Polygon Features will kick your ass


I'm the Features Editor for Polygon (formerly Vox Games). That means all of the great long-form content you've seen and will continue to see comes through my desk in some way, and it has been the highest honor of my career to work with the fantastic writers who have created this website. They are some of the most talented journalists in the industry, and their capabilities awe me.

The rest of the Polygon feature writers and I (and our new Features Deputy Matt Leone) have been doing a lot of leg work to make sure that the stories we tell and the layouts we present them in will be the best in the business, and I'm proud of what we've accomplished so far.

Trust me though: There is way more to come.

This week at PAX East in Boston, we had an opportunity to present our new name (Polygon) and tell the audience a bit about what we planned to do with our content. Brian, Arthur and I were each asked to talk about our goals for News, Reviews and Features, respectively.

For my part, I took advantage of the opportunity to defy expectations and give the shortest presentation I have ever delivered. It consisted entirely of the 20 second video embedded below.

While the sentiment described in this video is entirely true, it doesn't tell you much about exactly what we plan to do, and how. In order to bridge that gap, I've decided to post here the first draft of my PAX presentation, a short explanation of what makes a good story.

Please enjoy.


There's something about a good story.

You see some of yourself in some of its characters. You can relate to their fears, their hopes, their strengths and weaknesses. Their dreams. Their triumphs become your triumphs. Their failures resonate.

A good story doesn't have to be about you for it to have meaning for you. It doesn't have to be about what interests you for it to be interesting to you.

A good story lasts. It sticks with you. Stories written 100 years ago, by people living in a time as far removed from your own as the notion of the telegraph is from wifi, are just as relevant today.

A good story educates and entertains. You feel smarter after reading it. It will remind you of something you knew before, but forgot. Or it will teach you a little about something you never considered. It will make you laugh a little, or cry a little, or simply feel as if the little time you spent reading it was a worthwhile investment.

A good story will open a door to something new, or a new way of looking at something you thought was familiar. It will, in the best of cases, change the way you see yourself, or see your place in the world.

A good story doesn't do this by force. It doesn't do this by rote repetition. It doesn't do this by telling you what to think. A good story doesn't work because it's tricked you into believing something you otherwise wouldn't believe. It works because it has encouraged you to opening your mind to a new idea, or thought or point of view. A good story works because it encourages you to care about something you might not have realized had meaning.

A good story may not change the world, but it can change you.

At Polygon, Features are about stories, and stories are about people. People like you.

We believe that there are stories that haven't yet been told. True stories about the way videogames intersect with our lives, and the way that those who make them, or play them, affect the world in which you live.

Our plan is to hire the best people writing today — not just in games media, but in all media — and give them the tools and the encouragement they need to tell you their stories. And we'll be building technology specifically designed to curate those stories on the web, mobile digital platforms and wherever else it is you decide you want to read them.

We love a good story, and we think you do, too. Our hope is that you will want to read the stories we want to tell and that you will tell us the stories you want to read.

We've already gotten a good head start on finding and telling some interesting stories about our shared gaming passion. There are plenty more. We know you are hungry for them, and the people whose stories we would be telling are also hungry to have them told. They've been reaching out to us in droves, stopping us at events and opening doors for us that, for some time, have been closed.

Things are changing.

I believe that the work we will be doing at Polygon in the coming months will be the most exciting of my career. That's why I'm here. But what's fascinating and thrilling to me is that those of you in the audience, and those in the games industry are just as excited about it.

I expect great stories will be appearing in our pages in the future, and I hope you will bear with us while we take our time lovingly crafting them.


Russ Pitts, Features Editor and co-founder of Polygon