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Crimes and Punishments: The Danger of the Infallible Sherlock Holmes

An essay on Sherlock Holmes and how important it is for him to be able to be wrong.

This thing I wrote this one time about game spaces

Pretty sure this was the first piece I ever successfully pitched. It ran in the Back to School issue of Kill Screen in…several yeas ago. Thanks to Chris Dahlen for taking the chance on a recovering academic and unproven blogger, and also to him and Ryan Kuo for their editing. They did their best to […]

10 Best Star Wars Games

I LOVE LISTS Here is my list of the 10 best Star Wars games at Paste.

Game Reviews
Game Reviews

Assassin’s Creed: Rogue – Paste – 12/16/2014 The Waste Land- Paste – 11/03/2014 Shadowgate – Paste – 08/21/2014 Abyss Odyssey – Paste – 08/04/2014 Child of Light – Paste – 04/28/2014 Batman: Arkham Origins Blackgate: Deluxe Dedition – Paste – 04/07/2014 The Raven – Paste – 12/27/2013 Face Noir – Paste – 12/4/2013 The Wolf […]

You’re a Ghost….

Essay (I guess) at Paste about, like, ghosts and games and stuff. You know how in a lot of stories where the protagonist is a ghost there is that moment where they realize that they can’t touch anyone or anything? That is SO videogames.


11 Best Dogs in Games List I wrote for Paste

Trading Spaces B-Sides

These are notes/grafs that didn’t make the final cut of my piece on mental maps and game spaces in Kill Screen issue 2. ———- In Bioshock 2, this simplified metaphor is used to define the gamespace of Rapture as you experience it by traveling along the line of the Atlantic Express, replacing the bathyspheres of […]

Switched Off Star Wars: The Actual End of a Virtual World

“For preservation is not simply the saving of old things but the maintaining of a response to those things.” Kevin Lynch, What Time is this Place, 1973. Star Wars Galaxies closed at 9 p.m. PST on Dec. 15, 2011. Around the same time, the National Defense Authorization Act passed, Christopher Hitchens passed and the United […]


11 Best Dogs in Games List I wrote for Paste

Columns – Binary Mortal at Paste

Learning to Let Go: Time and Memory in Games – 04/03/2014 Gaming About Architecture with Metro: Last Light – 1/31/2014 Crunch Time: Working Overtime to Kill You – 11/12/2013

The Last of Us and Pittsburgh: Real Game Worlds

(A longish essay for Paste about The Last of Us and its construction of Pittsburgh) I learned to take photographs in Pittsburgh. Its topography taught me how to compose a complex image: houses clinging to hillsides, bridges across rivers and valleys. Uneven and winding terrain meant that no matter where I looked, there were always […]

It Is Very Dark in the SF MOMA
It Is Very Dark in the SF MOMA


Game. Over.

Super Hexagon tournament at GDC 2013. It killed my camera. But then I bought a new camera.


Full gallery, some of which ended up illustrating this story. These are from March 2011, Pitt Quidditch Club’s practice. I think. In the piece I said it was the first day of spring, but that might have been a lie. just kidding. It wasn’t a lie.

Hanging in them dusty arcades, banging them pleasure machines.
Hanging in them dusty arcades, banging them pleasure machines.

Published on The AV Club’s Gameological society: “as the wizards play down on pinball way”

E3 2012
E3 2012

“The actors and setting are often given equal lighting emphasis. … When the environment is given an equal or greater weight than the actor, it, of course, creates a fatalistic, hopeless mood. There is nothing the protagonist can do; the city will outlast and negate even his best efforts.” – Paul Schrader, Notes on Film […]

Save Aeris – How Can We Be Moved by the Fate of Aeris Gainsborough (Kill Screen)

Everyone has an Aeris story. You’re fifteen or sixteen years old. Or maybe in your twenties. Or maybe ten. You’re playing your (or your older sibling’s, or your friend’s) PlayStation in a dark room—a basement or a bedroom at night, maybe—bedcovers shoved at the base of the door in a weak attempt to fool your […]

Quidditch in Kill Screen and Pitchfork
Quidditch in Kill Screen and Pitchfork

My article (which I did not choose the headline for) for Kill Screen Magazine’s Public Play issue ran on You can read it if you want. It’s about college students who play quidditch. Also, the photo of the game of Ninja on the second page is mine.

GDC 2011
GDC 2011

GDC 2011 photos.

Columns – Paratext on Joystick Division & Unwinnable


York and Kyle: Fan Food-ction
York and Kyle: Fan Food-ction

“sinners” sandwich (Bread, turkey, cornflakes, strawberry jam) from Deadly Premonition. Accompanied by a My Old Friend, in honor of Kyle Hyde from Hotel Dusk.

All of Your Friends Were There: Kill Screen Loves Scandinavia Party – GDC 2011
All of Your Friends Were There: Kill Screen Loves Scandinavia Party - GDC 2011

A work of photo and resistance against the tyranny of the web gallery. Here.

Protected: Schafes

There is no excerpt because this is a protected post.

Game Stories: Pulling Them Apart, Putting Them Back Together Again

An edited version of this piece appeared in the July 2010 issue of GamePro magazine. “We tell ourselves stories in order to live.” It’s a bold statement that opens the eponymous essay in Joan Didion’s book The White Album, first published in 1979. When the Everyman’s Library put together an anthology of her nonfiction in 2006, that […]

January 2018
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