The Gameological button

Level 1 Complete

You all kicked ass while we had a site of our own. Now it’s time to kick ass at The A.V. Club.

By John Teti • November 18, 2013

After 18 months of operating more or less on our own, today Gameological officially becomes part of The A.V. Club. The Gameological archives will remain here on for a while until they’re transferred over to the new A.V. Club system, but all new material will be published on the mothership from here on out. I’m confident it’s going to be great, and I’m eager to build new projects on this new foundation.

Right now, though, I’d like to honor the amazing community we’ve built over the past year and a half. I hear about it from people all the time. They’ll be talking to me about the various aspects of the site (usually saying nice things), and then when the conversation turns to the discussion threads, they’ll inevitably go sort of cross-eyed, as if they can’t quite believe what they’re about to say: “And the comments—they’re really good, right?” I smile and say, yup, they are, and it wows me, too.

It’s not just about the comments. (After all, the commentariat is just a small portion of the readership.) The emails and tweets you’ve sent to me and the other contributors, the food you’ve sent for The Digest, the art you’ve spontaneously created from silly jokes on the site—I can’t express how much it has all meant to me. There are some pre-Gameological projects I’ve worked on that have faded in my memory somewhat. But the original incarnation of The Gameological Society is one of those indelible life moments that will stay with me and inspire me for a long time yet.

Because the site and its readership are so special to me, this has been a strange transition period. It has been weird to see the site so quiet on Mondays. It’s weird to have watched the A.V. Club redesign behind the scenes and to think about how Gameological will fit into it (still an ongoing conversation, and it will continue to evolve—your feedback is welcome as ever). I bet the changes have been weird for many of you, too.

On a personal level, I’m also adjusting to a new office and new co-workers—and I really like all of that, but it’s still an adjustment. From my point of view, these shifts, both public and personal, are of a piece with each other. When you’re surrounded by change, you inevitably get to know yourself a little better, because your self is the only consistent through-line in the whole thing. As we make the jump to The A.V. Club and contend with all the reconfigurations/rethinking that entails, that through-line is only going to be more important.

That’s why, in recent days, I’ve come to view this Gameological changeover as a sort of “Level 1 complete!” moment. From my admittedly biased point of view, we kicked ass on Level 1. The contributors created a lot of cool stuff, and you built a world-class community. The A.V. Club phase is Level 2. The surroundings and opportunities are going to be different. The audience is bigger at The A.V. Club, and there’s going to be a more direct cross-pollination between games and other art forms. It’s the sort of higher stakes you expect on the next level. But we’re still the same people with the same passion for ideas and the same affections for each other. I’m certain that we can carry all of that forward into Level 2, and perhaps even spread the Gameological spirit around. So let’s keep that spirit going and make Gameological the type of thing where someday, you say, “That’s right, I was there from the beginning.” And people will look at us in awe because we are so cool. Okay, probably not. But we’ll know that it’s cool.

From the bottom of my heart, thank you for everything you’ve done to make this site what it is over the past year and a half, and thank you in advance for the debates, adventures, and high jinks we’ll enjoy in the years to come.

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109 Responses to “Level 1 Complete”

  1. CNightwing says:

    You are already kicking ass in your newswire posts over on AVC, so here’s to the future!

  2. NakedSnake says:

    But I heard that there are giant scorpions on Level 2. I hate scorpions.

    • Sam_Barsanti says:

      Yeah, Level 2 is the Lava World. I hear Level 3 has one of those elevators where you have to fight waves and waves of enemies.

      • NakedSnake says:

        I can deal with Level 3 as long as it’s one of those elevators where it makes a bunch of stops and goons get out on every floor. If it’s one of those elevators where the goons just inexplicably drop down from above, I’m out of here.

      • Xyvir says:

        Aww man, I was hoping for an nearly-endless sloping pyramid edge you gotta slight down, like in Gunstar Heroes.

    • Naked Man Holding A Fudgesicle says:

      I can’t even get to Level 2, for some reason after beating Level 1 I always get the GAME OVER screen.

      ::patiently awaits community member to develop Gameological Classic mod::

    • TreeRol says:

      Based on how the new AV Club layout is working, I’d say Level 2 is a water world.

      • Naked Man Holding A Fudgesicle says:

        It’s like a Bethesda game at launch, you have to wait a few months for them to fix it, and when they don’t you just come to love the horrible mess that it is.

      • Merve says:

        Or a snow world. Or like someone had way too much fun with the Conversion Gel from Portal 2.

    • Newton Gimmick says:

      To me, this feels like leaving Midgar.

