The Sunday Papers Gillen-y Supplement

By Kieron Gillen on October 3rd, 2010 at 12:00 pm.

So, I’ve been a games journalist for 15 years. First work was in 1995, when I did my first work for Amiga Power which has been long since lost. I joined PC Gamer in 1998, where I was for five years. I don’t own the copyright to my work of that period, bar the occasional reminisced-about exception I was given permission to lob online, so that’s kind of out of bounds. But I’ve left enough traces online since going freelance in 2003 to make me think it worthwhile compiling a short list of what I think is my best work – or, at least, the best work which other people seemed to like – and try as hard as I can to avoid linking to the review which people still haven’t quite forgiven me for…

  • While I did a lot of reviews for PCG, my sort-of natural home gravitated towards Eurogamer, who basically let me review whatever I wanted, in pretty much whatever way I wanted and didn’t ask me to get grabs for box-outs and/or get annoyed when I’ve handed in another selection of screenshots which are all just of walls (I’m about the worst screenshoter in the entire industry, and make art-eds despair). Which lead to the occasional public mocking, like with the Darwinia review. But hey! I still like it and Introversion did too. People sometimes miss that I’m giggling.
  • Sometimes they don’t. My general rule is that a review should tonally match the game it describes. Earth Defence Force 2017 is one of the most stupid games on the planet, and all the better for it. I tried to keep up.
  • My Boiling Point review was me pushing Eurogamer about as far as I could – though if they’d let me include pictures of my beard growth as I requested in my very first review for them (Knights of the Old Republic), that could have put those boundaries even further. My favourite thing about the Boiling Point review is imagining the confused head-scratching over at Metacritic.
  • And my last review for EG was Darkfall, which is the closest I’ve ever felt to being Mr Wolf from Pulp Fiction. Brain goop on the back seat? Bramwell called me to see if I could mop some of it up. Not making a complete hash of a close-to-impossible job is about as good as it gets.
  • While I think my best reviews turned up at EG, when it came to the really big features, PC Gamer remained the ideal place to play. The three editors of the period – Mark Donald, Ross Atherton and Tim Edwards – commissioned some lunatic stuff which I suspect no-one else in the British games press would have commissioned. I think the best three were my character analysis of SHODAN in System Shock 2 (“The Girl Who Wanted To Be God”), my excited yabbering explaining why ZangbandTK was splendid (“Confessions Of A Dungeon Hack”) and Journey Into The Cradle.
  • Actually, “…Journey” deserves a paragraph to itself. 10 pages about a single level in Thief: Deadly Shadows, and if I had to choose one piece from my entire career to save, Journey Into The Cradle would be it. I’ve a soft spot for it for another reason. After I’d reviewed it, Thief: DS Creative lead Randy Smith mentioned that the original inspiration came from me interviewing him for an earlier Fear feature. As in, doing the interview coalesced his thoughts on fear in games and the Cradle was his attempt to put them into action. And then I end up writing another 10 pages on that level. In other words, criticism inspiring art inspiring criticism. That’s the gold standard for me. That’s how, at its absolute optimum, this should work. Also, features splendid maps courtesy of Mark Wynne and makes me miss print terribly.
  • Yeah, probably can’t get away with not mentioning The War. For the record, despite the stories which grew around this, I was totally sober when I wrote it. Perhaps surprisingly.
  • The Escapist was the other major organ I regularly wrote for. Basically, they were a home for the mid-length essay. If I had something which was worth 2000 words, I could normally find a home for it at the Escapist. They also had the most polite, professional proofers in games press, actually mailing back your copy with the changes they wanted to make. Frankly, it’s not done like that in the UK. My favourite stuff tended to be hard-angles on a single game – like how Sensible Soccer taught me to understand real football, using Guitar Hero to explain what I called the input fallacy and actually getting a chance to do an extended, serious take on Super Columbine Massacre RPG! (Though there’s some more editorial notes on it here).
  • I think the best thing I did for them was the first thing I did for them. I wrote Culture Wargames for their launch issue, which is me arguing how games are expressive via how they choose to simulate something. Simulations aren’t neutral. If there’s any one thing I’ve written which I’d give to people who are questioning what videogames can do, I’d give them this one.
  • I actually, the single piece I’d give was the intro to the book Jim and I edited about games which was killed before it launched. At least the writers all got paid. The essay was basically an extended version of Culture Wargames, and I’ve never released it. Another survivor of the book was my essay on Sex and the Sims, Erotisim. If the Cradle is the one thing I’m most proud of, I think Erotisim may be the second.
  • And then there’s RPS which is tricky – it’s been the sort of place where the writing has been pretty damn random and reactive on the state to what’s actually been going on. I think the best example of that is my look at No Russian. It’s probably the angriest thing I’ve written in the last seven years. My pre-2000 writing was totally ANGRY YOUNG MAN. This was a little flashback to that, mixed with the sort of perspective being an old fuck can gift you.
  • RPS was also the natural home of the writing literally no-one else would publish – because no-one else has the money to actually pay for it. I’m talking about multi-part game diaries and thought-pieces. My favourite pair were using a magnetic-game-compendium to hang a series of games-theory essays off and the epic Gameboys From Hell series. Quinns and I did RPS’ part of this Solium Infernum series and the further we went into it, the more electric it felt.
  • And you could also just do some goofy shit. My fave two pieces of pissing around was Leigh and me deciding who we fancied in the Red Alert 3 trailer and trying to break into PC Zone’s office to steal their Deus Ex 3 assets.
  • Also, we could be enormously sentimental. I think most people loved the Gaming Made Me series, but I loved doing my own part. It’s one of the times I felt I managed to balance game detail and auto-bio nonsense.
  • And here’s my review of Deus Ex: Invisible War.

