Inter++Sections: A Diverse Voices Issue
Joel Hans & Justin Lawrence Daugherty
We’ve stated in the past that we want video game culture to be a culture that is welcoming and accepting of all voices. We’ve made clear our stance on the misogyny that still runs rampant through the ranks of those who call themselves “gamers.” We can’t change all those minds—we are just one small literary magazine against a community that doesn’t frequently read literary magazines—but we can strive to make Cartridge Lit a kind of safe, welcoming haven within the bigger community.
The statistics tell a plain story: women account for somewhere between 40 and 45 percent of all video game players. If one believes that the influx of women in gaming is a kind of “attack” against the industry, they need to understand their petty war is already lost. In a few more years, the numbers will reach parity—there is no question about that.
But we shouldn’t need statistics to legitimize a welcoming space within a community and an industry. We just should. It’s the right thing to do, and it’s the best thing to do—diversifying the voices within a given conversation intensifies and improves the dialogue. A one-voiced approach to anything is inherently misguided.
As editors, we have always tried to give space to these voices, and to make Cartridge Lit as welcoming as possible. The contributors make this journal, and we’re immensely proud of everyone we’ve published, regardless of any binary, or any construct for categorization. In our hearts, they’re all gamers and wonderful writers.
That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t—and can’t—do better. We can, and we’re trying.
So, we have a vision of devoting a month of literature to the voices that most often get shouted down in a world that has, traditionally, been dominated by the white, the male, the straight. We want to give the work room to breathe, to play off one another. To give the world of video games a different, sustained perspective. We welcome anyone who lives beyond the white+male+cisgender+straight categories to submit. Submitters should follow our typical submission guidelines with an additional note stating that they would like to be considered for this issue. It’s important to note that submitters don’t need to qualify themselves or explain to us how they live beyond the aforementioned categories—just send us your work and state your interest.
All submitted work will also be considered for our upcoming anthology, which is forthcoming later this year.
(Hey, white+male+cisgender+straight males: you are welcome to submit normally during the same time period—your work would theoretically just appear outside of this month. Don’t fret, please.)
We’re not sure when this month will be yet—that sort of depends on everyone who reads this. The more work we receive, the sooner this will happen. And we really do want it to happen. We want it to be a starting point, and to grow from there—a welcoming space that closes off after a certain period of time isn’t a welcoming space at all. We’re thinking of this as a first step. A handing-off of the second controller. We hope you all take it up and run with it. Let’s make it happen.
Again, send submissions to our Submittable page with a short note in your cover letter/biography stating you’d like to be considered for this issue.