      • PaganPoet says:

        Hopefully it’s like leaving Midgar and not like Level 2 of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles NES game. The city dam. Game difficulty spiked by 5000%.

  3. Aurora Boreanaz says:

    Thanks again John, and keep kicking ass on your AVC posts! So far so great!

  4. Fluka says:

    *Sheds a tear as she switches over her RSS feed.*

    Thanks for bringing us this unbelievably awesome site, John. Looking forward to a bright new Gameological future in the New World! (Or is it the Old World? Heck, I’ll follow either way.)

    • CNightwing says:

      If the AV Club was Europe then which colonial region are we?

      • Fluka says:

        I’ll say Canada, given how damn nice everyone is, and given our continued friendly ties with our Mother Country.

      • Naked Man Holding A Fudgesicle says:

        My vote is for Upper Volta, particularly since it too had a name change when the original was far superior. Far superior!

  5. CouchShouts says:

    Congrats, guys! Looking forward to Level 2.

  6. Excel-2014 says:

    Gameological has one of the best commenter communities I’ve ever seen. The comment sections of certain other websites I will not name unless asked are becoming increasingly intolerable, be it for rampant elitism, deviant humor, or general signs that there is no attempt to moderate them. I especially like how the comments here can go cerebral on a good day, unlike those other sites. For these reasons, I actually completely believe the writer’s claims about how great the community is.

    • Porkins
      What does this girl even want? How about we remove women from video games entirely so that all cliches, tropes, and stereotypes are avoided and all overly sensitive idiots won’t have to worry their pretty little heads.

      How about we make video games about a genderless blob sitting in an empty room?! Yeah! No controversy, defining characteristics at all!

    • DL says:

      I’ve been looking for a community like this for a LONG time. In fact, I’ve followed links here before, and didn’t stay because there wasn’t much “news” content. A few weeks ago, I decided to scroll into the comments, and I fell in love instantly.

      Everyone here is intelligent, engaging, and most of all, respectful. I’ve read an argument thread on here that not only delved into paragraphs of exposition on syntax and semantics, but actually ended in both parties agreeing on the misunderstanding and replying with acknowledgement that they enjoyed the discussion. I haven’t seen that since my Internet searches were through Gopher.

      Thanks to everyone for creating a great “society”. I’m looking forward to becoming part of it.

  7. Sam_Barsanti says:

    I’m glad we’re not using a Metroid-style metaphor, as coming back to this site and unlocking new articles with the Ice Beam would’ve been a lot more confusing.

  8. Steve McCoy says:

    The AV Club comments for this are filled with angry tears, so I’m saying it here instead: The new AV Club layout is great and now I have one less thing to miss when Gameological 1.0 goes away. It feels like Gameological, only with the right tweaks to handle the wider variety of content.

    The comments, however… I don’t think the 1.0 quality will survive.

    • Aurora Boreanaz says:

      Thank you. I too think the new layout is pretty decent. I’d like to get back the Notification button on top for new replies to my comments, but honestly I can get that at the top of each page’s comment section anyway.

      But everyone, EVERYONE should pester Disqus to add a “LOAD ALL COMMENTS” button, none of this “load a few and load a few and load a few and load a few” bull$#!+!

      • NakedSnake says:

        Yea, the “load more comments” buttons is one of those subtle barriers to contribution that makes it more like for me to say “don’t you think you’ve commented enough today?” As such, it is an abomination and must be destroyed. Other than that, NuDisqus seems pretty good to me.

      • signsofrain says:

        Somehow related to this is when you click on one of your own comments on your profile Disqus doesn’t reliably get you to the comment anymore. Before it would unpredictably give you some other page of the comments with your comment isolated out-of-context at the top of the screen, but now it seems to just not work at all about 50% of the time.

        • NakedSnake says:

          I hate this too, but I assume (perhaps optimistically), that they will eventually fix it.

        • Merve says:

          Part of the problem is that the new bar at the top of the page covers a portion of the comment, so it often appears like you’re being taken to a comment slightly below your own.

      • GhaleonQ says:

        I will outright bully people to:

        stop downvotes
        load all comments or paginate
        get video game content the same front-page presence as comics, minimum, on The A.V. Club

        I respect the effort the staff puts in to write well and keep up here, so I don’t want to see that go away.

    • Kyle O'Reilly says:

      Eh, we’ll see. I think that Gameological being folded into the back of the site still will keep it from being over run with firsties, cancer-aids and that zodiac feller who loves hot sauce so darn much.

