Backlog

Partial List of Reasons for Writing a List in Place of a Column

This column is a reprint from Unwinnable Monthly #112. If you like what you see, grab the magazine for less than ten dollars, or subscribe and get all future magazines for half price.

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Revisiting stories, old and new

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  1. Lists are easier than paragraphs
    1. Are they really?
    2. Well, yes.
  2. People love lists
    1. See: The entirety of the internet
    2. People build entire paid careers on listicles
    3. They used to, anyway
    4. See: The entirety of the internet
  3. So you can totally do this, even on deadline
    1. Especially on deadline
    2. Your whole life is made of lists
      1. For example, games played in 2018:
        1. Alto’s Odyssey
        2. The Bridge
        3. Donut County
          1. I previewed this one in 2015
          2. Which was a long time ago
          3. I don’t do many previews
          4. It’s hard to feel like an essential thing for a game that ends up not even being available for another three years
          5. I get why they’re useful for devs and consumers
          6. But as a critic, yeah, meh
        4. Far Cry 5
          1. I wrote about this one!
          2. Kinda proud of it
          3. Terrible game, tho
        5. Florence
          1. Liked this one a lot
          2. Didn’t write about it
          3. Maybe in the future return to the problem of games I’ve liked but never written about
        6. Gerrymander
          1. See: 3.B.I.e.i
        7. Gorogoa
          1. See: 3.B.I.e.i (again)
        8. Marvel’s Spider-Man
          1. I only played a little of this one
          2. Still counts!
        9. Monster Hunter: World
          1. See: 3.B.I.h.i
        10. Paratropic
          1. Wanted to like this one a lot
          2. Didn’t hate it
          3. Need to come back to it at some point
        11. QUBE: Director’s Cut
        12. Reigns: Game of Thrones
        13. Rusty Lake Paradise
        14. The Walking Dead: The Final Season, Episodes 1 and 2
        15. The X-Files: Deep State
      2. Games not played in 2018
        1. More than 15, that’s for sure
      3. Incomplete list of (creative) writers from my alma mater with at least one book, in order of date of graduation
        1. Jim Harrison
        2. Thomas McGuane
        3. Richard Ford
        4. Carolyn Forché
        5. Timothy Zahn
          1. Yeah, totally
          2. My school used to do a big sci-fi workshop
          3. It doesn’t anymore
        6. Josh Kilmer-Purcell
          1. From The Amazing Race and The Fabulous Beekman Boys reality TV shows
          2. Did books first
        7. Geoff Johns
          1. Can’t all be winners
          2. I mean, he does really well
          3. But I’m not a huge fan
        8. Michael Kimball
          1. I don’t actually know exactly when he graduated.
          2. Did the Boss Fight Books Galaga title
          3. I don’t know if he would list that first on his c.v., but this is a videogame publication, so…
        9. Tom Bissell
          1. Graduated a full year before I started
          2. Co-edited the undergrad lit mag
          3. I always thought that was cool
        10. Robin Sloan
          1. Also makes olive oil
          2. Seriously
          3. You know, as a fact of potential interest
      4. Notable exclusions from 3.B.III
        1. Well, me
          1. I’d like to say that I’m working on it
          2. But I’m not sure that this list counts as “working on it”
    3. Ways in which this list could be better
      1. Less list, more -icle
      2. Grabbier premise
        1. “Attractive people doing attractive things”
        2. “You’ll never believe [why/how] [person you’ve heard of] did [that thing you heard about them doing]!”
        3. “Finally a Hogwarts sorting quiz that makes all those other Hogwarts sorting quizzes look like microwaved poop!”
          1. Which should be less of a hook, really
          2. Every single one of us already knows our Hogwarts house
            1. Ravenclaw
            2. Unless it’s Hufflepuff
              1. Hufflepuff isn’t so bad
              2. Is exactly what a Hufflepuff would say
      3. Add some photos
        1. Seriously
        2. I mean, are you even trying?
        3. I’m not sure that’s what I meant
  4. Reasons why, following the submission of this list, I should definitely not be fired

[Editor’s note: The remainder of this document is missing, likely due to unfortunate and entirely accidental file corruption or temporary but severe loss of editorial patience. If recovered, additional list items will be made available on Unwinnable.com. The editor recommends, however, against holding one’s breath.]

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Gavin Craig is a writer and critic who lives outside of Washington, D.C.

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