Two prominent Australian game critics have launched a new publishing label to focus on long-form video-game criticism and analysis.
Brendan Keogh, who you might remember from the excellent 177-page Killing Is Harmless: A Critical Reading of Spec Ops: The Line, as well as his work in publications such as Edge, Hyper, Ars Technica, Polygon and The New Statesman, has joined forces with fellow critic Dan Golding, whose work has appeared in publications such as ABC Arts, The Guardian, Hyper and Crikey, to found Press Select, a new independent publishing label focusing on games criticism and analysis.
The aim of the publishing house is to provide the serious critical attention that video games as a medium deserve, alongside offering its critics a change to develop and explore their ideas in a more expansive medium. It plans to include in its roster of authors a number of today's most prominent critics, and is currently working with several well-known names: Patricia Hernandez of Kotaku, Brainy Gamer's Michael Abbott, independent critic Robert Yang, freelance critic Maddy Myers, co-founder and former editor of Kill Screen Chris Dahlen, game critic for ActionButton.net Tim Rogers, features editor of Edge Magazine Jason Killingsworth and game critic Jenn Frank.
The idea for the label was actually born of Killing is Harmless. "After I released Killing is Harmless, everybody kept asking me if I was going to write more books about games," Keogh said. "But really, I'm much more excited to see what other people would write about if given the opportunity to write a whole book about a single game. I want to see how they would approach it. Press Select is that opportunity."
Writers will be able to choose which games they approach and how, with the length of each work up to the author. Books will be released on a variety of DRM-free ebook formats, including ePub, Mobi and PDF, with a massive 50 per cent of the proceeds going directly to the authors initially and, after Press Select has recouped publishing costs, a higher percentage later.
The first book from the label will be available in early 2014, which is also when Press Select will be accepting submissions from new authors.
"It's been really exciting to see the changes that video-game criticism has seen over the last few years," Golding said. "These are changes that have gone hand in hand with the medium itself, and the kinds of conversations people now want to have about video games. With Press Select, we're really hoping to augment the ways that people talk and think about video games."