Game Front 1-on-1: ‘Five out of Ten’ Editor Alan Williamson
Five out of Ten cover
Williamson says that he’s aiming to release an issue every couple of months. The magazine had originally gone for a quarterly publication, but the current schedule is the bare minimum the magazine’s contributors have been able to contribute. This gives the contributors the necessary amount of time to delve deep into the topics they are passionate about. Naturally, I was curious as to what topics in the video game industry Williamson found important.
“We need an industry that is more inclusive: one that represents the totality of human experience, but also respects that pop culture needs to be popular and even open-source developers get paid.”
“How is the games industry going to sustain itself? Financially, structurally, professionally?” asks Williamson rhetorically.
“On one side you’ve got massive corporations pushing beefy consoles and focus-tested shooter blockbusters, on the other you’ve got hypertext indie warriors demanding that all games should be free. Yet between these extremes, there’s room for all shades. We just hear the loudest voices in the room, which makes things seem more polarised than they are.
“We need an industry that is more inclusive: one that represents the totality of human experience, but also respects that pop culture needs to be popular and even open-source developers get paid. It’s alright to like both Call of Duty and Cart Life!
“We’re already making steps towards democratising the distribution of games. Now, anyone can create and sell them, and most computers are powerful enough to play them. But not all games have to be stuffed with human emotion: some can just be great games.”
Much like the industry it surrounds, Williamson says he hopes to see games writing improve in the coming years. He believes games writing is getting “better, deeper, and more nuanced every day,” proof of which can be seen in sites like The Gameological Society and Eurogamer. He points out that Brendan Keogh’s book on Spec Ops: The Line called Killing is Harmless wouldn’t have happened a few years ago.
“People are tired of fast food, and now they want something more nourishing (I warned you earlier about the food analogies). I think there’ll be more thoughtful criticism to balance the traditional coverage — and I hope Five out of Ten will be a leading light in that respect.
“Things change without you realising. I didn’t know I’d start a magazine this time last year! What’s really changed about the games discourse is that there is a discourse where there wasn’t a few years ago. We need more of that: less of an isolation chamber, and maybe less of an echo chamber too.”