Back at the end of 2021, I wrote that I had stopped almost all of my copy-editing work to focus on writing; towards the start of 2022, I finally gave up the very last vestiges of copy-editing. It’s a transition that’s been a decade in the making: I started off my career in publishing as a scientific copy-editor back in 2007, before deciding to go freelance in 2012. At first I was mostly copy-editing when I made the freelance leap, with a small dollop of writing on the side. Now I’m exclusively a writer. It’s scary, but tremendously exciting.
The first half of 2022 was mostly wrapped up in working on the Secret Project I mentioned at the end of 2021. Unfortunately I still can’t talk about that just yet, but rest assured, all will be made clear in 2023. However, around that project, and particularly towards the end of the year, I’ve done a helluva lot of writing about video games. Every one of the magazines and newspapers shown in the header image contains at least one of my articles.
In particular , I’ve written an enormous amount of stuff for EDGE this year. All together, I’ve written eight preview articles, four news articles, one review and one massive ten-page feature on game preservation. The latter was particularly exciting, as it’s long been an ambition of mine to write a feature for EDGE. Hopefully there will be many more features like it in the future.
I’ve also done quite a few pieces for The Guardian, including reviews of Citizen Sleeper, Silt, Potionomics, A Little to the Left and Pentiment, as well as a preview of Pentiment in which I spoke to game director Josh Sawyer. One of my favourite features this year was one about Andrew Sinden bringing back the light gun for modern TVs: it’s a really inspiring story, and it got lots of great feedback. This year also marked the first time one of my Guardian pieces made it into print, as opposed to simply being published on the website. I received an e-mail saying my Citizen Sleeper review was going to be in that day’s paper, and I immediately rushed down to the newsagent to buy it in great excitement. I still get a huge kick out of seeing my words on the printed page. Perhaps the day I don’t is the day I stop writing.
I’ve contributed a lot of stuff to the brilliant indie-focused magazine Wireframe, too (which you have no excuse not to read, since you can download PDFs of the mag for free). My reviews included FAR: Changing Tides, Dorfromantik, Sniper Elite 5, Mothmen 1966, Lost in Play, The Excavation of Hob’s Barrow and How To Say Goodbye, and I also wrote a feature on breaking the fourth wall in video games, which was an absolute hoot to make, mostly because it gave me a chance to talk to the fascinating folk behind Lair of the Clockwork God, The Procession to Calvary and OneShot. I think one of the best parts of writing features is simply having the excuse to call up interesting people and have a good old chat.
And speaking of interesting chats, one of my favourite conversations this year was with Tom Kalinske, the former head of Sega America, when he told me how folks from Sony popped his inflatable Sonic the Hedgehog at E3 1995. That was for a feature on The Story of E3 for Retro Gamer, which took an enormous amount of time to write, but turned out wonderfully, I think. I also wrote a few other bits and bobs for Retro Gamer, including The Making of Demon Attack, The History of Legacy of Kain and an Ultimate Guide to Cannon Dancer, which is an absolutely wild 1990s arcade game that acts as an unofficial sequel to Strider, and which I only found out about the existence of this year.
On the topic of retro gaming, one of the most exciting developments this year was the launch of Time Extension, a website from the makers of Nintendo Life that’s solely dedicated to old-school games. I’ve contributed a few articles already, including How Hideo Kojima’s Snatcher Inspired The Creation Of “Pixel Pulps”; What Do You Get If You Cross Contra With Canines? Wild Dogs, That’s What; 50 Years Of The Magnavox Odyssey, The World’s First Games Console; The Rise And Fall Of LaserDisc Video Gaming; and Sega’s Vomit-Inducing R360 Is An Endangered Species From A Different Age. The last one in particular was fascinating to write – there are now just a handful of Sega R360 machines left in the world, and only a couple (possibly just one) that can be played by the public.
Finally, I penned a couple of articles for L’Atelier about the present and future of gaming subscription services, entitled Who’ll be the ‘Netflix of Games’? A briefing on this multiplayer arena and The ‘Netflix of Games’: Predicting what’s ahead. I do enjoy writing these insight pieces – and all being well, there should be another one coming online very soon.
All in all, a pretty busy and exciting year, then, and I hope you’ve enjoyed reading some of the articles I’ve written over the past 12 months. Here’s to an even better and brighter 2023. And if you want to take a look at all the stuff I wrote about games in 2019, 2020 and 2021, click on the links below. See you back here next year!
- All the stuff I wrote about video games in 2019
- All the stuff I wrote about video games in 2020
- All the stuff I wrote about video games in 2021
If you’re interested in reading more, head this way to find a full list of all the video-game articles I’ve ever written.