A weekly list article might be considered disposable fluff at any other site, but GamesRadar’s weekly Top 7s are held in something of a sacred trust around our offices. They’re our most important, and most instantly recognizable, recurring feature. We take pride in them, we work hard on them and when one is assigned to a GR editor, writing it becomes his or her top priority for the preceding week. Great care goes into everything from the accompanying art to the order of the countdown, and to half-ass a Top 7 is to earn the scorn of the entire editorial staff.
In short: We take our dumb shit seriously.
Above: Ha ha, remember this 2006 magazine ad? Of course you don’t
In the spirit of our navel-gazing, past-retreading fifth anniversary, we decided to rifle through our dusty backlog of Top 7s and pick out the best and most iconic ones from the last five years. And to make it not feel like a total self-aggrandizing ripoff, we asked the authors to give a little insight into how and why each piece was written, and why it was picked for this list.
Don’t think of it as lazy and self-indulgent. Think of it as getting seven Top 7s (which you may or may not have already read) instead of one today.
Oh no, not this one again! As much fun as I had writing this Top 7 for our 2008 Week of Hate, I don’t think I’ve been as insecure about anything I’ve written for GR since.
Genuinely trying to be funny is terrifying. Intentionally pandering like a tabloid or being unrelentingly cynical leaves nothing to fear – it’s not you. But really, sincerely striving for humor leaves you vulnerable, not just the work. At the time I wrote this, I was a mere boy (I believe I’ve graduated to ‘big boy’ now), and still lacked much confidence in my voice. So I was terrified.
Firstly, I was anxious about calling segments of the gaming community – possibly even our readers – “snot-nosed demons” and such, but I knew it wouldn’t work if I pulled my punches. Even so, hyperbole is only funny in limited doses. Was it too much? I don’t know, but the point was to peg the stereotypes well enough to get a response, and we definitely got a response. So maybe I hit the mark, and if I didn’t, now’s a good time to mention that Chris Antista helped out with several of the entries - I don’t think he’s ever gotten credit for that. Blame him!
Then there are the illustrations. At the time, I think, we’d really stepped up our efforts to be anything other than “just another gaming site.” We were full of ideas and willing to experiment, and though lambasting gamer stereotypes wasn’t the most original idea ever, we felt we could bring something new to it, and my drawings were part of that.
I know, we’re all our own worst critics, but I feel incredibly distant now from what I was striving for there, and the technical ability I displayed. I hate looking at them, but whatever, that’s just my giant ego talking – people liked them, and the article was a great success (at least, a lot of people looked at it). It clearly became enough of a favorite here to be featured in this self-referential Top 7, so good job me, I guess!
Know what stereotype I really hate? Weaselly, self-deprecating, complement-fishing douches. Those guys suck.