Farewell to Toronto Thumbs
Reflections
Dana Russo

By Dana Russo - March 24th, 2015

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Dana has been a part of the site for quite some time. I have always enjoyed reading her writing, and fighting over my excessive; use; of; semi-colons. Though you might not always see her work regularly published, she is exceedingly helpful behind the scenes, working on angles for social media and helping brainstorm ideas for directions for various articles and the site. – ed.

I met Jorge in the winter of 2010 at the Sony Holiday Party in Toronto, Ontario. I was still somewhat new to Canada, having arrived only in the summer of 2008, and was pretty lonely. I sought other writer friends to connect with by showing up to various events, one of which was Fan Expo, a regular convention held in Toronto every summer that just seems to get bigger and bigger each time it happens.

It’s a blast – if you’re ever in the area while it’s going on, I highly recommend purchasing a ticket. There are cosplayers, chiptunes artists, and other fine geekery to indulge in. If you’re reading this site, I’m assuming that’s your thing, so go! Anyway, I spied some name badges at Fan Expo, one of which belonged to some writers for the late Game North. It was through Game North that I received the invitation to the Sony Holiday Party and I jumped at the chance to go.

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Dana approaches the Sony holiday party…

I was excited to go to my first media event, of course; but I was mostly excited about meeting fresh new faces, play some videogames, and sample some of the items from the snack table (don’t judge me, I love food). I was introduced to Jorge, we exchanged emails and honestly? The rest is history. I was invited to be a part of the staff and while my writing hasn’t always been consistent here, I have enjoyed myself immensely. When I first arrived in Canada I did a quick Google search for “Canadian video games websites” and Toronto Thumbs was the first thing to pop up. I was really impressed with the overall look of the site and the fact that there were no review scores. Nothing looked like click-bait – it was just a constant stream of excellent content that I enjoyed perusing on a daily basis. So when Jorge shook my hand and introduced himself, I felt honored to meet him and even more honored to be brought on as part of the team.

We’re losing something very important, here. At my second major event, Gamercamp (which is also gone now, sadly), I was privileged to listen to exp. Magazine’s Matthew Kumar speak. What a character! I remember being amused and enthralled by his panel, but I can only really remember one thing that he said that really struck a chord. Here are all these other big gaming websites, he said, slinging shit on the wall. And then down here in the corner were the smaller gaming website trying their hardest to clean the shit from the wall. They only cleaned a tiny fraction of the shit, but they were trying.

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Just because.

And now we have one less website that’s trying to do something noble. Something different. Something that proudly says, “no, fuck YOU Metacritic! You’re not the boss of me!” I don’t know where games journalism is going right now. From what I can see, it’s been on a slow decline in quality for years. We lost Joystiq and all of the other sites that were part of their team (RIP Massively, I will miss you). It’s a big loss and I will mourn all of these websites accordingly. It’s always a sad day when quality and ethics perish in the wake of greed, click-bait and shoddy integrity.

Thanks for all the fun times, Thumbs. We were one of the best and one of the few and I’ll not forget you.

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