Writing Per Aspera

Spoilers for Observation, Per Aspera and The Stanley Parable (computer games). Red Planet, Green Planet.(Per Aspera, promotional material) As our computers have become more sophisticated, one of the questions which has loomed over philosophers like the sword of Damocles has been At what point can we say that an artificial intelligence is, for lack of…

‘Disco Elysium’ and Framing Devices

Spoilers for Disco Elysium (computer game) and The Sexy Brutale (computer game). Disco Elysium, promotional material. Let me prefix everything that I am about to write with this: I really enjoyed Disco Elysium (henceforth DE) and was glued to it for a week over Christmas, thanks to the generosity of a friend who gave it…

World-Building Recommendations

Between blogging, my various jobs, and the general grind of the season, I am afraid that I have no world-building thoughts to share this week. Rather than scrape together something underwhelming, though, I thought I might try something a little different and recommend a few sources which show a variety of forms of world-building which…

Writing Divinity

Spoilers for Divinity (computer game franchise). Whilst the denizens of the Internet are collectively baying for Baldur's Gate 3 to be released at long last, I have been replaying Larian's other darling, Divinity: Original Sin II (D:OSII), with a friend. I did not play the original, but have been reassured that, much like penny-farthings and…

Sojourning with the Spiritfarer

Spoilers for Spiritfarer (game). Spiritfarer is a fairy-story-like game in which the protagonist, a sort of otherworldly pixie, has to journey across a mystical world in order to find sufficient shiny objects and quirky friends to defeat a malevolent owl, but it is not just a simple rip-off of Ori and the Blind Forest. It…

Writing Death Stranding

Spoilers for Death Stranding (interactive software experience) and Metroid: Other M (base breaker). BB's Delivery Service invites the player/viewer to journey with the protagonist, Boromir Bridges, as he is chased across the territory of the former United States of Alleged'merica by the ghost of Caprica Six, so he can plug a nuclear baby into a…

Writing Angel Mage

Spoilers for Angel Mage (novel). I first spotted Angel Mage when, on the recommendation of a friend, I resolved to pick up a copy of Gormenghast. The cover was slick and striking (black and gold will do that), and at the top, over the words Angel Mage, stood Joe Abercrombie's words of adulation, 'The most…

Writing The Wheel of Time

Spoilers for The Wheel of Time (books series and upcoming television series) and Dune (pan-media franchise). N.B. In this article, I will be using various potentially contentious words, including sexism and sexist, in a general, even colloquial, sense, rather than the highly technical and narrow senses used in certain academic disciplines. That should probably give…

Observations on Observation

Spoilers for Observation (computer game). This week, I was supposed to get back to books: my plan was scuppered, however, when the book I chose to read turned out to be underwhelming, and then construction work in my neighbourhood made any attempts to read utterly impossible due to the constant noise. That is why, somewhat…

Of Chidis and Cheating

Spoilers for The Good Place, including the ending. As regular readers will know, I am a great fan of The Good Place and gushed about it not that long ago. As the finale grew closer, however, I spotted a few niggles which suggested to me that, unlike Philippa Foot in the world's most stable trolley,…