This site wouldn’t exist if it wasn’t for Critical Distance. Neither would Five out of Ten and scores of other writers’ careers. When you’re a blogger of little consequence, it’s difficult to gather an audience for your work. You publish a blog, no one reads it, and you repeat this for a couple of years, but nobody cares. Kris Ligman cared though – enough to feature our writing in This Week in Videogame Blogging, enough to make us feel that we weren’t completely redundant. That feeling that you actually matter, even if it’s only to a few people for a little while, is hard to forget.
Now it’s time to return the favour. Critical Distance has just launched a Patreon page, and it’s off to a terrific start, but we all need to throw our weight behind this campaign and support the site. I’ve been working as a volunteer with Kris and the rest of the Critical Distance team for a couple of years now – but I won’t be asking for any money from this – and am delighted to be able to financially support a site that means so much to me.
I have issues with Patreon as a mechanism for funding journalism (that’s another story for another day), but Critical Distance isn’t a blog. It’s a curated archive, a vital resource to ensure that important writing is acknowledged and preserved. When you think of it as an institution like the British Museum or National Trust, then you can see that the Patreon model makes perfect sense. You can’t support such an endeavour with advertising revenue or a paywall, and your retweets and platitudes are sadly not enough.