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Weekday EscapeHello loyal, long-time users and readers of JiG, (Yes I like to begin my posts with the same good words!)

Since my last post 'We need you!', 4 months have passed.

We heard you - if you look at our recent reviews, we're covering more indie games and will continue.

We want to see JiG more dynamic in 2018 with more reviews!

If you like games and if you think you have the skills to write about them, why not join the team?

As you know, our funds do not allow us to pay the reviewers, but you can write one or two reviews per week (or fewer if you don't have time).

If you are interested please send an email to: [email protected]

In your email, please mention categories of games you would be able to review. (for example: indie games, Steam games, mobile games, PC/Mac games only, etc.).

Obviously, all our old reviewers are still welcome to join again and to write whenever they can.

Thanks in advance.

25 Comments

johnharveybc January 31, 2018 7:45 PM

You are not hiring - hiring, by definition, involves paying a wage. Here's the Webster's definition of 'hire'.

You are looking for volunteers. Having a statement up that you're hiring is pretty weaselly, especially given that by 'give JiG a second breath' you mean 'make it profitable again', and you're not offering any share of that to the people who'd enable it to turn (more of? maybe you're making money now) a profit.

Hopefully you're not going to tell anyone that it's great exposure, or insist to me that people might do it for the love of the site. By your own admission, the JiG hasn't been what it was for quite some time (by second breath, I think you mean CPR) and while I have a lot of great memories here, letting it gracefully sunset, and learning a lesson about sunk costs and thinking carefully about why people are selling things, is the classiest thing to do.

Good on Jay and Dora for having gotten out when they did.

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Even advanced non-native English speakers make mistakes. We are bound to. Language genuises are rare.

Your explanation of words 'give JiG a second breath' suggests exploitation. I am a volunteer and I do not feel exploited.

I do contribute for the love of the site. You don't have to.

Games posted here are mostly free games. Their authors have spent hundreds (and some, thousands) of hours working on them. They are giving products of their creativity, energy, emotions for free and JiG helps spreading them for years - this website isn't motivated primarily by financial profit and never has been, imho.

JiG hasn't lost its purpose as there are still many good games for posting, but times are changing and various pressures growing so it's not easy.

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johnharveybc February 1, 2018 4:31 PM

> Even advanced non-native English speakers make mistakes. We are bound to. Language genuises are rare.

I agree - however, when someone points out a mistake, the right thing to do is to correct it, no?

> times are changing and various pressures growing so it's not easy.

Agreed, which is why I think that the apparent strategy of 'keep trying things that aren't working' seems like a poor choice.

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Hi, I write this as someone who loads JiG several times daily, loves the site, and owes quite a bit to the site——if you hadn't reviewed Card Hunter, I would not have played Card Hunter, fallen in love with Card Hunter, involved myself in its community, befriended the developers, and eventually joined the team as a designer.

I also don't like "We're Hiring!"

I understand JiG's situation, and I don't begrudge you asking for volunteers. By all means!

Just my 2¢ as a longtime reader, game designer, and socialist :)

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johnharveybc February 2, 2018 5:05 PM

> No because I do not agree with you. I can use 'We're hiring' even if there is no salaries.

Jeff: every dictionary agrees with me. You found other examples of people misusing the word 'hire'. This is not a matter of opinion. You can find people on the internet who insist that the earth is flat, and that the earth is round. This does not mean that the earth is flat.

> And what would be a 'rich' choice for you?

I outlined this previously - "...letting it gracefully sunset, and learning a lesson about sunk costs and thinking carefully about why people are selling things, is the classiest thing to do."

By 'gracefully sunset', I mean that the site should stay up, but no new articles should be posted - it should be maintained in an archival fashion.

> It's a bit funny how you say you had great memories with the site but you only register yesterday to write your post.

I had previously commented with WordPress, Google, and Facebook - none of those login methods worked, so I had to make a new one. If you look for other comments by PsychoRecycled or johnharveybc, you'll find them.

> In fact you would love to see JiG offline so when you see people who try to save something you prefer to give the last shot.

Please don't put words in my mouth! I don't want to see it offline, but I also don't agree with the direction you're taking the site. It's sad to see something I liked being treated badly. Things have a natural lifespan, and JiG has lived its out.

That said, I'm heartened to hear that this is a last shot - I'm pleased to hear that this will be the final post like this, assuming that it doesn't work.

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I appreciate the gesture. Good luck finding writers!!!

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Patreon Crew PoofyGaming February 8, 2018 6:14 AM replied to johnharveybc

I've stumbled upon Jayisgames around 12 years ago, it was my go-to place to find games that I'd enjoy playing casually, to spend some time relaxing.

