My Own 2015, and Some Good Stuff I Read

In 2015 I got married, moved interstate, completed a PhD, and started a new job. It has been a pretty full on year! Amidst all that, it doesn’t feel like I wrote all that much beyond my academic work. Yet, now that I am looking back at it, I actually wrote a fair bit! Mostly in the first half of the year since the last six months or so have seen me mostly devoured by my PhD thesis as I worked to finish it off.

In 2014’s version of this post, I remarked on both my own and other critics’ growing disillusionment with writing about games generally and the institution of ‘game journalism’ in particular. Especially in the wake of gamergate, many more critical writers began to realise those core outlets would never be an outlet that would truly support their writing. Some left writing about games entirely, while others began pitching their games writing to a broader, more general audience. I personally took the latter path. I all but gave up on pitching to core game journalism outlets in 2015, choosing instead to write for places that don’t focus on just games. Places such as OverlandReverse Shot, and ABC’s The Drum. Continue reading

The 20 Best Games I Played in 2015

For the last few years I have compiled a reflection on the top twenty games that I played in that year (2014, 2013, 2012, 2011). I do this partly because creating ranked lists is fun, and partly because it encourages me to remember games and experiences beyond the immediate past. Importantly, I deliberately ensure these lists are of games I played throughout that year, not games that were released that year. That a game came out in 2009 is no reason for it to not stand on its own against a 2015 game, unless you only measure games by a boring and particularly reductive measure of technological fidelity.

As usual, I am going to list twenty games this year. Last year, I decided to do away with numbered rankings. This year, I am doing numbers again mostly just because I feel pretty confident with the order I have placed them.  Continue reading