Writing Old

Workification Part I

Workification Part 2

Workification Part 3

Workification Part 4

"Though free time is constituted as wasteful in the American workaholic mindset, and work is conversely lauded, the great philosopher Camus sharply observed, 'Life is short, and it is sinful to waste one’s time… But being active is still wasting one’s time, if in doing one loses oneself.' The increasingly workaholic formulation of video games and flow is exactly this sort of 'active wasting.'" (More...)

Bad Fan

"Fuming over beers afterward, I realized that I couldn’t even figure out what a “real fan” or “bad fan” was, and in fact, I can’t remember when in the past I really cared if I was counted amongst the legion of anime fans in America. But this also got me thinking back to if I ever really knew what a “real fan” was - and the more I went through my archives, the more I rearranged the documents and art going back to 1998, the more I realized just how fluid and contracted the idea of fan was." (More...)

Demystifying MOBAS:
Essays on the Global eSports Phenomenon

"I was quite unprepared for the scope of his series on MOBAs, a scope I can only now grasp fully, after his series has ended. It's bad form hyping your own content, so I'll just say this much: You should read this, no matter if you're already playing MOBAs or, like me, just stand at a distance, wondering at the chorus of millions cheering for a sport that seems to come straight out of a Philip K. Dick novel." - Rainer Sigl (More...)

Hybrid Light: A Few Thoughts on the Future of Virtual Photography

"We live in a world of screens, simulations, rendered representations, and hybrid media. The deluge of digitally-generated spaces are all-pervasive in our businesses, in our media, in our hobbies, in our leisure, and in our relationships. Underpinning all of these virtual places are complex systems of code and hardware that create the rules of that particular feigned reality. The physics, the lights, the textures, and even the rules governing the rendering of perspective, are all crafted to seamlessly let us experience the space as being as visually real as possible." (More...)

On Returning

"Both Gone Home and Ready Player One are laden with inside information, allusions, and culturally specific cues. But knowing those cues produce drastically different outcomes in both works. In Gone Home, knowing more about that world of 90s underground, classic jazz, or classical art only adds to the work, and gives you a richer, more complex understanding of the characters. The closer you look at the tiny microcosm of the house in Gone Home, the more the whole shimmering field of possibility, past and present, in life blooms in all its diverse glory. Not only that, but it lights the fire of creation, lauding the long history of fans as DIY creators, which is carried on so brightly in communities like Twine games and indie comics." (More...)

Echoing Histories: Impressionism, Indie Games, and Artistic Revolutions

"Today Impressionism is so tame that your parents probably have a cheap reproduction of a Monet waterlily or Degas dancer sitting above their toilette. But in its historical context Impressionism was radical and the circumstances surrounding its rise have some fascinating social and artistic overlaps with the current tensions rising in the gaming community with the growing prominence of 'indie' games." (More...)

Snow Land

"In some areas a bit more North of where I lived in the Mid-West, the winter was even more defining; with roofs that need to be shoveled off from six feet of snow lest they collapse, wood that has to be chopped throughout the Fall and stacked in precarious piles a dozen feet high to heat the house since no one can get out to deliver fuel oil; and cars get traded for snow mobiles as they are the only way to get around. This is winter in a wealthy nation in 2013. Can you imagine a winter 400 years ago in the age of knights and drafty castles? I ask that question honestly because its answer, which relies on the scope of our (and the designers') travels and imagination, actually defines what can be created to experience in games."  (More...)

Dwarf Fortress NYC: ASCII Wallpaper, Conceptual Maps, and The Landscape of The Museum

"The truly stunning thing about Dwarf Fortress is how the game makes you painfully aware of the stupendous number of challenges and choices that we take for granted. We live in a world with nested landscapes: some visual, some institutional, and the game is not just an ASCII screen saver, it is a meditation on how overwhelmingly complex it is to even make a crude dwarf chair, let alone the low-slung museum-pieces sitting in the next room over." (More...)

Virtual Light: Exploring In-Game Photography and Photo History

"So what were people doing with photography for that whole previous century [before the medium was institutionally accepted] if they weren't sure if it was art? I know I'm being facetious, but the question begs a number of interesting followup-questions which directly inform what is happening now with in-game-photography and virtual photography: Why do people make photographs? Who makes photographs? What kinds of photographs get made? What does photography mean in the internet age?" (More...)