Failed.

.

83 Comments »

  1. Kommissar Nicko says:

    Ah! It was the Erotisim story that I remember brought me to RPS when it was first posted. I’m somewhat embarrassed to say I can’t remember what led me to it, but it kept me on RPS thenceforth. Three years! Thanks for bringing me back into the PC games journalism fold, Kieron.

    • Grey Cap says:

      Seconded. Just beautiful, and I swear reading it made me enjoy the game more. . .

    • Jack says:

      Thirded. For me, I actually read that just after I encountered that section myself.

      I, uh… I didn’t display as much moral backbone as Kieron did.

    • Cooper says:

      Aye, one of my favourite pieces too.

  2. Carolina says:

    I remember that your Boiling Point review was the very reason I started visting Eurogamer from time to time. Then I realized it wasn’t the website that I liked; it was the reviewer. So I started clicking on Eurogamer’s reviews only when that Kieron-Something-guy wrote them.

    I can’t believe five years passed already.

    Oh, and that Zack Parsons character apparently wants to cave your face in with a shovel (!). Take care out there, Kieron.

  3. Nersh says:

    Will miss you forever, KG
    ;_;

  4. forestconrad says:

    Owwww, the piece of you and Leigh discussing the Red Alert 3 trailer… It’s superb!!!!

  5. nabeel says:

    Around about the time when I started reading PC games magazines including PC Gamer, was around about the time you started writing there. It was the Deus Ex review that I started remembering your name for. I think either that or the SHODAN piece is my favourite.

  6. mbp says:

    Kieron, you are not allowed to write your own obituary, and any way you are not dead. You are not even dead to the world of PC games writing. Do you seriously think you are going top stop playing games? And do you then think you are going to be able to stop writing about them? The only difference now is that since you won’t be using games writing to put beer on the table you only have to write about games when you want to and for your own pleasure. Welcome to the new Kieron Gillen who doesn’t give a hoot about the disastrously abusive state of the games writing industry any more because it doesn’t affect you any more. Heck I wouldn’t be surprised if you best games writing is still to come.

  7. The_B says:

    Wait, where’s our four page glossy Kieron’s beard poster I expected in these supplements?

    WHY DOES NOBODY THINK OF THE CHILDREN?

  8. mandrill says:

    This is some good shit right here.

    I will digest it thoroughly.

