How Gideon’s Gaming Came to Be
When I originally founded Gideon’s Gaming back in 2018. It was purely a video game review site. I later branched out into tabletop game reviews, and now my focus is around 50/50 between the two mediums. While reviews make up most of my content, I also occasionally make other types of videos and articles.
I started Gideon’s Gaming after a falling out with the job I had at the time. My history is littered with abusive workplaces, and at that point, I had enough. Without going into much detail, I had very little education. Let me paint a clearer picture so folks understand what I mean. I taught myself to read as a child by using video game instruction manuals (those used to exist!). Nearly everything I know today, I learned on my own, slowly over time.
Someone with that background doesn’t have a lot of options to move up in the world. So I bounced between labor intensive jobs with long hours and low pay, until that final breaking point when, with the support of my partner, I became a full-time writer/reviewer/content creator with Gideon’s Gaming.
Gideon’s Gaming, the website is what I would call my “primary” and more successful platform. Shortly after it was founded, I started a YouTube Channel alongside the website where I put out video versions of the written content I create. In addition to board games, I cover video games on PC, PlayStation 4/5 and Xbox Series X. I do not cover mobile or Nintendo games.
Who is Gideon?
I was born in 88 and started my path into gaming with my dad’s Atari 2600. I’m neurodivergent with a lovely cocktail of ADHD, Depression and Anxiety. It can certainly make content creation a challenge at times.
I like to joke that everyone has a schtick, and my schtick is that I don’t have a schtick, but it’s not really a joke. I’ve spent so much of my life “masking” that I have no desire at all to wear a persona when writing my content or voicing my videos. For better or worse everything I put out is true to myself. There’s no act or internet personality. It’s just me.
Beyond Gideon’s Gaming. I’m a dog owner, and I used to participate in heavy combat in the SCA. The reality is however, that my biggest passion is gaming. I believe in reducing toxicity in gaming. The trend of rage baiting for clicks and views among content creators is something I find repulsive. I am also against all forms of racism, bigotry, and sexism. If you are such a person, you won’t like me, and I don’t want you as a reader, viewer or fan anyway.
Video Game Preferences: I need games to be challenging in order to enjoy them, so I prefer video games that are inherently challenging or offer higher difficulty modes that I can choose. Alternatively, I also enjoy online games such as Sea of Thieve where other players are the real challenge.
On the flip side of that coin, I prefer to play survival sandbox games such as Ark and 7 Days to Die either single-player or in co-op, as the only way to realistically enjoy PvP in those games, is to never log off. I prefer games to focus on gameplay over story. A great story is a fantastic bonus, but I would never slog through poor gameplay for the sake of the story. I tend to prefer lengthy games over short ones, which probably explains my taste for highly replayable roguelikes/roguelites and open-world games.
Board Game Preferences: I tend to prefer more complex games over simple ones, and I highly value a game being replayable. Miniatures are a bonus I can appreciate; however, I often feel that are included purely to inflate a games price and that sometimes they compromise a games design.
One of my favorite games is Frosthaven, but I am highly against legacy elements. I simply opt not to use them, but I feel they are a digusting waste that have no place in board gaming, a medium where a game can last you decades if you take care of it.
I tend to prefer games with player interaction as opposed to multiplayer solitaire. I’m also notoriusly picky about co-op games. I feel co-op games should have design barriers to reduce alpha gaming, rather than be designed in ways that quite literally, encourage it. You can find my thoughts on alpha gaming here.
Bias: I often request or am sent review copies of video games and board games. While this does not affect my reviews in any way, I’m always sure to mark whether or not I used a review copy during a review. It’s important to note that I NEVER accept monetary compensation for reviews. I don’t believe in it, a paid review is totally compromised and is much closer to an ad.
In my written reviews and in the video descriptions on YouTube you will also find that I mark my playtime in video games and how many times I played a board game prior to the review. Additionally, I also note which difficulty I played on for my video game reviews. This way, you have a clear picture of my experience for the review.
If I’m ever paid to create a piece of content, it will be clearly marked as promoted content. Once again, I need to reiterate that reviews will never be paid or promoted.
I do occasionally place affiliate links in my articles, they are always clearly marked as affiliate links. Sometimes I also offer discount codes to certain storefronts that I do earn money from if you use the code.
My preferred method of monetization is Patreon and Kofi. Where readers, viewers, or fans can support me simply because they enjoy the content I put out.
I’m not going to lie and pretend that money isn’t a factor. I do this full-time, and I’ll be honest, with the amount of time it takes, it would be impossible to run Gideon’s Gaming if I also had another job. But I’ll never let money compromise what I do. I’d simply quit first. That’s the main reason you never see any ads or pop-ups on the website. I hate those types of ads, so I’ll never inflict them on someone else visiting my site.
Stance on Generative AI: While this is mostly related to the Board Game side of what I do, it will affect everything soon enough. With the current state of Generative AI. I do not, and will not knowingly cover any games that use Generative AI art. It’s unethical, and I believe it’s exceptionally important for human artists, writers and other creative vocations to get paid for their craft. This is not up for debate.
I initially used the standard 1-10 review score system, you will find it on many of my old reviews until I update them. However, I dropped the system in 2021. I feel that review scores are exceptionally damaging to the game industry. You can’t condense 2000 words of thought into a number. Especially when that number means different things to different people. My view, of a 7 out of 10, likely means something else compared to how you view a 7 out of 10. At best, that makes the score useless, at worst, it makes it misleading, the exact opposite of what I try to accomplish with my reviews.
Instead. I simply offer detailed and comprehensive reviews of games. If you want to know how I feel about a game, you have to read the review or watch the review video. There’s no shortcut. I do offer what I call a Golden Shield Award for games that I personally end up enjoying the most. The Golden Shield award does not indicate that a game is a 10/10, it simply means that I really love the game. Nothing more, nothing less.
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