“What is the Well-Red Mage about?”



What is all this about?

It’s September, 2017. Another scandal writhes through the gaming world. All I can think is how it’s all too much. Over the past several months, I have seen divisiveness, toxicity, and extremism taking video games captive and bringing them low. Games, which have the capability to bring people together and fill them with joy, became surrounded by so much ugliness and drama. It seems that all of the vitriolic language, the venomous blame-shifting, the rampant politicizing, the infantile name-calling, the calls for suicide, the shock factor, the click baiting, the slurs… these continue to dominate the sorry state that the gaming world is in. Games were havens for many of us when we were growing up, places where we could escape from the dirt of the world. Now, even games are being swamped with controversy. It’s tragic.

At what point is enough enough?

My vision for this place is still taking shape. It’s been in a state of flux since I founded it with a couple of friends in February of 2016. Now I’m beginning to see why I’m here and why we started this movement. I believe both games journalism and the gaming community have so much more potential than we’re seeing now.

When I opened our Patreon page, I was still searching for that note of finality in terms of our concept. What was it I wanted to create? A website? A business? A mainstream journalism alternative? A physical magazine? A source of long-form analysis? Now I know. I want to create a new future for games journalism and, by extension, the gaming community. I want to see a future built on mutual respect, civil discourse through disagreement, real community and thoughtful content in a friendlier internet. I’m sorry, is that too much to ask?

Of course there will always be people who are more interested in making snarky or rude one liners than in having any meaningful exchange of ideas. I can’t help that. I also can’t guarantee that I’ll never reveal my worst sides or be completely drama-free. But I can build a community of respect, put out a rallying cry for a vision that anyone can get behind if they want to see a better future for gaming.

Why do I write video game reviews, primarily? At first, because it was something to get more writing practice on, but there are so many reviewers out there, after all. I can’t be the best reviewer but I can have good intentions. I write reviews now because they allow me to express my opinions and deepen the discussion surrounding video games in order to engage with others and their opinions in such a way that it cultivates new relationships, not new enemies.

Why crowdfund that? Because I want to create more and better content that exemplifies the virtues I’ve mentioned. Because I want to see hard-working and thoughtful writers paid for the hours that they put into creating such content and shaping the future. Have you ever stopped to wonder why there’s so much emphasis on video production, music, and podcasting but so little value placed on writing? Writers do a lot of work and they work just as hard as performers, YouTubers, streamers, and musicians. Writing today is very much an unsung task but it has so much value to offer. I want to create a self-sustaining community built by writers from the ground up that’s capable of feeding financial resources back into those same writers. People still consume tons of written content. The world just needs to figure out a way to make that written content adapt. Words shape and change the world.

This is what The Well-Red Mage is: a global community building a future for games journalism and gaming. I want to know if you’ll build it with me. If that’s what you want, consider supporting the future and share this page wherever you can. We can find others who want this future too.

I’m just someone who enjoys writing and video games, but is any dream too big?

-Moses Norton – About page


These fine people are supporting a better future: Warriors of Light
You can also consider jumping on board as a contributor: Join the Party


37 replies »

  1. Thankfully, as Lord C is commenting *Wavy Voice* From The Future!! (Brrr it’s dark & scary & there’s sex bots… *Shudders*)
    but seriously though, I tend to miss everything to to ‘Timelapse backlog’ for example, I currently have over 10 issues of GamesTM, 4 OPMs, a recent Xbox mag & a newish copy of New Scientist… & I won’t read then for a while due to ‘Depression Wall’ but I do miss the days when all it really was was: hey! Mario or Sonic? Pokemon or Digimon? Or Duel Masters even!? Would you snog Lara Croft, but like, with all tongues n that? *Giggles*
    *Sighs Heartily* Ahhhh Memories!!!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. BRAVO! With so much going on in the world games are
    a refuge for fun, imagination, and exploration. Being
    immersed in another world, in another persons shoes
    is a way to push boundaries and challenge conventions.

    Just like any good story, there will always be difference
    of opinions, different themes will resonate with different
    people, there are no right or wrong answers. Video
    games are just as subjective as anything else.

    Unfortunately in this era of copy/ paste/ press release,
    “editorial” is used as an alternate tool to reinforce said
    press releases with little divergence, let alone analysis.

    Out of the ashes of click bait, a new community appears…

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I started reviewing games because I wanted to share my opinion about games just like people I watched and follow. AVGN, Doug Walker, Projared and so much more.

