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Times change. People grow. Ultimately, they move on.

Today we’re saying farewell to Josh Wise, who has been with Thumbsticks since March 2017. Technically, his last day was Friday, but he’s a trooper and – in amongst a few farewell beers – has been producing content for the site right to the last.

Following a few freelance pitches – which we loved, and gobbled up – Josh joined the team first as a reviewer, before being swiftly promoted to an associate editor, with his fingers in all of the site’s pies; news, features, and reviews.

He even managed to persuade us that a column examining the intersection between video games and moves, Cut Scenes, was a good idea. As with most of Josh’s ideas, it was a belter, and even the great William Friedkin himself, director of The French Connection, was impressed with his take on that iconic movie and its influence on the Driver series.

There have been a lot of highlights in Josh’s time with Thumbsticks, so we won’t be able to hit them all. There’s this beautiful piece on radio in video games; we know a few editors who are jealous it’s on our site, and not theirs. He wrote a sparkling piece on how playing Jalopy made Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, and a conversation with his father, suddenly make sense. How Breath of the Wild riffs on Arthur C. Clarke. The way he accidentally broke Shadow of Mordor’s best mechanic. His Little Nightmares review, which ventured into dark places many others daren’t.

We could be here all day, but time and time again, Josh has proven to be an astute critic and an even better writer.

So on the one hand, we’re obviously sorry to see him go. The site will of course be poorer without his presence, and his loss will be felt by the team and readers alike. But at Thumbsticks, our goal is to discover new writing talent and nurture it to the best of our ability, and when we see one of our young writers grow and mature as a voice, then go off and find a full time editorial position at a major games site? It makes us immensely proud. (And if you want to help us in our quest, check out our Patreon.)

It’s a conflict. We would love to keep him, of course, but we know he needs to go on and have bigger, more exciting adventures. In a strange way, Dan and I are like (very strange) parents, and we’re sending another one of our kids out to take on the world.

We know he’s ready. He’s going to absolutely smash it.

And don’t be too sad. You might just see an odd piece from Josh float onto Thumbsticks every now and again; we’ve got a few things in draft that we’ve not shown you, yet.

Do you feel like you’ve got what it takes to be our next Josh? They’re pretty big shoes to fill, but we’d love to hear from you.

Now if you’ll excuse us, we’re going to go and pour one out for our departed brother, and move his name from the active staff to alumni section of the masthead.

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