Type Travels: Leigh Alexander’s Mona

Mona is a short story by Leigh Alex­ander with gor­geous illu­stra­tions by Emily Car­roll. The story is part sen­sual urban hor­ror, part hom­age to the game Silent Hill 2. The story recent­ly went on sale, and I pro­vi­ded the design for the e-book ver­sions. Have a look at the design below, and don’t for­get to buy a copy of the story! […Read more…]

Walking the Planes 3: Pluralities

The third art­icle in my series Wal­king the Planes has just been pub­lished over at The Onto­logical Geek. It’s about the Plane­scape set­ting and how its em­pha­sis on diver­sity and plu­ra­lity has affec­ted me, both in dis­cover­ing the set­ting as a teen, and now­adays. I’m not really sure yet what the next epi­sode is going to be about, as I have mul­tiple half-finished ideas boun­cing around in my head. You’ll have to wait and see! […Read more…]

Memory Insufficient: Language and Games

Recently, I had the hon­our of being guest editor on Memory Insuf­fi­cient, the games his­tory ezine. I edited the spe­cial issue on Lan­guage and Games. You can read the edit­or­ial from the issue below, but really you should just go and down­load the whole issue here [pdf], because it’s free. […Read more…]

On Cheezer

Let me take you to the magi­cal realm that is the 1990s of my youth. It’s OK. Peo­ple were cool back then, you’ll see. Some­where in that myth­i­cal land of bound­less peak-capi­tal­ist op­ti­mism, not to men­tion ac­tual­ly the best music ever — feel free to try to de­bate me on this and run away screa­ming — we had some­thing called a Chee­zer. […Read more…]

Cake Salad (a reply to Cameron Kunzelman)

This open let­ter is a reply to Ca­­me­­ron Kun­­zel­­man’s piece “On Video Games, Con­tent, and Ex­­pres­­sion”. It is about cake (layer­ed and un­layer­ed), salad, music, opera, ana­lo­gies, and about games. Any­one is free to reply here or on their own blog. […Read more…]

Type Travels: The Sword of Welleran

Recently, I’ve become more and more inte­res­ted in book design and type­setting, and I deci­ded that I wanted to become bet­ter at it, and offer it as a ser­vice to other people. In the grow­ing world of e-books and digi­tal read­ing, there is some­thing of a dearth of good design, and the aes­the­tics that I admire in prin­ted books have for the most part not found their way into the digi­tal realm. As an exer­cise, I’ve star­ted play­ing around with some pub­lic domain fantasy lite­ra­ture that I wanted to read any­way, such as the (early) works of Lord Dun­sany. In that spirit, I’ve recent­ly com­pleted a PDF set­ting of The Sword of Welle­ran And Other Stor­ies, origi­nally pu­blished in 1908. […Read more…]

On Mouths

Mouths are weird. They’re not quite like other parts of our body, most of which are ‘objects’ in them­selves, even though they are some­times redu­cible to smal­ler parts. A hand has fin­gers, a palm, and so forth, but is also what it is: a hand. A mouth has lips, teeth, gums, a tongue, but it is no­thing in itself. A mouth is an empti­ness. […Read more…]

Some brief notes on hunting in
Dragon Age: Inquisition

Hav­ing recent­ly fin­ished Dra­gon Age: Inqui­si­tion — the main story­line and pretty much all of the sin­gle pla­yer side­quests, that is — some as­pects of the game’s ap­proach to hun­ting ani­mals and beasts keep stick­ing in the back of my mind. I’ll try to dis­en­tan­gle them here, brief­ly. […Read more…]

Games within games (within games)

In this piece, I wanted to briefly dis­cuss some ways in which play­ers cre­ate sub­games in video­games, and what they say about the nature of vari­ous types of play and game spaces. I’ll start with a dis­cussion of ap­proa­ches to ‘ghost’ and paci­fist play­styles in stealth games, and how these play­styles have become in­cor­po­rated or re-appro­priated in the rules of vari­ous host games. After­wards, I’ll dis­cuss how role­playing in multi­player video­games is prac­tically always a sub­game enac­ted out­side of the digi­tally arbi­trated game rules. Finally, just to mess with you, I’ll at­tempt to stretch my own model by talk­ing about parti­cular sub­games I’ve tried to play within the role­playing sub­game. […Read more…]

Letting Go

A per­sonal piece about wak­ing dreams, mys­ti­cism, and verti­cality in Scandina­vian theatre and video­games. I dis­cuss Hen­rik Ibsen’s The Mas­ter Builder and When We Dead Awaken, next to a spe­cial level from Nifflas’ Knytt Stor­ies. […Read more…]