From The Thumbs


Farewell to Toronto Thumbs
Reflections
So Long Thumbs, and Thanks for all the Shit

By Seán O'Sullivan - March 19th, 2015

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Sure. He looks nice enough…

When Sully submitted his piece, I felt…well…slighted. This horrible piece is full of lies and has been constructed to lead you, the readers, astray. Did he end up reviewing a number of not-so-good games? Possibly. But these games were given to him to keep him distracted from his true purpose – idle hands, and all that. While I will not change what he wrote, I offer my rebuttal in the captions of the photos that I have decided to use for this piece. You will see why I took the course of action that I did. – ed.

I arrived in Toronto in the fall of 2011 with no friends, no job, and no support structure. One night, at a bar, I met a man named Jorge who listened to an idea I had for a column, who told me he would happily publish my idea, and as many others as I could dream up. In payment for my services, I would be hooked up to the greatest drip-feed of shit games that a man can regret playing in a single lifetime.

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Farewell to Toronto Thumbs
Reflections
Ricky Lima

By Ricky Lima - March 9th, 2015

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FanExpo 2011, my first ever event with Thumbs. I was actually super nervous, as you can tell by my dumb face. It was such a great experience!

Ricky is a great guy who found a neat path and left the site last year – but he has always been something of an inspiration to me in terms of his ever-lasting (and boundless) faith in me. He is also not shy about saying this, so for me to post this is somewhat self-indulgent – but so what? It’s the end of an era, right? – ed.

When I first came across Toronto Thumbs, the first thing I noticed was its lack of review scores. I was used to websites that gave a number to their reviews, and I thought that was the way that reviews were supposed to be. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that I never actually read all of the other reviews I looked at – I just looked at that number at the end of the article and went on with my day.

As I began writing for Toronto Thumbs I learned that there is so much more to a review than that number. Reviews are often times geared towards specific audiences and those review numbers are a reflection of that. Would a hardcore gaming site give Angry Birds a high score? Most likely not; but what about a casual gaming site? Would that give a different rating? How would it rate Call of Duty? It’s those kinds of biases and leanings that Jorge taught me to look for, and now, after my time writing for Toronto Thumbs, I prefer “numberless” reviews. They force you to actually read the review and listen to what the reviewer has to say.

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Farewell to Toronto Thumbs
Reflections
Dave McLean

By Dave McLean - March 2nd, 2015

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I’m cheating a little bit here. This article was originally left in the comments field from our Last Call article (which let everyone know that Toronto Thumbs is closing down soon), so I cut it from there and moved it here since I am running articles from the writers in which they write what Thumbs meant to them. Plus, I wanted to use this photo. – ed

It was always a big, fun challenge to write here. This is the only site that I contributed to that was assignment-based – not just me writing about whatever tickled my fancy (see my articles over at FancyTickler.com for evidence1).

What I have learned here is that every kind of review is hard. It’s hard to write about things that you hate because you still want to be respectful to the developers. It’s hard to write about something you’re indifferent to because you don’t want to bore people. And it is hardest of all to write about the titles you love. It’s like trying to describe why you love your kids or your spouse. It’s something that you understand innately, but putting it into words rarely does it justice.

I want to say my one regret is that I was never on a podcast, but that’s almost certainly for the best. I was always jealous of everyone whenever they got together to chat, but I can’t escape the fact that my mouth is my least dependable organ and I would have stuttered and stumbled through the whole thing (Okay, fine – my mouth is my second least dependable organ). So I guess my regret is that I never sent a voice actor to play me on one of the podcasts. Live and learn.

So long, Thumbs. Thanks for everything!

1 – Maybe don’t go to that site.

Announcement
Last Call

By Jorge Figueiredo - February 19th, 2015

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It was bound to happen: we have finally reached our limit. Toronto Thumbs will be closing, in a manner of speaking. In our zeal we have made too many friends in the worlds of gaming, technology, and entertainment. Sure, other sites post multiple articles a day and have a decent revenue stream – this is not the case with us.

Toronto Thumbs has always been a labour of love. All of the content-creation ninjas here have full-time jobs; whatever extra time we have is devoted to creating conversations about the things that we like (and sometimes don’t) – and the reasons why. However, the queue is so packed that we are in very real danger of letting articles slip past the point of being “fashionably late”.

Sure, we could attempt to bring on new writers, but I am picky, and ‎have not been all that impressed with recent applicants. Toronto Thumbs could also scale back; but choosing what gets reviewed is not really fair to anyone, as everything deserves a fair shake. We could also consider crowd-sourced funding – but at just over 350K in page impressions (per month), we are not really going to be able to justify getting people (who will most likely be friends – let’s not kid ourselves here) to give us their hard-earned dollars. Finally (and personally), I am also being selfish; I write the lion’s share of the articles, but I also have a full-time job and a family – eventually I am going to just burn out (and frankly, I have been neglecting other personal goals).

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Drink of the site all ye can, folks!

So we will work our way through the last part of the queue (20-30 articles) and then call it a day. The site will stay up so that those searching for honest, unbiased, and (mostly) constructive‎ reviews have someplace to go; once the hits start to dwindle, we will shutter the site for good.

So yes. Last call. This title may be a bit melodramatic, since it will take a few months to work through the remaining content (I’m not going to be killing myself with daily posts), but I felt that all of you Thumbs-readers out there should know seeing as you have been supportive for so long. So stay tuned and keep reading until the very end – there may be a surprise or two along the way (and possibly still some contests to enter).


Events
Game Day!

By Jorge Figueiredo - January 24th, 2015

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Well, it’s not the Super Bowl, but it’s still a lot of fun! Today at the office, Toronto Thumbs is celebrating an awesome first month of the year with our first 2015 Game Day! Just a few of us hanging out, trash talkin’ and playing for the title of Master of the Universe. We will probably span a few systems today – but who cares? It’s all in good fun, right? You should make sure to take some time to hang with your family or friends for your own Game Day! Whether it’s board games, videogames, or whatever – it’s always nice to just hang out and have fun.

Big props to fellow Canadians from Bomb Energy Drink for providing us with fuel for our Game Day! Be sure to check out Dragon’s Den on January 28th, where The Bomb Nation faces off against the fiery council for backing! You can also check them out here.

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Fuel. Fuel is good.

PS: We are having Smozers.
PPS: Stay tuned to see how you can win your own Bomb Energy Drink gift pack!


End of Year Wrap-Up
Auld Langxiety and Best Wishes

By Jorge Figueiredo - December 31st, 2014

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It ‎has been a very interesting year in terms of gaming. Next-gen platforms really gained a lot more momentum in the way of new titles (especially Nintendo), new technology was revealed that will increase the amount of immersion that we experience in videogames (which is always the case), and I was actually in a videogame! Sadly, lots of crappy stuff also happened, which really makes me wonder what the hell is wrong with people. And so, as we move into another new year, while it is an opportune moment to reflect on the good (in the hopes that we will create and recognize new reasons to celebrate), I would like to take a second to talk about the bad, in the hopes that we can figure out a way to stop being morons.

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Best of the Season!
A Christmas Morning Message

By Jorge Figueiredo - December 25th, 2014

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I understand that Christmas is not everyone’s thing – but it is something that I celebrate. Specifically, I celebrate the “good will towards each other” part, so you’ll have to take my greeting with a grain of salt or a cup of egg nog – your choice. Last year, I had a bit of a ranty message on Christmas. While that might not have been the best idea, I felt that I needed to get it off my chest – and it still applies today.

That being said, I’m not going to preach today (I’ll save that for next week). Instead, I just want to wish you my very best and hope that you have a safe and happy holiday with loved ones.