The Existential Art

“If videogames cannot offer an escape from reality, what they can offer is an escape further into reality.”

Game Review Drabbles

Exactly 100 Words Each

Indie Criticism

“Criticism should be dangerous.  It should be destabilizing.  It should upend.”

A Conversation with David Hellman about A Link Between Worlds

“I want Zelda to find its courage.”

Year of the Crush

“The contingencies shimmer like Coke fizz in your brain. And the game has you.”

Death of the Avatar

“I am not the angry bird; I am the one who slings.”

On Videogame Reviews

“I want to hear every divergent view, every unpopular opinion.  I want gaming to revel in dissent.”

Digging in the Dirt

“You’d think by now videogames would have more verbs.”

Wind Waker HD Review

“In truth, videogames have no timeless masterpieces.”

Barbarians at the Gate

“You don’t come to tower defense simply to win — what is winning but a brief respite before the next attack, for defense has no end.”


“What’s a human being? A zombie plus a ghost.”

Waiting Games

“Time, after all, should be killed in moderation.”

Impossible Landscapes

“There’s an imitation Fortress of Solitude in front of what must be Coruscant at night.”

A Late Encounter with the Enemy

“This wasn’t just some janky death box smashing into me; this was a precise, articulated lionfish I was wrestling with.”

The Endless Shopper

“Which power-up would you like? Which character will you unlock next? In which outfit? How many coins have you collected? Would you like more? I said: Would you like more?”

Life Under Gravity

“We launch, we linger, we land.”

We Are Explorers

“My gaming life is shot through with longing for places I cannot go.”

Saving Zelda

“But a world is not for you.”

Portal 2 and Point of View

“There she is.  Shooting ahead, turning a corner.”

Thunder Force III and Trance

“To get my cyborg on, as it were.”

Sonic and Tension

“I am running and rolling then looping and blurring and the screen it is jittering as if it might.”

Kirby and Texture

“The darkness of a ghost manor as patched, moth-eaten blankets.  The darkness of the denim cosmos punctured by buzzing buttons.”

But Our Princess Is In Another Castle

“Close-playings seek to ‘feel’ such questions out, literally, and unveil what is obvious yet hidden in the very experience of normal gameplay.”