Category: Writing

12th November 2021
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Tend & Pretend: the Secret Life of Gendered Games

Is this Dark Souls in a dress?

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18th October 2021
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Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?

Making games for a living is almost certainly going to throw you into situations you never expected. When it does, your best hope is to have a clear idea of who you are and what you stand for so you can weather the storm.

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3rd September 2021
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The Church of Merch

Step into the church of the merch and take a pew with me.

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6th August 2021
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The Forbidden City

While under communist dictatorship in the 1970s and 80s, dissenting Czechoslovaks arrived at demonstrations, stood in front of the police and beat each other up with vegetables. This was to save police the trouble of doing it with batons, though it also protested a violent authoritarian regime without doing enough to get arrested. All hail the subversive surrealism of European liberals!

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9th July 2021
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Horse Face / Plate Face

Here is a game that will ruin your life.

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11th June 2021
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Trouble in the North

Philip II of Macedon invaded Greece, won a lot of fights and trembled lustily on the borders of Sparta. He sent the Spartans a threatening message asking if he should come as friend or foe. The ephors responded: ‘Neither.’

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14th May 2021
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Ceci n’est pas une game

I wrote the article below for Wireframe, a British game dev magazine which ‘lifts the lid on video games’. And, inexplicably, lets me have a monthly column.

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15th April 2021
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“Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.”

I wrote the article below for Wireframe, a British game dev magazine which ‘lifts the lid on video games’. And, inexplicably, lets me have a monthly column.

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2nd April 2021
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Gravity

16.01.16 The ‘unusual uncle’ I mention below was David Insall, a fascinating man who at different times had been a sheep farmer, an environmentalist, and a contract officer in Oman. My mother assures me he once brought a wolf pup to her dinner party.

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31st March 2021
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/kəˈbal/, Part 3: The Society of Simon

The following is an extract from an article Alexis wrote decades ago, in 1996, for British roleplaying magazine Valkyrie. It’s juvenilia, and some bits make him wince – but it’s an insight into his early style and fiction which later became Fallen London, Sunless Sea and Cultist Simulator. [ Part 1, Part 2 ]

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19th March 2021
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Three Reviews of Games from the Year 2035

‘Press X to Cure Cancer’ was a much more topical gag in 2015, though not really a very good one even then. I probably shouldn’t try to be down with the kids.

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5th March 2021
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Three Reviews of Unreviewable Games

I borrowed the idea for this from Stanisław Lem, who wrote every entertaining and faultlessly straight-faced critical essays about nonexistent books he’d invented. Ramon Llull was real, though I’ve never been sure how to pronounce him.

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19th February 2021
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Building the Frontier

I didn’t talk about my own time in LambdaMoo, because that wasn’t really the point, but since you ask, I built a house in a very large mostly-dead dragon.  

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5th February 2021
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The Labyrinth

What’s the difference between a labyrinth and a maze? The original, primal Labyrinth – the first in human history – the one from which all others derive – is of course Jim Henson’s 1986 David Bowie vehicle.

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22nd January 2021
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How It Happened To Happen

Jack Cohen is a reproductive biologist who gives talks on speculative xenobiology. I once heard him explain how we had happened to evolve from a species of fish that kept its reproductive organs next to the pipes it used to eliminate waste from its body.

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4th December 2020
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Let’s Talk About Text

Story in games is a hot topic. But what about structure? How does the narrative form of a game influence its player’s experience?

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27th November 2020
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/kəˈbal/, Part 2: The Denied

The Denied are a small cult – perhaps two hundred in all, including children – most of whom live in a sizeable but remote village in Kurdistan.

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6th November 2020
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The Law of Boob

Every week I receive ICO Partners’ Steam newsletter. It’s a simple round-up of all the week’s latest Steam games, alongside their number of reviews and overall review score

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