Years later I remembered the site and thought I'd check it out, only to see it sadly has fallen in decline, but it was still sort of active.

I've reached out to see if I could be of any help, and they were looking for reviewers. Could it be that I was able to be part of something I'd spend loads of time on myself in the past, for relaxation? Yes, I could. I'm an amateur reviewer for JiG now, and I'm proud of it.

I hear what you're saying, what I don't hear is the direction you would take the site to make it shiny as it used to be. No, we won't let it sit. Yes, we will do our best to select great games, review them and give exposure.

What else could we do, to bring back the glory days? What made the old JiG better than the present one?

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johnharveybc February 9, 2018 3:08 AM replied to PoofyGaming

> What else could we do, to bring back the glory days? What made the old JiG better than the present one?

More and better in-browser games were being produced. It's possible to make no mistakes and still lose. That's what happened here.

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johnharveybc February 9, 2018 3:09 AM replied to PoofyGaming

I want to make this explicit: I have no good suggestion to make the website as good as it used to be. I have never claimed to have such a suggestion.

This is both because you don't have to have a solution to point out a problem, and because I think that things have a natural lifespan, and JiG reached its natural lifespan a year or two ago.

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johnharveybc February 9, 2018 5:38 AM replied to Jeff

> You know we don't care if you need to be more explicit or not!

Someone asked me what I would do to revitalize the site. I was obviously not clear enough.

> Anyway your pitiful try does not work

I wasn't trying to do anything - I was voicing an opinion. If I was trying to get rid of the site, or something, I assure you that this is not what I would be doing.

> Since the beginning it's funny how you wrote here for a primitive bashing.

You definitely sound amused.

> And of course no words about the fact I changed the texts...

What response did you expect? Let's go over that interaction.

  1. You made a mistake.

  2. I pointed out the mistake, and why it was a mistake.

  3. You insisted no mistake had been made by way of a poor argument, and then attacked my character.

  4. I refuted the argument and let you know that basic site functionality was broken.

  5. You corrected the error, without any sort of acknowledgement that you were wrong (either in the first place, or to defend it) and thanked me for the bug report. Basic site functionality remains broken.

I don't have anything more to add to that conversation. Were I a slightly tackier person, I might have insisted on being thanked for having pointed out the mistake in the first place, but you're running a classy joint, here.

If this whole thing works out for you? Awesome, great, I'm glad. But if it doesn't, consider that you might be beating a dead horse.

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Patreon Crew PoofyGaming February 9, 2018 5:59 AM replied to johnharveybc

Thanks for your answer, and if I understand correctly you're saying that the problem isn't really how the website is, but the quality of browser games that's being made these days. That indeed is something that's out of my (our) control.

Do know that feel proud to be part of JiG as it is, because I can share my love for indie games in the form of reviews. I was also asking previous question because I'd like to know if there's something I can do to make you feel happier about JiG.

I'm sorry to hear that you don't like what JiG has to offer nowadays, I'm also open for game suggestions to review, if you have them? That's also an opportunity for me to see what kind of games the audience likes. Take note, I'm just an amateur reviewer, I do not claim to have all the answers, but I want to have fun reviewing and I'll surely listen to "problems" users tend to have and try to see if it somehow can be fixed.

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I think it's time to end up this conversation.

@johnharveybc:
You can proud of yourself, you ruined this call of help. Btw I live in Usa, Oregon and I did not see here in Jayisgames, ads like you posted in 10 years!

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johnharveybc February 9, 2018 6:49 PM replied to Jeff

Jeff - the screenshot was taken via an incognito window (i.e. had none of my personal information attached to it) because I used it to test if Google/Facebook/etc. had been fixed as login methods. You also don't appear to understand how ads are served - I use Google as an advertisement platform, too, and that ad is classified as gaming; no mention of anything adult. The only way that JiG would be serving adult ads would be if you'd enabled them - hopefully things are not so desperate that you've done that.

There is a history of such ads being visible; in the past, the reaction has been an apology and reassurances that the ad has been reported and removed. Good to know that the policy has changed.

> I saw an ad with content I objected to. What do I do about it?

> We work hard to make sure our ads are not only safe and malware free, but also to make sure that the content in them is acceptable to all our viewers. All of our ads are chosen not by us, but by our ad provider, which attempts to tailor what you see. Sometimes content we don't want sneaks through, such as the grossly inappropriate League of Angels advertisements, because the ad network classifies those as appropriate given that they're categorized as gaming ads. When this happens, we rely on you to report anything unsuitable to us so we can take steps to block it! If you see an ad that features adult content, take a screenshot and e-mail it to dora AT jayisgames DOT com.