    (oh dear, that sounds a bit icky…)

  9. The_B says:

    On a more serious note I’d say it was Kieron’s Guitar Hero piece is The Escapist was certainly the piece in my mind that was probably most responsible for forming my own games writing, even if it wasn’t the first Kieron piece It was just a piece that to me was like the impossible – how do you write about level design in a game without the classic definition of ‘levels?’

    I refer to my Top Trumps card I did on the PCG forums back in 2005.

    Thanks Kieron, Thieron.

  10. President Weasel says:

    Say what you like about the worst excesses inspired by New Games Journalism, and personally I would say that sometimes the cleverness for cleverness’s sake, or what sometimes came across as “look how many books I’ve read! Oh, here’s a few lines about a game” was exasperating and irksome, there was also a great deal of cleverness for a purpose.
    I can say that over the years I’ve gone from opening a Gillen review or article expecting to be annoyed, to expecting to be entertained and to quite often get an insight or a new take on something I had taken for granted. And even in the “expecting to be annoyed” days, I still opened the articles, because KG annoyed me in ways that were a lot more interesting than most of the reviews and articles out there.

    • Fraser Allison says:

      I always found it grossly unfair that the worst excesses of people-trying-to-do-NGJ were laid at Kieron’s feet, as though there was anything in his essay that actually called for that flowery what-must-my-avatar-be-thinking fan fiction kind of writing. Meanwhile, stuff wot talks about what happened, like Gameboys from Hell and Butchering Pathologic and most of Quinns’ memorable stuff, is beloved by just about everyone, and rarely called New Games Journalism even though it is.

      Madness.

    • SuperNashwan says:

      I’ve always thought it absurd that people try and hold it against Kieron for simply identifying the validity of a form of games writing that leant on the greatest strength of the medium, the creation of a personal narrative within the game structure. I can only hope what these people were really angry about was actually poor writing, rather than what that writing was attempting to do.

    • Arathain says:

      Particularly as the following phrase is nicely nestled right on the middle:

      “Reviews that don’t serve their basic consumer-informing purpose are worse than useless.”

    • Manley Pointer says:

      Bad new games journalism happens when an author is more interested in talking about himself than his ostensible subject. KG always did/does NGJ right, by using a personal approach to try to find new insights into a game. Looking forward to his future RPS contributions, however occasional they may be.

  11. Tor Hershman says:

    Whomsoever shall attempt to defeat the Freaky Pinball Wizard, lill’ ole moi, shall be given new
    power to stay on groovin’ safari…..
    http://www.retromundi.com/games/tabletop-games/freakshow-pinball.html

  12. Peter Radiator Full Pig says:

    My favorite Gillen article of all time is the piece he did for Morrowind. Not a review, but more of a gaming diary, similar to the ZangbandTK piece.
    Unfortunately, I cant find it. If anyone does, id love a link.

  13. Solivagant says:

    This. http://gillen.cream.org/wordpress_html/?page_id=16 Your Deus Ex review made me realize games really can be deep.
    I also loved your Guitar Hero piece, I bought the game because of it. And to be honest, I didn’t even know it was yours, until now. And yet I’ve been following your work since that Deus Ex review!

  14. BooleanBob says:

    6) The Necromancer doesn’t have time to speak a word before a giant train with a grotesque face plummets from the sky and crushes you utterly. Go to 1 to play again.”

    • BooleanBob says:

      Oh, and one lovely thing I’ve learnt about writing thanks to KG, and which I’ve only just now traced back to one of his 7 in 1 MagnoGames reviews:

      If, having written and had published any given thing, you find a lot of people crowding ’round to point out some awkward error or omission, admit your ignorance at once, and claim such was ‘part of the exercise’. All criticism will be instantly deflected and you will look 60-240% smarter than even the original article made you seem.

      :)

  15. Solivagant says:

    It was your Deus Ex review that made me realize games and game writing could be meaningful. I still keep that magazine around whenever I want to remember a fantastic game that has yet to be duplicated, and for writing inspiration.

    Your Guitar Hero piece made me buy the game. And guess what? I never realized it was yours until now. It all makes sense.

