Farewell to Toronto Thumbs
Reflections
Thanks, Jorge and Goodbye, Toronto Thumbs

By Rituro - March 30th, 2015

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Where do I start with this guy? I could write a whole blog about how amazing he is. I met Rituro at another website a long time ago called Videogamey. It was there that we traded witty repartee and became fast friends – albeit, electronically. When I began my role as Editor-in-Chief of Toronto Thumbs, I needed help – and Rituro was one of the first people that sprung to mind. He was decidedly nervous at first – but man, when he writes, it’s truly amazing. When he started doing video work, I knew that he was destined for greatness. – ed

It feels like there should be more of a fanfare to accompany the gentle goodbye of Toronto Thumbs – wistful reflections on other blogs, poetic tweets, a big gathering of fans for one last gaming session or podcast. It feels like it, at least, to me, since the Thumbs crew have had such a huge hand in helping me develop myself to the point where I want to branch out into a new media career. Truly, without Jorge inviting me to try my hand at writing for an audience back in 2010, I would not be here today1 hawking my mediocre gaming abilities online. But no, it’s just a simple, plain goodbye as the site winds down and Jorge gets a well-deserved rest after his years of faithful service. It feels so…wrong. Maybe we should crowdfund a statue or something? Maybe? What about a fireworks display over the 401? No? All right, fine, we’ll do it low-key. Hmph.

What was Toronto Thumbs to me? In simple terms, it was my first big writing gig. Having never done more than the occasional informal review but wanting to improve my writing style, I was eager – but also hesitant. What if my writing style wasn’t good enough? What if I wasn’t a good reviewer? What if nothing I wrote made any sense? Thankfully, all those fears turned out to be nothing. My first article went live near the end of 2010. My next few followed shortly thereafter. Midway through 2011, I had no fears whatsoever about writing for Toronto Thumbs and nothing but respect for the way the site presented itself. You could be yourself – write like yourself – and give your work character. So long as you respected the work, the method wasn’t in question. Writing for this geeky site was an amazing experience and for that, I can only say “thank you”.

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Rituro at the beginning of his stint at Toronto Thumbs. Wild. Unfocused.

Thank you, Jorge, for maintaining a site that never forgot about the little guy – the smaller developers, the often overlooked web-based games or mobile apps, and so forth – even among the heavy “AAA” hitters. Everyone deserves a chance to have their game reviewed fairly and with a professional attitude – and Toronto Thumbs did just that.

Thank you, Jorge, for not taking the easy way out when it came to content. When others advised you to try clickbait-y “Top X” list articles2 you soundly rejected the idea. Content deserves to be treated with respect and value, and you did just that. Heck, you even made a point of rejecting the idea of numbered scores to allow long-winded writers like myself a chance to make their point as nuanced and multi-faceted as we needed to. I would be hard-pressed to claim Toronto Thumbs lacked for class when it came to presenting its content.

Thank you, Jorge, for recognizing that real life is a thing. Sometimes, we’re unable to sit in front of our PCs, consoles or handhelds for hours on end to meticulously go over a game – no matter how desperately we want to. Yes, there were soft deadlines and gentle-yet-firm prodding to get articles finished, but there was never a sense of putting a crushing onus on the writer to finish solely for the sake of expediency. While I was perhaps one of the worst offenders when it came to abuse of the “Fashionably Late Reviews” heading, I like to think I was so because I took what time I had to go over each game and get as complete a look as possible. Would I have had that opportunity elsewhere? Unlikely, and I cannot express my gratitude for that leeway enough.

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Rituro after a few short months at Toronto Thumbs. Methodical. Precise.

Thank you, Jorge, for above all else trusting me when I had a crazy idea. A podcast from the Canadian Videogame Awards? Sure, have at it. A Twitter-sized war report on XCOM? Vigilo confido, squaddie! A video profile of a local gaming convention3? You had me at “video”. Putting my voice and face to Toronto Thumbs-branded first impressions and video reviews? Um, yes, please. No matter what I suggested, you listened and were unfailingly supportive. Where changes needed to be made, they were made and that was that – creative control was never questioned, censored or threatened. You trusted me with the site’s name and brand – precious commodities, to be sure – and I did my absolute best not to let you down. I hope I lived up to that trust.

Take a bow and a long rest, buddy. You’ve been a fantastic steward of Toronto Thumbs and have earned a few days weeks months years the rest of your life off.

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Rituro doing what he does best.

Now, in case you’ve forgotten, a “family” is best described as “that gaggle of people you’ve been living with for a while”. They’re nice people, or so I hear. The mother of the charming young girl is reportedly quite the Talim main in Soul Calibur, so, that’s not nothing. Maybe you should take her up on that now that you have a bit of free time.

Or, at the very least, brush up on your Dawn of War skills so I don’t dunk your nub ass with dakka dakka dakka the next time we play. WAAAAAAAAAAAAGGHHHHH!!!!

To follow the decidedly mediocre gaming adventures of Rituro, check out his Twitch feed or reach out to him on Twitter (@ThatRituroGuy).

If you’re into Major League Soccer, you can also find Rituro’s Thumbs-honed writing skills on display at Eighty Six Forever, an SB Nation blog devoted to the Vancouver Whitecaps.

1 – Technically, since Jorge and I first met in the comments section of satirical geek site Videogamey, I would not be here without the folks who put that site together. Since they’re not here and I doubt they’ll read this, Jorge gets all the credit instead. Teledildonics forever!
2 – Why is it always with the lists? Thanks for ruining the internet, youths and lazy adults.
3 – Since that report, GottaCon has grown to take over the largest convention space in the city. Just sayin’.

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