Writers that have helped me and need support

I’ve been meaning to put together a list of people who have both inspired me and could do with your support for a while. It’s an important gesture for me to make as the people I want to shout out have helped me a lot over the past several months, and they probably don’t even know it. So this is a way of me saying “Hey, thanks for being you and for helping me out”.

We owe a lot to the people we keep around us for many reasons. Obviously, family and friends are important, so make the effort to be with them and do interesting things (I’m saying this because it’s what I’ve been doing recently now I have the time and money to be able to). We all need support systems if we can get hold of them! But, in this particular case, I’m referring to how other people help shape us in how we think and interact with the world. This is dedicated to those kind of people – those who I read and follow online – those who have broadened my perspective and offered help with something, or maybe just said the right thing to cheer me up one day. Sometimes a link to something silly on the internet can do the trick.

Before I get to the list of people, I wanted to note that I’ve been actively trying to become a better writer. I mean, we’re always trying to be better at what we do, but I was under so much stress last year and the couple of years before it that I didn’t have time and couldn’t find the right mood to stop and soak in other people’s words properly. You know, to appreciate them, learn from them. Now, I am able to do that and happen to really enjoy it.

I never used to consider myself a writer. I’m a person who can find the types of obscure creations I like on the internet, and share them. Writing was just a way to try to frame them so other people might enjoy them. The difference now is that I do consider myself a writer and not just someone who shares things with people. Writing has become really important to me. Anyway, that was a long winded way of saying that the people listed below writers (among other things), and if you’re a writer, you should consider not just supporting them financially, but also learning from them, and conversing with them. I’d also add that the full list of writers (and other creators) that inspire me isn’t the one below, not by a long shot – this is focusing on those looking for support from people like you and myself.

(I’ve more than likely forgot some people that I wanted to put in this list so shout me if you know of some great writers that also need support!)

Lana Polansky

“I’m a game critic, crafter and writer. I also make zines and I edited a book of short stories called Ghosts in the Machine with game critic Brendan Keogh.”

Lana writes about videogame topics (among other interests) that you won’t see explored by anyone else. She finds a unique angle (like soup in videogames) and cuts into it with the veracity of a butcher, exploring every tendon and touching the squidgy bits, but will convey it with coherence and insight that leaves you thinking about the piece for a while. Her writing is like a strange new dish that leaves you mightily satisfied with its strong tastes.

Support Lana on Patreon: http://www.patreon.com/LanaPolansky

Cameron Kunzelman

“My name is Cameron Kunzelman, and I make videogames and write media criticism (mostly about videogames) at This Cage Is Worms.”

I’m pretty sure that Cameron is one of those writers I’ve been reading for a while without realizing it. From what I know I have read of his, Cameron writes in-depth series of articles based on a work (film, games, philosophy), exploring the big and little topics. Currently, he’s writing a series on Assassin’s Creed 2, for example. He also makes games. Some are about Slavoj Zizek (sort of), and some involve llamas.

Support Cameron on Patreon: http://www.patreon.com/ckunzelman

Mattie Brice

“My writing aims to push at the borders of our comfort zones and unchallenged common wisdom, from the diversity problems in both the content and creation of games, but also to reframe play and writing for new forms of expression.”

Mattie has done a lot for many people, I’m sure. She’s been a big help for people I know and myself in realizing the problems with the way we write about certain topics, namely diversity, minority groups, representation, and community. Alongside this, she creates her own games and looks to further explore ideas of play through other creative means. Mattie’s the person who often has a knack for getting down to the core of an issue and saying what we’re all trying to tackle with in our minds.

Support Mattie on Patreon: http://www.patreon.com/mattiebrice

Aevee Bee

“What I like to write about most are games that are just a little too weird, and worse, old, for these lovely publications to accept pitches for.”

Aevee not only writes about weird and strange games in a way that helps me make sense of them while also provoking more questions, but also helps support other writers, too! Her project Zeal (hosted on Medium) has produced some of the most interesting writing about videogames and art that I’ve read recently. That’s largely because the people who struggle to get pitches accepted at big publications are able to use it to write about the topics they want to – not what might get them paid.

Support Aevee on Patreon: http://www.patreon.com/mammonmachine

Liz Ryerson

“The website Critical Distance just named me Blogger of the Year for 2013 for my “raw, deeply-felt appreciation for structure and form”. i also made a game called Problem Attic which has been described as “provocative” and “an indescribably important videogame”.”

I want to say everything and nothing about Liz. She’s not easily summed up and I think that’s how she likes it. I will say that her writing has been a big inspiration for me, her game Problem Attic keeps growing on me, and her music is raw in a way that makes me emotional.

Support Liz on Patreon: http://www.patreon.com/ellaguro

Christopher Franklin

“Using pretension and big words to find humanity and heart in cold, indifferent videogame systems since 2011.”

Chris has a knack for covering topics surrounding videogames that is both entertaining and insightful. He calls them video essays and it’s a fitting description. It’s clear that he puts a lot of thought into every “essay” and certainly has helped to clarify my own thinking many times. It’s also great to have some video content on videogames that isn’t screaming down a microphone or singing the same tired ideas. He does good.

Support Christopher on Patreon: http://www.patreon.com/errantsignal

Cara Ellison

” I like to embed fact into impressionistic fiction: I like to give you an impression of what is in my head as I absorb games or what people are saying.”

Cara is the only person on this list I’ve hugged and that makes me sad. Cara writes the articles I want to see written about artists, videogames, and the vagabond lifestyle that seems to have chosen her. Yep, that’s right, she’s currently sitting on sofas around the world, physically embedding herself with creators and getting a sense of what they’re all about, what they think, and what their works means to them. It’s some of the best writing I’ve read within the videogames writing sphere.

Support Cara on Patreon: http://www.patreon.com/carachan


Here’s a few other people to support just to finish up:

Tim W. – I set-up a website called Warp Door with Tim to cover obscure games and it makes me very happy. Tim is the person who showed me videogames aren’t just, you know, shootymans and Mario.

Gnome – Writing for IndieGames.com and Warp Door, Gnome has been an advocate for adventure games, strange games, interesting retro games, and other small games for some years now.

The Arcade Review – This is the best magazine on experimental games ever. Look at it, buy it, read it. Maybe even send in a submission. I love this thing.

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