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one-fifty: Virginia (2016)

Virginia is one of the best films I’ve played this year.

This may sound unnecessarily sardonic, but it’s both a positive and negative critique. Terms like “shot” and “framed” are hard to use in describing video games without wincing, but the way the first person camera is used to deliver narrative beats is often really striking.

My favourite moment came in one scene where a character was offering me a cup of coffee on the tray. When I took it, he moved away, revealing a character behind him I hadn’t expected to see - crucially, that reveal was given as a result of one of my actions.

It’s a lovely little bit of player agency that is sadly missing from the rest of Virginia, its environments not nearly as effectively used for storytelling as they could be. I’d love more games that let me be a passenger, though. Quite literally.


one-fifty is a project in which I try to write about games in exactly 150 words. Something you think I should play? Tweet me.

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one-fifty: What Remains of Edith Finch (2017)

In my early teens, after experiencing my first death in the family, I developed an odd fascination with the preservation of spaces.

I missed my grandmother, of course, but coupled with that was the sense of a loss of place. I’d never again visit that house, sit in that armchair with my feet dangling above the floor, nod off to the soothing sound of the pendulum in the wooden wall clock.

I’d realised I’d been on this earth a short time, and that the places I’d assumed would be permanent were anything but. I took a lot of photographs.

Edith Finch tells varied, connected stories, and asks several important questions, but the one I found the most interesting was: is there value in preserving these physical snapshots of a person’s life, when that person is gone?

Giant Sparrow have made something utterly compelling, and I think Tom Waits was right.


one-fifty is a project in which I try to write about games in exactly 150 words. Something you think I should play? Tweet me.

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one-fifty: a new writing project

I love games. I love playing games, I love reading about games, but I’ve realised that what I love most is talking about games, as anyone who’s spent time around me can attest.

I don’t write about games much, though, and this is because I know I’m pretty average at it.

The best way to improve at any craft is to do it, so I’m trying to write a bit about the games that I play. By a bit I mean a little bit - each of these posts will be exactly one hundred and fifty words long, the better to learn how to get my point across as concisely as I can. Like this one.

I’ll never be able to say everything I want to in such a small space, but maybe it’ll spur me to write something a little longer.

The image is from Virginia. It is good. Bye.

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