We want LTN content to be hopeful, critical, thoughtful, inclusive, and prophetic. There is much that is good, true, and beautiful in gaming and nerd culture—we want to celebrate those things. We also recognize that there are aspects of gaming and nerd culture that are not good, true, or beautiful but demeaning or objectifying. In these instances, we want LTN to be a prophetic voice. By “prophetic” we simply mean that LTN content should speak the truth in love. We want this site to be a place where people find life-giving analysis of all areas of nerdom. We desire to be an outlet where writers can be creative and honest. We do, however, want to avoid creating controversy that will distract from our greater mission. We do not ask that you refrain from tackling controversial issues—often it will be important for us to speak honestly or prophetically about controversial issues, but we must always keep our mission in mind as we do so.
With that said, here is the information we would like content creators to have prior to submitting to LTN:
Love Thy Nerd Site Content Should be . . .
We think that nerd culture is brimming with truth, beauty, and goodness that is worthy of experiencing and celebrating. We believe that games have the potential to tell powerful stories and to involve us in those stories in unique ways. We believe games can and often do speak to the human experience in honest and compelling ways.
We believe that everyone who has ever made a game is made in the image of God, and that games possess tremendous potential for good. We think games can teach us empathy and enrich our lives in meaningful ways. We realize that there are lots of games that are little more than entertaining diversions. We think there is value even in those games. Escapism and diversions can be welcome and needed at times.
We also realize that some people have an unhealthy and even potentially addictive relationship to videogames. We do not condone such a relationship, but neither do we believe that such things change the fact that games have tremendous potential to be a positive force in our lives and in the world. When writing critically about addiction or violence, we should never lose hope for the good that can come from a responsible relationship with the artifacts of nerd culture.
When we say critical, we do not mean disapproving or judgemental, but the secondary definition of critical: expressing or involving the analysis of the merits and faults of a work of art. And here we don’t mean analysis of whether or not something is good, but rather what a piece of art means. The job of a critic is to expose to the reader what is meaningful about a game or how it adds value, in some specific way, to the lives of those who play it. Or conversely, good criticism reveals how a particular game isn’t meaningful or is dishonest in some way. While we are unflinchingly hopeful about the potential for good in gaming and nerd culture, we also want to be unflinchingly honest. For instance, if a particular game or trend in gaming objectifies people in some way, it is your duty as a critic to honestly expose that for the reader. Good criticism seeks to help readers notice what is good, truthful, and beautiful in art and conversely also serves the reader by exposing or acknowledging what isn’t. Again, this must be done responsibly and winsomely, in a manner that takes each piece of art seriously and makes an honest effort to assess what it is striving to communicate. We will not publish articles that merely list the “good” (“Christian”) stuff about a game and the “bad” (“un-Christian”) stuff about a particular game.
Up to this point, you may have gotten the picture that LTN is hyper-serious. We don’t want to be. We are committed to having fun and building a site where people can laugh at themselves. We like the idea of lovingly poking fun at the church’s awkward relationship with nerd culture. We like the idea of wildly speculating about what types of games Jesus might like. If you have skill in writing funny satirical posts about why Mario and Peach never seem to be able to make their relationship work or about how Doom is actually a parable about spiritual warfare, we are all for it. We must, however, strive to be funny in a responsible and winsome manner. So don’t make fun of the church in a manner that completely undermines its credibility and don’t poke fun at Jesus in a manner that dishonors or demeans Him. If you are a funny writer or content creator, we want you to be funny on Love Thy Nerd. Help us be funny and create community where people can be themselves.
We don’t want to write about just any old nerd news. We want to report on how life, ethics, faith, philosophy, and religion intersect with nerd culture. If we are focusing on such intersections in our reviews, news, and features, our articles will be accessible and appealing to a very large and broad audience. 72% of American households play videogames, 42 – 47% of gamers are women, and 29% of gamers are over the age of 50. We don’t write write merely to “hardcore” gamers or “true geeks” (whatever that means). It won’t be long before everyone is, essentially, a gamer. Most people have an interest in at least some aspect of nerd culture. We want to write articles that are compelling to all kinds of people.
We want thoughtfulness to be a key theme in everything that is written on the site—thoughtfulness about our audience, thoughtfulness about the state of the medium, and thoughtfulness about world around us.
Genres LTN Covers
We are interested in all facets of nerd culture and we want LTN, eventually, to become a trusted, helpful, and distinctively Christian source of nerd culture criticism. The expertise of our current writers’ group and the interest of our current community is largely focused on video games and tabletop games. We hope to branch out and possibly cover other aspects of nerd culture: nerd films, comics, anime, etc. If you have an interesting pitch to share about some aspect of nerd culture outside video or table top games, we want to hear it. We want to hear your ideas and your willingness to write about such things might just help us branch out and expand the scope of LTN.
Types of Content
We publish opinion articles, reviews, interviews, news, listicles, and educational articles. We are interested in opinion articles about all aspects of nerd culture that appeal to its value in the lives of people. We hope to publish regular educational articles that inform people about all aspects of nerd culture, including its most laudable and regrettable aspects.
We are not only interested in written articles but also video content. If you have a great idea for video content for LTN and the means to help produce it, we would love to hear your idea.
Please pitch your article idea to us first, even if you have already written the article you want to submit. A pitch is short explanation of what you plan to write about. It should be no more than 2-4 sentences and should state a clear thesis. If you have already written an article that you think would be a good fit for LTN—please still pitch it to us, if we like the pitch, we will ask to see the full article.
As a nonprofit organization we cannot, at present, afford to pay our writers. We hope that one day this will change as LTN grows. What we can offer, generally, is a review copy of the game you want to cover and an edifying writing experience. Our editors are talented and thoughtful people whose goal it is to help you produce something really great and interesting for our audience. We are not only committed to helping our writers produce good site content for LTN but also to helping them grow as a writers. Much like the community building efforts of LTN at large, our content production team seeks to develop a community of writers who encourage and edify one another and participate responsibly and prophetically in the various nerd culture communities they inhabit.
If you would like to pitch an article idea to us or volunteer to produce regular content for Love Thy Nerd, email firstname.lastname@example.org.