There's usually not a lot of fanfare for hitting 30. You wake up with an inexplicable pain in your neck. Your knees do that weird thing when you walk. You emit an awkward groan when you get up from the couch. As the skin adorning the meat mech we call a body begins to age, supposedly, we gain a sense of "acceptance." Despite being in my early 30s as I write this, I researched to see what else happens when you hit the big 3-0. To my non-existent surprise, there's not much to it — the world has long since recognized you as an adult. You've been trusted enough to legally operate motorized vehicles, shoot powder-based ballistic firearms, consume alcoholic beverages, and go to jail for doing any combination of those at the same time.
Unlike our fragile meatspace bodies, as Doom hits its 30th birthday, there's no sense of "acceptance," and it doesn't look like we're slowing down anytime soon. Not a day goes by when someone hasn't released something new to play in Doom. Whether it be somebody's first map they made after being inspired by a four-hour video essay series on a bizarre map, a community staple finally releasing their magnum opus after years of arduous development, or just someone dorking around to see what's possible in Doom, the community is always in motion, constantly being refreshed with new blood coming into the fray.
We've been hit with surprise releases out of nowhere at almost every turn this year. One moment, we'll catch our breath, resting assured that there can't possibly be anything else that can suddenly be released, and then BAM: another one. Thankfully, our team of panelists has been working tirelessly with eyes in all corners of the community. Joining the ranks of familiar faces this year, we've got the marvelous speedrunner @Maribo, the scrupulous writer @scwiba, and myself. We've also managed to
extort, er pressure, er, blackmail, er, politely ask a host of fantastic guests for the most extensive write-ups on music we've ever done, featuring pieces from throughout the entire history of the community. That's just the tip of the 30th-anniversary iceberg, and there's a ton to get into this year. So, without further ado, my friends, let's get started!
Thanks to Maria Kinnun for the lovely banner and title artwork featured this year!