracing their page with a magnificent post of her own that reminds you why people started reading blogs in the first place. Not just this job, but the internet as a whole, and the rich goons intent on trying to run it, have a way of making us all forget. This time I’ll try not to.
Most people know that Maddy is a brilliant, hilarious writer and podcaster. What they don’t know is that she’s also very good at managing and conflict-solving, and that I’ll be forever grateful for all the advice she’s given me over the years. What they *also* don’t know is that she’s secretly a mutant.
See, Maddy’s favorite comic book series is the X-Men, and she was born with her own special mutant power: the ability to interrupt anyone at any time. No matter what you’re saying, she can find a way to interrupt it. Whether you’re trying to explain the plot of a video game or telling a tragic story about your dead dog, Maddy will find a way to interject before you’ve finished talking. It’s an extremely impressive ability and I look forward to helping her hone it on Triple Click, at least until Professor X ships her off to boarding school.
My first memory of Maddy was the day she started at Compete (RIP) and kept getting email addresses with her name spelled wrong, necessitating me spending several hours messaging IT to inform them, no, there weren’t two “E”s in Myers, or any “T”s in Maddy, until I felt terrible for everyone involved and also really wanted to move on with my life. Since then, she’s had more jobs than I even knew existed at one website, and she’s kicked ass at all of them, even through more drama than I knew could exist at one company.
I’ll always be grateful that, as my editor and boss, she made space for me to have nuanced perspectives on queer and trans issues in a field that doesn’t always feel like it wants them—I had someone who could tell me I was wrong, or would encourage me not to simplify complicated ideas. She was always down for a flurry of DMs, with smart thoughts on whatever crisis I had decided was my breaking point that day.
While I’m excited for her new career running the Blizzard Arena’s light circle, I’ll miss her steady presence and sense of humor. The site feels lonelier now, in a company that feels lonelier every day. Unfortunately I have her phone number, so this probably won’t be the last of me sending her messages that start with “OH MY GOD SO—” but it won’t be the same.
Maddy conducted the second of two phone interviews I endured when applying to Kotaku. Between my deep-seated aversion to human vocalizations and her writing being a major reason I was excited to be here in the first place, I was quite a bundle of nerves.
But darn if she wasn’t the most gracious, supportive, kind interviewer imaginable, instantly putting me at (what I try to pass off as) ease. Between that grace and the brevity of our acquaintance I’d feel bad repeating the traditional editorial farewell epithet, so instead, Maddy, let me just suggest that you should feel free, at your leisure, to dine on various tiny servings—pasteurization would be wise imo, and definitely check the best-by dates—of vile feculence.
So yeah, take that. Roasted. Fuckin’ owned. (I am so sorry.)
In March of 2018, I was rushed to a local hospital to undergo a life-saving surgical procedure. I spent several weeks in a medically-induced coma and several months recovering in various medical facilities. When I finally came home in July of that year, joint Kotaku/Deadspin esports venture Compete had folded, and Compete writer Maddy Myers was suddenly a person in charge of making sure I write good. That’s why I will always associate Maddy with a near-fatal aortic dissection that left me paralyzed from the chest down.
Can I tell you all a secret? I am a huge fan of Maddy Myers’ podcasts. Not Splitscreen, or whatever the new one she’s doing with fellow Kotaku betrayers Jason Schreier and Kirk Hamilton is—I think it’s “Three Monsters Who Abandoned Fahey Talk About Games.” I’m talking about Mutant Ages and the classic Let’s Watch Two Movies. I love listening to Maddy and friends talk about Marvel Comics and movies until I fall asleep, generally five or six minutes in. And that theme song to the Mutant Ages podcast is so catchy, it’s all I hear whenever Maddy talks to me. It makes her editing my posts weird. Well, it did.
Maddy has at least three keyboards (the musical kind), which seems like two keyboards too many. I see them every time we have a staff meeting. I know she’s, like, a big shot musician and everything, but damn.
Now that that’s out of the way, I think I get to say something nice about Maddy? That’s how this works? Is this thing on? No one is answering me so I guess I can do whatever I want.
For a long time, Maddy was my sole link to Kotaku. She handled most of my freelance stories, usually telling me to cut out superfluous profanity and to stop talking shit about Super Smash Bros. players. Her edits were meticulous but warranted. With every story, Maddy taught me something new about writing. She’s the best journalism teacher I’ve ever had because, well, she’s the only one I’ve ever had. And she never held that against me.
The worst thing about having Maddy as an editor is that I didn’t get to read her writing as often. But even without regular bylines, I feel like she left her mark on everything she touched during her time at Kotaku. She allows writers to be themselves, refining them into better versions of themselves. I never felt like my voice was lost in the editing process when Maddy was the person holding the red pen.
I joined Kotaku in a tumultuous time, but didn’t hesitate for a second when the opportunity presented itself because I knew Maddy would always have my back.
