Thank You Kris!

Hello readers, fans, and friends of Critical Distance!

Back in 2009 when I started this little website, I had no idea what would happen. I thought, at best, it might become a moderately useful resource for the game blogging community. In the years since, Critical Distance has become something of an institution, part of the landscape.

In 2011, after two years of running and managing the site with a bit of help from some friends, I had reached the end of my endurance. Luckily, Kris Ligman was there and willing to take over the site, and since then it has been almost entirely her project.

It’s now 2013, two years since Kris took the reins and now she too is stepping down to take a well earned break while we reorganise a bit. So this first announcement post is to say thank you to Kris for the awesome and wonderful work she has poured into the site at great personal cost for over two years now, and to let you know that we’ll be making some changes over the next few weeks. The second post, coming in the next few days, will be to explain what’s next for Critical Distance, and to outline what our ideas are for the site to keep it going in a more sustainable way. Kris isn’t “leaving” Critical Distance, but she will be stepping back from leading TWIVGB every week and hopefully when we come back with the new TWIVGB it’ll be easier for all involved (and we hope to get you, dear reader, involved a little more as well – but more on that later). We’re still not quite sure right now whether we’ll miss any weeks of TWIVGB coverage between now and when we transition to the new format, but we’ll do our best.

Last week I contacted just a few people from the community who have been involved with Critical Distance over the years and asked them for a short message for Kris. If you would also like to leave a message of gratitude or appreciation for Kris and the work she’s done, please leave them here in the comments.

Brendan Keogh

Kris, the time and effort you have put into keeping TWIVB running for more than two years now has been utterly crucial to the sense of a real, emerging ‘scene’ of games criticism that has matured the past few years online. Without your sacrifice of your time and your strong curation, we wouldn’t have the great community that so many of us depend on. Thanks so much for all your work!

Cara Ellison

The attention Kris paid to my work was profound and beneficial in so many ways, and often helped me think that I wasn’t writing for nothing. Basically, Kris helped me build my career into something I could do on a weekly basis after I lost my job and had to go full time. That’s an incredible impact on me and has provided me with a way to pay my rent. Knowing I was being appreciated by someone who receives a lot of games criticism was important, and I’d like to continue this favour for others. Thank you, Kris.

Kate Cox

Being regularly featured on Critical Distance quite literally changed my life.  It drew attention to me and my writing that I otherwise would not have had, and gave legitimacy to what I was putting out there.  That attention led directly to my being hired at Kotaku for 2012 and completely changed my career path and trajectory forever.  That is one hell of an impact and I owe y’all, and Kris in particular, a drink or seven for making it possible.

Richard Clark

Kris, thanks so much for all the hard work you’ve done on Critical Distance. I’ve always thought of Critical Distance as a place where I can be regularly challenged by games writing rather than pandered to, and I know you had a lot to do with that. I’m especially grateful of the way you have featured a spectrum of perspectives and voices that I wouldn’t otherwise read or consider. I hope you realized how crucial and appreciated your work has been!

Richard Lemarchand

Dear Kris, I just wanted you to know that I think that the work you’ve done for Critical Distance is extraordinary. The energy and effort that you have put into the site has allowed it to remain one of the most – even *the* most – important places on the internet to get an intelligent, even and humanistic view of the state of games criticism and culture.

But beyond the editorial and intellectual chops you’ve brought to the gig, what amazes and delights me time and again is the well-considered wit with which you frame everything. I never thought games criticism could be so funny. Thank you for all your hard work. You’re brilliant!

Kate Simpson

Hey Kris, congrats on two years of CD. Thank you so much for all your hard work on your amazing link roundups, and everything else you do for the community! – Kateri.

Patrick Lindsey

I think Kris has done a fantastic job and I’m a huge admirer of what she’s done with CD.

Chris Dahlen

Thank you so much for all your awesome work!  Critical Distance is one of the last sites out there leading people to smart game crit, and the world would be poorer without it – I know I would be, too.  Thanks for keeping it going!

Johannes Koski

Hey, Jason!

Please tell your most excellent human that her contributions to Critical Distance have been the highlight of my week, month after month both pre and postdating your arrival to the scene. I know Kris spending time compiling CD posts might mean less petting for you, but you know, Jason, I think ultimately it has been in your favor too. Not that you’d read the blogposts or anything, but surely CD has a better blog-to-petting ratio than if Kris did, say, This Week In Investment Tips Blogging. So, thank your most excellent human for me, and tell her that she’s awesome!

Eric Swain

I remember what was not too long ago, but seems like an aeon away, when an excited neophyte who squeed with glee at being followed on twitter and over time evolve into the hard nosed, no nonsense, typewriter pounding professional we have before us. It takes more than enthusiasm and intelligence to do this week in and week out (but certainly needs them), it requires a certain endurance of mind, eyes and spirit. It’s one thing to do it once in a while, but quite another to keep at it. Thank you for your tireless ongoing effort.

Alan Williamson

Where do I start? Kris has given her time, often thanklessly, to reading and curating thousands of essays over the past two years. If it wasn’t for her work at Critical Distance, I wouldn’t have kept blogging at Split Screen – never mind joining the CD team to give back to a community that I found so encouraging and supportive, then launching Five out of Ten with the friends I had made including Kris herself! I owe a lot more to her than I can realistically cover in a paragraph.

Kris, thank you for your superhuman efforts over the past couple of years. You make me proud to be a part of Critical Distance, and you’re a great friend.

Matthew Burns

Every so often a cultural commentator poses the question: “where’s all the good games writing”?

Thanks to the efforts of Kris Ligman and her co-contributors over the past two years, we’ve been able to point to a ready answer each time– Critical Distance. The site’s weekly roundup of notable games writing tracks important issues, highlights breakout work, and helps to amplify voices that might otherwise become lost. And its regular publication serves as a valuable record of the trajectory of the discussion over time.

Please join me in thanking Kris, Ben, Eric, Alan, and everyone else who works hard to make Critical Distance happen!