Culture Archive

This Has to Stop

I had planned to post a cute little post today about AI as a design problem. But honestly in the wake of the announcement that Nintendo has fired Alison Rapp, I can’t in good conscience publish that piece today. Nintendo Insider has a quick overview of the situation for those unfamiliar. After controversy had

Beyond the Velvet Ropes

Finally, by my third GDC, I have reconciled my past experiences of being an outsider with the my current privileges. This year was a big step.


Lately I’ve been wondering what I can contribute to the community and therefore wondering what role and persona will most effectively communicate that contribution. But performing yourself is harder than it sounds, and the conscious search for an online persona feels anything but genuine.

Allusive Games

When games reference other games, it’s almost always done in a flippant, shallow way, but allusions represent a greater possibility for ambiguity, multivalence, and expressive depth. Games deserve—and are increasingly ready to harness—that depth.

Lenses, Not Boxes

I wanted to be an engineer. But not if it meant giving up writing or design. But I was looking at it the wrong way: labels should be lenses, not boxes.

Dark Souls, Identity, and Internalized Failure

The first time I played Dark Souls, it broke me. I actually cried. I’m one of those silly gamers that has built some kind of identity around being good at games. I learn quickly, and especially at action/adventure games I can usually pick up a controller and be good at a game within a


I’m joining luminary game designers Heather Logas and Squinky to help organize an event in June called the Santa Cruz Retreat for Analog Play (SCRAP). In many ways, we’re designing SCRAP around the idea of an un-hack.


Last Friday I was totally buried and couldn’t make it to the Scholar’s Play stream, so I logged in to watch. For the first time I really understood why people watch other people play games, something I hadn’t even really figured out when we started the stream.