Every Last One

Gears of War 3 carmine banner

In light of  Microsoft’s marketing for the remake of the Gears of War series, Kill Screen writer Ethan Gach dissects the marketing strategy that’s been used for the series. Specifically, Gach writes how Gary Jules’ cover of Tears for Fears’ song, “Mad World” used in the game’s marketing fits—or rather doesn’t—with the title that merged the disparate worlds of chainsaw massacre with urban warfare.


Looking back at some of the writing that came out closer to the games’ original release, one can find similar critiques of its violence. Anjun Anhat, whose blog is very straightforwardly titled How to Not Suck at Game Design, discusses how the series’s tone is eerily reminiscent of propagandistic calls for genocide.


On the more mechanically driven end of analysis, this “first-impressions” piece of the Gears of War 3 beta by Patricia Hernandez offers a more deliberate analysis of how movement and actions feel in the game that, in retrospect, offer a useful comparison to the pieces above.

Good Games Writing establishes “PitchJam Fund” with Donation

Good Games Writing establishes “PitchJam Fund” with Donation

Funds will be used to promote work that may not otherwise find a home.

Lethbridge, AB–Good things come to those who read Good Games Writing (GGW), or, at least, those who pitch it. GGW is pleased to announce that a private $500 donation has been made available to the organization for the purposes of a “PitchJam Fund” that will go towards the solicitation of pitches for professional games writing content. Plans are in place to replenish the fund regularly.

The generous donation comes to GGW via a private individual formerly involved with the PitchJam event, which gathers professional games media freelancers and editors, who donate their time to provide high-quality critique to up-and-coming writers, after witnessing the value of events like this firsthand.

“This first of its kind donation to GGW will go to commissioning articles of all types that may not otherwise find a home,” says acting Editorial Director, Evan McIntosh. “This is an investment into writers that will get them started on the right foot, and extends our mandate of developing writers further. We are deeply humbled to be receiving such a commitment.”

Pieces commissioned by the fund will be featured on goodgameswriting.com, ad-free, after a rigorous editing process meant to challenge writers to grow, improve, and refine their writing.

“While a monetary donation such as this is impressive, it’s not the only donation we’ve been blessed to receive. This weekend, 13 professionals donated their time and knowledge to enhance the voices and skills of developing writers during #PitchJam 3. Without donations such as these GGW would not survive, let alone thrive. We are truly blessed to work alongside such talented individuals.”

Outreach Director, Joseph Knoop, adds “It means the world to us that games journalism professionals believe in Good Games Writing‘s cause to make donations of any kind. We rely on the goodwill and professionalism of many talented writers and editors to build this next generation of journalists, and #PitchJam and the new PitchJam Fund are more examples of how our efforts reap tangible growth.”

“With the success of our 3rd annual Pitch Jam we’ve been able to reach a brand new generation of games writers and provide them with the opportunities only professional experience and collaborative spirit can obtain.”

Further details on the PitchJam Fund will be released in the near future along with #PitchJam debriefing.





The future of warfare

Image: Oculus Promotional Image, Fair Use

“How better to address a generation of soldiers raised on FPS games than by mimicking their popular entertainment? That’s the question resident historian and game journalism extraordinaire Robert Rath poses in his profile of author P.W. Singer’s latest novel “Ghost Fleet.” Does Oculus Rift bode ill for our military’s ability to stay focused during briefings? Will generational dispositions to technology create even further gaps? These are just some of the daunting questions explored in Rath’s comprehensive look at one possible glimpse into the future of warfare.”

Read it here.

#PitchJam 3 Is Underway

Welcome to #PitchJam.

From this point on you have 28 hours to submit your pitches. Final pitches are due in at 11 PM August 15, 2015.

All pitches should be sent to thepitchjam@gmail.com. Please package your pitch like you would if you were sending it to a publication. Everything from the format of the pitch proper to the subject line should be a part of the total package you’re sending in. Our expert panel certainly will think it is.

Once your pitch is submitted it will be coded with a unique 5-character ID. Please do not lose this ID as it will serve as both your reference number and unlock other goodies down the road.

Your pitch will be sent to part of the panel for critique–a minimum of one expert, as many as the whole panel (!)–and your feedback will be returned to you as it comes in. Please allow until the 17th as issues always arise in this event.