      I mean, it’s not like the people who commented here before are going to start getting productive and stop spending substantial portions of the work day thinking up a clever Mega Man villain name pun.

      • Fyodor Douchetoevsky says:

        You don’t know what my plans are! I’m going to buckle down and work ha- ugh, typing is effort. We better still get Keyboard Geniuses, and I hope we can still be nice to each other and not have to deal with shitty dude like the AVC gets sometimes. Also, I’m ind of curious as to whether or not reviews will have grades again or what. It’s a double edged sword. On the one hand, review grades are dumb, but on the other they attract Johnny Boys from metacritic for me to laugh at.

        • Aurora Boreanaz says:

          I’m a little concerned (posted about it on the last KG column) that none of the prior KGs are listed on the Games page of AVC. I guess they don’t really fit, but it’s still sad.

          Maybe there will be a weekly Best of AVC Comments instead? That would be awesome.

          • John Teti says:

            The listings you see in the Games section on AVC right now are basically an artifact of the method we used to cross-promote Gameological content on The A.V. Club. (In short: we’d create dummy AVC articles that simply redirected folks to So the content mix you see on the Gameological page over at AVC right now isn’t indicative of anything but the fact that those articles happen to be the ones that were promoted on the AVC front page in the past.

            Keyboard Geniuses will continue to be a part of Gameological at the very least—and I’ll certainly consider expanding it once all the dust is settled from the redesign/Gameological transition/associated madness.

          • Aurora Boreanaz says:

            Good to hear! There are usually a few posts per week on AV Club’s comments that deserve a special mention.

            Y’know, like this one: *winks*


      • Sarapen says:

        Firsties seem to have died out across the Internet. Somehow it feel of fashion. And ZMF seems to mostly be on his Twitter now, I haven’t seen him on the site in possibly years.

  9. PhilWal0 says:

    Does this mean that “getting used to the new AV Club layout” is the Boss of Level One?

    • Spacemonkey Mafia says:

      No, the guy who walks really slowly back and forth across the screen swinging a big club, while a bird swoops down back and forth is the first level boss.
      The site redesign is just the disappearing block platforms you have to navigate to get there.

  10. Spacemonkey Mafia says:

    But here I was a respected doctor! I’ll be lucky to find a third shift janitorial position at A.V. Club.

  11. caspiancomic says:

    Aw shucks, yer welcome there bud. You didn’t do too badly yourself there Johnny Boy, don’t let us hog all the credit! I’ll definitely be following the site and its content to the AVC (I’ve already started trying to increase my presence over there in preparation for this moment), and I look forward to your tenure as the HBIC over there. I’m sure you’ll be able to elevate the already towering AV Club to the same heights you accomplished here with Gameological. I look forward to seeing all you folks back at the mother ship.

    And Matt Gerardi, wherever you are, I look forward to seeing how Gameological evolves and grows under your direct leadership. I’m keen to see the increased emphasis on long-form writing we were promised back when these changes began, and I know the quality of the content will remain at all-time highs during and after this transition. (Oh, and if you or John are ever keen to take on any more content producers? I’d love to pitch a couple of articles. No pressure, just you know, keep me in mind if you ever decide to expand.)

    Godspeed Gameladians. See you back home.

  12. signsofrain says:

    I’m really going to miss this site… not just because I think the quality of the comments is going to be diluted (and it will be) but also because frankly I think the AV Club’s new design is kind of… not so good.

    I dunno, I know a ’tiled’ look is the new ‘in’ thing, but it just reminds me of Windows 8, which is a steaming turd so there’s just this association in my mind between tiles and suckiness.

    I suppose I’m just getting older so change is less welcome, and I’m getting more bitter and cranky. I suppose I’ll get used to it… I’ll just need to complain for awhile first.

    • Spacemonkey Mafia says:

      That’s interesting, because I saw the new AV Club layout and felt fairly indifferent about it other than a “Huh. That’s nice.” And chalked it up to getting older and caring less about these things.
      But I agree with you about the first part. My own worst instinct on AV Club is to try and rush in with some pithy witticism that’ll be noticed before the throng arrives. Here there was some room to breathe, and god forbid, be sincere.

      • signsofrain says:

        Yeah, I’m going to miss my comments occasionally getting actual replies. I mean, I’ll quote The Simpsons ’till the cows come home but that doesn’t make for great threads :|

        I guess, aside from getting older and crankier, I’m also just not a big fan of fancy web design. Among other things I do web programming in my job, and as a programmer I favor the kind of brutally simple design that designers hate. The old design was busy, but at least it was information-dense. The new design is still busy, but the information is a lot more sparse.

