Letters from the Editors

Unwinnable Monthly, April 2021

This is a reprint of the letter from the editor in Unwinnable Monthly Issue 138. You can buy Issue 138 now, or purchase a monthly subscription to make sure you never miss an issue!


After nearly eleven years of Unwinnable.com, a year and a half of Unwinnable Weekly (holy crap, a year and a half of a weekly magazine?!) and an astounding five years of Unwinnable Monthly, it is time you and I part ways.

I love Unwinnable, I truly do. And because I love it so much, it is time that I let go of (most) of it. Honestly, it was never about me. I think something cool and maybe even a little important has come together at Unwinnable, but that is a collective effort. I’m at best a catalyst or facilitator, encouraging writers to write and readers to read.

Truth be told, I ran out of things to say about videogames a long time ago. I barely even play them anymore! I still have opinions about other stuff, but the older I get, the more I think to myself, “Is it important or necessary for me to say this in public, at the potential cost of other voices being heard?” More often than not, my conclusion is a resounding, “Nah.” I don’t know, eleven years is a long fucking time. A lot of those years were extremely stressful and I just don’t have the energy to put into this venture that I once had. Unwinnable deserves to have someone younger than me, more energetic than me and, ideally, less boring old white guy than me in the Editor-in-Chief chair.

I’m not leaving leaving. It’s gonna take more than one cut-rate exorcism to get rid of me. No, I’m still here to rock out, I am just going to do it in the back, leaning by the bar with the rest of the old heads while the kids tear it up by the stage. By which I mean, I am going to step back into the role of “Publisher.” Once I finish the Vintage RPG book (shameless plug: you can follow my progress on the book at my Patreon!), I’m going to start experimenting with getting Unwinnable regularly and sustainably in print. Anthologies? Zines? Weird tabletop RPG projects? Who knows! It’s going to be fun to figure it out. 

And with that, I’d like to introduce you to the new editor in chief of Unwinnable: David Shimomura. I’m sure he will want to say some things. Or not! Maybe he wants to leave you in suspense. The only thing I know for sure is that all the typos from this point on are his fault.

Stu Horvath
Kearny, New Jersey
April 12, 2021


Hi! I’m David. Some of you know me from my work for Unwinnable.com. Some of you might know me from my occasional forays in Unwinnable Monthly or Exploits. Going forward, we’ll all get to know me as Unwinnable’s new editor in chief.

Unwinnable has been a good home to me. It completely changed my life and I’m so honored to be able to shepherd it forward so it can keep changing the lives of people, both the readers and the writers.

But first, thank you. Thank you for being a loyal subscriber. It’s because of subscribers that we’ve been able to be, well, us. We’ve got some big ideas for the future and we can’t wait to share them with you all. All of that in good time but again, thank you.

Anyway, onto business!

This month we’re keeping with explorations of fantasy spaces. Jamie Redgate provides the cover feature and dives into the deep fantasy foundations of Dark Souls and why it might be foundational for us going forward. David W. Carstens writes about the importance of decentralizing plot. Sometimes the best stories are the ones without scripts, the ones that just unfolds. In our sponsor feature, Ben Sailer looks at the deliriously cute Forza Polpo.

For our columns, it’s an almost full rogues’ gallery. Noah Springer grapples with being unhip while digging up some decidedly hip beats. Harry Rabinowitz talks about the horrors that live just over there in the woods. Oluwatayo Adewole brings us to Hong Kong and we’re all better for it. Deirdre Coyle goes on a different tour, to Neotopia. Which reminds me, I hope my Kacheek is okay. Melissa King touchingly writes to Aerith while knowing it will all go badly. Ben Sailer calls back to an era where you could use books and devices to “cheat” at games. Matt Marrone celebrates 10 years of his column! Congrats Matt, thanks for finally following me back on Twitter! Yussef Cole returns to the world of Destiny 2 and finds it’s gotten older and much stranger. Sara Clemens so desperately wanted to be special she drew a comic. Autumn Wright wraps up the times after the end times in Part 2 of the piece that began last month. Justin Reeve shows off the embodied architecture of Xenoblade Chronicles. Rob Rich puts a bow on things by appreciating the power in playing your best card sparingly, especially when that card is a giant lizard.

See you all over at Exploits around International Workers’ Day!

David Shimomura
Chicago, Illinois
April 12, 2021

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