Kate Willaert was born on the same day as Nintendo's Famicom, though she didn't accomplish nearly as much in her first ten years on the planet. In the 2010s, she achieved the feat of having her work featured on TIME.com, AV Club, Buzzfeed, Fast Company, Kotaku, and others while successfully maintaining complete obscurity. At the end of the 2010s she became a Youtuber, and currently runs the best gaming history channel you've never heard of.

Critical Kate's Thrilling Threads by Kate Willaert

Most researchers carefully guard any major new discoveries they find until their project is properly finalized and published, to ensure no one swoops in to steal the big reveals. Critical Kate was such a person, obsessively working on multiple projects simultaneously for years. Until one day she suddenly stopped caring and just started...tweeting it out.

You'll never guess how the last thread ends.


Kate Willaert quickly became a gaming historian whose Twitter threads gave me reason to log on. Thrilling Threads collects some of her most edifying and entertaining dives into design and culture, and I'm thrilled to finally be able to add it to the StoryBundle collection. – David L. Craddock



  • "oh man this messed me the heck up"

    – @TAHK0
  • "I did not expect this thread to end up where it did."

    – @krssctt
  • "MIND = BLOWN"

    – @EriolGaurhoth



MAY25: The Etymology Of "Board Game"

One of my favorite hobbies is looking up words in Oxford, looking at the earliest date in their example quotes, and seeing if I can beat it. Because I'm a nerd.

I noticed that their earliest example for "board game" is only from 1934. We can do better than that. (A THREAD.)

Easy enough. I first came across this 1886 history of board games by Good Housekeeping when I was putting together a board game infographic.

But can we go further?