When Maddy interviewed me for this job, a whole four days ago, she asked me point-blank if I could “hack it.” To date, it’s the most refreshingly honest question I’ve ever been asked in a job interview, and I felt right at ease. That’s just Maddy’s upgraded skill tree: razor-sharp editor, level-headed leader, and person who can make anyone feel comfortable in any situation at any time. With one off-handed question, I knew that I not only wanted to work with Maddy but work with her for a long, long while.
Well then! So much for that!
Truth be told, I’m not sure if roasting Maddy—even though it seems like a thing she’d get a kick out of—is in my capacity because:
- A) I haven’t known her quite long enough to thread that wink-and-nod line.
- B) She’s still, as of this writing, technically my boss.
- C) She has a cat. I couldn’t do that to Warren. He’s an angel.
- D) She’s never been anything short of terrific to work with: kind, attentive, helpful, patient, supportive, and ah fuck it eat sh*t Maddy.
Maddy was super cool. Was. When she worked at Kotaku. Now she’s just cool and will have to come to terms with that.
I could probably think of something pithy to say but the truth of the matter is that Maddy is one of the hardest working people I’ve ever met, and she has put up with some of the toughest bullshit. She’s one of the survivors of Compete, our esports section that was Very Good Actually and if the internet ever wants to suggest otherwise they can catch these hands. Maddy’s contributions there, and really anywhere she’s gone, is to treat things seriously. To give them the attention and the respect they deserve. That means challenging those things from time to time and few people (if any) do that better than Maddy Myers.
I will admit now that I’ve listened to her X-Men podcast The Mutant Ages more than I ever listened to Splitscreen. It’s not your fault; Kirk was probably talking about his saxophone too much or being insufferably nice or whatever. Jason was cancelling all my favorite games too. But! I mention this because I want to make it clear that Maddy does All The Things. She invigorated one of the most popular podcasts among our sites, she wrote good work, and she was a fantastic editor. My last Metal Gear Retrospective was, like, over 12,000 words and she didn’t murder me in a fit of frustration. Because Maddy does the work, all the work and does it well.
Still: fuck you. Are you serious? You inveterate coward, how dare you? What was it about The Heartbeat of Next that wasn’t working out? We have cold brew in the office. I don’t give a shit if you were miles away. We have cold brew and sometimes there are tacos or whatever. No other place will offer you these luxuries and no other place will offer you all the sudden excitement of G/O Goddamn Media. I’m sure that Vice or Vox or whoever the fuck only has granola bars and stability. You could have stayed here and Lived Más. I will never forgive you and neither will God.
I just started working full-time at Kotaku yesterday and Maddy is leaving the site now. Coincidence? I think not. I guess if Kotaku will hire someone like me, the site is truly a lost cause. So Maddy leaves us to find a new home for her talents. But I’ll miss her. Before I started working here full-time, I spent a long time freelancing here. Maddy was always helpful and cool. She was the queen of time slots, deciding when my posts would go up. Sometimes I’d ask her for a slot and would receive an hour that worked. Other times I would get some awful time and yet, that was the slot. I was happy with it. I also worked with her to get time off from this job. So thank you for years of service Maddy, the Calendar Man of Kotaku.
Maddy Myers is very powerful. She is a trained boxer. I do not want her to punch me. Also, she has a great voice. That one’s not easily weaponized, but who knows. Because Maddy Myers is low-key scary, and her name also sounds like a supervillain’s, in roasting Maddy Myers, I will only point out statements of fact. One time, Maddy Myers, SonicFox and I played Super Smash Bros. together. Maybe she got one kill. She once spent a significant amount of time in a sweaty esports house with people named Joemeister and Hard. She cares about frame data. Also, she nearly got me blacklisted from an Overwatch League event. (It was a mistake! Kisses, Blizzard!).
More facts: Maddy Myers is brave, incisive and committed to justice-minded games coverage, and if even half the credit due to her was awarded, she would be the president of games journalism. She is an empathetic boss and a devoted advocate for more inclusive gaming and esports communities. She’s a sharp reporter and a patient editor. Also, she’s right about tier lists. They’re full of shit.
Oh no. We are doing one of those farewell roasts again. That’s bad enough. But I’m wracking my brain and not finding much to needle Maddy about. Well, I guess there’s the Metroid obsession, though I plead guilty to that one, too. There’s the time she and Nathan nearly got Kotaku banned from the Overwatch arena because they livestreamed a little too hard (but, hey, you’re not doing your job at Kotaku right if I haven’t fielded at least one angry call from a PR person about you!).
There’s the fact that she’s my fourth deputy in nine years (Wait. That’s a self-roast, right?). Hmm. Well there was that time at the Deadspin awards when she... oh, she put those t-sports jerks in their place. Fine, Maddy. You certainly were cut out for Kotaku. And for Deadspin. Maddy forever.