Poofy - I think that, at the end of the day, the landscape has changed enough that JiG isn't ever going to be what it was - the site would have to change pretty substantially to see the same level of success that it did previously. What made it work was thoughtful reviews of quality games anyone with even a low-end computer could play. The overwhelming shift towards mobile games has raised barriers to entry - games are either freemium (bad experience) or cost money (good product, higher barriers to entry).

Have fun writing, get it on your resume, and best wishes.

Nate - how did I ruin this?

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ZzZzZz February 9, 2018 10:09 PM replied to johnharveybc

@Johnharveybc

I'm rather interested in how you ruined anything as well. To be honest, I think you've shown great restraint considering how pointed the responses have been to your original post. I really do not understand why when something is posted to social media (I consider a blog social media) and someone responds in anyway other than supportive that it is somehow an attack.

I consider this an inflammatory response to some honest feedback about this site:

"Patreon Crew Jeff • February 1, 2018 4:27 AM

Yes we are making enormous profits. We sent last week an offer for acquiring Disney: we are waiting for their answer."

I certainly understand being emotionally attached to your business (or whatever this is) but if you can't take criticism especially when you put it out there for all the world to respond then you probably don't need to be trying to operate a business.

I'm sure I will get attacked as well because I agree with you that this site is dead. Not necessarily by any fault of its own but as you mentioned... the natural progression of things. More and more games are being released on Android, etc... not Flash. More and more are pay to play or those infernal microtransactions.

This was once a nice place to come and play around a bit, but it seems to have served its time. If mgmt. is reluctant to take any criticism that is not positive then I doubt its going to change no matter how many people you "hire" or have "join the team." Regardless, attacking the people who are offering feedback (even if you don't agree with them) seems counterproductive to me and slightly suggestive of how this site may have ended up in its current predicament.

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johnharveybc February 10, 2018 12:01 AM replied to ZzZzZz

@ZzZzZz, the main thing that bothered me has been the repeated attempts to cast me in a negative light, while not engaging with any of the actual points I'm making - I can't actually value this place if my account is new (when it was actually broken functionality on JiG's end - no apology, though!) and I'm only getting ads which are 18+ because I look at porn (which both displays a misunderstanding of how ads are served, and guess who's added JiG back to his adblocker?).

The community guidelines say this.

> Any comment meant as a direct personal attack towards another commenter will not be tolerated.

There's been extremely limited engagement with what I'm actually saying - I do not think it is possible for JiG to change enough to be viable as a business in light of the changing state of free games - and a great deal of 'you're a jerk'.

I admit, the tone of my initial comment probably could have been a bit kinder, but I don't think I said anything that merited the response I received, from Jeff specifically.

¯\_(ツ)_/¯

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@ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ:

He ruined this post because this guy thinks he needs to educate the whole human race. He thinks is a teacher who needs to give lessons to everyone to find some reasons to exist. What a poor guy!

If I'm correct, the subject of the post was for Jayisgames to find motivated people to write on the games they like. Why this guy came to this post to say x times the site was already dead and to give lessons? Why? If it's not to ruin any try.

IMHO Jeff and others from the staff are very peaceful and they should now ban this troll.

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johnharveybc February 10, 2018 6:02 PM replied to Nate82

Nate, your comment consists of the following.

  1. Asserting that I feel some sort of compulsion to educate people. (I don't - if I felt compelled to correct every grammatical mistake I came across, I would have posted much, much more in this thread.)

  2. Asserting that there's little to no meaning in my life. (Not true, happily!)

  3. Saying that the only reason I could hold the opinions that I do is to ruin the site. (Not true.)

These appear to be direct (towards me) personal (commenting on my character) attacks. I'll be interested to see whether or not your comment is removed, as per the site's rules.

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My goodness, johnharveybc, if comments were going to be removed for having literally any semblance of being a personal slight, then your first post -- in which you made several thinly-veiled suggestions that the JiG team are trying to exploit people -- would have been removed before it led to all of this hubub! That is, unless you mean to argue that JiG posts aren't covered by the policy as they don't count as "another commenter".

