Video Games and Me in 2021

The ones I loved… Guardians of the Galaxy This one surprised me. It reads like one of those cheaply done movie-to-game tie ins that we saw a lot of in the early aughts. The three note combat loop certainly gives that first impression. I appreciate that the developers did their best to mix those three combat notes into a melody, but it’s not the shooting that makes this game hit my list. It’s the outstanding characters. This isn’t just a regurgitation of the movie, or the comic books. The built a game rooted in the trauma the team has been through (mixed from bits mined from decades of comic books and, yes even the movies) AND then the developers went to work on actually processing that trauma. In all of pop culture I can probably name a handful of things that have actually done the work of processing trauma. None of this would have mattered if the voice and motion capture work hadn’t been spot on for what the game was trying to say. If you didn’t give a damn about Star Lord’s lost fami

Writing a Novel on an iPad

After 20 years of dithering I finally sat down and wrote a novel ( The Heart of Lightspeed ). The path I took involved some unusual technology decisions, which some people might find interesting so I put together this little blog post to talk about them. First, I used an iPad Pro + Magic Keyboard Case . Not quite the traditional laptop computer experience, but it has come a long way since Steve Jobs revealed the first iPad. There’s a proper Files app now! You can drag and drop! Multi-app window support exists! (Although it was a pain to use until the recent operating system update.)  Press Photo As keyboards go the Magic Keyboard is pretty darn good. It has backlighting. The keys have a nice click to them. The trackpad is a good size for what Apple has to design around. Getting used to Control / Option / CMD keys coming from the Windows PC world took some time, but it felt second nature quickly enough. I wrote my novel using an app named Ulysses . Its a subscription fee vs a flat fee,

I Wrote A Novel!

Today my first novel, The Heart of Lightspeed , goes up for sale on Amazon . Thus marking the end of a 20 year journey from an idea sketched up in a college dorm room to a physical book you can hold in your hands. It has been a long time coming and as I sit here with the first copy of the book there are a lot of things going through my head... The first is that I could not have written this book when I was in my 20s. Don’t get me wrong, I could have written something similar, but a book about nearly-immortal humans written by someone in their 20s would be lacking. It takes hands on experience with being a human being for a few decades to appreciate the real challenges that would come with living for hundreds of years. I’m also glad I didn’t write this book before I was introduced to modern feminist writings by my friend Denise. The book is far better thanks to having the inclusion of characters who are trans, homosexual and bodily challenged. A younger version of me would not have thou

Covid Anniversary

365 days ago the world stopped and it became March every day. Before I say anything else, let me first say: I’m sorry that so many have suffered, mostly unnecessarily. People have lost loved ones, jobs, homes, and every sense of normalcy. My heart goes out to everyone who’s been impacted by the pandemic. I’m writing down these thoughts on the last year because it feels wrong to not try and remember everything that happened. Its a strange and sick sort of anniversary we’re recognizing today, but we can’t forget a pandemic again. Otherwise the failures of 1918 and 2020 will become the failures of 2119. Everyone will have a different memory of “the moment” when they realized the world was coming to an end. Looking back at text messages I realized that I was one of the first in my circle to see the pandemic coming. For me the moment was this: I can’t remember where I heard this about China, but “Watch what they do, not what they say.” The Chinese government said they had it all under contr

Palm Prints

Palm prints on cold glass fade away from the first point of contact first. A memory of a moment pulling away from the glass and dispersing into the air around you. What if the glass was just the right temperature and the palm print didn’t fade away? What if memories just hung around forever? Would you stare at them or would you wipe it off your field of view?

My Favorite Video Games of the Generation

These are my ten favorite videogames for the Xbox One / PlayStation 4 generation. Listed in roughly the order of how awesome I think they are, but they’re all kind of equally amazing. If you haven’t checked any of them out yet you should do so now. I would personally recommend Xbox because of the cross-generational support they offer, but where you play videogames is less important than the act of playing. So stay inside and play! Without further ado... 10. Untitled Goose Game Every once in awhile a videogame comes along that just clicks with everyone. No fancy cutscenes needed. No complex gameplay to be seen. Katamari Damacy was that game in the PS2 era. This generation we got *HONK* You play as a goose who terrorizes a small English village. The simple mechanics (honk, grab, and poke) combine with a piano soundtrack that dynamically follows the action to make solving puzzles hilarious and fun even when things go awry. It puts a smile on your face. 09. Doom How do you reimagine a game

The Journey

You cannot stand at the beginning of your journey and attempt to map out all the milestones of the adventure. It is only when you stand at the end of your path looking back that all the dots will appear connected. Only then will you be able to understand and know which events were really turning points in your life. And which events were merely nothing at all.