After establishing a games blog for Crikey, Daniel Golding has moved on to do something similar for the ABC Arts site.
His opening post on the ABC Arts site demonstrates a clear goal to further the recognition of games as an artistic and cultural medium in Australia, lamenting that the clearly winning method of attaining attention from those outside of the industry has thus far been to point to the reams of money made by Australian games, rather than their intrinsic value.
Golding gave MCV the following parting words from his time at Crikey, in which he laments certain elements of Australian games journalism, and provides hopeful insights for how things may be shaped or changed in the future:
I’m really excited to be moving to ABC Arts, and in retrospect, I’m pleased with what I was able to achieve at Crikey. I think the beauty of Crikey was in asking an informed, but non-games specific audience to think seriously about videogames and videogame culture. Even just asking that question can have an impact on the way that an audience understands videogames, but also the way that videogame makers understand themselves. I’m not trying to big-note myself, as in many ways my work remained a niche for videogames writing and journalism more generally (it’s no stretch to say that many PR workers in particular had no idea what to do with me), but just that the opening of that space for the art and politics of videogames culture inevitably has an impact. It’s not about forcing anyone to do anything, and it's not about patrolling borders—it’s about providing new spaces and new questions for games culture and the mainstream alike.
I also think that it’s a pity that videogame journalists have taken a long time to come around to the idea that their audiences might be interested in reading about how videogames fit within a broader cultural and political sphere. Australian games journalists have always understood that when it comes to things like classification, but still seem to have a hard time capturing the essential importance of things like the National Cultural Policy, or even the guidelines for Screen Australia's Games Fund. Australia’s journalists have done such a great job on a wide variety of issues, but we’ve been speaking to the same group of people for a long time now—perhaps too long. Writing only for young men who feel like they’ve played videogames for all of their life is boring, and I think everyone knows that. Maybe my successor at Crikey—which is an open question at the moment, and I can’t promise anything—can go harder on these issues.
At ABC Arts, the agenda will be similar to my Crikey work, but I’m hoping to use the platform and the more relaxed publishing schedule to do more in-depth arts-style journalism, which means a focus on craft and a focus on makers rather than industry and design. Why do people make games in Australia? What do they think about? What do the people who play them think? These are the kinds of questions I hope to look at over the next little while. It’s exciting times.