UPDATE: Medium Difficulty is no longer accepting submissions or publishing new content. Please enjoy our archives!
Medium Difficulty is interested in critical examinations of games and related cultural phenomena. We believe that games do not exist in a vacuum, and should be approached from a variety of perspectives in order to understand them both as cultural products and as producers of culture. We are actively seeking writing that offers critical analysis of games and “geek” culture, in order to better locate the impact of our shared hobbies, enthusiasms, and obsessions.
Currently, we’re unable to offer any compensation for published writing, but we’re hoping to change that as soon as we can afford to.
If you would like to write for us, but can’t think of a project you’d like to pursue, there are several series for which we would welcome entries.
Close Playing: have you identified a theme, undertone, or implicit cultural message in a game that you feel has gone unremarked by most? Write a short piece (~1000 words) proving it’s there.
Gamer Profiles: we at Medium Difficulty believe that the standard language of “casual” and “hardcore” is limiting, exclusionary, and intensely problematic. We are interested in brief articles detailing the way you engage with the medium, and what draws you to it. Self analysis is a must. Possible profiles include “The Back Seat Gamer,” “The Arcade Enthusiast,” “The Flash Art Game Addict.” Help us develop a better picture of how, and why, people play games.
Reviews: reviews are a time honoured method for using some other work to launch into a discussion of another matter. Medium Difficulty is uninterested in telling anyone if a game is good or bad, or whether or not it is worth the price of admission. We are interested in critical takes on games that are able to discuss broader matters (whatever they may be). What are the games’ goals for itself, whether or not it achieves them? Why are they significant? What human impulse do they speak to?
Firing the Canon: amidst a plethora of “Best of” and “Best Ever” lists, gaming has created an informal canon of classic works. “Firing the Canon” is all about examining sacred cows and the assumptions that created them. Why is classic-game-X so revered? What is the context of its release? What can we learn from it now? And, why wouldn’t it work now? Be critical, be cruel, be honest. Sharpen your knives.