Centers and Peripheries of Games Criticism

Last week, Rami Ismail made a brief but import­ant call for a bit of aware­ness con­cerning the status of Eng­lish as the lin­gua franca in (the major part of) the games industry. I had been gath­er­ing thoughts on a dis­cus­sion of the role of lan­guage in games cri­ti­cism, spe­cific­ally, for a while, so I figured now would be a good time to make things a bit more con­crete. I had writ­ten a para­graph call­ing for aware­ness of lin­guistic diversity in games last sum­mer, but didn’t really take the argu­ment any­where, so let me build on what I wrote there. […Read more…]

A Chaotic Gift (for Chris Bateman)

Dear Chris, You have recently returned from patern­ity leave, and have wit­nessed the birth of your second son, on which again my con­grat­u­la­tions! As you wrote on your own blog, you’d like noth­ing more from your read­ers as a gift than an open let­ter, so who am I to refuse? After I fin­ished read­ing the final draft ver­sion of your upcom­ing book, Chaos Eth­ics, some­where last year, I wrote to you in an email that I thought it would be an inter­est­ing idea to start a let­ter series on the topic of Chaos, in the broad­est sense. It is not some­thing you touch upon extens­ively in your book—understandably so, since it is about eth­ics first and foremost—but know­ing you slightly, I sus­pect you will have some addi­tional things to say on the concept. […Read more…]

An Ode to Objects

Over on The Onto­lo­gical Geek, I’ve writ­ten a small column about the little things that can make games come alive to me. I love it when design­ers take some time to put in some details, even if they aren’t essen­tial or func­tional in the ‘core’ of the game. […Read more…]