Taking a Risk

“We knew it was going to be a tough slog, and we didn’t make it. I’m glad we tried.” Managing Editor Stephen Winson leaves his final comments about re/Action.

Well, it’s come down to it. We knew it was going to be a tough slog, and we didn’t make it. I’m glad we tried.

I wanted to publicly thank Mattie for asking me to be a part of this effort, and Andrea for being great to work with.

I wanted to thank all the writers for their generosity in giving us this work to publish, and for being great to work with as an editor.

And of course, a thank you to everyone who either pledged toward the project or helped spread the word if they weren’t able to help, and ask that if you believed in the mission we had; people with different perspectives from the mainstream, doing good work, and getting paid a reasonable sum for it; that you give the money and attention you would have given to re/Action to a particular person whose work you saw here caught your eye, or another project that intends to pay people for the work they do. That such a basic thing as paying for work is not universal is both depressing, and one of the main reasons I gave my time to this effort. Because it needs to change.

Lots of people who gave their time to re/Action have GoFundMe campaigns, things you can buy, or other ways to accept donations to help them pay basic bills while working for little to nothing to do the work you’ve seen from them here and elsewhere. And those needs don’t end at the list of people who worked on this project. Just because this campaign has ended doesn’t mean that the need re/Action was trying to meet has gone away. Those people are still out there, and they need your help as much as this project needed it.

To those that sympathized with what we were trying to do, had the means to contribute, and didn’t; there is something I’d like you to think about when you read game criticism, or when the next project like re/Action pops up on your radar.

Lots of people who have important things to contribute to the critical conversation surrounding games don’t have the support networks that let them survive while working in it for what is effectively nothing (or the ability to wait until a publication gets around to paying them). Maybe you, like me, are sick of being forced to deal with ads for fake dating websites, one neat trick for scamming you in some way, or a fake secret from a fake person from your town that *insert profession here* hates.

Changing that situation means getting money to people in some other way than looking at ads. It means discarding the blinkered notion that anyone but a privileged few can do any of this hard work (and it damn well is hard work) for passion or “love.” If you are doing something, thank you, and please keep doing it. If you aren’t, it’s about time you took a risk on people who are taking a risk. Find people, or groups, or companies that are trying to do something different and give them some damn money. Buy a subscription. Contribute to a campaign. Buy their book. Flat out give them money. Start your own games criticism publication that insists on paying these people a living wage, because you know how to do it better than we did. Don’t watch from the sidelines. There’s bigger things to worry about than looking stupid on the dance floor.

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Stephen Winson (@stephenwinson) is the technical editor of re/Action. When he’s not doing that he’s fixing computers, playing games, reading, or trying to stop his kitten from destroying the apartment.

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