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An Open Invitation to Contribute

June 24th, 2009 | Posted by Ben Abraham in Uncategorized

Critical Distance is a community driven blog and as such we rely on contributors for our posts. Until now we have solicited contributions by invitation only; however we would now like to open it up and invite anyone with an interest in videogame criticism to contribute to Critical Distance.

Critical Distance exists to serve the emerging field of games criticism primarily by highlighting the excellent writing being produced by videogame bloggers, writers and journalists. We hope that Critical Distance can be part of making sure that this new and important aspect of gaming discourse doesn’t get lost amongst the sound and fury of mainstream games journalism.

Our goal for the site is to have it act like a ‘memory bank’, by drawing upon our collective memories of all the past articles and blog post we have read. The hope is that collectively we can counteract the presiding trend towards frantic, short-sighted, disposable games writing. Hence, we favour a little bit of ‘distance’ in our writing and deeper, more lengthy articles over flashy previews.

So, if you are interested in writing about videogame criticism and blogging, now’s your chance. What exactly are we looking for in terms of contributions?  If you’ve been reading the site for a while, you’ll know that we quite like the odd piece that is purely about highlighting an important or exceptional article or blog post. Think of it like, ‘This article at X-blog is great, and here’s why‘ style posts. We also like longer articles that synthesise a bunch of posts together to highlight some particular aspect, trend or salient point about games and/or videogame discourse. If you have an idea for a regular, semi-regular or even completely irregular series about videogame blogging, let us know as we’d love to discuss it with you.

You can send anything from half-formed ideas to full text articles to the editors. Thanks to you, our readers, for the generous support and interest you have shown us thus far. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

- The Editors.

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4 Responses

  • Matthew K says:

    Is there a way to input one’s blog into the list that gets scanned by regularly contributing editors? I’d imagine such a list would be full to the hilt, but just thought I’d ask. (New to the site; be gentle!)

    • Ben Abraham says:

      Good idea! I’ll bring it up with the other editors.

      FWIW we’ve been meaning to do something along those lines (something slightly more comprehensive, that is) by creating a curated list of like-minded and interesting videogame blogs, but we just haven’t got around to it yet.

    • I think the best way to get your blog noticed is to participate in the comment threads. Say interesting stuff, and people will click through your name to see what your blog is like. If you write blog posts that are relevant to articles here, feel free to add comments here linking to them, too. And if you’re up for it, contribute articles here of your own – if you see a post on somebody else’s blog that catches your fancy and jogs some thoughts of your own, write us a post about it!

    • Andrew says:

      I’ve mainly been checking out the links, and not commenting.

      There is a few strange problems in general:

      1. Big post link dumps don’t inspire too many comments – after all, I don’t since if I have something to say, I’ll do it on the site that originally posted it!

      2. Small posts with a single link also fail, since even though the commentary is welcome, it becomes very overwhelming to keep up with (and again, anyway, people like to comment on the original article often if it allows it). However, this has added advantages – searchability (especially with tagging), and snuccits can be posted much much faster.

      Neither methods win out for me ;) A mix might be nice, perhaps try it out sometime.

      In addition:

      3. Lack of submissions as Matthew notes means sometimes things do get missed. This is fine, the internet is huge. Maybe add a submission form somewhere, where people can add their own reason and so forth.

      Finally, of course roundups of generally interesting blogs is entirely separate from posting actual links to separate posts. Doing a look at specific blogs in separate posts would allow some feedback directly on those posts. I see one spotlight, but that was definitely a post-mortem.

      I guess for other feedback; the site is nice, however you will want to sort out the UI for the sidebars and navigation bar sometime – a year from now, and there will be so many sidebar links (with no general links to categories) it’ll be hard to find items. I also note no tags – although this is a lot of work (and I like tag systems which include all keywords, items or people, but some prefer much shorter amounts of tags).

      As for contributing, hmmm, this site unlike some which piqued my interest that were getting more editors (Negative Gamer and ReadyUp specifically) is certainly on a much more focused topic. Maybe editors doing regular weekly columns would be good.

      I’m not too sure I can do that just yet, but I do have a project (still a WIP) that will be basically cataloguing a ton of links – specifically for preservation stuff (so, not just cataloguing on the game, but the content), and if I get that going I could work on the list of games I need to get done first and do massive looks at the critical appraisals, analysis and historical trend of reporting on a game title. We’ll see, still got a long way until I’m anywhere near done.

      Keep up the work regardless! see how late I am checking my RSS feeds anyway, I mean, isn’t this blog lark meant to only get comments in the first 12 hours then die? :p