I recently realised that while I subscribe to a lot of newsletters, very few of them are about games. And of the ones about games, most are written for industry professionals and cover the production and business of games. They’re less about recommending or critiquing games, which is what I’m interested in right now.
So I asked people for their favourite newsletters about video games – and here’s the list!
Note: Descriptions are paraphrased from the newsletters/websites themselves.
Game Reviews and Criticism
50 Years of Text Games (inactive): Traces a path through the history of digital games without graphics, by picking one game from each year between 1971 to 2021 and taking an in-depth look at how it works and why it’s important. Now a wildly successful Kickstarted book (which I backed!). Published monthly, free.
Clockwork Worlds: Austin Walker’s thoughts about games, movies, music, etc. Publishes infrequently, free.
Electron Dance: Words and films on gaming. Publishes a couple of times a week, free.
How Games Change the World: How video games are changing the ways we live, learn and interact with one another. Publishes monthly, free.
Pushing Buttons: Keza MacDonald’s look at the world of gaming for The Guardian. Publishes weekly, free.
Rock Paper Shotgun: The Sunday Papers: A digest of the week’s most important stories as covered by the RPS team. I think this is the same as the Rock Paper Shotgun Weekly newsletter. Publishes weekly, free.
Small Screen: An independent curation experiment by Campbell Bird, who has been covering mobile games since 2013. Recommends one game per newsletter. Publishes monthly or less, free.
Not newsletters but people sent them anyway:
Arcade Idea: An examination of a selection of canonical and interesting games going chronologically from the 1940s all the way up to the present. Publishes monthly, free with Patreon.
Critical Distance: Weekly roundup highlighting the most important critical writing on games from the past seven days. Not really a newsletter since I believe the website is the main way to read it, but you can get some updates via email if you’re a Patreon supporter (like me!) Publishes weekly, free.
The Digital Antiquarian: A historical chronicle of interactive entertainment. Again, not a newsletter but you can get updates via email if you support on Patreon. Publishes every two weeks, free.
Gamers with Glasses: A gathering place for scholars, developers, artists, and fans of video games and tabletop games. It’s a site for people who like to think about play. Publishes weekly-ish, free.
UppercutCrit: Devoted to punching up through high quality content that focuses on highlighting marginalized voices and great criticism. Publishes near-daily, free.
Mostly or Entirely about the Games Industry
Axios Gaming: Keep up with the multibillion dollar video gaming universe, from the hottest games to the most interesting studios and players, by Stephen Totilo. Publishes twice-weekly, free.
GameDiscoverCo: A regular look at how people discover and buy video games in the 2020s written by ‘how people find your game’ expert and GameDiscoverCo founder Simon Carless and his company colleagues. Publishes twice-weekly, free (a paid $15/month tier gets you an extra weekly newsletter plus other useful stuff; I am a subscriber).
Hit Points: On video games and the game industry, from writer, consultant and former Edge editor Nathan Brown. Publishes twice-weekly. £4/month, half of the issues are free.
Levelling the Playing Field: Level up your game development career with the lessons, processes, and tricks from Rami Ismail’s’s decade of successful game development! Publishes once or twice a month, free.
This is not an exhaustive list of newsletters, it’s just what people sent in, so if you aren’t included, don’t get annoyed at me!
Feel free to leave a comment with your own newsletter, preferably not mostly about the industry, please! Include a link, short description, how often you publish, and if it costs anything. I will try to update this list occasionally.
Photo by Florian Krumm on Unsplash
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