And hello, you.
Hi! I know it’s a cliché to start these things with “man, it’s been a while,” but man, it’s been a while. A lot has happened since I last wrote, hasn’t it?
Since then, I’ve become an avid consumer of newsletters — I love the form, the indulgences inherent to the form, and, most of all, the feeling that I’m dashing off a note to a friend. (Millennials: remember writing long, beautiful emails to people you loved and/or had crushes on?)
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It’s made me want to turn this newsletter into something similar. Just a couple words here and there about some stuff I’ve been making or consuming. For this first attempt, I’m going to cheat a bit and include some things from last year. Though I promise they’ll be brief.
Things I made
In September, I published a feature for The New Yorker’s website about the challenges of archiving video games; it’s mostly a profile of Frank Cifaldi and Kelsey Lewin, the proprietors of the Video Game History Foundation. (If you played StarFox, there’s a nice anecdote for you in the last section.)
Then, at the end of the month, I made a video essay — about how I think we currently live in a cyberpunk dystopia. Prompted, naturally, by finishing a playthrough of Cyberpunk 2077 and a watch of Cyberpunk: Edgerunners. And yes, I AM wearing a Fun City shirt.
After publishing this video, I realized that making video essays is just blogging with your face. You write some stuff down you want to explore, and then you work your way through some ideas.
So last week, I published another one. I had a theory I wanted to explore that concerned video games: have they gotten harder lately?
I think yes.
But the bigger thing, the thing you might like a little more, is this game I made with some friends.
It’s called Turn Out the Lights, and it’s a text adventure. The idea: you’ve been in space for a while, and now it’s time to come home.
This is the first game I think I can say I directed, by which I mean I got out of the way and let a bunch of talented people do excellent work — the game has original art, sound, dialogue, and music. And if you do play it, I hope you enjoy it.
Things I’m reading
This post by Austin Walker re: the Whedon-esque smirking protagonist, this one from Cory Doctorow about the inevitable “enshittification” of platforms, and the book of poetry Extracting the Stone of Madness, by Alejandra Pizarnik.
I’ll try to write you more often, and more generously.
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