        • Spacemonkey Mafia says:

          Heh. I’m an intermittent web designer and had many arguments with a former programmer co-worker about the actual value of “things looking nice”.

          • signsofrain says:

            One of the things that keeps me in the “brutally functional” camp is how unreliable CSS is. You tweak your website that behind the scenes is just a bunch of unordered lists into some kind of navigation shangri-la where everything fades, slides, and pops, and then you have to have a million little hacks so that you get approximately the same result on 10 different browser versions, and even after all that work some non-technical manager type person will get it into his head that he wants this or that to be “Like Facebook” or “Like Amazon” and in those moments you wish with all your heart that you’d gotten a BS instead of teaching yourself to program so that you too could be a highly-paid incompetent making unreasonable demands.

          • Spacemonkey Mafia says:

            I’m sure if I was responsible for programming, I’d have much more ascetic tastes. Cross-browser optimization is the worst. Especially if the client still insists on factoring in IE 6.

        • Carlton_Hungus says:

          Eh, I feel like the AV Club (like most other websites) have gone through so many redesigns since I’ve been reading them that I know how it goes. After the change everyone hates it, threatens to leave, and hoots ‘n’ hollers. After a week it’s just business as normal.

  13. NakedSnake says:

    Wait a minute. The banner ad for this article is “GET BIGGER BREASTS (C-cup in weeeeks)”. It’s not quite in line with the advertisements one has come to expect from GLOG. Is this an indication: (1) Of what is to come? (2) The fact that the gates have opened in Gameological and the barbarians are already inside? or (3) That I need to upgrade my flash/shockwave driver?

    On a serious note, I have adopted a philosophy of Trust in John/Matt/Everyone. It’s been great so far, so I trust it will be great going forward. I have one suggestion: keep the articles posting at regular times. As someone who doesn’t work near a desk but likes to join the conversation at a time vaguely proximate to when it is happening, I always appreciated that the articles pretty much posted at midnight, noon, and 3 pm (EST). The consistency makes it easier to take part. Also: some kind of meagre linkbait on Monday?

    • Sarapen says:

      You’re surfing without an adblocker?

      • duwease says:

        Hey, it’s how the people who build the stuff I like get paid. The stuff I like tends to die an early death anyway, so I’m alright with a mild inconvenience in order to support it when it’s alive.

      • Merve says:

        I’ve whitelisted Onion Media sites because their ads are unobtrusive, and I don’t mind sending a few cents their way in the form of ad clicks. But if the ads ever start flashing or making sounds or creating pop-ups, I reserve the right to say, “Fuck this shit” and just block everything.

  14. Kyle O'Reilly says:

    I’m glad that the AV Club no longer looks like AOL 97 and so when I read my ‘sophisticated’ gaming articles I won’t have to be embarrassed by their Gateway to Geekery on 1970’s Bosnian Polka Fusion. “Where to start: The 1973 Cross Over hit, Brčko Busters Last Waltz.”

    Also, did anybody else have to look up the meaning of indelible or am I just dumb? At first I thought he said inedible and it was some sort of Digest pun…

    • signsofrain says:

      Lacking vocabulary doesn’t make you dumb, although it might mean you’re not very well read ;)

  15. pstaylor says:

    Gameological has some of the best video game writing out there, so whatever you can do to increase readership while keeping your editorial standards high is ok by me. Plus, wasn’t Teti the AV Club’s game reviewer pre-gameological?

    • Roswulf says:

      Yes, Gameological is a spin-off of the AVClub’s game coverage that is now being reabsorbed into the mothership, likely in great part because Teti himself is moving into an AVClub leadership position.

      • Aurora Boreanaz says:

        “Update: I may or may not be in AV Club.”

        “Update #2: I may or may not be the leader of said Club.”

  16. Sarapen says:

    Farewell and adieu to you sweet Spanish ladies,
    Farewell and adieu to you sweet ladies of Spain…

    I don’t actually know what this song sounds like, I only know of it from the British translation of Asterix comics. But goodbye and see you in the car.

    • Zack Handlen says:

      You, sir, are a person who needs to watch Jaws. (Robert Shaw sings a bit of it.)(Also, it’s just a great movie.)

      Congrats on a fantastic site, everyone, and I look forward to whatever the future holds, unless it’s spiders, because I do not care for spiders.

  17. George_Liquor says:

    Good night, sweet Gameological. And flights of quarters sing the to thy rest.

