At this point, this site is sponsored, edited, maintained and paid for by David Thomas. And while I am pretty serious about using this site as a focal point for video game theory and criticism, I think it is going to be a while before electronic entertainment is ready for its own Paris Review. That is to say, while I see a future for buzzcut as a portal for serious video game thought, I have no illusions. I welcome contributions, but expect I’ll be keeping the site populated with content for the foreseeable future.
What makes you qualified to be a video game theorist and critic?
The simple answer is, “Well, uh, because I am doing it.” Like a wild west mercantile, anyone desperate or crazy enough to set up shop in a place with few rules gets to call themselves anything they like, including shopkeeper or game theorist. The world of academic and serious thought around video gaming is taking its earliest steps. I’m out there toddling with everyone else.
That said, I write a syndicated games column for King Features, blog for teh Denver Post (See Game On blog), write form time to time for the Escapist as well as other outlets.. I have written weekly for the daily newspapers in Denver for the past 10 years. During that time, I have primarily covered arts and entertainment. I’ve been exclusively focused on video games for about five years now.
While writing game reviews and stories for a newspaper may not be the ultimate academic credential, I can say this—I am keenly aware of how unsophisticated our understanding of video games really is. There are deeper and more complex traditions of criticism in rock and roll and movies than in video games. So, when I approach the central critical question of “What makes game A better than game B”, I may not have the final intellectual answer. But I sure as hell know that there has to be a better answer than we are used to getting or giving. Understanding that a problem exists is enough to give me the energy to maintain a site devoted to the answer.
But wait, there's more.
Last year I started to work on a PhD in Design and Planning in the College of Architecture and Planning at the University of Colorado. My areas of interest relate to virtual spaces and leisure places--basically, videogames.
Along those lines, I have developed courses and teach Critical Videogame Theory, The History of Digital Media and a very odd and productive class, Planning in the Gaming World. Syllabi for some of these classes are available in the File Downloads section of this site.
Is this an academic journal or a personal Website?
If pressed, I’d say it was an online ‘zine. Although their time has passed, zines defined an important editorial niche—personal, passionate, informed and largely dedicated to loosely defined, emerging subjects.
Can I contribute?
Sure. But keep in mind, I'm not always that prompt about posting other people's stuff. I used to think it was a good idea. But as time as rolled on, I realized that I didn't want to be in the publishing business. That said, comments are always great. I thrive on the dialog!
From a practical point of view, sign up for an account. I don’t accept anonymous article or comments submissions. To much damn spam.
What does the name buzzcut mean?
Nothing really, At the time I registered the domain, most anything was available, and everyone was always trying to either steal a big businesses name, like McDonalds, or come up with something really cool and ironic, like SUCK. buzzcut was a way to cleave through all the noise. The original buzzcut tagline was –slicing through the hype. And years later, that’s still what it’s all about.
What happened to the old buzzcut?
So, you remember Marco the Batstuffer?
Well, to quote the page that held the buzzcut Web presence for may years”
"Once upon a time, when Web pages still had grey backgrounds and image maps were the coolest thing on the Internet, Buzzcut reigned as nexus of cultural hip.
Oh well, times change. People with more money, better luck and a natural grit for sticking with things built the Web into something a lot like a big weird mall.
Buzzcut still exists, still filled with dreams of wide open world of information.
But no ecommerce. No venture captial. Nothing really to offer. Sorry.
I could tell you about why you shouldn't host your Web site with a stupid hosting company that will cancel your account in the night and not call you. Or, I could whine about backing up your files. And maybe, stuffed on some Zip somewhere, I'll find the old buzzcut site and put it back up for posterity.
Or maybe I'll just hang onto this domain until some television network decides "Buzzcut" would be a good name for a prime time series about something worth paying me to move off my virtual property.
We'll see. I was around when this damn Web thing got started. Maybe I'll stick around to see how it ends.
What software are you using to manage all the articles on this site?
buzzcut is running a tweaked version of Geeklog, a very cool Open Source project. For more information, check out the Web sites, www.mindfab.com and geeklog.net
What do you look like?
Are you sure you want to know? OK. Like this: Click on the photo for a larger picture from the image gallery
For answers to other questions, please send a mail to: