Category Archives: Site News

The Border House Wants You (to write for us!)

It’s almost Thanksgiving, which means we’re coming up on a third anniversary for the site.  Wow, has it been that long?  I’m fascinated by its growth over the past few years and really enjoy the community we’ve built up here.  But many of you have noticed that we’re just not outputting as much content as we used to, and it’s definitely not because there isn’t anything out there to cover!  We are in desperate need of new writers here, to liven up the space, bring some fresh perspectives, and increase our coverage of a wider variety of issues.  Please, will you consider?

What We’re Looking For:

  • General news coverage.  If you’re someone subscribed to hundreds of blogs through your Google Reader and you love scouring Twitter and the web for news and information, we’d love to have you.  We’d like to increase our coverage of the games industry through an inclusive light — not everything has to be a deep analysis.  We’d like to be a great place to come to get caught up with the latest happenings in video games without stumbling across language that offends and alienates.
  • Indie games!  Admittedly, many of the editors and writers here spend most of their time playing AAA titles (who can pass up a BioWare game after all) so our coverage of indie games is seriously lacking.  The indie games scene is also one of the most progressive – where lots of really interesting innovations in intersectionality are happening and we’re sad that we miss out on a lot of it.  We often hear disappointing sentiments that The Border House isn’t covering the great things happening in indie games, and the truth is that we don’t have anyone dedicated to playing these titles and discussing them here.  Could it be you?
  • Writers of color.  We can always be more diverse and we’d love to have more discussions here around race and ethnicity in games.
  • Like-minded e-sports players.  Games like League of Legends, Starcraft 2, Dota 2, Smite, etc. are on the rise and dominating the free-to-play space, so we’d love to see more coverage of these areas.  Particularly since they tend to be less inclusive than other genres in gaming, we’d love to inspire some change here.
  • Virtual world enthusiasts.  Second Life is still alive and well, and there are always interesting events going on that are progressive and interesting to cover.
  • Lower income gamers.  We feel pretty strongly that the video game hobby is a passion that everyone can share regardless of their socioeconomic situation.  We’d love to have a regular feature about sales, bargain-bin gaming, playing older freeware/cheap games, etc. to help out those less fortunate.
  • MMO coverage.  What better place for interesting interactions than multiplayer RPG type games?  Whether it’s the large MMOs like WoW, SWTOR, and GW2, or whether you’re playing the obscure free-to-play MMOs, we want to hear about it.
  • Contributors who don’t necessarily consider themselves game journalists or bloggers: we still want you!  We love the diversity of voices and one of our strengths is that the voices we broadcast are not ones that are frequently heard.  We will help you with editorial, with article ideas, and with support to help your voice be heard.
  • Regular columnists or occasional guest posts, either one is fine.  Ideally, we’d love to have more full writers who contribute regularly, but we’ll take what we can get!
  • Okay, I give up, we want basically everyone.  Console gamers, PC gamers, handheld/mobile gamers, you name it.  We want to amp up our content cadence in a big way, and we could absolutely use your help if you support The Border House’s efforts and greater vision.  You must be familiar with feminist concepts and not at the 101 level please.

What We Offer:

  • This is not a paid position, sadly.  We all operate on a volunteer basis, so please consider that carefully.
  • Your byline attached to every post, where you can link to your other sites and endeavors or personal projects.
  • The occasional free copies of games.  If you are ever interested in reviewing a game but don’t want to pay for it, you can reach out to the editors and we’ll see what we can make happen.  In many cases, I’m willing to personally pay you out of my pocket if you can give us some unique angle about the game you’re playing.   We also get offers for free review copies on occasion, though they are generally mobile titles.
  • Absolute freedom of schedule.  Many sites operate with a set editorial schedule, requiring you to adhere to posts on a particular day.  This is a very valuable management style that works well for most sites, but for The Border House it’s important that we allow as many voices to participate as possible.  As a result, we do not have any requirements for how many times a day/week/month that you post.  If and when you have something interesting to say, we ask that you write it up.  This could change in the future, but for now we think it’s a very inclusive method of operation for us.

