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! […]

Walking the Planes 2: A History of the Planes in Dungeons & Dragons

This one took a bit longer to write, but finally the second article in my planar series is out, in which I give an overview of the planes in the history of Dungeons & Dragons. Next time, I’ll be diving into Planescape properly for the first time. […]

Ontological Geek Podcast: Episode 3 — Moral Bodies (+ Bonus)

After a hiatus, we’re back with Ontological Geek podcasts again. This time, Aaron Gotzon and I had former editor-in-chief Bill Coberly and Amsel von Spreckelsen as guests, and our main topic was bodies as a locus of morality in games, particularly sections where control in taken away from bodies and they are destroyed in a spectacle, which at the same time is the outcome of a moral judgment, such as at the end of a duel, like in Mortal Kombat‘s ‘finish hem/her’ sections. Besides that, we talk about Darren Korb’s music in Bastion and Transistor, and a variety of other games. […]

Walking the Planes 1: Introduction

As promised, my series about Planescape and the Planes in Dungeons & Dragons kicked off this month. The first in­stalment is only an intro­ductory piece, in which I set out my ideas for the future of the series. Hope­fully it will whet your interest; check back here or on The Onto­logical Geek soon for the second piece! […]

When My Ship Comes In

I had been wanting to write something about Cameron Kun­zel­man’s little game On August 11, A Ship Sailed Into Port for some time now, but recently I sat down to do it and it turned into a vague textual and audio­visual medi­tation on death, choices, and getting by. It’s a bit of a loose, experi­mental column, but maybe you’ll enjoy it. Please do check out Kun­zel­man’s game, as it takes only five minutes, and if you’ve never seen Werner Herzog’s Nos­feratu before, here’s your chance to see some scenes. […]

Ontological Geekery

Since early last year, The Ontological Geek has been my main outlet for writing about games. The site is the brainchild of Bill Coberly, who stepped down as Editor in Chief this week because he’s going to law school. Congratulations, Bill! You can read his goodbye post here. Our new helmswoman is Hannah Duvoix, who has been a contributor to the site for a long time as well. She wrote some words of introduction as well. […]

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. […]

Ontological Geek Podcast Ep. 2 — Asylums

On the second Onto­logical Geek podcast episode, Aaron and I are joined by Amsel von Spreck­elsen and Rowan Noel Stokvis to discuss the por­trayal of mental health asylums in video­games, as well as some other related topics. Among the games dis­cussed are Amnesia: the Dark Descent, the Thief games, Batman: Arkham Asylum, Dark Souls, Outlast, Brothers: a Tale of Two Sons, and To the Moon. […]

A Guest Beyond the Final Frontier

For The Ontological Geek, I wrote a short piece on different ways games can represent space exploration. I take a look at Star Control 2, MirrorMoon EP, Noctis, and Space Engine, and try to explain why the last two make me feel most at ease. […]

The Possibilities of Horror in Games

My latest blog post on games is my third for The Ontological Geek, and my first as a regular con­tri­bu­tor to that fine collec­tive. In it, I explore some of the ways in which games can tap into the tools and trap­pings of the horror genre. I use the theory of art horror as posited by Noël Carroll and dis­cuss how games can evoke fear and dis­gust in players, not just by using monsters, but also light, dark­ness, and spaces. The article is part of a series of articles on horror in games, and con­nects to many other recent and older wri­tings on the genre, so there’s a lot to read. […]