Ideology and Causation

When we discuss why people do things, there are certain assumptions which are frequently left unexamined; human behaviour is often only discussed in a particularly moralistic and individualistic way. This may seem like an abstract philosophical issue, but it has very real consequences. Let’s take the example of the kind …

Serious Sam 4: Planet Badass (teaser)

In case you haven’t seen it, Croteam have released a teaser for Serious Sam 4: Planet Badass. I’ve been so insanely busy this year (Serious Sam 4, Phoenix Point, The Council of Crows, plus several other games) that I haven’t managed to update this blog at all, but trust me …

Writing Advice

Writing requires both talent and craft. Talent is something you are born with (the recent tendency to reject this comes from confusion regarding the origin of human value), but it’s worthless without the hard work of learning the craft. – Having a talent does not make you a better or …

The Games Themselves

This is a topic that I’ve written about before, but it continues to be a source of frustration, so I’ll give it another go. Critical/analytical writing about games is almost never about the actual games. That is, despite claiming to be game criticism, it is built on the assumption (sometimes …

Sex Work: Moralism, Markets & Marxism

The issue of sex work and how it should be treated by society has long been controversial, particularly on the Left. While generally rejecting the conservative view that sex workers are themselves immoral (and filthy, dangerous, evil, etc.), progressives and liberals of various stripes have nevertheless struggled to find a …

Game Texture and Liminal Spaces

Years ago Michael Brough gave a talk in which he used the concept of working with or against a game’s grain. That idea, of thinking about game design in such physical terms – a game’s texture, grain, surface, shape – has fascinated me, particularly given my own thoughts about the …

Omegaland

Omegaland is now available! I wrote this about its history: Omegaland has been a long-term side project for me. I’ve been very lucky to get to work on some big projects like The Talos Principle, Serious Sam 4, and Phoenix Point, but sometimes I missed the strange freedom we had …

Everything You Give Them Can And Will Be Used Against You

There’s a reason that unconditional support for the concept of free speech has been a defining characteristic of left-wing thought for centuries. Beyond the principle of the thing – and the principle certainly matters – there is the matter of power. And there’s a very simple fact about power: when …

Semper Fidelis / The Second Step

Here are two more stories I wrote for Phoenix Point. Semper Fidelis. An ex-marine finds himself reenacting history in Antarctica. The Second Step. A journalist interviews two radical scientists in Moscow while the world teeters on the brink of catastrophe. Someone commented to me on the amount of effort going …

Nature, Ability, and Value

Perhaps nowhere do the great philosophical issues of civilization become more evident than in how society treats the disabled. Take the current obsession with the notion of the “natural”, for instance. Human civilization is repeatedly criticized for being unnatural; the natural world is taken to be morally superior. But what …