Gosh, I miss the brainygamer vibe. Critical Distance came out of it, Leigh was a big part of it, I even attended a couple of dinners with Michael Abbott and the smart, dynamic folks he encouraged and inspired.
It’s nice to see Leigh, successful as the editor of Offworld on Boing Boing, give a call out to the way it used to be five years or so ago, even as a part of this lovely piece on fatigue among female writers and game developers.
At that time there was no Twitter. There was no “the community.” We had no forum for conversations about the supposed injustice of a labor economy whereby people write blogs and others benefit from them without paying money. The sphere of games criticism I was part of when younger — the “Brainysphere”, we often called it, after web ringleader Michael Abbott of the Brainy Gamer — was imbued with a gentle awe. There was a brightness and a newness to what we were doing, it felt like, and while of course none of us invented games criticism it’s fair to say we were all part of the invention of a kind of conversation in our field, where we were exploring with and investing in one another. I never wrote good articles then, but I must have had good ideas, like the others who participated in this exchange with me.