Monday, May 6, 2013

March and April Writing


With GDC at the end of March, I never got around to writing a summary of that month's writing, and then as I tried to catch up on all my GDC writing in April, I never got around to writing a summary of that month's writing! So here is a summary of the things I did write in March and April.

My "You Know What I Love?" column is still going strong at Games On Net. I wrote about unreliable narrators, first-person bodies, audio-diaries, simulated physics, and acting.

At GDC, I had the opportunity to sit down and chat with Walt Williams, the lead writer of Spec Ops: The Line. He is a great guy! I was hoping to turn the interview into a 'People' column for Edge, but they had done a studio profile of Yager just a month before so that wasn't going to happen. Instead, Stu at Unwinnable gave me the opportunity to post the entire, sprawling discussion as one long essay. That right there is pretty much why I love Unwinnable so much.

Early in March I wrote for Bit Creature for the first time. I wrote two essays that are kind of meant as companions to each other about Dark Souls. The first is about how the game's level design and layout and ambience communicates a sense of passive-aggressiveness to the player, a sense that you're not suppose to be here. But then, both thanks to and in spite of this design, the game encourages a far closer sense of camaraderie between players than nearly any other game. I'm really happy with both these essays, and I really like how they work together.

Australian NGO Right Now asked me late last year if I would write something for them about videogame violence and human rights. I wrote an essay that tries to strike the middle road of the whole debate between calls for censorship and calls for utterly uncritical engagements with videogame violence.

And just on this blog, I wrote out some notes about Bioshock: Infinite after I finished playing it, and also some further thoughts about how the game is incredibly, accidentally racist. And my partner, Helen Berents, wrote a guess essay about how Ni No Kuni depicts childhood.

I think that is actually all I have written over the past two months! I do have some very exciting, massive features all written up and forthcoming, but more on them when they are actually published! I've also been working on a few different academic articles/chapters, which I'll be sure to share when they're available, but they might not be interesting to too many people. Other exciting projects are starting to gain momentum, too! But that is all on the down low for now. But they are exciting, I promise!

I did also appear on a few podcasts over the last couple of months. Michael Abbott's Brainy Gamer podcast is probably my favourite podcast ever, and the only podcast whose episodes I will lap up as soon as they come out. So I was incredibly humbled to appear on it back in March alongside Leigh Alexander. I can think of few people writing about videogames that respect more than Michael and Leigh, so that was a little bit intimidating, but also a lot of fun. I also recommend listening to the other three parts of that podcast where Michael talks to a wide range of intelligent people.

Also, during GDC, Giant Bomb's Patrick Klepek spoke to me about Killing is Harmless, and why and how I went about writing it.

And speaking of Killing is Harmless, if you are yet to buy it (or even if you have!), you might be interested in the Story Bundle, which is selling a bunch of books about videogames for super cheap, including Killing is Harmless. The bundle has already more than doubled the number of copies of Killing is Harmless that have been sold, so that is incredibly exciting!

As for May's writing. Well, this happened:


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