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Save Critical Distance!

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Hey everyone. We're Critical Distance, famous tastemakers of game critics everywhere. And we need your help.

The Short Version

Critical Distance must file some expensive paperwork to maintain our federal non-profit status. We cannot absorb these costs ourselves, so we're seeking help from our readership and game enthusiasts everywhere, like you.

The Problem

Because Critical Distance is an educational non-profit without any grants or institutional backing, we are almost entirely funded by your donations. However, our savings and current Patreon funding level are insufficient to cover these new filings. Even if we were to empty the site's bank account and pay the remainder out of pocket, Critical Distance would still be forced to close its doors. We simply aren't bringing in enough money to keep the site alive.

But one thing at a time. For now, we are trying to raise $3,500 to cover an accountant and related fees. Any additional donations will be put toward improving the site and paying contributors.

The fact that all of this started over a single unchecked box on a single form is a testament to just how broken the United States tax system is. If it takes us, a bunch of overeducated nerds, four years and thousands of dollars to get to the end of this maze, what hope do ordinary people have?

"You would have never read any of my words if it wasn't for Critical Distance." --Brendan Keogh, author of Killing is Harmless and A Play of Bodies.

About Critical Distance

Founded in 2009, Critical Distance began as a Wordpress site highlighting the emerging New Games Journalism scene. Straddling the divide between pop criticism and academia, Critical Distance sought new perspectives and voices to counter the consumer-focused firehose of major videogame sites.

Today, we're recognized as one of the tentpoles of modern games criticism. Our roundups and digests have been featured in The Guardian and Game Developer. We offer hand-curated selections of the best games criticism, journalism, blogging, and vlogging: weekly snapshots of videogame critical discourse stretching back over a decade. Together with our archival efforts to preserve the articles we feature from link rot, our website contains possibly the most comprehensive historical record of New Games Journalism anywhere on the internet.

And we haven't even mentioned our other features! From resources for budding critics to our podcast collaboration with the Digital Games Research Association, we're not just devoted to the past -- we want to pave the way to the future.

Graphic design by Terry Burdak.

In Summary: Help

Critical Distance was founded on the belief that art criticism is for everyone. For almost 14 years now, academics, journalists, developers, and enthusiasts from around the world have enjoyed our features for the diversity of topics and perspectives they offer.

We don't do this for the money. We do it because the Internet was supposed to bring about a great democratization of thought, a new intellectual commons. The spirit of New Games Journalism is still alive and well; it's just been pushed to the margins by the same corporate takeover of journalism that robbed us of so many great websites and writers.

Please join us. Help us save Critical Distance so we can continue answering the question the site was founded on: "Where is all the good writing about games?"

"The work that Critical Distance does is so valuable, to devs as well as academics." --Richard Lemarchand, Lead Game Designer on Uncharted 3 and Associate Professor with USC's Digital Media and Games Division.

Other Ways to Support

If you'd like access to monthly digests and exclusive photos of Kris's cat, consider signing up for our Patreon! We'll also be overhauling our perks over there in the next few weeks to make your membership even better. In the meantime, spread the word! Every contribution helps.

If money's tight, not to worry: just aggressively bug all your friends, family, classmates, coworkers, and professors about us. Let them know that art, culture, and the historical lineage of videogames criticism are on the line.

Hey... Thanks

If you've gotten this far, it must be because something in our pitch interested you. Listen to that instinct. Critical Distance would not be the site it is today if not for the trust and support of readers like you.

After you’ve donated, come join us on the official Critical Distance Discord server! Drop by for riveting discussion and special community events, including writing jams, open mic nights, and What Are You Playing Wednesdays. And lots of Kirby.

Signed, the Critical Distance Team:

Ben Abraham, Founder
Chris Lawrence, Senior Curator
Kris Lorischild, Director of Finance
Zach Alexander, Director of Business
Zoyander Street, Director of Communications
Emilie Reed, Director of Events


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Critical Distance
Los Angeles, CA

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