Share your games writing/criticism!


I replayed Halo 2 recently for some reason and ended up having a lot of thoughts about the way it portrays racial conflict and genocide. Like a lot of games of its pay grade it almost has interesting things to say, but falls apart due to its careless use of cultural signals. Let me know if you have any thoughts!

P.S. I need to be better about reading the stuff here and commenting and being supportive. So here’s to a 2018 where we’re writing and reading each other’s good shit.


Hi, and thank you for this thread! I’m newer to the forums, so I’m a little late to the party on promoting my stuff, but I’d love to share it with you all! I currently run a little blog called Your Geeky Gal Pal where I do games criticism, the occasional review, and talk about games that need more attention. Please check it out if you have time and let me know what you think! I’m always trying to get better!


I think this piece is interesting, and I agree with it in the broad strokes. I do wonder about how you are talking a broad historical approach to Halo 2 – you mention early on about how The Covenant could be “ISIS or the Taliban,” and that’s fascinating because the former didn’t exist at the time of release and the provenance of each of those groups is radically different.

While you’re making a kind of allegorical claim about our representations of war and our real wars, what you’ve made me think of is how our ~20 year war has borrowed some imagery from the sci fi epics of the early years of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Colin Milburn’s Mondo Nano has a little bit about this kind of thing in regards to nanotech (the promo language of the war industry’s use of nanotech is often directly lifted from comics and games), and I wonder if war works in a similar way. It’s a becoming-sci-fi for war as much as it is a becoming-our-war moment for sci-fi narratives.


You’re absolutely right and I should have brought up that Halo 2 came out in 2004 and was in development starting much earlier. As well as the first Halo being in development long before any of the wars I mention. I think my argument relies on the idea that Halo uses cultural signifiers that lend themselves to certain allegorical readings and does little to address those readings. By bringing up US (coded) military engagement with religious zealots, Halo reminds us of our narratives about our relationship with war in general. Of course the Taliban and Isis are different organizations, but US cultural narratives about them are very similar and that bleeds over into popular media. While it’s easy to read these as allegories for particular conflicts, Halo 2 shows how the US thinks about war on a larger scale.

Your comment about how fiction and culture shape our view of real concepts is fascinating. It makes me wonder about how Halo and Call of Duty, which I’ve been playing on and off with friends since high school, have shaped the dialog I use about military concepts and the way the military itself has been shaped by the young men who played these games growing up. Our reality is inevitably shaped by the narratives we use, but seeing that play out on a massive, industrial scale can be a disturbing thing.

Thanks for commenting! It’s important to address my own writing’s vulnerabilities and use that to solidify it and this was a good reminder to do that. For the record, I always really enjoy Postscript.

(PS. sorry about the double post. I posted without replying and then deleted the old one, so it will only look confusing for the 24 hours when the post hasn’t been removed.)


I’m trying to do more written video game criticism again, and here’s my first attempt in the new year - Folks, I have tried Kelly Slater’s Pro Surfer again.


I did my first ever video essay. It’s over Shadowrun Returns and how it’s not necessarily a great game, but is a great foundation for them. Some mild spoilers but I don’t go into details.


my final playlist for 2017’s end of year video creation marathon:

i ended up with 14 videos about the games i played, with 1 videogame location tour, and a few odd let’s plays and game clips

that’s over 21 videos in a 30 day period. i’m tired.


That’s legit! You’re hustling!


I write a column for the local alt-weekly newspaper about urban planning, architecture, transit, and that sort of thing. I managed to work in gaming to the column back when Pokemon Go came out, and I believe I’m still the only person who made a joke about the Strategic Helium Reserve in a Pokemon Go article.

I would like to do more games writing, though, so I’m seeing how I can tap into that.


