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…

Writing Bioshock

Spoilers for BioShock (computer game franchise, including BioShock 2 and BioShock Infinite, henceforth BS, BS2 and BSI respectively). But purer and higher and deeper shall bethat wonder, that Rapture, in cloud and in sea.(Promotional material from Nintendo) The core concept of the Bioshock franchise is that some ideas are bad, a sentiment perhaps at odds…

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…

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,…

Writing Nice and Accurate Prophecies

Spoilers for Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch (book and television series). Pictured: The same man twice.(Good Omens, television series, promotional material) By their own admission, neither Gaiman nor Pratchett expected Good Omens to be as popular as it subsequently became. There is a nice and accurate reason why: it…