Yesterday, I launched PlayWrite. It is a place for everyone who loves to play games, make games, and think, talk, read and write about games.
My idea, at least initially, emerged from my desire to write about games and play and how they can help us to learn and change for the better. A bit like what my PhD is about – but written in a more casual way. I wanted to contribute to something fairly low-key – not a games journalism site – I wasn’t going to be reviewing games (at least, not generally anyway). I also didn’t want to write for more formal publications, like journals. I felt that because I hadn’t been published in a games writing capacity before, that I wasn’t really ‘qualified’ to write about games. Then I realised this was a bit of a nonsense thought – OF COURSE I CAN WRITE ABOUT GAMES – Silly Imposter Syndrome!
And then it hit me – there are probably many others that would also like to write about the games and the industry they love, and might feel the same as me? So I set about making PlayWrite, so that I could write about games, and so could everybody else.
My goal for PlayWrite, is for it to be a place where people can feel very comfortable to contribute. Articles on PlayWrite are ~500 words – this is an accessible word length to express your thoughts, not too lengthy, and it is also a fairly quick read.
In exploring the site, you might notice that it doesn’t have comments. There are two reasons for this. Firstly, (and mainly), really good comment sections require really close attention and careful moderation. There is always going to be difference of opinion and experience, and curating the communication of these things takes a lot of time. The second reason, (highly related), is that I simply don’t have the time. This site is not monetised. It is something that I have put together myself in my own time, and with my own money. I am a full time PhD student, with a part time job and a family. I don’t have the time to allocate to comment moderation. Allowing comments, but not having the time to moderate them properly, exposes the site and the writers to the potential of extreme negativity. I really want the website to be a safe place for everyone. Having said that – I do allow (and welcome) comments on this site – I will be the only one writing here, and I suspect that I really won’t get too many (if any!) comments anyway :)
Regarding submissions to PlayWrite, I am very keen on having maximum diversity & inclusion; but in order to do this properly, all content needs to be proofed. There may a situation where I am unable to publish an article because of the tone or the content. It is my hope that this will be rare. I want everyone to have a voice. Except people who are engaging in toxic behaviour, they don’t have a voice on my site.
In terms of community, by integrating the site highly with twitter, it is my goal that the site will foster lots of communication, and new connections. As far as communication goes, I decided not to reinvent the wheel. People can discover new people via the site, and then connect with them on twitter. PlayWrite is simply a platform for expressing thoughts and ideas about games, the community will naturally form around it by way of the new connections that it fosters.
I know everyone is very busy, but if we can all share our knowledge in these snack sized articles, we will end up with a banquet of wonderfully diverse thoughts, knowledge and experiences about games and play. And that’s a banquet that I am so proud to be a guest at.
So come and check it out, and I look forward to devouring your article soon :)