Games journalism

I’ve written about tabletop board and card games for publications including The Guardian, Vice, Ars Technica and Tabletop Gaming Magazine. I’ve also appeared as a guest on radio items discussing analogue games. I regularly review newly released titles and have extensive contacts with game designers and publishers. If you’d like to talk to me about contributing to a gaming media project, please drop me an email.

If you’d like to send me a review copy of a game for possible inclusion in a future article, that’s great! But please be aware that while I try to play every game I’m sent, I can’t guarantee to feature any particular game in an article. If I haven’t written about your game six weeks after you’ve sent it (or within a month of its release date) then I probably won’t be covering it. This doesn’t necessarily mean that I didn’t like your game, there are space and editorial constraints that mean some releases just aren’t a good fit for the publications I work for.

FAQ

  • Do you get free games from publishers? Doesn’t that make you biased in your reviews?

Publishers send me review copies of new games. This is a common practice across the media industry. Book publishers and film distributors also make their products available to critics ahead of release. No publisher has ever attempted to influence one of my reviews, and where a game has serious flaws, I’ll always discuss them.

  • Do you get any other help from publishers?

In the past game publishers or distributors have paid for things like my travel, accommodation and food when attending media events they’ve organised. When this happens, I always mention it in any resulting article.

  • How can I get a copy of my game to you for review?

If your game is distributed through Esdevium in the UK, that’s probably the easiest way to send me a review copy. If you’d like to send one yourself, email me for contact information.

  • What kinds of games are you most likely to review?

If your game is visually appealing, that’s a big plus. You can have the best game mechanics in the world, but if they’re presented in a very plain and uninspiring way then they’re not going to grab a reader’s attention. Original ideas, new gameplay experiences and fresh artwork are an advantage, and I love seeing designers break away from tried-and-tested motifs like dungeon-crawling adventure and zombie survival to explore new thematic territory. Your game also gets bonus points if it does a good job of representing female, minority and LGBT characters.

I write for some very general audiences which include folks who aren’t hardcore gamers, so games with simple setup and clear rules go to the top of the pile. I am interested in more complex, strategic games, but they’re likely to end up in publications with a specific focus on the gaming community.

Around 40% of my audience is in the UK, so I’m not able to cover games which aren’t readily available to British customers.

  • Are there any games that you just don’t cover?

I don’t cover games based around “adult” humour. This means games like Cards Against Humanity. I’m also not currently covering Kickstarter projects or video games.

  • Can I talk to you about appearing on a TV or radio item about games?

Sure thing. Email me to discuss what you’re looking for. However, please be aware that I’m not able to do unpaid contributions.

  • Will you write about games for my publication?

Please email me to discuss your plans. Please only contact me if your publication pays its contributors. I won’t respond to emails offering work for “exposure.”

  • I run a gaming convention. Will you cover it/appear on a panel?

I can only cover events if someone commissions a piece on them, and to be honest, most editors aren’t all that interested in conventions. I am interested in attending industry events, but mainly because it’s a useful way to speak to designers and publishers.

If you’re planning a panel on games in the media or another subject you think I might be useful for, please email me with some details.