Brian Taylor words and photos Phone: 724-322-2297
Email: | Twitter: brianmtaylor

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 […]

Pittsburgh City Paper – Wooden Wand

Last December, NPR’s music blog ran an essay titled “That’s a Bad Lyric and You Know It.” In it, writer James Jackson Toth (who releases music under the name Wooden Wand) calls out songs by several contemporary acts, including Best Coast, Haim and The Black Keys: “I don’t know the writers of these songs personally, […]


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 […]

Pittsburgh City Paper FFW>> : Thoughts Upon Seeing Bruce Springsteen for the First Time

It’s rainy and cold and there are people drinking tallboys around the Fifth Avenue side of Consol Energy Center, spilling out of the TGI Friday’s outdoor area and moving down toward the entrances. Apparently a Springsteen show, like a Bloomfield parade or a Steelers game, suspends open-container laws in the immediate vicinity. I sacrifice a […]

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 […]

Pittsburgh City Paper – Advance Base
Pittsburgh City Paper - Advance Base

For Pittsburgh City Paper’s 8/31/2011 issue. —————- Just over a year ago, Owen Ashworth announced he was killing his one-man-and-collaborators band, Casiotone for the Painfully Alone. He spent the back half of 2010 playing his last shows under that name — the band’s final appearance on Dec. 5, 2010, was the 13th anniversary of its […]

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.

Columns – Paratext on Joystick Division & Unwinnable


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 […]

Home of Vanna White

Originally posted on Don’t Kick Food on 11/9/2009. I’m on vacation in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. I’m standing in front of a full length mirror in the condo my parents rented for the week. It’s late October – over the course of the week, it will feel like I’m the only tourist in town who […]

Reflections: Assassin’s Creed II

“What. The. Fuck.” – Desmond Miles, Assassin’s Creed 2. If you played AC2 like I did, compulsively completing every objective as it was presented to you, then by the time Minerva explains to Desmond (via Ezio, while looking directly out of the television) what is going on, you’ve already established that the Apple of Eden […]

My Own Alexandria: Keeping a Video Game Library

I didn’t have a lot of video games growing up. I’m sure most of you can remember this situation — some of you probably still live it. You’d get two or three new games a year — maybe a few more, if you had siblings — plus whatever titles you could borrow from friends or […]

January 2018
« Sep