I specialise in writing feature articles on video games, and I’m particularly interested in weird and surprising stories from the history of gaming.
My work has been featured in publications such as The Guardian, Eurogamer, Retro Gamer, PC Gamer, EDGE, GamesRadar+, PCGamesN, Kotaku UK and Rock Paper Shotgun, and I am also the founder of two popular gaming blogs: A Most Agreeable Pastime and 101 Video Games That Made My Life Slightly Better.
I’ve highlighted some of my favourite articles here, and below that is a complete list of my work.
‘Kids raised in the digital era are yearning for this’: the people making new games for old consoles (The Guardian)
This year, veteran video game developers Garry Kitchen and David Crane released a new game for the Atari 2600 – despite the fact that the console was discontinued some 30 years ago. And they’re not the only ones. Companies such as Limited Run Games and Strictly Limited Games are manufacturing brand new cartridges, and sometimes never-before-released games, for consoles that predate the smartphone. “The market’s not remotely dead for these consoles,” says Josh Fairhurst, head of North Carolina-based Limited Run. “There’s a lot of demand, and it’s only growing.” (read more)
There’s something mesmerising about stop-motion animation. It’s the sense that you’re watching real things, actual models that have been lovingly crafted by hand and that exist in the real world, not just on a hard drive somewhere. Fingerprints left in clay are an imprint of humanity, a reminder that a person spent hours bending a maquette into this shape and that, giving it life… (read more)
Fortnite is “a phenomenon that transcends gaming,” said Epic CEO Tim Sweeney at the start of the company’s much-publicised trial against Apple in May 2021.
He then launched into a description of “metaverse,” drawing from Neal Stephenson’s 1992 cyberpunk novel Snow Crash—“a real-time, computer-powered 3D entertainment and social medium in which real people would go into a 3D simulation together and have experiences of all sorts.” In his view, the description fit Epic’s Fortnite: Not a video game, but a shared social experience in a virtual world. A metaverse.
Before getting to whether Fortnite constitutes as one, let’s address a more pressing question—what is a metaverse? (read more)
Andy Palmer, the man behind Arcade Club, is having the time of his life. He feels like he has been given a second chance, a chance to do something he absolutely loves, day in, day out. “It keeps me alive,” he says of the arcade chain he started in 2015 with its mix of beloved retro machines and cutting-edge games. “It’s actually given me a reason to live again. Because I’m 48 this year, which is tragically near 50, and when you get to your forties and you think you’ve not done as much in your life as you would like to, or you think you should have done, everyone starts getting a bit cynical and a bit down. So this has really given me a shot in the arm in a big, big way.” (read more)
Back from the dead (PC Gamer)
Genesis LPMud is one of the oldest online multiplayer games in the world: it’s been running continuously for nearly 30 years. But six years ago it almost came to an untimely end. This is the story of how an enthusiastic cadre of fans rallied to save this important piece of gaming history from extinction… (read more)
- A primer on the metaverse (and whether Fortnite counts)
- Who Owns the Games Industry, and What Lies Ahead?
- The Promise of Media Molecule’s ‘Dreams’, and Bringing Renown to Its Dreamers
- In Socially Distanced Times, Connected Games Emerge as Key Social Spaces
- Star Citizen: A Crowdfunded Universe Fuelled by Promises
I contributed several chapters to the book Convergence: How The World Will Be Painted With Data by Charlie Fink.
- AR and Journalism
- AR and AI
- Pokemon Go on and on and on
- Niantic’s Real World Platform
- Rokid company profile
- Hype: Silt (issue 366)
- Knowledge: Smokestack lightning (issue 334)
- Meet the man behind the astonishingly successful Arcade Club
- In the Loopy: the story of Casio’s crazy 90s console
- Where do downloadable games go when they die?
- A day in the life of an independent video game store
- Your Amiga games are likely dying
- Video games remade in cardboard
- The Story of Yugoslavia’s DIY Computer Revolution
- Entering The Avatar Machine, VR’s Next Big Step
- Everyone deserves to play [interview with the head of gaming charity SpecialEffect]
For E3 2019, I wrote news articles for UK retailer GAME’s online news portal.
- Characters we’d like to see in Watch Dogs Legion
- Who are the villains in the new Marvel’s Avengers game?
- 5 things we learned about Nintendo at E3 2019
- Luigi’s Mansion 3 introduces Gooigi for online co-op
- 5 times Keanu Reeves has appeared in games
- 5 new tricks to try out in DOOM Eternal
- The Ubisoft dog is utterly adorable
- 5 moments from E3 2019 to make you smile
- “Oh my god, what have I got myself into?” The inside story of the golden age of video game magazines
- “The next few years are going to be tricky” – Streaming services like Google Stadia could change the way games are played and made forever
- Is streaming the future of video games? And can it even work?
- Video game addiction is now a disorder. But what does that mean and why does it matter?