  18. stakkalee says:

    Wait, I’m not ready for Level 2! How do I block the Snark Attack? I thought plaid jackets gave +3 action points!? Are Kotaku-trolls vulnerable to fire, or only Erudition? Oh jeez oh man, does anyone need a cleric on their party?

    • NakedSnake says:

      I didn’t comment on this earlier because I wanted it to be the last thing posted on GLOG. Sadly, perfection has slipped away.

  19. edincoat says:

    Congrats! I’m sad, but selfishly so.

  20. dmikester says:

    Awww, now it’s really official! Thanks John and everyone here for making it comfortable and intelligent enough for me to actually want to comment on a regular basis somewhere. Kudos to everyone, and here’s to Level 2!

  21. Girard says:

    It just got dusty in here… We love you, too, Johnny-Boy.

  22. snazzlenuts says:

    I wonder if they are going to the arbitrary grading system or are they keeping with the straight-up reviews?

    • Matt Gerardi says:

      We won’t be adding scores to our reviews.

      • Spacemonkey Mafia says:

        You can’t see this, but I’m tossing a little bag of confetti up into the air due to this news.
        The confetti is made from a shredded The Immortal instruction booklet and the skin flakes from a bout of eczema I incurred from a marathon Final Fantasy Mystic Quest session.

        • Merve says:

          Until I read this comment, I didn’t even know that Final Fantasy Mystic Quest was a thing.

        • Dora_The_Explorer_Game says:

          Oh man, the Immortal, that takes me back. Got that game for Genesis when I was 12 or so, never could figure out what I was supposed to do. At the time I thought it must be the best game ever and I must just be too dense for it.
          I recently picked up my Genesis in my mother’s basement, and it still had the Immortal cart in it – I kept trying to play this game periodically for at least two years, never beating the first level.

          Instead of making confetti with the instruction booklet, you could have given it to me: I think it had a walkthrough for the first few levels, so that might have helped… except my older brother took it away from me, then lost it (probably inside a plastic bag that ended up in the Atlantic Ocean, though I never knew for sure and expected for years that it would show up somewhere in the chaos that he called his bedroom).
          OK, clearly this post shows I still have issues with this game – time to plug that Genesis into my videoprojector and beat this game at last. Wish me luck.

      • snazzlenuts says:

        Good! I think the AV Club should remove all letter grades from their reviews. It would probably remove 90% of the vitriol (including mine) from the comment section.

  23. His_Space_Holiness says:

    Well, I guess this’ll be the last time I use this handle, since I only created it because I couldn’t use The Space Pope here for some Disqus-y reason. Well, I’ve been an AV Club fixture since before there even was a comment section, and I’m not quitting now! See you on the other side, my flock! Space blessings on you all!

  24. So, if this site is about to die…oh, quick! (punches invisible space in midair, from which emerges a green mushroom) Catch the 1UP!

    While you’re scampering after that, thank you, John, the writers, and the commenters, for renewing my faith in what’s worth discussing and what can be discussed about games. You’ve all gained immensely in your abilities over the past 18 months, and it’s been a real treat to witness it. Make sure you spend your earned skill points in all the appropriate categories.

  25. Spencer Greenfield says:


  26. Merve says:

    Good night, Gameological. It’s been a pleasure commenting on ya.

  27. doyourealize says:

    I think maybe I’ve taken it for granted how singularly remarkable the community has been here. Your comment about how people go “cross-eyed” when conversation turns to the comments section points out not just that it was thoughtful and welcoming, but also how rarely you can say that about a comments section.
    See you over a corporate…and there’s always the Steam Group.

  28. ZTO says:

    I tend to lurk on these articles and only really post on the What Are You Playing articles about my Pokemon obsession, but my one, hopefully helpful comment, about the new site is I have a lot of trouble reading the article names over the pictures. The monotone white text seems to get lost in the light spots of the pictures. Perhaps this is more something I should raise on the AVC mothership, but the comments on that thread are all too “Ahhh! Change! My only weakness!” for any kind of genuine comments to stand out. Otherwise everything seems to be going smooth!

  29. boardgameguy says:

    It’s been grand. Thanks again, John, et. al.

  30. Spacemonkey Mafia says:

    Well, now that everyone’s gone and no one’s coming back… Damn. I’m really, really going to miss this place.
    Gameological, you were the best video game site there ever was, possibly the best a games site can be.

  31. aklab says:

    Whew, it’s been a busy few weeks at work! Finally ready to come out of my lurk cave and comment again!

    …hey, where’d everybody go?

  32. Xyvir says:

    This is the way Gameological will end. Not with a bang but a whimper.

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