Writing

I worked for Edge magazine for four years, arriving as staff writer and leaving as editor. In that time I wrote hundreds of pages for the magazine, including features, interviews, reviews, columns and retrospectives. Edge doesn’t use by-lines, so none of that work is credited, but I can supply a selected porfolio on request. Over those four years I also wrote occasional pieces for NGC, GamesMaster, Xbox World, Digital Home, SFX and FHM.

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I’m currently writing a series of columns for BBC Online:

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Here’s my review of Super Mario Galaxy, over at Eurogamer

Bright, bold, unrepentantly loony, Galaxy is everything you wanted it to be. It’s beautiful and inventive. It’s pure-blood Mario without being a retro indulgence. It’s a stiff platforming challenge and a free-wheeling romp. It’s the best thing on Wii, and the best traditional game Nintendo has made in a decade. The only thing about it which dulls your enjoyment is the memory of all the mediocre games you’ve had to play in the meantime. Continue reading.

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And for my vast Polish readership, here are some thoughts on finding love in games, courtesy of Dziennik.  Non-Polish readers can read the English original:

“Hundreds of films and thousands of books have shown us images of women in high-necked dresses swooning at the sight of a virtuoso pianist, bent over his keyboard with furious abandon.

But what if instead of a piano keyboard it was a computer keyboard? And what if, instead of Rachmaninov’s 2nd Piano Concerto, he was playing Halo 3? Suddenly the romance vanishes, replaced by ridicule. Who could swoon over an anti-social geek, wasting his life pretending to be a space marine? It may surprise you to discover that across the world, a forest of hands just went up. Gamers are the new virtuosos, and both men and women are falling for their charms. Continue reading

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Here’s a piece I wrote for graphic, in 2004, on the Katamari Damacy phenomenon:

The King of Space is drunk. So drunk that his swoops and staggers have smashed the stars and darkened the skies. Sobered, he calls upon you to collect the raw material to birth new stars and you, of course, agree. As stories go, it could hardly be any more scant. It wouldn’t fill a feature film or a book whose pages weren’t made out of cardboard. Videogames, however, have always thrived on similarly pithy, similarly deranged set-ups. And this one, which forms the backdrop to Namco’s Katamari Damacy, couldn’t be any more densely, dreamily. The logic may be loony, but there’s an irresistible inevitability to it, one that it would be churlish to refuse. The King of Space is drunk and you, of course, agree. Continue reading

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And here are a few of the columns I wrote for Teletext’s GameCentral service, in 2003-4

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And here’s a talk I gave at the Edinburgh Interactive Entertainment Festival in 2006

Before I begin, I’ve been told I need to observe a little formality. I’ve been asked to warn you that this is going to be embarrassing. Best case scenario is that it’s going to be embarrassing for me. Failing that it’s going to be embarrassing for you. Worst case scenario is that it’s going to be embarrassing for all of us, but either way, it’s probably best if I apologise in advance. And why is that? It’s because I’m here today to fight a myth. It’s a myth you hear from people within the games industry, it’s a myth you hear from people who’ve left the games industry, who want to join the games industry, who barely know what the games industry is. That myth is this: Games Aren’t Art Because Games Can’t Make You Cry. Continue reading

Videogames and things