Friends, we are excited to announce that Critical-Distance is branching out into new curation territory: Let’s Plays. For some time now, we’ve included Let’s Plays that engage critically with game content in our This Week in Videogame Blogging feature. As Let’s Plays become more popular avenues for people to engage with criticism, ideas, and play, we’d like to give them their own curatorial focus. With that in mind, we’re looking for submissions by Jan 31st for a pilot run of: This Month in Let’s Plays!
So, what are we looking for? Here are some examples:
Let’s Plays That Offer Criticism of a Particular Game:
For instance, Brendan Keogh’s critical Let’s Play of Modern Warfare
Or Cameron Kunzelman’s Let’s Play of Grand Theft Auto
Let’s Plays that Engage a Particular Issue Across Multiple Games:
While these may not be Let’s Plays in the most traditional sense, since they don’t show sustained play of a single game, these style of commentary allows us to use a visual medium to discuss other visual media: games.
Errant Signal provides some great source of this type. Take a look at this one on the concept of “fun”:
Historical/Preservation Let’s Plays
At this point Let’s Plays also allow us with a means to preserve, in some way, the play experience of games that – for the average player – are now hard to access due to the inaccessibility of outdated platforms.
Leigh Alexander has done some great work in this area already. For example, here’s her Let’s Play of Death in the Caribbean:
Multiplayer Lets Plays
Another advantage of Let’s Plays is that it affords the possibility of collaboration and dialogue between two players/critics/thinkers in real-time.
A great example of this type of Lets Play can be found at Stream Friends. Here’s their first Let’s Play of Knock-Knock:
Just because I haven’t listed it here doesn’t mean we aren’t looking for it. I’ve merely tried to identify some of the more common types of Let’s Play that have been emerging. In fact, let me take a moment to clarify what we aren’t looking for because, honestly, that might be easier: we aren’t looking for Let’s Plays that violate our Missions Statement in any way. We aren’t looking for Let’s Plays that add nothing to conversation about games or are simply straight video of a game being played. We aren’t always, necessarily, looking for video: Let’s Plays can take many forms including screenshot posts, Storified livetweets, and much more besides. So we welcome your critical eye as well as your creativity!