Years before I ever worked with Maddy at Kotaku, I interviewed her about a game she made with a friend, fellow reporter Samantha Allen, at a game convention. I don’t remember much about the interview (sorry, Maddy) or the game (sorry, Maddy) or the convention (sorry, I wanna say... GDC?), but I do remember making a point of seeking out Maddy and Samantha while they were waiting in line for something and probably annoying the heck out them.
It was the first of many times I would annoy the heck out of Maddy. An auspicious beginning.
During her tenure as an editor at Kotaku, Maddy was always the person who’d ask me “Nathan, are you making this more complicated than it needs to be?” or “Nathan, does this really need to be 4,000 words long?” Like clockwork, I would then produce a 4,000-word draft, at least 3,000 words of which were nonsense dump truck spillage from whatever metal-twisting wreck my brain got into that day. Over time, I think Maddy came to expect this of me—perhaps to her slight chagrin—but she never stopped asking. In part, I believe this is because she wanted my pieces to be better and to save herself the trouble of using the jaws of life to cut usable bits out of the aforementioned brain wrecks. But I also took her line of questioning to mean “Are you making this too hard on yourself?” In other words, was I putting myself through the ringer for no good reason? Was I pouring endless hours into something that didn’t require so much of me? Was I overworking?
Despite many ups and downs over the course of her time at Kotaku, Maddy never stopped giving a shit. She cared about the site and, especially, the people who worked there. As deputy editor, she moved heaven and earth to bring more positivity and consideration to the way we treated each other internally, and while nothing can ever be perfect, we’re all much better off now than we were when she first arrived. She did a lot of invisible work that hardly anyone—especially not readers—ever directly saw, but she nonetheless deserves all the appreciation in the world for it.
That’s to say nothing of her more visible career trajectory, which is bonkers. She went from briefly losing her job after Compete’s untimely demise (RIP, no number of Fs in chat will ever be enough) to getting promoted, like, eight times in the span of several seconds—until she was second in command. Who just waltzes in and does that? Maddy Myers, apparently. Accept no substitutes.
Then there’s her body of written work, which is unimpeachable. It’s full of smart, bold takes like “No, Master Chief’s Suit Does Not Jerk Him Off” and “If These Esports Fans Aren’t Giving Each Other Handjobs, They’re Very Good Actors,” as well as some less-important stuff like groundbreaking reporting on esports that remains heartbreakingly underappreciated to this day, a gamer drug-fueled odyssey to the heart of the universe, and a transcendent piece about the cost of being a woman who covers games. Maddy lived multiple lives at Kotaku, and she excelled in each one.
This is a crappy roast, because I apparently only have nice things to say. Alright, give me a sec to think of something mean. Ah, here we go: There was that time we covered the debut of Overwatch League together and pissed off Blizzard. Though, to be fair, it was all a giant misunderstanding, and it wouldn’t have happened in the first place if I hadn’t insisted on doing a stream from the arena lobby. But Maddy should have known better than to agree to make dumb jokes with me on camera. That never ends well. So in hindsight, I blame her for something for which she was completely blameless. Also, this roast? Much longer than it needed to be, thus demonstrating that I have learned nothing during all these years under Maddy’s watch. Eat shit, Maddy. You are the best. May you never die.
Here is a lesson that Maddy Myers taught me: Video Games are not for FUN, they are for WINNING and competitive DOMINATION. It is okay to EAT DRUGS as long as they WORK. I consider her a coach of sorts.
Even though she’s from Boston, Maddy was a real one, and Compete deserved better than the cruel fate it was given. Speaking of whi-[is yanked offstage by a comically oversized cane].
One of the weird things about working at Gawker/Gizmodo/Whatever-the-fuck Media is how much time you spend admiring people from afar. You can feel that admiration for people who work at various sites within the network—people you might chat with at work events but whom you mostly know as a byline—and given the amount of remote work that gets done at this place, you can also feel it about people who work at your own damn site. I’ve talked to Maddy in person maybe two or three times, and I think I only ever lightly edited a few of the stories she wrote while at Compete.
I don’t really know Maddy that well, but I have always admired the hell out of her. Trying to sell an Esports collaboration between Kotaku and Deadspin to advertisers is one thing, but trying to create something that would be compelling to both sites’ persnickety audiences involved a far more difficult tightrope walk. Maddy and her colleagues at Compete walked that rope like the seasoned pros they are. She never wrote a bad story for Compete. Never! They were all bangers, because she understood Deadspin and Kotaku’s mission and sensibilities as well as anyone who has ever worked for either site. Maddy will kick ass wherever she goes next. Hopefully it’s a place where talent like hers is prized and elevated. She deserves no less.
Update - 5:34 p.m.: An earlier version of this post was missing the “I love you bitch I ain’t never gonna stop loving you bitch” Vine. It has been added.