3DS’ Boundless Creativity Got Me, And Nintendo, Through Some Tough Times

From Nintendo Life.

With the 3DS’ days numbered as an active platform due to the upcoming eShop closure, I decided to dust it off and pick up some digital exclusives that will soon officially go the way of the dodo, lest we enjoy re-releases or the advent of time travel. It’s always a strange feeling to see a console become ‘obsolete’; how these cutting-edge devices into which we devote years of intrigue, money, and time are suddenly usurped by ever-evolving technology. My love for the 3DS, however, is particularly deep-rooted and as I browsed the storefront for some last-minute additions to the collection, my mind started wandering.

Continue reading “3DS’ Boundless Creativity Got Me, And Nintendo, Through Some Tough Times” »

BBC The Social Videos

I make videos for BBC The Social about the history and cultural influence of video games, which includes writing scripts and editing footage. You can find them on my contributor page on BBC website.


How Sonic the Hedgehog Kept Glam Rock Alive In The Grunge Years

From Vice.com.

With tears and sold-out arenas as Mötley Crüe played their contractual final shows at the end of last year, and excited speculation and controversy as the definitive members of Guns N’ Roses spend the summer on a reunion tour, it’s fair to say that there’s a palpable resurgence of interest in ’80s-style heavy metal. Couple those headlines with the facts that satirical glamsters Steel Panther are headlining London’s Wembley Arena this autumn and that Reckless Love are helping to turn Helsinki into the new Sunset Strip, and it becomes increasingly apparent that people have a rekindled affinity with big hair and big riffs. Continue reading “How Sonic the Hedgehog Kept Glam Rock Alive In The Grunge Years” »


Something In The Water – My Ecco Nightmare

From Vice.com.

As a child, video games were my main pastime. There were few things that my younger nerd enjoyed more than a journey into a virtual world that was as vivid as my imagination would come to be. I wasn’t lonely; I had many friends with whom I played at school and occasionally in the street, but, for the most part, the non-educational hours of the day were me time with my consoles.

For some reason, however, that had to involve deflecting the nagging of family, whose constant urging me to play outside suggested that our house stood in the middle of fucking Disney World. Sonic didn’t pester me like that. The only way he would ever judge me was tapping his foot impatiently while I stopped playing to get more juice. All Mario ever had to say was “wa-hoo!” as we leapt into another adventure, never, “It’s a lovely day outside, get off the computer.” They understood me. Continue reading “Something In The Water – My Ecco Nightmare” »


The Game-Over Making of the Super Mario Bros. Movie, 25 Years Later

From Playboy.

Cinematic adaptations of video games are a thing we take for granted these days. In this very year so far, we’ve had movies based on Tomb Raider and Rampage, while the last couple of years have seen Resident EvilAssassin’s Creed and World of Warcraft receive the same treatment. Looking ahead, there are plans for Uncharted and Five Nights at Freddy’s movies, and even a Sonic the Hedgehog one, too.

While it’s heartening, in a way, for gamers to see their medium appreciated by a wider audience, a regrettable pattern has also emerged—painfully low review scores. According to review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, of the 34 live-action video game movies theatrically released throughout the world to date, just one has crept above 50 percent (the aforementioned Rampage)—and only by a few percentage points at that. The vast majority fall well below the halfway mark, right down to 0 percent, a dishonor held by the panned Tekken film of 2009. Continue reading “The Game-Over Making of the Super Mario Bros. Movie, 25 Years Later” »


From BBC The Social.

Since the early days of the medium, speed is something that’s been rewarded in video gaming. Two of its most well-known icons have it woven into their gameplay; the original Super Mario Bros series added your remaining time to your score upon reaching the end of a level, encouraging faster playthroughs, while Sonic the Hedgehog was even born from co-creator Yuji Naka’s attempts to race through Mario’s first level as quickly as possible.

Much like real-life track and field, a certain section of gaming has come to be based around agility; alongside the rise of e-sports – a huge industry centred around public, competitive gameplay – a phenomenon known as speedrunning has emerged, in which players post their quickest times for getting to the end credits of a game. It’s something that’s resonated with gaming fans around the globe, giving rise to wildly popular YouTube channels, charity events and groups who promote the practice. Continue reading “A Brief History of Speedrunning” »


Maiden of Black Water Will Connect You With Japan’s Morbid Past

From Playboy.com

It was a cold, dark, stormy November night in the heart of the city, days after Halloween. My friend and I were taking shelter at my place, freezing rain beating down on the windowpanes and tree branches casting spidery shadows across the living room, the wind howling like a lone wolf. A late-night beer and Wii U session proved a reliable distraction from the weather, as did one of our chats about the gaming industry. Nothing heavy or particularly insightful – usually just discussing how the last boss in EarthBound is actually a foetus or seeing who can do the best impression of the ubiquitous merchant from Resident Evil 4. That’s about as cultured as we get.

Continue reading “Maiden of Black Water Will Connect You With Japan’s Morbid Past” »


Ghost: “Our Music Provokes People”

From Ultraje magazine, ahead of Ghost’s Lisbon show.

No. No, no, no, no, no. Fuck no. That would have been delusional.”
These are the words of Ghost guitarist A Nameless Ghoul when asked if he would ever have expected the band’s unbridled success, which has seen them pick up numerous awards, enter countless top ten lists and be chosen for a tour with a little-known band called Iron Maiden this summer. It’s fair to say the last few years have been good to the Swedes. The most imminent matter, however, is a European headlining tour that will see them take on Lisbon’s MEO Arena – a modest upgrade from the Paradise Garage gig of two years ago, to say the least. Continue reading “Ghost: “Our Music Provokes People”” »


Pokémon OmegaRuby and AlphaSapphire Preview

From Official Nintendo Magazine.

What? It’s Evolving!

2003 was a pivotal time for Pokémon, in more ways than one. Already well on the way to its current standing as Nintendo’s second-biggest franchise after Mario, it found its mainstream popularity beginning to wane as its main demographic became teenagers and gradually began to surrender the series to the ages. It would eventually regain popularity, partially in a haze of sepia-toned, 8-bit nostalgia, but a current generation growing up with modern versions, while perhaps aware of its historic significance, will never experience the bona fide phenomenon that was Pokémon in the late 1990s. Continue reading “Pokémon OmegaRuby and AlphaSapphire Preview” »


Ashes Of Ares: The Thin Blue Line

From Terrorizer.

These days, former Iced Earth singer Matt Barlow is more likely to look down at the bloodied bodies of murder victims than he is a sea of raised hands and smiling faces. Such is the life of one who would trade music for a career in law enforcement.
‘In a band, there have always been spots on the road that have been weird, but you really can’t compare them to what I see now.’ the rockstar-cum-policeman reflects. ‘As a musician, I’ve never encountered somebody who has met their demise in a violent nature, so it’s a very different thing to get used to.’ Continue reading “Ashes Of Ares: The Thin Blue Line” »


Dracula: An Adaptation Study

Academic essay analysing Bram Stoker’s novel Dracula and its film adaptations.

First sinking his teeth into the concept of the novel in Scotland’s own Cruden Bay, Stoker horrified the Victorian people with Dracula, some of whom went as far as to call it ‘the most blood-curdling novel of the paralysed century.’ When it comes to the theory behind the adaptation of novels into films, studies have been tainted by a ‘narrow one-sidedness that assumes [that such films] are merely cheap imitations’ but, while there has never been a firm explanation as to the reason(s) for adaptation, McFarlane surmises that the answer moves between poles of ‘crass commercialism’ and ‘high-minded respect for literary works.’ Continue reading “Dracula: An Adaptation Study” »