Goodbye Gita Jackson, Weird Internet Translator And Dwarf Fortress Stan

By Ethan Gach on at

Gita Jackson, Kotaku staff writer and likely Sims replicant, has filed her last epic essay for this site – a timely meditation on gaming apocalypses – and now prepares to take up a new position at what I understand to be a surprisingly lucrative Earthbound fansite.

While we treat the burns on our galaxies brain left over from years of nuclear takes and scorching truth bombs, we thought it only fair to return the favour with yet another in a growing series of loving Kotaku roasts.

Heather Alexandra, Senior Writer, Kotaku

Gita Jackson is, without a doubt, one of the best people working in this field. I don’t mean that she’s just good at what she does, which she is, but I mean that she deeply and truly cares about the teams she works with. That can mean organising team dinners, that can mean fighting hard as a union rep. She is one of the best people.

Gita is a fighter, something I don’t say lightly because most people think they’re fighters but absolutely aren’t. For communities online that don’t see their interests on websites, for games that people dismiss too readily, for her coworkers. She is an internet culture historian, a master of memes, a true comrade, and one of my best friends. I don’t have a great way to end what I’m writing except to say that while I’m gonna miss having my friend around in the office, I’m damn happy that she’s gonna keep kicking ass for a long time to come.

Brian Ashcraft, Senior Writer, Kotaku

When I worked out of the office, I sat next to Gita. She was very nice! I think the next person who sits next to her will think the same thing.

Mike Ballaban, Interim Editor-In-Chief, Jalopnick

Gita is good

Natalie Degraffinried, Senior Staff Editor, Kotaku

Gita, Gita, Gita. You’re leaving!

Oops, sorry, I forgot to write a real lede.

Gita, how could you lure me into this hellhole and leave before I’ve been here a full year? At least you’ve kept Kotaku’s black employee quota intact. Now we’re at one instead of one and a possible. That was a spades joke. Do you know how to play spades?

Anyway, I’m sincerely excited for the next step in your career as Junior Ship Correspondent at Babe.net. You’ll do an amazing job, I’m sure – your skill in finding legal ways to talk about being horny in workplace settings is unparalleled. For your next big project, here are eight less grating synonyms for horny, just off the top of my head:

aroused, turned on, randy, excited, titillated, piqued, hot, lusty.

Please, use them.

…On second thought, don’t.

I’ve never worked with a writer whose every neurosis comes through so clearly in each word. I can feel the panic attacks crackling from behind your keyboard, the internet’s tendrils burrowed deep in your brain and dictating your every thought. You are How Do You Do, Fellow Kids, The Person. The Legend.

Jokes aside, I wouldn’t be here if not for you. Your immediate and unwavering support both through my hiring and my time here inspired me to make Kotaku better and to become a better leader and editor myself. Your passion is infectious and you have great taste, outside of the fact that you need to leave both my husband and my wife alone. Editing you always felt like trading inside jokes with a close friend – part humour, part understanding, part trust. It was always a conversation, and I’ll always value those talks. You’re amazing at what you do, and you’re only going to keep doing bigger and better things. I’m beyond excited you’re taking the steps you need to get what you really deserve out of life and I’ll always be here for you.

You’re too short to be a fellow stallion, but you’ll forever be Gita Thee Bad Bitch. Tell them go put your name on that account, cause when you need money you ain’t tryna wait.

Beth Elderkin, Video Editor and Staff Writer, iO9

I’m putting all my Sims in a pool without ladders in protest. Thanks Gita, you killed my family.

Michael Fahey, Senior Reporter, Kotaku

Gita found me abandoned in a basinet on a snowy mountain in the Himalayas and took me in without hesitation. She raised me from a baby, despite being nearly two decades younger than me, instilling in me a love for video games, anime, April O’Neil style yellow jumpsuits, and borderline porny Japanese fashion dolls. If not for Gita, I would never have become the world’s foremost authority in sending Gita pictures of pretty keyboards. I wish her the best as she abandons me, and hope her next job limits her writing on The Sims, because fucking enough already.

