The Escapist this week is themed around stories and storytelling. The article that resonates the most with me is a Tom Rhodes piece called Slouching Toward Black Mesa. It explores the connection between the journey of Gordon Freeman and literary explorations of similar end-of-the-world themes. "Freeman isn't slouching toward Black Mesa, he's converging on the great citadel in the middle of City 17, the Bethlehem of our story. Bethlehem is a holy place in Christian theology, which makes it the perfect location for the beast of Yeats' poem to encroach upon. In City 17, that ideal is flipped on its head, replaced with a center of darkness and powe ... In an even more direct rejection of Yeats, however, the forces in Half-Life 2 are non-supernatural. It continues the series' theme, man as a force in this world; whether for good or ill is his choice. It is this choice, this need to carve out our own destiny and define ourselves based on our own hopes, dreams and fears that makes us human. So what is slouching toward Bethlehem? We are." The issue also features an article entitled The Ending Has Not Yet Been Written, about the never-ending story of Massively Multiplayer Online Games.