I’m Leigh Alexander, a writer and critic focused on the ways technology and media intersect with culture and expression. I host and write the Guardian’s tech podcast, do futurist and pop culture features at How We Get to Next and Medium, and I create Lo-Fi Let’s Play, a crowdfunded ASMR video series devoted to vintage computer games. My column Oracles of the Web at VICE Motherboard explores the junction of tech with magic and mysticism.
I also do a lot of hosting, presenting and keynoting wherever tech and digital culture topics can be found, most recently at Convergence London, New Scientist Live and London Games Week’s AI Summit.
I wrote Monitor, a cyberpunk novella set in Fantasy Flight Games’ Android: Netrunner universe, and I do worldbuilding and narrative design for independent projects, most of which are currently unannounced.
My first book was an ebook called Breathing Machine, a memoir of the early internet, and I self-published two drabbles: Clipping Through, a sloppy series of essays on my work at the Game Developers Conference, and MONA, my horror short about bad boundaries and Silent Hill 2, illustrated by renowned artist Emily Carroll.
I spent ten years as an overly renowned and controversial video game critic. In that last year, I launched and was editor-in-chief of Offworld, Boing Boing’s site dedicated to unsung voices and alternative culture in video games. When we were finished with the site, senior editor Laura Hudson spearheaded The Offworld Collection, a hardcover collection of our site’s games writing, entirely by women and people of color.
During my time in games I was editor at large at Gamasutra, where I did a lot of game industry and design analysis and reporting, was a longtime featured columnist for Edge magazine, Kotaku, Vice’s Creators Project and VICE UK and wrote features for the likes of Polygon, Boing Boing, Rock Paper Shotgun, Shut Up & Sit Down, Slate, The Atlantic, Paste, The New Statesman, The Guardian, The New Inquiry, the Columbia Journalism Review, TIME and others.
Designer Ste Curran and I also co-founded the consulting imprint Agency, where we worked with game development teams to streamline their communication process and identify early stage concept and design issues.
I have a long history of conference, TV and radio appearances on the topics of diversity in tech, games for social good and our cultural relationships wth machines. I have juried an infuriating number of festival prizes, like the BAFTA games prize, and I once led an entire conference summit on avatar-based interaction in virtual spaces.
I’m available for speaking, writing, consulting and narrative design engagements and can be reached at leighalexander1 at gmail dot com.