I write about video games

I specialise in writing feature articles on video gaming. My work has been published on Eurogamer, GamesRadar+, Kotaku UK, PCGamesN, Rock Paper Shotgun and Terminal Gamer, 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’m particularly interested in the weird and wonderful stories behind gaming.


Eurogamer

Here are a few of the articles I’ve written for the video-game website Eurogamer. All of them were commissioned from my own pitches.


In the Loopy: the story of Casio’s crazy 90s console

As a gaming machine, the Casio Loopy isn’t particularly good. But as a collection of ideas, it’s fascinating, a ragtag novelty that may well have been ahead of its time if it wasn’t so scatty.

Don’t be surprised if you’ve never heard of the Loopy – it was only ever released in Japan, its life limited to a couple of years before it disappeared into obscurity. The Loopy wasn’t the first home console released by Casio – that would be the ill-fated PV-1000 from 1983 – but it was certainly the last. When I contacted Casio to find out more details about the Loopy, they were surprised that someone so far from Japan would remember their strange console from more than 20 years ago… (read more)

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


GamesRadar+

I have written several extensively researched features for GamesRadar+ on topics like gaming disorder, the future of high street games retail and the maths of microtransactions.


Video game addiction is now a disorder. But what does that mean and why does it matter?

The World Health Organization (WHO) has added ‘gaming disorder’ to the latest edition of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11). This comes after the American Psychiatric Association listed ‘internet gaming disorder’ as a ‘condition for further study’ in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th Edition (DSM-5) in 2013.

This is a big deal.

There could be huge implications for the games industry, not least a future in which games could carry mandatory warning labels about their addictive qualities. It also means that people who have faced serious life difficulties as a result of gaming addiction could have more access to help. But how did we get here? (read more)

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?


Kotaku UK

Below are a few of the features I’ve written for Kotaku UK, which is owned by Future Publishing. Almost all of them were commissioned on the basis of my own pitches. The full list of my articles can be found here.



Sable is a Beautiful Tribute to 1980s French Comics, and Much More Besides

Sable is one of the most intriguing games to come out of E3 2018. Revealed at the PC Gaming Show, the game’s stunning aesthetic evokes the work of legendary French comic artist Moebius, the pen name of Jean Giraud. Even more intriguing is that this singularly beautiful game is coming from two self-taught developers who work in a spider-filled shed in North London… (read more)

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?


PCGamesN

PC Games Network commissioned me to write an investigation into the Thargoids of Elite Dangerous after my article on The Fuel Rats for Kotaku UK. I’ve since become a regular features writer for them.


No Man’s Sky NEXT is confusing, frustrating – and wonderful

On Tuesday, I loaded up No Man’s Sky for the first time in nearly two years, and I was incredibly confused. If, like me, you’re coming back to the game after a long hiatus, lured in by the promise of multiplayer, then prepare for a steep learning curve… (read more)

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


Rock Paper Shotgun

I’ve recently started contributing to this hugely popular PC gaming site – my first piece was a preview of the video game conversion of board game Terraforming Mars.



Terraforming Mars but without the fiddly bits

Bits are both the joy and bane of board games. You know, bits – those fiddly counters, miniatures and cubes of plastic, wood or metal (oooh, fancy). On the one hand, the tactile sensation of slamming down a plastic train in Ticket to Ride, cutting off your opponent’s train route to their howls of anguish, is one of life’s greatest pleasures, and a feeling that’s near impossible to replicate in videogames. On the other hand, what a motherclucking pain in the posterior they are. When they’re not being eaten by the dog, they’re being ricocheted off the walls by a careless dice roll or nudged into oblivion by inebriated players slamming into the table on their way back from the loo. “Harold, you absolute numpty, what have you done? Can anyone remember how much wool I have?” (read more)


Terminal Gamer

I was a regular contributor to this gaming site. I mostly wrote news stories, although I did the odd feature here and there – like the one below.


Goldeneye-natalyaThe Top 5 Most Frustrating Gaming Moments Ever

It’s a rite of passage that all gamers will be familiar with: reaching a point in a game that’s so ball-breakingly frustrating that you hurl the controller at the TV, slam your fist down on the console ‘OFF’ switch and storm out of the room, possibly giving the cat a good boot up the behind for good measure. The best games will always see you returning eventually, whispering apologies like a spurned lover… (read more)

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