WE WANT TO SHOW THE WORLD WHY GAMES MATTER.
Bluword, founded in 2017, is a video game arts & culture website in search of beautiful things from the realm of video games. Bluword is dedicated to help people find and share all the good writings about play and interactivity. We are interested in the intersection between games, play, and other seats of culture, from art to music to design.
Our goal is to facilitate dialogue. We aim to build a foundation for ongoing conversations between developers, critics, educators and enthusiasts about critical issues in games culture.
We are not a review scores aggregator or a buyer’s guide, but a compendium of the most incisive, thought-provoking, and remarkable discussion in and around games. Our work has helped new writers to find their voice, helped educators to find resources to help their students develop critical thinking, and has helped developers to become more reflexive in their design practice.
In addition to providing our readers with a consistent level of quality and critical insight, we want Bluword to accommodate as many different perspectives and unique voices as we can. A diverse pool of writers and thinkers produces a much more creative conversation.
Bluword aspires to be a safe space. We do not link to works which contain hate speech or are abusive toward individuals, or individuals or organizations who have demonstrated a history of abuse. Bigotry and toxicity are not welcome in these pages.
Bluword wants to promote the works and voices of those not already served by the mainstream. We believe those outside the main body of the conversation can have as much if not more to contribute as an established critic. We are always looking for new blogs, streams and channels.
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PLAY DOES NOT MEAN A WASTE OF TIME.
One of the most unpleasant by-products of our Puritan ancestry is the negative association between fun and work. We are told: if you are having fun, you are not working. Fun is simple-minded; work is struggle; time is money. Time spent in play must be a waste, right?
We think play is a fundamental human endeavor. Play motivates us and speaks to our most natural human inclinations. Play greases the wheels of social interaction. A life immersed in play is a life well-spent.
VIDEOGAMES ARE MATURING AS A MEDIUM.
Out of the sprites of Spacewar!, games have burgeoned into a diverse and sometimes magical field. Games at their best reflect all of the wonder, beauty, and intelligence found in music, film, theatre, literature, and the rest of the arts. We believe that our conversation should not dwell on whether games deserve their place in the pantheon of the arts, but *which* games deserve it.
EVERYONE GAMES, BUT NOT EVERYONE IS A GAMER.
We are moving out of a world where people ask Do you play games?, and moving into one where we ask What games do you play? Everyone plays. The term gamer, however, connotes one highly specific culture. There is nothing wrong with the popular expression gamer, nor with that culture, but we are more interested in the question of what type? as opposed to whether at all.
GAMES ARE CONNECTED TO EVERY OTHER CREATIVE FIELD
It is a common misconception that games are something apart from the rest of creative production. Nothing could be further from the truth. Game-making is a fundamentally creative act and those that pursue it face the same dilemmas as painters, musicians, dancers, and poets. To make games is simply to make.
BUT GAMES HAVE A LOT TO LEARN FROM OTHER CREATIVE FIELDS.
The moat around games is partly of game makers own design. Game creators have not received the necessary exposure for the public to respect games as art. At times, gamemakers have hidden themselves from the public. At their worst, games can be insular, narrow-minded, and pandering. We want Bluword to help bring culture to games and games to culture.
ALL GAMES ARE SOCIAL.
In the history of games, only a handful have been single player. Yet games possess the reputation as private and anti-social. We believe that all games are social. They are either played with others or played against the designer herself. We believe that all games should be played, and more importantly, discussed, with one another.
GAMES ARE SERIOUS BUSINESS.
Games generate billions of dollars of revenue for global economies, yet they are barely covered by the financial press. Games make a lot of money but do not yet command much attention.
GAMES AND GAMERS ARE MORE DIVERSE THAN YOU THINK.
The range of creative products over the past decade demonstrates a real shift in the demographics of gamers and the interests of game makers. We believe that everyone has the perfect game waiting for them.
GAMES ARE AT A CROSSROADS RIGHT NOW.
The Comics Code Authority led to book-burnings that set back sequential art a half century in the United States. The Hays Code regulated the film industrys output and prevented the ridicule of the clergy and depiction of drug use. Rock n roll was banned from dance halls around this country just fifty years ago. Games are young, just emerging from similar growing pains into their maturity as a medium. We want to document this growth. We want to be the vanguard that pushes games away from its misunderstood past and towards its bright future.
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We feature nonfiction and fiction over 1,500 words, and many of the stories come from our community’s recommendations.
To submit a previously published story for our Editor’s Pick consideration, send a link to [email protected], or share the story using the #bluword tag on Twitter. For stories not yet published online, submit them here.