Ethan Gach, Staff Writer, Kotaku

The first time I ever worked with Gita she was editing a listicle I’d written for Paste of the top games that should be on an SNES Classic back before Nintendo had actually announced one. Unfortunately, when the post went live, the top image was of a NES.

Every other time working with Gita has been lava-baked magic. I’ve never seen anyone pitch more things that should totally never be written down in any earthly language, as if daring the gods themselves to strike her keyboard with lightning, only for those stories to then go up on the site and produce digital fireworks.

I’ve also never seen anyone lie so many times about leaving work at the end of the day only to be caught still at her desk doing god knows what to her poor, innocent Sims. Gita, I can’t believe I don’t get to work with you anymore, and have you occasionally look up from your computer and over at me and say “How’s it hanging dude you look like you’re having a fucking rough one?” I hope, before I die, I have one tenth the courage and one one hundredth the humour you pour onto the page in such heaping helpings every single time, without seeming to even break a sweat.

Eat shit.

Nathan Grayson, Senior Staff Reporter, Kotaku

When a number of Kotaku staffers, myself included, received promotions earlier this week, Gita told us to “eat shit.” (She also said “congratulations,” but that’s neither here nor there.) Alas, I cannot tell her to “eat shit” back, because she is dead now. That’s a bummer, because I really wanted to tell her to eat shit, too. Perhaps I might have also thanked her for working tirelessly as our union rep, writing heaps of powerful, heartfelt criticism, shining a one-of-a-kind spotlight on games like No Man’s Sky and The Sims, consistently championing my work, making dumb jokes with me in Slack DMs, advising me on the process of working with a literary agent (and congratulating the heck out of me when I got a book deal before her EAT SHIT GITA I mean thank you), and letting me stay on her air mattress that one time. Mostly, though, I would have told her to eat shit. But again, I can’t, because she’s dead now. Sad.

Patricia Hernandez, Senior Editor, Polygon / Former Deputy Editor, Kotaku

Congrats to Gita’s new career as a Sims 4 paint goblin. I’d be heartbroken about this departure, except I know she’ll be back after a few years to write a killer expose about what really happened to Bella Goth.

Chris Kohler, Features Editor, Kotaku

Gita Jackson is the heart and soul of this place and I can’t think of a joke.

Maddy Myers, Deputy Editor, Kotaku

I can’t believe Gita is leaving Kotaku when she is the person who convinced me to even apply and work here, but sure, fine. Gita and I have worked together multiple times over the past decade of knowing one another. The first time was when we both worked as staffers for a cosplay convention, which did involve a performance featuring Gita doing a stand-up comedy roast in character as Emma Frost (wearing a costume that I had sewn). I guess what I’m saying is that if anybody here should be roasting somebody else, Gita should be roasting me, because she has plenty of material and she’s just better at it.

But I am the one who must roast Gita, because she is leaving, which is extremely sad and I don’t want to get too deep into how sad I am about it, because this is supposed to be a funny post, and I don’t want her to feel guilty about leaving for an incredible opportunity. Even though she’s the one who got me here in the first place! In a sense, she’s just paying it forward, because I am the person who got Gita into games journalism in the first place.

Here’s that origin story. Gita and I were already friends before she was a games journalist, due to working together at the aforementioned cosplay con. In that time period, the only people who got to read Gita’s funny and sharp takes on video games were people who were her social media friends. Way back in early 2014, she wrote a Facebook post about the marketing for Watch Dogs, and I liked it so much that I DMed her to be like, hey, you should pitch this to Paste Magazine (where I worked at Assistant Games Editor at the time), but also you shouldn’t, because this industry sucks ass. Gita listened very politely to my warning about the industry sucking ass, but she did also want to be a professional writer and all, so she did pitch that article to Paste and it was accepted and the rest is history.