    I know that the content I write isn’t a big crowd puller since I don’t write about the most popular new and retro games.

    I currently enjoy this community quite a lot. The articles on here and on other WordPress blogs by group of friends and individuals are so much better than big sites who have to write a lot of articles that draw in people to generate money.

    I supported you on Patreon simply because I like how you are using the budget to improve the site and services towards the reader. I feel that you put the readers and the community before the stats of the site. The theming of the whole site is very well done and suits the content here perfectly. It’s like gaming characters actually playing games.

    Thank you for being such a great writer and supporting other writers and providing content like this 🙂

    Much love from your buddy in Belgium

    – Jonez

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much, Belgium buddy! I very much appreciate your encouraging and inspiring words and of course your support for the future of gaming and our vision! I hope to be able to give back to this community through the content and the funds we generate. I hope I can live up to your and everyone’s expectations! That keeps me going!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. You have very admirable blogging goals, my mage friend. I’m proud to be a Warrior of Light and I wish you and your writing team of mages great success 😀 It’s been fun watching you all grow as one website!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, LightningEllen! And thank you for being a part of making this future happen! Of course I don’t know all the details now but I do know we are working on building a bigger audience and following (isn’t everyone?). I’m excited to see how this future can come to be!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Ignoring the latest scandal becomes easier once you realize that news sources survive off of them, and will generate them from whole cloth if nothing else is going on.

    Ah to pine for the halcyon days of yore when, indeed the only “scandal” was “blast processing” and someone complaining about the use of the word “bitchin’ in a roller blade game advertisement in a magazine. There’s something to be said for the world not knowing everything all at the same time, but those days are long gone. Instead of talking to people for tips and tricks we all can just turn to the internet and find everything in pre-recorded videos and avoid having to speak to any real people. The wonders of technology!

    Man, I miss my SNES…..

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes! And the fact that that’s so infectious in so much of the mainstream sources, and that people are fed up with it, indicates that there will someday be much more room for a reorganization of sources. I miss those days of yore too and we indeed can’t go back, not with the internet. I can’t remember the last time I read news from the big outlets but it’s a lot of times the people themselves that perpetuate that kind of content by relying on shock factor to build their own identities and presences as well. So it’s time soon for a revolution, for people to create the kind of gaming scene they want and the kind of journalism they want to digest. Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for sharing your thoughts! I guess there’s really enough room in the gaming world for talk that’s primarily about games. Kind of strange that people are pointing out that’s something unique about what we’re doing. I have my views on those subjects, of course, but at the end of the day, if someone wanted to hear some views on politics, they could go out and easily find those. If the content and context of a game allow it, then fine, but otherwise, let’s just talk about the games.


  6. I remember the simpler days where we all just played video games and there wasn’t always a controversy hanging around them. How times have changed! Still, this site is a lot of fun because it really focuses on the video games and you’ve done a great job of growing this blog quite a lot from when it first started. I’m sure your patreon is going to do really well/continue to do well and I look forward to the fun content that comes out as a result!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Sometimes I wonder: “were there controversies back then in the gaming world but I just didn’t know about them?” Yet everything I seemed to hear growing up had to do with the console wars. Those could get ugly in and of themselves, but at the same time, I don’t think it ever got so bad as a new controversy/scandal every few weeks with journalists and gamers tearing into each other. It seemed like there was much more affection between the two back then. Also, it’s not like we were talking about millions of viewers watching a man use a slur while livestreaming either. I think gaming, its community, and its journalism could be so much more, so much more hopeful, joyful, delightful.

      Anyway, thank you for your kind words. I guess I know now what to bank on: keeping a site maintained and focused on the games and not the drama. We’ve never really been a news site, anyway, but there’s a lot of stuff I wouldn’t want to necessarily have to report on! We’ll see what happens and what we can put out in the future. Thank you!

      Liked by 1 person

      • No prob! Also, you’re probably right that there were controversies like that in the past and we wouldn’t have noticed it. I definitely know that I would have been out of the loop since I didn’t even use the internet all that frequently until I was a teenager. I’d just look forward to playing my games every Friday/Saturday and would have fun trying to find all of the secrets and unlockables. Good times. I do like that we have a lot of resources nowadays for finding the secrets and knowing what to expect, but I did love just finding things out for myself back in the day. Each game was a mystery until I’d play it.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. I like this site because it focuses on the games. Not personalities, not drama, not politics, just the games and whether they stand on their own merit, and the memories, themes, and feelings the medium can express.

    Liked by 3 people

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