I have been writing about video games for a long time, and I am very good at it. This web page collects evidence to back up this assertion, for the benefit of those seeking to hire games-writing talent.

Please feel free to direct further inquiries to me via email or Twitter.

Essays about games

The following links lead to essays I have written over the years for The Gameshelf, my now-retired blog on games, or the currently active Fogknife.

  • An exploration of recreational despair as expressed by the first two seasons of Telltale Games’ The Walking Dead, and how it braided with real-life troubles.

  • “The Silver Age” compares the PC game market of 2010 with that of comic books. Kotaku liked this enough to reprint it, where it collected many comments, only some of which were sarcastic Spider-Man gifs.

  • “Pain without Pause” explores Dark Souls’ regrettable incompatibilities with my life, and the damage I let it wreak before I accepted its poor fit.

  • Thoughts and further thoughts from soon after I played through Night in the Woods, which resonated with me deeply, if imperfectly.

  • A retrospective on John’s Fire Witch, a formative work of the early post-commercial interactive fiction era, and which I hadn’t even heard of until 22 years after its publication.

  • I wrote a brief review and strategy guide for Universal Paperclips with sufficient speed that it stands among my most-read work, its URL finding its way onto various pop-up fan-sites and link-collections that surrounded the game’s early popularity.

  • Pre-release copy in hand, I reviewed Rock of Ages 2, doing my best to write meaningfully about a game I wouldn’t have sought out without an assignment. So, there’s me doing that.

  • And, getting a tad oblique: Jmac’s Arcade is a six-part monologue series, remembering a childhood spent surrounded by and fascinated with coin-operated video games. While not presented as text, the scripts are essentially essays, read by me against a backdrop of arcade-game video and other ephemera. The one about Missile Command is probably the best single episode.

Other games writing

I taught a semester-long games lab in 2011, and made a public resource out of all its related writing and coursework, as well as my thoughts in retrospect.

I wrote most of the static content on the Annual Interactive Fiction Competition’s website, as part of my four-year tenure as its organizer (2014 through 2017). See, for example, this illustrative essay defining interactive fiction.

Non-games writing

Since late 2014, I have written about one article per week for my general-interest blog, Fogknife.

I also contribute to the blog of the Interactive Fiction Technology Foundation, a non-profit organization I co-founded.

Long ago, I co-authored some books about technology, including Perl and the Macintosh operating system.

Games non-writing

From 2005 through 2010 I produced a public-access cable TV show called The Gameshelf.

Play of the Light is my contribution to the world of on-again off-again video game podcasts, aiming for deep dives into specific topics rather than news-of-the-week or whatnot.

Finally, I have made several games, and I have made them mostly out of words. The Warbler’s Nest and Barbetween are both text-based experiments that, while deep in their respective niches, managed to garner some accolades just the same.

Follow up?

My email is jmac@jmac.org, my Twitter is @JmacDotOrg, and my phone number is 617–792–3829. I welcome any inquiry regarding my work presented here. Thank you very much for your time and attention today.


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