July 2013 – ‘Blogception’

Before we get onto July’s topic for Blogs of the Round Table, this seemed a good time to look at the format for BoRT and see if we could run things better. I’ve been in charge of this now for… almost a year? Really? Jings. Blogs of the Round Table has been running for quite a while now, and the format has subtly changed. The first iteration, curated by Corvus Elrod for over six years, was a discussion between various bloggers who already corresponded with each other anyway. Several of these writers left when Corvus did, and that’s understandable – blogging can be an exhausting pastime.

The second iteration under Ben Abraham and third under myself are slightly different: topics are given and responses are written, but there’s not a lot of back and forth going on between writers. Of course, the reason for this is because I publish write-ups at the end of the month and few know what’s been written until that time. Currently, it’s a bit like the Christmas card competitions I entered in primary school: everyone submits their piece and we put them all on display at the end, although unlike the aforementioned competitions prizes aren’t awarded due to nepotism. Anyway, moving on from my bitter childhood…

The name of this series is Blogs of the Round Table. We have the blogs, but we’ve lost the roundtable aspect- we have a series of presentations rather than a conversation. BoRT should be like we’re all meeting up at a bar, talking about videogames over the beverage of our choice (the BoRT bar serves excellent coffee, tea, soft drinks and a mean martini). Sometimes the conversation is contentious, it’s often pretentious, but because we all respect each other as human beings we all have a great time and learn a little along the way.

So here’s how we’re going to change the format:

  • I will post a new topic at the start of the month as usual. This may come with an extended blog post from one of the Critical Distance staff, or a link to something else we found online. The topics will still have a theme.
  • This BoRT post is the home of the discussion: as I receive new submission blogs, I’ll update the ‘BoRT Linkomatic’ so new blogs are reflected on this page immediately. We’ll also use the @critdistance Twitter account to post regular updates, so follow us!
  • Your duty as a writer is to leave a comment on a blog to which you respond with a link to the response piece, to give them a ‘right of reply’. Keep the conversation going.
  • At the end of the month, your humble curator will try and make sense of the whole thing.

So without further ado, this month’s theme is “Blogception”:

What is the future of videogame blogging? Has it been usurped by social media and YouTube pundits, or is it still thriving? Is a one-sided conversation one worth having?

On his blog Only a Game, Chris Bateman summarises a recent ‘blog moot’ between several bloggers. Should blogs be about “exploring my own issues in a semi-public forum” as Corvus Elrod muses, or “something like an 18th century Salon… serious chat with nice folks” as Chris Lepine claims at The Artful Gamer?

Your blog can be a direct response to the topic, or can explore the points raised by the other blogs. Write what you like! I will update the BoRT Linkomatic automatically, you can see the current submissions here:

Hey look, there’s one already! I wrote it myself! If I can come up with a blog, anyone can.

Use this code to embed the links in your blog:

<iframe type=“text/html” width=“600” height=“20” src=“http://www.tinysubversions.com/bort.html?month=July13” frameborder=“0”></iframe>

Please email us your submissions or tweet them to @critdistance and @AGBear with the #BoRT hashtag.

Don’t forget the Rules of the Round Table:

  • Blogs of the Round Table is not curated. If you write it, we’ll publish it, as long as it’s connected to the topic.
  • Your blog does not have to be in English. If you submit a German piece I’ll try my best to read it; if it’s another language I’ll find someone else.
  • If your work contains potentially disturbing content, please include a suitable warning at the start. Use your common sense.
  • You can submit as many articles as you like throughout the month, and it doesn’t matter if they are commercially published, paywalled or available for free. We will need a transcript for paywalled content to be approved.

I’d like to thank Oscar Strik for taking the time to email me, inspiring this month’s change of direction. Remember that we’re not a closed shop and your emails make a difference.