Games with guns are, like it or not, a massively important part of the medium. From Wolfenstein 3D through to Modern Warfare, shooters have explored heady subjects like the politics of war and the human preoccupation with violence. They’ve also, most often, asked players to simply indulge their lizard brain by shooting every vaguely threatening shape that comes into view.
SHOOTER is an ebook that wants to dig into the wide array of meaning we find in these games, whether through gameplay construction, mechanical subtext, or the larger implications of a game’s setting, characters, and themes. SHOOTER isn’t meant to offer a history of the genre. Instead, we’re interested in curating a collection of diverse criticism centred on various games where shooting is the primary gameplay mechanic. We want to bring together unique viewpoints and provide a broad picture of how different people react to an immensely popular and culturally influential style of play. Why is it fun to mow down demons in Doom? What can we take away from the enormous popularity of Halo or Counter-Strike? We want essays that take a longview of the importance of these games, edit them until they shine like beautiful diamonds, and then collect them in a pretty book with pretty hand-drawn illustrations that will allow interested (pretty) people to read a whole bunch of great criticism on a central theme by a group of talented writers.
If you’re interested in contributing, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com with an informal pitch for the game you’d like to write about and a sample or two of your past work (if available). The articles featured in the book will run from roughly 1500-2500 words and should present a clear thesis/reading on a single game from the (admittedly loosely defined) shooter genre. Each of the writers contributing to SHOOTER will receive a percentage of the profit generated from sales of the book.
The final deadline for submissions is 11.59pm Monday, September 15th.
*The image above is by SHOOTER illustrator, Paul Sousa.
Reid McCarter is a writer, editor, and musician living and working in Toronto. He has written for sites and magazines including Kill Screen, Pixels or Death, Paste, and The Escapist. He is also editor-in-extremis for videogame site Digital Love Child. He tweets tweets @reidmccarter.
Patrick Lindsey is a game critic and occasional developer whose work can be found on Polygon, Unwinnable, and Paste. He co-founded Pixels or Death and co-hosts the Indie Megacast. Read his tweets @HanFreakinSolo, if you dare.