How to Apply:

First, read our mission statement.  Next, read our discussion policy.  If you like what you’ve read, please send us an email at editors@borderhouseblog.com with the following information:

  1. One sample guest post of the kind of content you want to write here.  This can be something original created for the purpose of this application, or it can be something you’ve written at the past on your own blog that we have permission to guest post.
  2. If you include images in this guest post, make sure they are well captioned for sight-impaired readers who may be using a sight reader to access the website.
  3. A 2-4 sentence bio about yourself that we can post along with the article, which can contain links to your personal blog or website along with information about yourself to help frame your perspective for the post.
  4. Whether you’re interested in a regular ‘full-time’ writing position (misnomer since we don’t have any hour requirements) or just a guest post.

Our typical process is that we’ll post up your guest post and let you know immediately if we think you’d be a good fit for a author spot on the site.

We hope you’ll consider writing for us but if that doesn’t interest you, we’d love if you could spread the word and tell anyone you know who might be interested.

Your BorderJam 2012 Games

Below is a list of games made during the 2012 TBH Game Jam and submitted to the editors. If you submitted your game and it is not on the list, please send it in again! We have been having some trouble with getting all the games, probably because of issues with attachments. If you haven’t submitted your game, you still can! Just email it to editors at borderhouseblog dot com with your name or commenting handle or whatever you would like to be credited as.

Thanks again to everyone who participated, even if you didn’t submit. This event was a success, and we’ll definitely be doing it again next year! For now, enjoy these games made by the TBH community.

Brace by merritt kopas

A Dog’s Tail by Ike

Dungeon Princess by Corbiu Geisha

Et Ego in Arcadia by Christina Nordlander

Gourmand by Nathan Blades

JAM by Denzi

Phoenix Song by Alex

The Secret The Shack Holds by Maverynthia

A Tale of Two Ghosts by Glenda Nowakowski

#BorderJam: Thanks for Participating!

The first-ever TBH Game Jam has officially ended. I wanted to thank everyone who participated and who spread the word about the event. There are just a few things I wanted to make sure everyone saw about the end of the event and submitting your games and so on.

To submit your game: Email the editors (editors at borderhouseblog dot com) either your HTML file or a link to your game, along with the name you would like to be credited as. Or if you’d rather not email you can leave a link in the comments here. PLEASE consider submitting even if you think your game is terrible! (For one thing, it’s almost certain to not be as terrible as you think it is!) It will be really fun to be able to play a bunch of games made by our own community.

I’d like to get a post up with links to the games late next week. It will be convenient for me if you have submitted by then, but you can still submit your game after the post goes up! I’ll just add it to the list.

And that’s it. Hopefully we can do this again some time. If you have any suggestions or comments about the event you can leave them here or email the editors. Thank you again to everyone!

The TBH Game Jam Has Begun!

If you’re reading this, then the first-ever Border House Game Jam has officially begun everywhere in the world!

Your goal: make a game in Twine. Submit your game HTML file or a link to your game to editors@borderhouseblog.com by midnight your local time next Thursday, October 4th (please let us know if we should include any content notes or trigger warnings when linking to your game). The optional theme, as suggested by commenter Rear Admiral of the Admirable Rear, is borders. Physical, geographical, mental; pushing them, crossing them, building them up, tearing them down.

Feel free to collaborate with others or ask questions in the comments here or in the IRC Channel. Good luck and have fun!

Important Links:

The First Border House Virtual Game Jam Starts THURSDAY!

I’d like to invite all Border House readers and authors to participate in the community’s first-ever game jam, beginning this Thursday!

What is a game jam?
If you don’t know what a game jam is, basically it is an event where people get together to make a game under very strict time restraints. Most game jams are weekend events where participants spend 48 hours straight just making a game. Since this game jam isn’t a physical meetup, I’m giving you one week. Your goal is to make a game using TWINE, a tool that enables the creation of Choose Your Own Adventure-style games.

Why Twine?
First of all, it is very easy to use. Anna Anthropy recently published a great tutorial for it. You don’t need to know how to program to make a working game using Twine.

Secondly, the output of Twine is a single HTML file, meaning it is very easy to distribute. TBH will be happy to host your game if you’d like, or you can post it in your own space, and we will link to it in the wrap-up post.

