A Statement of Intent Against God and All of Gaming


My name is John Battle and welcome to project NERVES. This is the end of my rope. This is me doing what I should have done a long time ago and I bet there’s a great quote I could put here that would really tie it all together, but fuck you if you think I’m going to google it right now, so instead I’ll just put “something of your own invention” and you can fill in the gaps.

This is a website. I refuse to call it a blog because I’m going to be professional, damn it. Even if it kills me. There is nothing gameable on this website. There will be theories, hypotheticals, reviews, previews, analysis, and critique. There will be times where I question our industry and the industry will look at me and say, “who are you?”

Over the last year I’ve had many tipping points. Though it’d be better to call them breaking points. Where I’ve completely lost my ego and my footing as a writer in this industry. Everywhere I look I feel like TTRPGs are considered a joke to a large majority of otherwise serious “gamers.” There are people who despise each other on moral grounds over game disagreements. We’re at a point where IP is dominating the marketplace and people with big followings from other artforms are seeing the possibility of making a quick buck by dipping their beautiful little brain child into a TTRPG on Kickstarter while indie creators are left selling their games for bundles to try and raise money for the next tragedy.

I’m frustrated. Tired. I think we all are. This website is my answer. It’s an attempt to treat games seriously. To report on them, review them, preview them, dissect them, analyze them, and critique them. Away from the ephemeral nature of twitter and social media in general. Away from the click-focused nature of other websites. Away from outside pressures.

I feel it necessary then to make an artist statement. The problem with writing one right now is that maybe, just maybe, someone else might write for project NERVES. Y’know, in The Future. And I’m feeling very insignificant. Very in-my-own-world right now. So, inevitably, anything I write here will be me screeching at myself and very unfair as a set of guidelines and rules to hoist upon other hypothetical writers of this site’s hypothetical future. Hypothetically.

That leaves me two options: 1.) to avoid the artist statement all together in which case why the fuck am I here writing this, I should be enjoying my life and not suffering on the altar of Game, or 2.) ignore the hypotheticals and dive straight into the deep end. I’ve got a knife. I’ve got an altar. And I’m willing to bleed. So I’m choosing what’s behind door number two, Bob.

I’m only now questioning whether this is an artist statement or a mission statement and what the difference between those two is.

  1. I refuse to be beholden to advertisers. I don’t care if writing about 5e would make me money. If I wanted money, I wouldn’t be writing about games. I’d be writing smut and selling it on Amazon (seriously, it’s good money).
  2. I will not cover anything Wizards of the Coast releases just because they release it. This is the same as #1 but I don’t care. I’ll say it three times if I want. It’s my website.
  3. No ratings. No stars. No X/10. None of that (unless I’m doing it for a bit).
  4. The price to get me to shut up is one million dollars. No lie.
  5. I will be treating TTRPGs as any other art form. I am not going into this seeking to be vile for the sake of being vile. I am not going into this to be nice and make friends. I just want to talk about games.
  7. I do not do paid promotions or paid reviews. If you want to send me something so that I might review it, feel free to send it to johnbattle@nerves.games. There’s no guarantee I’ll read it, or that if I read it I’ll have anything to say, or that if I have anything to say that it’ll be a good anything to say.
  8. I accept support for this project in the form of kofi tips and patreon subscriptions. That money will be used to pay for the site, buy games, keep the lights on, and pay Contributors.
  9. Contributors will always be paid in keeping with the currently accepted rates (at this point $0.15/word). Contributors will always keep ownership of their own words. 
  10. I am white, American, and queer. I’m a political being living in a political world. Sometimes I will write about these things. Sometimes people who are not either of those things may write their own perspectives. This scene is more diverse than me as a person. It is bigger than white America. It’s bigger than American queer culture. It is my hope to be able to publish people other than me. It is my hope to publish those who might otherwise not be published, or who often get pushed into predetermined roles in order to be published. This includes but is not limited to black folks, people of color, and indigenous folks. 
  11. I will not under any circumstances platform known abusers, bigots, racists, transphobes, or fascists. It’s my website so if you get paid to write something and later it turns out you’re one of these things, I’ll take your article down.
  12. Uhhh, what else?
  13. I think that’s it.

Enjoy the show everyone. Write to me one year from now if this site is still up and kicking to tell me “Congrats! Didn’t think you’d make it this far.”



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