- Battletech arcades were decades ahead of their time, holding global 3D matches before we’d even played a SNES – here’s their story
- How long have video game stores actually got left (and can they save themselves)?
- Microtransactions and loot boxes in video games – are they pure greed or a modern necessity?
- ‘Kids raised in the digital era are yearning for this’: the people making new games for old consoles
- Boyfriend Dungeon review – a video game where you can date your weapons
- The video games you may have missed in 2020
- XCOM: Chimera Squad review – human-alien hybrids lay down the law
The Indie Game Website
- Why Were Old PCs Beige?
- In Memory of Jason Brookes
- The Fall of Rise of the Robots
- 20 Years of Lego Star Wars
- The Light Keeps Us Safe — Not That There’s Much To Be Scared Of
- Minecraft-style MMOG Boundless Bursts Out of Beta
- The British Games Companies Seeking Success in China
- Sable is a Beautiful Tribute to 1980s French Comics, and Much More Besides
- Ninja Theory is a Great Purchase for Microsoft – But is it Good for Ninja Theory?
- The Final Days of Grainger Games — As Told By Those Who Worked There
- Why Does Everyone Hate GAME?
- The Secret Douglas Adams RPG That People Have Been Playing for 15 Years
- How People Used to Download Games From the Radio
- No Man’s Sky Versus the Actual Universe
- Inside Scotland’s Real-Life Fallout Vault
- The Most Helpful Pilots in the Galaxy
- How Do 1993’s Future Predictions Stack Up 25 Years On?
- What’s Going on With GAME’s Reward Card?
- The Man Who is Keeping 1990s Virtual Reality Machines Alive
- How Far Away is the Technology of Ready Player One?
- Why We Feel So Bad About Gaming Backlogs
- The 20-Million-Selling Game Series You’ve Never Heard Of
- The Forward-Thinking Genius of Neuromancer
- The Land Where the Spectrum Lived On
- The Dungeons and Dragons Session That Became a Real-Life Phenomenon
- Which Games are Made in the UK?
- 10 of the Best Original Xbox Games to Play on your Xbox One
- The Best Free Games for your New Console
- Silent Bomber: A Forgotten PlayStation Classic
- Are There Really Too Many Good Video Games To Play?
- How Our Caveman Instincts Explain Why We Play Video Games
- Every Star Wars Game Ever, From Worst to Best
- 5 Games That Definitely Won’t Happen In 2016
- RIP Konami Console Games, 1983-2015
- The Metal Gear Novelisation is Super Weird
- ‘WipEout’ Developers Tell Us About The Making Of A PlayStation Classic
- Stupid Video Gaming PR Stunts That We Can Laugh About Now, Probably
- Feature: The Man Making Brand New NES Games in 2021
- Feature: LEGO Designer Reveals Why The Super Mario 64 Set Is A ‘?’ And Not An ‘!’
- Feature: What Is The Zelda ‘Formula’? We Break Down The Secret Recipe
- Exclusive: Lego Super Mario Lead Designer On 3D-Printed Prototypes, Aborted AR And Meeting Koji Kondo
- NES Creator Reveals The “Shocking” Story Behind That Infamous Flap
- Feature: Back from the Dead (issue 323)
- Preview: Partisans 1941 (issue 332)
- Preview: Night Call (issue 322)
- How to deal with your gaming backlog
- No Man’s Sky NEXT is confusing, frustrating – and wonderful
- Cyberpunk 2077’s warning for the world is more important than ever
- What Star Citizen can learn from the Second Life players who break into houses and have sex
- World of Warcraft blood plagues and religious fanatics in Civilization 6 – gaming’s funniest bugs
- How Elite Dangerous players saved a player stuck beyond the edge of the galaxy
- Studying the Thargoids: the intrepid players facing Elite Dangerous’s greatest threat
- Total War Saga: Thrones of Britannia PC review
- The Making of The Simpsons: Bart Vs The Space Mutants (issue 224)
- In The Chair With Violet Berlin (issue 221)
- The Making of Balance of Power (issue 220)
- Back to the 90s (issue 218 cover feature, sections on 90s magazines and TV)
- The Making of Wizkid (issue 217)
- The Story of Special Reserve (issue 215)
- The History of Turrican (issue 214 cover feature)
- The Making of Lure of the Temptress (issue 211)
- The History of The Settlers (issue 209)
- The History of Destruction Derby (issue 208)
- The Making of Skidmarks and Super Skidmarks (issue 205)
- The History of Commandos (issue 204)
- It’s Good To Talk: Retro Gaming Podcasts Special (issue 203)
- Ultimate Guide: Street Racer (issue 202)
- The Making of BITS (issue 201)
- The History of Videogame Magazines (issue 200)
- Ultimate Guide: Super Star Wars (issue 197)
- The History of X-COM (issue 196)
- The Making of Amiga Power (issue 195)
- The Strange Story of the Casio Loopy (issue 193)
- Minority Report: Amiga CD32 (issue 192)