We can always be reached by tweeting us @GoodWritingVG.

Speaking of, we’re blessed to have the following panelists joining us for PitchJam 3.

We humbly suggest you follow the above panelists. We thank them for their time and dedication to helping the games media community!

Looking for a great resource to show you some good pitches and why they were accepted? Check this out http://fiveoutoftenmagazine.com/2014/07/pitch-jam-three-great-pitches/

Want to join the conversation? We’re back channeling on Twitter all weekend with the #PitchJam hashtag. Join in the conversation in a freelance friendly way.

A number of announcements will be made throughout the event, including potential chats with the panelists, mini-podcasts, and other bits of tid. Stay tuned to this post for more.

Happy pitching!

You’re in the Desert and You See a Tortoise Crawling Toward You…

The Fall evaluator

The podcasting crew at PopMatters‘s “Moving Pixels” section, that is, G. Christopher Williams, Eric Swain and Nick Dinicola, dedicate their latest episode to The SwapperThe Fall and the place of artificial intelligence, both as a concept and as a design element, in videogames. I should probably make you aware that PopMatters is my old stomping ground and these are some of my old colleagues, but like much of their work, I enjoy it immensely and find the discussion useful and enlightening.

A Man’s Post-World

Fallout Shelter

On his personal blog, Eugene Fisher describes how a patriarchal system arises from Fallout Shelter‘s pregnancy mechanic even when women are, ostensibly, no different statistically from men. It’s a good analysis that shows how ideology slides even into the most benign design choices.


Her Story blurry

Jacob Doolin adds his own thoughts on this summer’s indie curiosity, Her Story for Byte, where he discusses the game’s place among the growing trend of mystery stories. Although murder mysteries aren’t new to fiction, with the recent releases of Gone GirlTrue Detective and now Her Story, Doolin seeks to find a place for the new game in light of the growing fascination with the murder narrative.

PitchJam 3


Good Games Writing is proud to announce the third annual Pitch Jam to take place August 15 to August 16, 2015.

Are you a freelance writer looking to receive comprehensive feedback on your pitching skills? We’re assembling an expert panel of professionals (editors, freelancers, and more!) to give you a guaranteed critical evaluation in the name of building your overall skillset, but only if you submit your pitch on time. Last Pitch Jam, we critiqued a large number of pitches, and given the success of previous applicants, we anticipate a very large turnout this year.

That said, you absolutely must RSVP in advance to #PitchJam so we can gauge the number of participants. Got a feature explaining the connection between Gwent and tarot cards, a profile on an indie developer with the next big hit, or a ‘listicle’ on the best Splatoon loadouts? Hit. Us. Up. RSVP will be up starting August 1st.


As long as you submit your pitch within the 72 hour window of the event you will receive feedback on it. Simple, right? So don’t miss a great opportunity to learn from and connect with accomplished professionals! Games writing should celebrate self-education and professional development of new voices, and #PitchJam is here to make that happen.

Who: Developing writers OR established editors/freelancers/etc

What: Pitch Jam! Where developing writers get guaranteed feedback on their pitches and veterans critique as they hone their craft.

Where: Online with your standard email account and back-channeling with us on Twitter via #PitchJam

When: August 14 pitches will start being accepted until late on the 15th. Feedback will be received on the 15th and 16th.

Why: You want to get better, right? In addition to great feedback, this is an excellent time to network.

Questions? Hit us up at thepitchjam(@)gmail(.)COM

Catch Me a Dream

Dreamfall Chapters Zoe caring

Fem Hype writer, Ruth Wynne reflects on Dreamfall: Chapters episode 3 as a part of her ongoing look at the series. It’s not so much a review as an ongoing examination of the ongoing game in relation to its storied history and the genre at large. It’s as much an examination of what Dreamfall offers as it is of what we expect from densely narrative adventure games. Bonus points for writing such an analysis without including any spoilers.

Not like any Other

Dragon Age qunari

Elizabeth Sampat discusses the complexities of Dragon Age‘s qunari for Gamasutra. While most speculative fiction (especially videogames) props up an Othered race to guiltlessly give into a violent xenophobia, according to Sampat, the qunari are a case of ever-evolving nuance, where they are not treated as barbaric animals but as a complex and flawed society like any other.