So how does this work?
Starting Thursday at midnight (your local time), make a game! Submit your HTML file or a link to your game to editors@borderhouseblog.com by the following Thursday at midnight (your local time) and we will post it on the blog. Then check out the games the rest of the folks in the community made!

How can I possibly make an entire game in a week?
You can totally do it! Trust me.

The spirit of a game jam is just to make games–any kind of game. It doesn’t have to be long, or technologically impressive, or deep, or innovative, or polished. It just has to be yours. Because more personal games should exist for their own sake. For art’s sake.

If this interests you at all, please spread the word. Feel free to ask questions or collaborate with others in the comments here or in the TBH IRC channel. And if anyone has any suggestions for an (optional) theme, please leave a comment. Look for the kick-off post on Thursday!

Community Event: Roleplaying Campaign

Cover of the Savage Worlds rulebook: The Savage Worlds logo on top, a passport and photograph of step pyramid near a volcano, and the words "Explorer's Edition" on the bottom.

You asked for it and so it will happen.

The campaign will be a custom-made superhero setting based on the Savage Worlds rules. Don’t worry if you are not familiar with these rules, as they are quite simple as roleplaying rules go (which is the reason why I choose it).

To participate, come in the IRC Channel and say so. That’s it. In fact, come in the IRC even if you aren’t participating anyway. Server details below:

No schedule as of yet but I hope to get it running in mid-August.

Community Update

Playing multiplayer games without some asshole spoiling your fun is rather difficult, as I am sure many of us know. While it is not possible to completely eliminate their presence, the community facilities (I like to pretend we’re a fortress) were set up so that we can have a safe space for discussion and, of course, the playing of multiplayer games.

The scheduled gaming sessions went off to quite a good start. By now, everyone likely have found someone else to play with. With no newcomers in the past weeks, attendance have stagnated. What this means is that the sessions are no longer serving the community as well as before.

Oh no, we are not stopping Community Tuesdays. No newbies now does not mean no newbies later. What we are looking for are ways to make it more relevant, and since this is for the community, the obvious thing is to ask you what changes you would like to see. Game suggestions? Scheduling for games on platforms which aren’t the PC? Guild events? Online PnP RPG campaigns? Corbiu Geisha switching to a friendlier avatar? Something obvious which I missed? No such thing as a silly idea!

EDIT: IRC server details can be found here.

Guild Wars 2 with The Border House and Praxis

Logo for Guild Wars 2: the game name over a red dragon in the shape of the number 2

guest post by Dee

As many of you are probably aware, the first public beta of Guild Wars 2 is running this weekend, beginning Friday, April 27, at noon PDT (GMT-7) and ending Sunday, April 29, at 11:59 p.m. PDT (GMT-7).

We’re sure that many of our regulars are excited about the game’s launch, and as such TBH is pleased to announce a partnership with the similarly-minded guild/gaming community, Praxis.

Praxis and The Border House will be holding a meet-up for the duration of the April GW2 beta. Any interested TBH readers are encouraged to come along and enjoy the chaos! The primary contact for the event will be Dee, who can be found on Steam as alisdee, or in TBH’s IRC channel as dee. A server announcement will be made at the Praxis site and in IRC when the event starts, and TBH readers are more than welcome to either officially join up with Praxis’ in-game guild or simply hang out with our members. Hopefully we’ll be able to continue these events through subsequent betas and beyond, into the game’s launch.

You can check out The Border House’s previous GW2 coverage here. More information about Praxis can be found at praxisguild.com.

Hope to see you in Tyria!

Figures in the colors of the rainbow hold hands.

The Border House Podcast – Episode 6: Safe Spaces

Figures in the colors of the rainbow hold hands.

Figures in the colors of the rainbow hold hands.

 

At long last, the latest episode of The Border House Podcast! We’re changing up the format to be a monthly release and hopefully tackle more serious and current topics to make each especially worth it. Anna and Kim join me to talk about safe spaces and moderating ideologies, and I think we covered some ground on the topic. Be sure to comment with questions, comments, and suggestions!