About this project
The Offworld Collection is a beautiful hardcover book that contains some of the best and most insightful writing about video games ever printed on a page. It features a tremendously diverse roster of contributors, writing about everything from the fascinating world of women’s pinball, to the lingo of Chinese games culture, to the small, intimate games that explore how young adults deal with sex and technology. It’s a book for anyone with a passion for design, play and criticism, and we need your help to bring it to life!
When editors Leigh Alexander and Laura Hudson relaunched Offworld, our goal was to build a website that focused on the writing and game design work of women, people of color and other marginalized folks. We wanted to create a space that actively welcomed perspectives that are often ignored by mainstream game culture, a place where where we could share our expertise and insight into the art of game creation and the culture of play.
After a year of publishing incredible content from an all-star roster of writers, we’re running this campaign to pay for the cost of publishing a book collection—and to monetarily reward the people who have done this important work. We want to make a lovely, wonderfully-designed object to celebrate the excellence of Offworld and its contributors, a physical thing we can hold up any time anyone says “there just aren’t” people like us working in this space.
The Offworld Collection is a sophisticated but accessible look at an amazing landscape, where small, simple experiences can reflect our humanity. We hope it can introduce more people to the full breadth of what games, technology and play can mean, and who can participate in them.
We’re so proud of all the features in the book, which are just as varied as its contributors: Daniel Starkey delves into a game that reimagines Dungeons & Dragons roleplaying through the lens of Native storytelling traditions; game developer Catt Small writes about how designing a black woman protagonist mattered—even in a shooting game set inside tiny spaceships; Soha Kareem writes about healing trauma by making text games; Katriel Page explores how game-making is like poetry, while Shareef Jackson explains how it’s like hip hop.
Leigh Alexander and Laura Hudson also contribute features on everything from games where you can empathize with monsters to the tragic mortality of virtual pets. And we’re especially proud that Gita Jackson’s essay “We Are Not Colonists” was highlighted as one of the year’s best articles by the website Critical Distance.
Here’s a full list of writers who appear in The Offworld Collection:
- Leigh Alexander
- Laura Hudson
- Anna Anthropy
- Aevee Bee
- Katherine Cross
- Tanya DePass
- Sidney Fussell
- Gita Jackson
- Shareef Jackson
- Juliet Kahn
- Soha Kareem
- Aroon Karuna
- Merritt Kopas
- Riley MacLeod
- Maddy Myers
- Maxwell Neely-Cohen
- Kim Nguyen
- Sarah Nyberg
- Liz Ryerson
- Katriel Paige
- Catt Small
- Daniel Starkey
- Zoe Quinn
- Christina Xu
The primary cost of the campaign will simply be publishing and shipping an 8.5 x 11″ buckram hardcover book. We’ve also got to pay for book design, video editing, administrative costs, sticker art and printing, contributor copies, and fees for both Kickstarter and the fulfillment company Make That Thing. And of course, we’re going to be paying all the writers off the bat for every feature we include.
As far as our stretch goals, they’re simple: The more money we make, the more money we give back to our writers:
- If we reach $40,000, each writer receives $50 more per feature.
- If we reach $50,000, each writer receives $100 more per feature.
- If we reach $60,000, each writer receives $150 more per feature.
If we go past these goals, you guessed it: we’ll just keep giving everyone more money.
If you decide to back us (and we hope you do!) we’re keeping your options pretty simple as well:
- DOWNLOADABLE CONTENT — $15: The PDF edition of the collection.
- HARD COPY — $40: The hardcover and the PDF. A simple but elegant option.
- BONUS ITEMS — $50: A hardcover edition, the PDF, AND two die-cut stickers by artistElizabeth Simins: a cosmically beautiful Offworld design as well as her popular and instructive BLOCK sticker.
- FRIENDSHIP MODE — $75: Two (2) copies of the hardcover, the PDF and the stickers. Give the second copy to someone you care about!
- ILLUMINATI LEVEL PATRONAGE — $100: One hardcover, one PDF, the stickers, and your name emblazoned on a very special thank you page in the book. (We reserve the right to edit for appropriateness.)
- NUCLEAR FAMILY — $110: Three (3) copies of the hardcover, plus the PDF and the stickers.
- OFFWORLD QUEST — $500: A tier for true pioneers. You get the stickers, the PDF, five copies of the book, and a very spe custom Twine game created for you by the Offworld team. Also a place in our hearts.
Behold, our stickers:
The last year at Offworld has been unforgettable, and we can’t wait to transform the work that made it so special into a beautiful, tangible thing and share it with all of you.
Risks and challenges
All of the content has already been written, and we’ve hired the fulfillment company Make That Thing to work with us at every step of the process. They’ve helped us structure our budget for both the initial goal and the stretch goals, and will ensure that the book is published and shipped to our backers as quickly and professionally as possible.