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?