Meet The Australians Who Want To Transform Game Criticism With 'Press Select'

When Brendan Keogh released his book Killing is Harmless: A Critical Reading of Spec Ops: The Line, he didn't necessarily expect to sell 6000 copies, but when that happened, he and fellow games critic Dan Golding had a lightbulb moment. People enjoy video games. People enjoy reading about the video games they enjoy. Maybe they would enjoy reading more books about video games they enjoy. Written by people who enjoyed them.

Enter 'Press Select': an independent publishing label committed to launching long form criticism focused on video games, written by some of the best game critics currently bashing at keyboards.

According to co-founder Brendan, the inspiration came from a simple desire to read books, like the one he had written, by other critics.

"After I released Killing is Harmless, everybody kept asking me if I was going to write more books about games," explains Keogh. "But, really, I’m much more excited to see what other people would write about if given the opportunity to write a whole book about a single game. I want to see how they would approach it. Press Select is that opportunity."

Brendan's partner in this endeavour is Dan Golding. Dan, like Brendan, has written for Kotaku Australia, and currently writes for the ABC Arts section. To Dan, Press Select is about the conversations we can have about video games.

"It’s been really exciting to see the changes that videogame criticism has seen over the last few years," he said. "These are changes that have gone hand-in-hand with the medium itself, and the kinds of conversations people now want to have about videogames. With Press Select, we’re really hoping to augment the ways that people talk and think about videogames."

It's a great concept, with a great line-up. Kotaku's Patricia Hernandez is currently scheduled to write a book for the fledgling label, alongside Tim Rogers, Chris Dahlen, Michael Abbot (The Brainy Gamer) and Jenn Frank. We're looking forward to finding out who write about what, and what they write!

You can head to Press Select's newly launched website for more information and you can follow them on Twitter here.


    @shane I propose a collaboration on an in-depth analysis of The Dig.

      I'd need to play it first, man. I never finished it! :P

        No, no, no, it's fine, you can just write the first half. :P

          This will be the best write-up of all time.

      In Haiku form.


        Last edited 22/08/13 3:01 pm

        This is chapter one:
        An indepth look at digging,
        what it means to dig

    I purchased Brendan's book, it's a really interesting read. I'm not sure I agreed with all of it but if this ends up with more of that sort of content I'm all for it.

    Nice! I'd be keen to check some of these books out.

    What's the total split for writers like?

    50% of every sale will go directly to the author. Once publication-related costs are covered, the majority of every sale will go straight to the author for all future sales.

    Nice model, especially if majority means like 90%+

    Hopefully there's a market for it. I mean there's a huge array of blogs with articles on gaming. And in an age where many people tend to like consuming bite sized pieces of info, it's harder for books to gain traction.

      Wow. Having worked in publishing, the going rate us more like 10-20% minus costs (and less on exports) so that's generous!

    Tim Rogers is writing one?


      Lead singer of You Am I?


        Edit: Not really. He's written a few great articles for Kotaku.

        Last edited 22/08/13 1:28 pm

          i've written a couple weird / dumb / jokey / trollish / long ones, though for this thing i am planning something far more serious~~~

    Yahtzee would be a great addition.

    Anybody read Extra Punctuation?

    Last edited 22/08/13 2:41 pm

    Kotaku’s Patricia Hernandez is currently scheduled to write a book for the fledgling label, alongside Tim Rogers
    I'm out forever.

      No way I totally want to read about how random gay jokes in games are destroying the fabric of society!

    I highly support this endeavor. Quality writers given the time to write quality reviews, and being paid properly? Geez - if it was only like that when I was writing!

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