About Play This Thing

What We Do

Play This Thing (playthisthing.com) is a site that features one cool game a (week)day--along with occasional blog posts of interest by some of our writers.

Our subtitle is "Everything Cool in Games -- Outside of the Mainstream," and we consequently feature games of many types: free online games; independently developed computer games; interactive fiction; tabletop (that is, non-digital) games; ARGs; Big Urban Games; mods; and so on. All the cool stuff that's being done in games outside the normal commercial channels, in other words.

We do NOT, generally, feature commercial PC or console game releases from major manufacturers (they get enough ink elsewhere), mobile games, casual games, or, with rare exception, so-called "social" games. There are some exceptions: from time to time, we'll feature a game sold through casual game channels, or available on Facebook or such, if it either a) has strong and obvious crossover appeal to actual gamers, or b) is creative and innovative in terms of gameplay.

In the course of a week, we typically cover two free games; one tabletop game (on Tabletop Tuesdays); and two games that have some kind of online free-play version, but that will cost you money if you want the full game.

How Do We Select the Games We Feature?

We meet weekly, in full evening dress, over port, Stilton, Honduran cigars, and walnuts, and engage in a highly cerebral debate, full of references to Csikszentmihalyi, Huizinga, and Gamist/Narrativist/Simulationist theory, after which we make an informed judgment as to the unique artistic merits, of lack thereof, of the games under consideration.

Actually, we play 'em, and if we like 'em, we write about 'em.

Are These Reviews?

Sorta kinda. We feature games we think are cool. (In fact, one of the names we considered for the site was "Cool Game of the Day," but that sounds, I don't know, so 1990s.) A traditional reviewer plays a game and tells you whether it sucks or not. If we're telling you about games that suck, we're not doing our job. So, maybe we're offering reviews, if you think of what we're doing as only offering reviews of games we'd give a 7 or higher to--if we gave numerical scores.

(We think reviewers' scores are dumb. Instead, we let you rate the games we point to yourself.)

We don't typically offer in-depth analyses of games. The games we feature can usually be found online, and played in the browser or downloaded and played. Our job is to give you enough information to let you decide whether the game is worth checking out. And then let you check it out.

How Can I Participate?

Comments are always welcome (but because we've had a problem with comment spam, are typically held for approval, at least until we know you're reliable).

If you know of a cool game we haven't featured, let us know! That's what the Suggest Games link at the top of the page is for.

If you're interested in writing for us, you might take a look at our writers' guidelines. Editorial contact info is included.

And spread the word, of course.

What's Your Relationship to Manifesto Games?

We were originally founded by Manifesto Games, but when that company went belly-up, decided we were having too much fun with Play This Thing! to kill it, and have kept it going since. But at the moment, PTT! is basically run by Greg Costikyan has a sort of hobby, with a bunch of other people helping out.