Back in 2009, Critical Distance was founded to answer the question: “Where is all the good writing about games?”
Our goal for the last seven years has always been to facilitate dialogue. Through roundups, roundtables, podcasts, and critical compilations, we provide one place where all the most important discourse is collected together.
We aim to build a foundation for ongoing conversations between developers, critics, educators and enthusiasts about critical issues in games culture.
We are not a review scores aggregator or a buyer’s guide, but a compendium of the most incisive, thought-provoking, and remarkable discussion in and around games, keeping it archived for years to come.
Our work has helped new writers to find their voice, helped educators to find resources to help their students develop critical thinking, and has helped developers to become more reflexive in their design practice.
In addition to providing our readers with a consistent level of quality and critical insight, we want Critical Distance to accommodate as many different perspectives and unique voices as we can. A diverse pool of writers and thinkers produces a much more creative conversation.
Critical Distance aspires to be a safe space. We do not link to works which contain hate speech or are abusive toward individuals, or individuals or organizations who have demonstrated a history of abuse. Bigotry and toxicity are not welcome in these pages.
Critical Distance wants to promote the works and voices of those not already served by the mainstream. We believe those outside the main body of the conversation can have as much if not more to contribute as an established critic. We are always looking for new blogs, streams and channels.
Critical Distance is a public trust. We are funded entirely by our readership to provide public, open resources for everyone who might benefit from us. This goes both ways: our current and upcoming features are all open for your use, but their quality is directly determined by your contributions. If you have a link to an article you wish to share, send it in! If you want to run an edition of This Week in Videogame Blogging, write a Spotlight or a Critical Compilation, or take part in a podcast, let us know! At Critical Distance we believe that community is something that we build, all of us, together — so we hope you’ll get involved!
We greatly depend on and appreciate your feedback as we do our work. If, in our error, we fail to uphold any of these tenets, we hope you’ll get in touch with us.
- To hear more about Critical Distance’s curatorial outlook, be sure to check out: Former senior curator Kris Ligman’s presentation from Critical Proximity 2014.
- If you are interested in learning more about the early history of the site, be sure to check out founder Ben Abraham’s presentation from the same conference, “An Oral History of Videogame Blogging.”
For more information see:
Content warning policy
If we have to link to something abusive for the sake of context, or if something deals with a tough subject in a way that might be triggering to others (for instance, a post on sexism might recount the author’s experience with abuse), it will in all circumstances be bracketed by content warnings. At present, Critical Distance provides content warnings for at least the following: racism, rape, sexual assault, sexual harassment, homophobia, transphobia, misogyny, ableism, child abuse, graphic violence, and graphic nudity.
Similarly, whenever we link to content that is heavily reliant on images, audio, or video to communicate with its audience, we try to give content notes that consider diverse user needs; for example, when we link to videos, we note whether there is a full transcript available and/or whether the captions have been generated automatically or manually.
More content warning tags will be added as the situation warrants. Please give us feedback about more ways that we could signpost content to better suit your needs.
Meet the Team
Zach Alexander (Deputy Curator): Hailing from the Edge
Alan Williamson (Systems Administrator): Five out of Ten Magazine
Eric Swain (Moderator, Critical Distance Confab): The Game Critique
Mark Filipowich (Co-chair, Blogs of the Round Table; Chair, Critical Discourse): Big Tall Words
Ben Abraham (Founder): i am Ben Abraham
Kris Ligman: Dire Critic
Contributors and Correspondents
Zolani Stewart: The Arcade Review
Johnny Kilhefner: Portfolio
Emma Kidwell: Portfolio
Melissa King: Portfolio
Taylor Hidalgo: The Thesaurus Rex
Pav (Deputy Francophone Correspondent): Youtube channel
Joe Köller (German Correspondent): Haywire Magazine
Oscar Strik (Scandinavian Correspondent): Sub Specie
Michel McBride-Charpentier: Portfolio
Michael Clarkson: Ludonarratology
Erik Hanson: Gamers With Jobs
Denis Farr: Vorpal Bunny Ranch
David Carlton: Malvasia Bianca
Ian Miles Cheong: Gameranx
Katie Williams: Alive Tiny World
Alex Cox: Future Starters
Mattie Brice: Alternate Ending
Cameron Kunzelman: This Cage is Worms
Lana Polansky: Sufficiently Human
Lindsey Joyce: The Joycean
Riley MacLeod (Chair, This Month in Let’s Plays): Haywire Magazine