Stephen Beirne is creating
words about videogames

If you read my stuff you will like it.

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per per article
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New article
$150 per per article
The average rate for articles of games criticism is zero dollars, considering most sites offer only exposure and the chance to be edited. $150 is a decent rate for articles, it's what you should be getting for a feature piece. If we're making this, it means I don't have to wait forever while the gears of freelancing tick into motion and I can write and publish content with far greater ease.


Stephen Beirne is an Irish game critic focusing on philosophy, design and feminist readings of games as cultural texts. His articles have featured on Destructoid, Gameranx, Unwinnable, Pop Matters, and more. He has a BA in Media and an MA in Philosophy from NUI Maynooth, so he's super smart. You can find most of his work on his site.



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Who am I

Hi there, I'm Stephen Beirne, and I like to write about videogames. I don't have a huge name in this field so here are some select things from my career that might pique your interest:

I reported on Feminist Frequency's Tropes vs Women in Video Games Kickstarter on day one and interviewed Anita Sarkeesian for Destructoid. My piece on the disappearance and fraud of that Tropes vs Men in Games project caused a little bit of a stir last year. I wrote a satirical piece that a lot of people liked about why there are no male protagonists in games. I've talked about The Castle Doctrine's misplaced values, The Last of Us' ladders, Final Fantasy IX's Mognet, Dark Souls' save features, gaming's colonialist nature, SUPERHOT's aesthetic narrative, and BioShock 2's morality. My name has appeared a few times on Critical Distance's This Week in Videogame Blogging; one of my articles was included among their highlights of 2013. My articles have been featured on Destructoid, Gameranx, Pop Matters, Unwinnable, The Huffington Post and further sites afar.

Most of my work is divided into a rough split between articles about the social phenomena that seep out of our lives into videogame spaces, and articles putting my mind to overlooked design elements and processing them in terms of  narrative potential, typically through philosophical or intersectional lenses. It's my belief that games exist as cultural texts, containing meanings and narratives telling us something of worth about people and the world, even if by accident. I'm big into providing philosophical perspectives on games in accessible and interesting ways--it's my motivation for becoming a game critic in the first place.

For the past few months I've also compiled a nearly-weekly blog post on whatever enjoyable games-related articles and free indie games that came my way that week. You can check all this out on my site, Normally Rascal or follow me on Twitter @ByronicM.

Why I need your support

I've been doing this for a few years now and I would quite like to continue the work. I find it to be a fulfilling, productive way for me to spend my life. Sometimes I like to think my writing is somewhat valuable, which defies everything I'm told by larger society. But beyond the dreaming and sense of self-fulfilment, it is very difficult for game critics like myself to find sustenance in this line of work. There are very few paying jobs and those that tease steady pay usually offer pittance in exchange for menial press work, which is a world away from what I want to be writing: features and editorials. Everyone tells you there's no space for that kind of work.

That's where Patreon comes in. With your support, my writing can help to sustain my day-to-day living, justifying my time spend on it in a way that will put food on my table. While I have the intention to continue writing so long as I have an idea worth expressing anyway, this way if you enjoy my work and feel it warrants a couple of quid, you can help to make my load a little lighter and keep the good stuff coming.

Otherwise, I have a cat named Zoe who is adorable. If you don't care about my writing but want to help me buy Zoe her food, that is also acceptable.

What you will get are more articles of the sort I currently write. Your money will go towards my living costs - groceries, rent, bills, you know yourself. It will give me the creative freedom to write the games criticism that large publications are simply not interested in. With money coming in, I can focus more on talking about freelancer-unfriendly indie games, or write meandering think-pieces with no thesis at all. It will free up my time so I can play more games in general, meaning I will have more material to talk about.

What your help will achieve

My routine averages almost one article a week, although some weeks I might write more and others I'll produce nothing. At that pace it would take over $400 an article to make it comparable to the Irish minimum wage, if that serves as an indicator for you. If my writing shows to be a viable source of income for me I might increase my rate of articles, but never to such a point that would degrade its overall quality. I want to reward your trust in me with quality work I can always be proud to bear my name. But if you choose to support me, please bear this in mind and cap your monthly patronage to whatever you feel is appropriate.

On top of all that, last year I completed a game development course. I haven't really put it to good use outside of making something as a student project, but with the freedom allowed me by your Patreon support I might put my hand to making up some games and sharing them with you all here, because I love you.

I'm adamant for all my articles and any wee games I make to be absolutely free, it's very important to me that it all be accessible and unrestricted in this way. I don't want anything to be hidden behind a paywall. Because of this and given the nature of what I want to make I'm not sure if I can reward you with anything with exclusivity, as a special thank you for valuing and supporting my work. This could change in the future if a particularly great idea crosses my mind, but if it discourages you from helping to fund what you might otherwise get freely, that's perfectly fair.

Regardless of whether or not you want to pitch in to the Stephen fund, I'd like to thank you for reading all the way down to the bottom. You won't believe how many readers clicked away after the first paragraph. Anyway, have a great day.
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