Writing

This page is currently under construction, which means that most of the links don’t work. Some of them are broken regardless as sites that I’ve written for have been closed down, but I am in the process of trying to get a hold of copies of these old pieces of work and re-upload them for your reading pleasure. Pieces marked with a * are broken links.

Here, you can find most of the editorial work I have done for various sites over the years. This list is not exhaustive, because the first editorials I wrote, for Video Game District, have been lost forever and ever. They are in rough chronological order, and date from around 2008 onwards.

Xugo Gaming

*A Reckless Disregard for Realism- The first op-ed I wrote for Xugo. I talk about Tim Sweeney’s comments on photorealistic graphics, and relate them to the way in which the anti-realism of the game Aaaaa! by Dejobaan Games subverts the need for immersion through realism.

*Eversion and the Beautiful Deception- A piece I wrote about the indie game Eversion, an analysis on the ways in which the game’s design influences the power dynamic between developer and player to make the game scary.

*In Response: Serious Business- A piece I wrote in response to an op-ed by my good friend and contemporary Peter Skeritt, in which I argue that the artgame movement is worth supporting.

*Pokemon and the Future of Horror Games- The last op-ed I wrote for Xugo, and the most popular in terms of readership. (It did quite well on Reddit, and I was smug for a day.) I talk about how the Pokemon Black and Silver creepypasta stories teach us something about how to rejuvinate the horror game genre.

VVVVVV (PC) Review - A review I wrote for Terry Cavanagh’s VVVVVV.

Games? Magazine

Frolicking in Armageddon- The first feature piece I did for Games?, featuring in the first issue. I talk about the ways in which videogames are suited to post-apocalyptic themes moreso than other mediums.

Machinarium Spotlight- The first spotlight I did for Games?, also featuring in Issue 1. I looked at the way Machinarium turned the concept of heroism on its head in advocating humility over glory.

Player vs. Narrative- A feature I did for Issue 2, looking at the problems faced by developers of sandbox games in the current generation with regards to scripted and emergent gameplay.

The Impossible Game Spotlight- A spotlight piece I did for Issue 2, looking at how The Impossible Game for XBLA uses the simplicity of its mechanics to overcome the frsustrations presented by its difficulty.

Pixel Fist

Setting the World on Fire- An article that examined emotional impact through emotional dissonance in Introversion Software’s DEFCON.

Comics Bulletin, Infinite Ammo

Video Game Romance: Love is a Series of Numbers- My first article for Comics Bulletin’s Infinite Ammo column, in which I looked at the way BioWare RPGs handle romance, disassembling the design philosophies beneath their approach which make it so flawed. I then draw comparison with film and The Sims to offer a solution of sorts to the problem.

The Art of Darkness: How Video Games Can Learn From Maus- My second article for Infinite Ammo. An essay on the importance of games that express stories in ways that only their medium can express them, with reference to the critical response to Art Spigelman’s seminal comic book Maus.

Motorway to Damascus: Fate and Agency in Dear Esther- An essay on the artistic weight of thechineseroom’s Dear Esther, which uses its linear gameplay and environmental symbolism to inform its discussion of the theme of fate, as well as raising interesting questions about player agency in other games.

Turtles All the Way Down: The Player’s Relationship with Endless Games- An article in which I talk about the history and legacy of games without developer-defined mechanical or narrative ends, with specific reference to Dwarf Fortress and Inside a Star-filled Sky.

Freelance

Nukezilla

The Lost Zen of Games Writing- In my first freelance piece, I wrote about how the unrelenting cynicism in games writing is the key factor holding back the quality of our journalism, and the ways in which a greater focus on positivity will bring more attention to those who work towards improving our industry.

Gameranx

The ‘New Geeks’ and the Rebirth of a Subculture- A reaction to the backlash against ‘fake geeks’ that says that the culture needs to adapt and become more inclusive, rather than old on to outdated ideas of elitism.