Professional Development
Gaming / Startups

These Baltimore cofounders are creating a media platform that covers video game culture

With The Longform, J.S. Gleason and Nick Clinkscales are focusing on the people who love video games, and build them.

The Longform's cofounders: J.S. Gleason and Nick Clinkscales. (Courtesy photo)

From classics like Mario Kart and Baltimore-born Civilization to recent hits like Fortnite, video games significantly influence our culture and society. And with the Entertainment Software Association reporting an average of 1.7 gamers (play three hours or more per week) in each U.S. household, there’s no signs of video games slowing down.
Baltimore-based The Longform is crafting a media platform for gaming culture and lifestyle to offer quality content geared toward three distinct categories: the culture-at-large, news and the industry.
Founders J.S. Gleason and Nick Clinkscales created a subscription-based media platform to empower the ever-growing community of those who play, create and love the video games.
“When you think about what it takes to make games you realize so many disciplines go into the practice (writing, design, engineering, UI/UX, fashion design, landscape/architecture, music composition and so on) and on the fan side you have people creating clothes, music, art, films and their own games, built on elements they have enjoyed in the games they have played,” Gleason, a student in MICA’s Interactive Arts BFA program, told Baltimore.
While they know of plenty of publications that cover the games and the industry, the founders learned they can build their business to appeal the video game culture and lifestyle.
“We have a unique opportunity to be the platform that reflects this concept not just as a website or a magazine, but as a movement,” Gleason said.
The Longform is among the eight finalists in MICA’s 2018 Up/Start Venture Competition after advancing from the Round 1 ‘Pop Up and Pitch’ exhibit. Gleason and Clinkscales will pitch their work pitch Wednesday, April 4, as they compete for $100K in startup funding.
In addition, the eight finalists each received a mentor from the tech community to help with business plans and final pitch prep.
Leo Farias, a MICA alum and cofounder of Fanhero, is The Longform’s mentor and has aided the startup.
“He’s been invaluable in our progress towards becoming not only better positioned to win the UP/Start competition, but also in helping us to become a more competitive entity in general,” Gleason said.
Regardless of if they win or lose, The Longform have a robust upcoming production schedule as they aim to prove most of the games media industry is outdated and out of touch.
The online platform is set to launch in summer 2018 as they continue to cover video game culture from a variety of angles.
“We are already recording podcasts, working with contributors and content creators, setting up shoots and having conversations with potential affiliates, Gleason said.


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