My comment continues in the spoiler tag, due to length:

Since both you and ZzZzZz profess confusion, I'll try to explain the response which your post has received, as I see it, by boiling it down for you. Jeff posted, in my interpretation, "We're still having trouble keeping things going, and we'd really love some volunteer support!". johnharveybc's reply was, to my mind, "Hey, you used a word incorrectly, try using a dictionary. And you could be making plenty of money and just trying to con writers into working for free, just sayin'. Anyway you should give up. I'm glad the nice people left already." Much like the old joke about the hot-air balloonist and the mathematician, what you've said is neither incorrect nor technically accusing anyone of wrongdoing, but it's also completely unhelpful. Closing the site down is always an option; we want alternatives. Does that make it easier to see how you've projected an image of attacking JiG with negativity on home turf? While Jeff might now wish he hadn't been so sarcastic in his initial response, the tone of your post moves things a bit beyond "taking criticism". It does little good to pretend that you were merely pointing out a grammatical error and (what you see as) an obvious truth in a polite and friendly manner, when it's still up there for everyone to see. It seems to me that a long-term reader such as yourself would have been following these issues for years, now, and would understand the position in which Jeff and JiG are, currently.

No doubt, if JiG continues to operate in the red, then it will die in the natural course of events. But perhaps the one beating a dead horse is you, johnharveybc. The real problem is that you've chosen to do it in the middle of a PETA rally.

And now, in the hopes of avoiding my comment being dismissed with an easy one-liner, allow me to engage with your "actual points", as I understand them.

1. The wording of the initial post, including the phrase, "We're hiring!" is misleading at best, and deceptive at worst. A moot point now, as it's been changed, but this was one of your original points. Yes, according to the dictionary, the verb "hire" was used incorrectly. However, when the subsequent discussion mentions no remuneration, but instead explicitly states that reviewers will not be paid, I think it's hard to argue that this was a serious attempt at deception; it's virtually not even clickbait, given the context. With regards to your critical comments on the rest of the post's language: I must disagree with your apparent assertion that people should only paint the most dismal possible picture of their situation, rather than trying to sound positive.

2. JiG refuses to profit-share with its writers. Well, this issue all stems from whether or not one believes the JiG team when they tell us the amounts of income generated by, and costs associated with, the website. Personally, I do believe them, which means that I believe that site costs are currently coming out of individuals' pockets, at least in part, and that therefore, there is also not any profit to share, and will not be for at least some time. I also feel that it would be a greater sin to dangle the possibility of profit-sharing in front of writers when the future of the site is so uncertain. If you believe that they are cynically lying in order to garner sympathy and free work, that's up to you. But please understand that without any proof or even logical argument to back this up, you're going to have an uphill battle arguing this point here when a majority of the community bears the JiG team significant good will.

3. Flash/online games are dying, and if JiG persists in covering only these, it must necessarily die too. And no-one has a good suggestion for how to avoid/change this. I agree with the first part of this. While Flash games are still being produced, they are definitely on the decline, and HTML5 games just aren't picking up the slack. Casual gaming has moved to mobile devices in a big way. The problem with covering mobile games is that there is a huge divide between the iOS and Android markets, not to mention small but sizeable audiences with Windows and Amazon devices, whose options are even more limited. The attraction of curating Flash games was their universality. You can see this sort of continuing on JiG today as the number of home computer game reviews has steadily increased, this being the next best thing, as the majority of even indie games are now available on all three major home OS platforms. All that being said, my constructive suggestion is for JiG to bite the bullet and dive into mobile game reviews, split audience be damned. There are hundreds of free and non-crap-freemium games (i.e. buy once for a low price and get everything, the way we always used to buy games, or where you really can play the whole game and enjoy it for free, even if there is a paid option) out there that would absolutely tickle the interest of the long-term JiG audience. Sure, there will be complaints at first about reviews of games for one platform from owners of devices from the other, or reviews of non-free games, or even reviews of games that use a freemium model at all, even if it's non-predatory, but these will pass in time, with a steady trickle of incoming reviews. But to do that, people must write the articles. There is no money to pay the writers. JiG will not pretend that the writers will be paid at some distant time in the future. So JiG asks for volunteers. Your own suggestion, that the site simply be shut down, is certainly a valid alternative, but not the one that most of us want to pursue until it becomes the only option (and it will always be an option that JiG will have, while trying to continue, whereas attempting to continue after shutting down is not). Yes, a static archive would be nice, but someone still has to pay for the servers and bandwidth.

4. You have been served inappropriate ads while looking at the JiG website. Not to belittle your morals or opinions, but sex sells. As Jeff has said, that particular ad, while very sexual in a "cheesecake" way, was classified (arguably correctly, despite the sexual overtones) by the ad portal as gaming, and non-adult. There's definitely an argument to be had here, but it's probably a three-way argument between you, the advertiser, and the advertising portal. All JiG can do is listen when you report an ad, and consider whether or not it's worth fighting that particular battle; sometimes, sadly, it just isn't. But what's disappointing is that both before and after you brought this issue up with a throwaway sarcastic one-liner in a bit of your own mud-slinging, you were protesting and continued to protest the mud-slinging being perpetrated against you.

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