PERFECT DARK

  Thanks to a myriad disorders, illnesses and traumas that I have never talked about publicly, at least not in detail, I have been struggling very hard recently to get anything written at all. My two year long course of therapy, which I have now been visiting for six months, has unearthed literally decades of […]

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NO HUMAN’S SKY

No Man’s Sky. The very title is a reminder of videogames’ greatest, repeat failure: their lack of fully-formed, human characters. I forget exactly the meaninglessly large number of planets No Man’s Sky allows you to explore – the number which, since we are still childishly impressed by hardware power and sheer quantity, lulled the gaming world into […]

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SHUT UP, PLAYERS

“I’m the king of the castle and you’re the dirty rascal.” So goes the nursery rhyme, which thanks to Susan Hill’s eponymous novel will forever be sung in my head by a precocious, spoiled child, stood on a knoll, lording over his friends. Whenever I play a videogame, I hear his voice. As I collect […]

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SHUT UP, GAMERGATE

Having read Alison Rapp’s essay about child pornography, the one which, along with a large amount of caterwauling by GamerGate has just resulted in Rapp losing her job with Nintendo America, I can say I disagree with every single word, and find her conclusions both specious and abhorrent. But not for a second do I […]

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SPEAK UP, FIREWATCH

THIS POST INCLUDES TOTAL SPOILERS FOR FIREWATCH The opening of Firewatch is awful. I understand that you’re supposed to be shaping your character and that it acts as a kind of alternative customisation screen where instead of physical attributes you assign him a personality and a history, but it’s so obvious and jarring – considering […]

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Shut Up, Videogames: Part One

Experimentation isn’t enough. Being different to other videogames isn’t enough. I know we’re tired. I know there’s a loathsome, invulnerable system of games and game-making, which seems to prohibit new or nuanced expression. I know doing something — anything — different to what games do typically feels like progress. But experimentation alone isn’t enough. And […]

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Shut Up, Her Story

“God is a first rate novelist and to be there when He’s strutting his stuff is not only legitimate but honorable, part and parcel of fighting the good fight.” Richard Price wrote that, in his foreword to David Simon’s Homicide: A Year on the Killing Streets, the greatest work of crime non-fiction you’re ever likely to […]

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