It’s my fault she is doing this, but it’s also her fault that I’m still doing it. We have been there for one another during some incredibly dark times in the video games industry and in life. She won’t be in Kotaku Slack anymore, but we are still going to talk to each other all the time. This is not really the end for us. But it is the end for Gita at Kotaku. Every time I see some weird internet shit that ordinarily Gita would cover, I will look out the window longingly and think to myself, “If only.” Meanwhile, Gita will be covering that exact internet shit at a different website, and doing so with passion and skill. And I will be clicking on it.

Josh Rivera, Staff Writer, Kotaku

For me the definitive Gita Jackson post is not about No Man’s Sky or The Sims, it’s A Brief History of Rappers Dressing Like JRPG Villains. I say this because it is both a very funny post and an incredibly ironic one, considering the fact that Gita Jackson also dresses like a JRPG character. Not a villain though—in this business we tend to write blogs that are more aspirational than they are biographical, no matter how much we want them to be. No, Gita dresses like a JRPG side-quest giver, one of those people you see hanging around outside a bus stop in a Persona game, asking you to get her a fucking belt buckle from a demon or something.

Jason Schreier, News Editor, Kotaku

The best way to sum up Gita Jackson might be with one of her favourite words: brainworms. Gita loves to get obsessed with things. They slither around inside of her head, burrowing deeply into her mind, only able to escape through her conversations and writings and observations about the world.

It’s this characteristic that makes Gita so good at taking deep dives into the communities surrounding games like No Man’s Sky and The Sims. It can be infectious, her excitement, and it’s certainly led me to read and care about stories that I wouldn’t have otherwise noticed. Brainworms help make her an excellent critic and reporter, and Gita’s brought a unique voice to Kotaku that our readers have really loved.

It’s also what has made her, for the past two years, incapable of having a single conversation without bringing up her boyfriend. Whether it’s during meetings or team dinners or just walking around E3, Gita has somehow found a way to keep the entire staff of Kotaku apprised on her boyfriend’s character traits, job history, likes, dislikes, Jewish upbringing, blood type, astrological sign, and food preferences. Gita, I’ll miss you, and I look forward to the regular emails about everything your boyfriend did that week.

Paul Tamayo, Video Producer, Kotaku

I’m very happy for Gita for making the difficult decision to trade working in the heart of New York: Times Square for the humble part of Brooklyn: Williamsburg. Sorry to break it to you, but those pavements will still be full of tourists walking slow as hell in rows of five. It’s those kinds of brilliant decisions that I’m sure the fine folks at whatever hentai zine she’s going to can come to expect from the one and only Gita Jackson.

My first week here, Gita walked up to my desk and introduced herself like I didn’t know who the fuck she was and thankfully, we’ve been homies ever since. I’m not only glad to say I know Gita, but I’ve worked on some of my favourite projects with her. Ever. She’s been a colleague, friend, and ally when I needed her and you know what, Gita? From the bottom of my heart: eat shit. I can’t wait to continue reading your work on all of the horny parts of the internet that aren’t already bookmarked on my throwaway browser. Enjoy never playing a video game ever again. You’re free now.

Stephen Totilo, Editor-In-Chief, Kotaku

Gita reported, critiqued, livestreamed, podcasted, basically did it all here at Kotaku and somehow still had time to take a million selfies. Gita’s time management is indeed one of her most impressive qualities, as has been her ability to make so many of us care deeply about things happening in the world of The Sims and No Man’s Sky.

Gita started at Kotaku with a tonne of talent but not with a tonne of confidence. As she leaves, she’s still got a tonne of the former and should exude heaps of the latter, as she nailed everything she set out to do. Her work here was bold, at times funny, and often very moving, a model of the range and depth that I yearn for from everyone who works at the site.

As Gita leaves for her new career in either spaceship design or home remodelling, I will cheer her on. And, for the record, I do not hold it against her that she once called me a “motherfucker” during a game of Pyre. It happens.

James Whitbrook, News Editor, iO9

Fuck this, who the hell am I meant to read when avoiding writing my own blogs now???

Featured image: No Man’s Sky