The Embed With Games series is finishing this month. I am going to write a foreword and an afterword and then it’s going into editing, and will become an ebook (free for backers) and a print version. I’ve commissioned Irene Koh for the cover illustration. I’m really excited about it! I travelled around the world and wrote about amazing people and it’s turning into a body of work. A very very large body of work. A giant.
I think the cover will have a good chance of being a shameless homage to a particular pop artist, so stay tuned for that.
In other Irene news: we are working on a big project for this year together, please await our blowing apart the world with fear and reticence.
The Merritt Kopas-edited Videogames For Humans book, where Twine authors write about each others’ work, is imminent. I submitted my chapter, and Sacrilege is appearing in it too. Here’s the lovely cover courtesy of Michael Deforge.
I have been very bad at updating you on my latest work. Here’s what I did recently.
- Brendan Keogh and I have written an essay together for a Seven Stories Press book this year, news on which will be forthcoming.
- I wrote a piece about Anna Anthropy’s stormer of a Twine game Queers At The End Of The World for The Guardian, but entirely in verse because I am a pretentious, emotionsy wanker.
- I have many reservations about being shamelessly populist in the pieces I write, but I confess I knew this piece for my S.EXE column on the love stories people share whilst in the shadow of a loading screen was going to be extremely popular. All seven stories are genuinely moving: there is not one story that hasn’t been singled out by readers for being something they really related to. And how about the Jake Adelstein one about the yakuza’s mistress?! It always pays to be friends with the loveable rogues of the world. S.EXE continues apace, and shows no signs of stopping.
- I featured in The Guardian’s favourite game journalism of the year 2014. Thanks Keith!
- I wrote a top ten of my year for Giant Bomb, always a blast.
- I wrote about why Kentucky Route Zero continues to be the best game of the year every year for RPS.
- Embed With Singapore came out! Many thanks to Danielle Riendeau for editing together the first video in double quick time!
- I began my opinion column at Eurogamer. My first one was on Kentucky Route Zero and the Poetics Of Space. I hope that you’ll join me as I grow into this new idea of my giving my opinions on things.
- I attended the National Museum Of Scotland’s Playing The Past event to speak on the panel there. They have a wonderful exhibition just now called Game Masters, it’s great, go and see it, take your friends. I think the footage of the panel will go up online soon.
- My pride and joy this month has been this acerbic deconstruction of the ‘millennial’ figure, tech fetishism, and the derision some have over 8 bit aesthetic indie games for The Guardian. MANY people in the comments didn’t get it, but I really enjoyed myself and frankly the not-game naysayers can eat that up. Perhaps I make too many points at once, but that never stopped me, did it? At least Jenn Frank liked it.
I often feel like video games that portray war leave out a lot of essential humanity, and it always bothers me that even if some nods to humanity are put in they are clumsy ‘press x to feel’ type things. I really liked the new Call of Duty, but often I wonder what happens to the characters between missions, the loneliness, the shell shock, the PTSD, the feelings of isolation or craving for another human being you might feel. Do the characters feel like there is something wrong with them? How does permanent war come to affect the characters of multiplayer war sims?
I wrote this short piece of fiction, Hypercorporeal War Simulator, for The Yearbook Office, interpreting the feelings I have about war games. It’s sort of like Black Mirror crossed with Battlefield 1918. If you like it, I think I will propose writing these for my Patreon backers this year once Embed With is finished. Let me know what you think.
‘Initiate Fuckplan: Consent, Intimacy, and the Future of Sex & Games’ is a talk that will be given by me and Merritt Kopas on FRIDAY THE THIRTEENTH of February at the Museum of Moving Images New York, as part of Indiecade East. See you soon, New York.
I will be at GDC this year, doing a Microtalk for Richard Lemarchand along with some really cool people I admire. I am also DJing with my bestie Alice at this party:
And it will, my friends. It will.
The rest of the year is as yet unwritten. We shall see what the future has in store for me. Adventures, probably. Dudes. Cocktails with silly names. All distinct possibilities.
I love you all, please read and share my work, so that I may not starve. Amen.