Bragging Rights

Screenshot via Star Citizen

Screenshot via Star Citizen

“Okay, listen up,” says a voice in your ear. “As of thirty seconds ago you are the last remaining Bouncer pilot in this system. Reroute on vector 4.96 and await further instructions.” Continue reading

Top Ten Indie Titles Helping to Redefine Storytelling

We all love a game with a good story, but in a world full to the brim of action packed AAA titles, sometimes narrative finds itself taking a back seat. For every Naughty Dog triumph, there are a dozen Destiny’s. Thankfully, the rise of indie gaming is changing all of that. As developers no longer have to rely on big name publishers to reach their audience, with websites like Kickstarter and Steam’s Greenlight initiative all providing hobbyists and first timers with platforms to launch their games from, there’s a lot more space for creativity. Continue reading

Breathing Life into Spaceships

Personification is a very human habit. As social creatures our brains are trained to think emphatically. We like to believe we know roughly how other people are feeling because it helps us understand them better. This way of thinking goes beyond other people for many of us; we extend this empathy to inanimate objects as well. Children hold their toys the same careful way adults hold their mobile phones. These objects belong to us, we have put a little piece of ourselves into them, given them a name, told them our secrets and in return for keeping those things safe – we take care of them. We make sure they are covered up when we sleep next to them at night, we protect them with colourful cases that further reflect our personalities. Continue reading

An Argument for Escapism


escapism n. the tendency to seek distraction and relief from reality.

I hereby go on the record to (politely) disagree with the Oxford English Dictionary (’96 edition), because while I do indeed use many forms of media to distract myself from reality, I don’t do it to get ‘relief’. I am not depressed or stressed, I’ve not suffered any recent trauma and nor do I shy away from working a forty hour week or being with my family.

What I am, more often than not, is bored. Continue reading

Character Creation gets Complicated: Gender

I struggle sometimes to decide whether a character should be male or female. An odd struggle to have, I suppose, since it’s the first thing most character sheets ask for. But there’s a lot of added weight which comes with the decision and the entire outcome of the story may rest upon it. Before this new person in my head even has a name, they might have an entire set of character traits that I hadn’t even considered yet and all because I went with one gender over the other.

Just because those implied traits are there doesn’t mean I have to take any notice of them of course, but readers might.

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Nostalgia and Video Games (or: Why a 12yr old RPG by THQ is still my Favourite)


I’ll never forget the first time I encountered a Golem in the sewers beneath the city of Lenele. They were huge and the character I was playing was an underpowered farm boy whose village had just been destroyed. It was also my first time playing a fantasy RPG and I had no idea what magic missile was, let alone how to cast it. What followed was a mess of pointing and clicking and hoping for the best; luckily the farm boy knew how to use a sword.

Continue reading