FAQ

Your emails, feedback, comments, requests, criticism and miscellany are tolerated, but please be advised I receive a large volume of mail and I can’t reply to everyone. Please review these common inquiries before emailing me.

Can I send you press releases and pitches?

Yes, please do, though I may not respond unless I’m interested in pursuing a coverage opportunity.

Can I interview you for an article, student assignment, or thesis?

Yes, so long as you seem to’ve done a base level of research on the topic and have a clear reason why I’d be a good source. I get a lot of these and I have less time than I’d like to answer them all. I prefer to be interviewed by email.

How did you become a game journalist?

I realized the kinds of articles I wanted to read weren’t getting published a lot, and I was interested in engaging with games beyond the perspective of product culture. So I started a blog and engaged with a community of like-minded game critics and analysts. This was back in the day when starting a blog was still at least somewhat a unique and interesting thing to do. I pitched a column about sex games and it got me hired as a news writer.

The short answer is I thought to do something no one else was doing, and I sought mentorship from admired colleagues like Kieron Gillen and Chris Dahlen, who for some reason put up with me. Then I bit in and hung on by my teeth and I sucked for a good few years before my words went decent.

And I had luck. A lot of luck.

Can you help me become a game journalist?

Probably not. But if you’re not totally vague and entitled, have some writing you believe in and have some specific questions you think I personally might be able to help you with, feel free to get in touch. I will pay my good luck forward if I can.

I may volunteer to do something for you, but if you ask me to edit you, you’re asking me to work for free. Even if you are perfectly lovely, please don’t send me emails with multiple, complex strategic questions for your website or portfolio. Are you really requesting a favor, or trying to get free consulting?

At the very least, please be patient with my response. I have an admittedly-unfair and prejudiced distaste for multiple follow-ups unless I’ve asked for them. 

What’s your favorite video game?

Metal Gear Solid 3. It’s a game set in the Cold War that you can play however you want, but those of optimal skill levels aim to play with perfect stealth. Ideally you kill no one, except the person that matters most to you. I’m attracted to ambivalent ascension narratives.

What’s it like being a woman in the game industry?

Like playing Metal Gear Solid 3. You feel a sense of pleasure and mastery so long as you don’t generate noise or movement above a certain acceptable baseline. Call enough attention to yourself and suddenly you’re fighting an unpleasant combat game in which you experience crushing anxiety and virtual pain. I’d like to see that change for us.

Why don’t you have comments enabled?

I want people to be reading my website because they enjoy my work, instead of reading in preparation to give a response. Comments stress me out. I think they stress a lot of people out. Generally the sites that publish me have comments enabled, so go use those. I probably won’t read them.

Can I email you my comment?

Knock yourself out. I probably won’t read it.

Why do you sometimes mock ‘nerds’ and ‘gamers’ so virulently? Isn’t that the same kind of bullying you rail against?

A lot of ‘proud nerds’ are people who used the fact they were picked on for their interests as children to maintain, as adults and and fathers (they are most often privileged men, now) a ‘secret clubhouse’ that lets them victimize and oppress other participants — despite the fact games are now a multi-billion dollar industry, increasingly stigma-free, and desperately in need of the creative and professional participation of multitudes of new voices.

Self-identified nerds are often so obsessed with their identity as cultural outcasts that they are willfully blind to their privilege, and for the sake of relatively-absurd fandoms — space marines, dragons, zombies, endless war simulations — take their myopic and insular attitudes to “art” and “culture” with tunnel-visioned, inflexible, embarrassing seriousness that often leads to homogeneity, racism, sexism and bullying.

Nerds escaped high school. Some of them made millions making video games. Digital literacy doesn’t make you special, it makes you baseline employable. Fantasy is on mainstream cable.

Meanwhile, actual systemic oppression is punishing people not just where they wish to participate in games, but in every day of the rest of their lives. For many people, profound and violating inequalities show no sign of ease, and their “fellow outcasts” collude to reject them from the clubhouse when they try to join in .

My adult life in games and internet culture frequently involves brutal gendered language. Over video games. So if you want someone who feels sorry for you because your family grew up with a Super Nintendo, don’t ask me.

The fact you got a Game Boy for Christmas and liked it so much you stopped doing anything else doesn’t entitle you to a revolution. Your fandom is not your identity. Your fandom is not a race.

If you think it is, then you’re in our way, and the work I do specifically exists to dispossess you of your sense of relevance. If you don’t like it, good. I’m much louder than you. And we have an army.

Hmm, that’s a lot of stuff, there. And not all of it applies to me. And I’m not sure if I agree with you. Can we discuss?

No. Be quiet and listen for once.

Don’t you think being friendly is better than being sharp?

Ah, yes. The many revolutions that were won by smiling and not being negative.

There are nice people in games, you know.

I know. And I couldn’t do this without you. Thank you.

I like your work. Can we be friends?

Probably not. The internet makes me tired.