Some of you may have seen this, but this blog gets a fair bit of through traffic which is entirely unassociated to The Usual Places, hence I'm posting it here too. Mark's an intelligent man and an editor with a greater degree of vision than most in the industry, and this could be the start of something genuinely interesting.
And, yes, when writing the New Games Journalism piece I knew that Mark was planning something like this in the near future, and considered its purpose - at least partially - at preparing the ground for him like a videogaming John The Baptist.
This is an open letter to anyone who’s interested in videogames writing or having the unique achievements of their gaming community aired to a wider audience.
My simple view is that news-stand games magazines and large sections of the gaming community have gradually drifted apart.
As editor of PC Gamer in the UK, it is painfully apparent to me that while the magazine does a reasonable job of fulfilling its review/preview functions, it does not adequately reflect the incredible diversity of culture and invention that now characterises the PC community online.
I’d like you to help us put that to rights. Games mags are constructed
by small, tight-knit teams. In-house expertise is broad enough to cope with retail gaming, but the available resources are unable to cover the far-flung corners of gaming that now exist. That’s partly why magazines have failed to keep pace with their communities.
In order to cover these communities properly, PC Gamer needs their representatives to help us out. I regularly read web-published articles which I think are easily good enough to appear in a magazine. But the writer may never have considered that opportunity. Perhaps they didn’t think a games mag was an appropriate place for such an article. Perhaps they didn’t think it was good enough. Whatever the reason, I’d like you to consider submitting your articles to PC Gamer.
What kind of articles are we looking for? Anything. Anything that you could imagine yourself, as a gamer, opening a magazine and being
interested in. I’m trying to create a magazine that communicates the incredible experiences gamers have. A magazine that reports on the amazing transformations that dedicated communities have wrought upon the games they love. I think such a magazine would print articles about the destruction of Kerafyrm The Sleeper in Everquest. It would report on the morphing of games like Grand Prix Legends and Interstate 82. It could relate the tale of a dramatic duel in Jedi Knight 2 or cover the phenomenon of swoop bike races in Star Wars Galaxies. Anything at all. Single-player gaming, multi-player gaming, modding, MUDs, indy games. The building of the Space Station in There, the development of unique in-game body language. A well-argued opinion piece on the state of videogame interfaces. Crazy antics on stunt servers or a simple essay on how a game stirred an individual’s emotions. Anything which says something fascinating about game culture. The only rules are it’s got to be about games, and, if it’s not about PC’s then the article has to be applicable to the universal gamer. PC Gamer is not a console mag.
Articles can be of any length. And PC Gamer will pay for articles published. I can’t promise to say yes to everything, but I am open to all ideas. And if you don’t want to write but know of a vibrant gaming community we should cover then tip us off. We’ve recently been mailed by people involved with Trespasser, Grand Prix Legends and Interstate 82.
I hope this letter is not seen as a threat to some of the excellent websites that I regularly visit. Publication of an article in PC Gamer does not prevent its subsequent use elsewhere. Moreover, PC Gamer is not big enough to absorb the entire community’s output. But if you have an article at your fingertips that deserves a wider audience then let us know.
Editor, PC Gamer (UK edition)
Britain’s Best-Selling PC Games Magazine
Kieron Gillen's Workblog, foo'.