2023 Critical Distance Update

I’m here to provide a look at the financial side of Critical Distance. In 2022 we needed to run an emergency GoFundMe to fix our tax status, and that’s not a place I want us to be again. After fixing our tax status, I spent 2023 getting our financial status in order. Our goals are to be stable, and to get a few extra things added to the site to better achieve our mission.

First, from the stability side: We’re stable!
Our Patreon has us raising just enough money to maintain monthly operations, which includes paying our curators, hosting the website, and paying various business fees to state and payroll operators. Our grant from the Australia Council for the Arts covers the cost of production for the Keywords in Play podcast, including transcription, hosting, and paying hosts and compensating guests for their time. Between these two sources we actually managed a positive income stream, have a decent bank balance and are able to think about what we need for the rest of the site.

Second, for looking forward:
For as long as I’ve been involved with the administrative side of Critical Distance, we have been asked to help preserve the writing we link to. We have made some best-faith efforts in our own time but they have failed for a variety of reasons. I want to do this. I think we have the money to hire someone to do this. We published a project page explaining what we want to achieve. Our goal is to find someone capable of doing WordPress development work, hire them, and implement it. Our primary impediment is that our Board is unpaid volunteers doing this in their spare time and casual attempts at finding people hasn’t yielded results. If you think this might be work you can do professionally, join our Discord and send us a note!

Finally, I’d like to look back. We’ve been around a while and gone from “One man’s scrappy PhD project” to “Community touchstone” and that’s had its pains. There are a lot of things we have done that I am extremely proud of.

  • A successful Patreon that pays for our excellent curators, including Kaile who we just brought onboard this year!
  • A fantastic Discord community that has seen great growth, with the help of our wonderful volunteer moderators
  • Kris was able to step down as Director of Finance: While their work made Critical Distance the success it is today, the fact that we were able to get their responsibilities transferred to other people means we are becoming an “organization” that can outlast individual member’s tenures instead of “a slapdash collection of volunteers” where one person walking away endangers the entire project.

Thank you to all of our readers, supporters, Discord posters, and most of all the incredible people writing incredible things about video games.

-zach, director of business