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Monday, 7 November 2016

The Vanishing of Ethan Carter (Redux) review: A very human horror adventure game



I came into this gaming experience without really knowing what to expect. Despite never having heard of the horror adventure title from indie games studio The Astronauts before, I bought it during a Steam sale without viewing much more than the description and a brief trailer. As someone who likes to research games in depth before committing to a purchase (and as a notorious 'fraidy cat), this was an unusual move for me.

Certain key phrases really sold it to me on the store page: 'immersive storytelling'; 'inspired by the weird fiction from the early twentieth century'; 'atmosphere, mood, and the essential humanity of our characters'. Sometimes, when it's right, you just know.

I wasn't disappointed.

Wednesday, 11 May 2016

'But where are you REALLY from?': Mixed race, otherness and 'off-colour' remarks

Photo credit: Hiroto Hata (Mili)

I learned early on that I wasn't seen in the same way as everyone else. My friends and I had been playing a careless game of Block 123 with a street lamp as our target post when a passing neighbourhood kid pointed at me. 'Eurgh,' she sneered. 'Why are your arms brown? You look dirty.' It wasn't said with malice, exactly; we lived in a small, racially homogeneous village and she was genuinely oblivious  both to why my skin looked that way and how her words might make me feel. And, having never been confronted with the brownness of my skin before, I didn't know how to respond. Although it had nettled me, I simply pretended not to care.

Friday, 22 January 2016

'Excellent telephone manor required': How NOT to write a job advert


Arnold Schwarzenegger in The Simpsons Movie

Sometimes, the thing that got to me the most about the job hunting process wasn't the existential dread of drifting purposelessly through life, or the employers who never called when they say they would, like fickle dates. It wasn't even the the rigorous hoop-jumping I was subjected to each week to secure my paltry Jobseeker's handout. Nope. Sometimes, after a hard week's jobseeker grinding, the thing that really irked me was the desperately bad writing that pervades so many job adverts.