Gathered some of my thoughts together about BOTW and wrote an article about the crazy ways in which the world works, making some unforgettable moments. Especially one moment in particular which I thought was really funny…


Hey, I wrote about that new Dragon Ball fighting game as someone who wishes android 18 got a better deal in the series and is excited for what that game can do for the characters left behind by the Saiyans power levels


As somebody who does not directly watch Dragon Ball Super (no avenue to watch the dub without paying extra for something like Funimation Now) but hears about it all the time from friends, I wonder if all of this recent “Ultra Instinct” business is in service of re-powering characters that were left behind.

To me, Ultra Instinct sounds like them making a statement that raw strength has limits and it’s better to fight smarter than fight hard. Supposedly Ultra Instinct is based on real martial artist practices like Mushin, where fighting skill almost becomes reflexive – it’s a zen-like state where you act without having to think about what to do.

Of course, I’m pretty sure they’re spinning it as something only “Gods” can do, but it’d be nice if it had broader implications about the distribution of power in Dragon Ball. Guys like Tien, Yamcha and Krillin seem like such runts, but they’re still far and away the strongest humans on the planet; orders of magnitude more powerful than somebody like Mr. Satan. A “Strength Plateau” and technique-beats-power retcons would permanently make them viable again.

Question – have you ever heard of a PS2 game called Super Dragon Ball Z? It was apparently designed by the guy responsible for Street Fighter 2, and not only does it let you play as Android 18, but even Chichi is part of its roster. It’s turned in to kind of a sleeper hit, largely because it wasn’t as flashy as the other Dragon Ball fighters (Budokai, etc.) FighterZ even took inspiration from it in certain areas, or so I’ve heard.


The Ultra Instinct for now is kind of just another Kaio-Ken, as in other than Literal Gods only Goku ever uses it because he’s the best fighter in existence, and its just an excuse for Goku to be even strongerer, but I’d love for the rest of the cast to get in on that stuff (Krillin / Piccolo etc all trained at King Kai’s at one point and then nothing came of it). Unfortunately this stuff also exists alongside fucking Super Saiyan God Super Saiyan Kaio Ken x10 Ultra Instinct Sign Goku so there’s not much chance of anyone other than the Saiyans fighting any big baddies any time soon, and Super is past the 125 episode point by now so who knows how much longer it’ll exist for.

I didn’t actually see Super DBZ while i was researching somehow, this looks super janky but it kind of has its heart in the right place. I’m not sure how much better it fares repping the series because I’m just seeing videos but at least it’s not raging blast’s nightmarish fighting system.

Also there’s a good joke in Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei where, while they’re talking about characters being overshadowed, they mention Krillin being the strongest human on the planet but he’s completely overshadowed by the Saiyans so everyone forgets how strong he is.

Sorry for turning this thread into Getting Mad About Dragon Ball Hour btw


Super is pretty good, and it allows a lot of strange fighters with weird movesets to have a time in the spotlight. The tourney between universes six and seven is genuinely a great arc, especially when you reach Hit, a guy who can stop time for a fraction of a second and use that power so well that he could probably take Goku at full power in a fight. Genuinely one of my fave fights in the franchise.




Trying to shake off the cobwebs of it taking me six months to move in to a new apartment, so I wrote a review of a mobile game

For real, though: the original Sonic Runners was unexpectedly and surprisingly very fun. Unfortunately, Gameloft, or whoever ended up doing this no-ads, paid premium version of the game seems to have no idea why it was fun.


i did a video review for Brawlout, a Smash Bros Melee style fighting game:


I made my pre-winter olympics sport game video! I actually got a topical video out when I was supposed to!


I feel a little bit like an opportunist sharing my stuff here since I am not very active on these forums but I make myself feel better than I am active on Waypoint Twitter and Facebook (and that sharing this will make me get back into posting here).

Here’s something I wrote about the recent protests in Russia and state violence through the lens of a browser game (fair warning it’s almost 1500 words, but I do have a picture of the police sawing off a door so that’s a thing). Any and all feedback is appreciated.


i have never stopped talking about this game and now i’ve got those british pc games people to pay me to keep talking