  16. GarageGothic says:

    Journey Into The Cradle is one of the finest pieces of game journalism I ever read – you have every right to be proud of it. I came across the article before becoming a regular RPS reader, but to this day I keep a PDF copy of it on my harddrive. Found it immensely inspiring both as a professional game reviewer and an aspiring indie designer. Even made my girlfriend at the time (who’s also a bit of a nerd and crazy about Planescape Torment) read it – and she barely got past the first page before stopping for fear of spoilers and asking if she could borrow my copy of the game!

    Thanks for the good times, Kieron. You will be missed.

  17. Will Tomas says:

    I’ve written this in other places before, but thank you for the writing. You showed that writing about games could be intelligent, creative, anti-formula, silly, pretentious, intellectual and stonkingly brilliant. And also proved that games were worth thinking intelligently about (personal favourite, probably Sex and the Sims). Was lovely meeting you at the RPS meet on Friday (Anthony, ex-DFC, Tintin-blue jumper). I’m not kidding when I say that the reason I bother reading games writing at all is the consistent creativity of writing you and the rest of RPS engendered.

    Hope you still drop by RPS now and again, it won’t be the same without you. Fortunately, though, I suspect that now the X-Men won’t be either…

    • Will Tomas says:

      Also, I can’t let this post go without mentioning the review of the 7-in-1 Magnetic Family Game. Now that was a work of brilliance.

  18. BigJonno says:

    Dammit, I’m going to have to go out and find a copy of Invisible War now, you fucker. Although, by “go out and find” I mean “click around a few DD sources until I find the cheapest option.”

  19. Risingson says:

    in 2010, I still don’t get what’s so terrible about the Darwinia review. Of course there was some pitchfork-y approach to reviewing, but it was ironic enough to have some point. And you explain the game. The SA bashing was not just unfair, it was absolutely out of tune.

    • Arathain says:

      Yeah, I really don’t see the fuss. One of the skills of a good reviewer is to able to give s good critical summary of a game in a small amount of space without losing much. He spends more than enough time talking about the actual game, and makes some rather interesting arguments about where the game sits in context for the rest. Given Darwinia’s importance and influence at the time it seems perfectly appropriate.

      In case any of the other Hiveminders feel neglected in all this Kieron-love: I’ve always felt that no-one outdoes Mr. Walker in his ability to do a perfectly comprehensive 2 paragraph review. Witness They’re Back in PCG, where he would ramble hilariously and irrelevantly for most of his allotted word space, and you’d still come away knowing if you wanted the game.

  20. Owen says:

    Cheerio BremXJones. It’s been a blast.

  21. teo says:

    I’ve read a good deal of these, but still, this is going to keep me busy for a while =)

    Please keep writing stuff from time to time!

  22. Acosta says:

    My favourite piece of Kieron is definitely the manifesto, for personal reasons. It was one of those peace of texts that actually change your view on certain things, it was beautiful, wild and it was something clearly written from his heart and guts.

  23. Butterbumps says:

    Holy shit, I somehow missed that Guitar Hero piece the first time round. It perfectly nails why GH is a beautiful thing, and why that song in particular just feels so good. Exactly what I always felt about it but was never able to express; that’s games writing right there.

    Thanks, KG. And for everything else, too.

  24. Unaco says:

    I’ve just realised, it was Kieron’s “Boiling Point” Review, and the argument that the ambition of the game should be lauded (and the argument that “if this sells nothing, the lesson publishers will learn won’t be “Don’t release unfinished games” but “Don’t invest in ambitious ones”.”) that made me buy the game. Can’t say I had as much fun as Kieron did with it (I never saw the fun bugs, like flying Jaguars, just the annoying ones)… but at least I did my part, and maybe, just maybe, the state of games today has been improved, just a little, by my purchase and Kieron’s review.

  25. blainestereo says:

    Good times, good times.

    Although I think you are supposed to write these kind of articles on someone else, not on yourself.

  26. Ignorant Texan says:

    KG,

    This retrospective shows both why you’ll both be missed, and why it was time to move on with your life/career. Hitting 35 and having the opportunity to write comics full-time is a damn fine way to avoid descending into hackdom. Although the image I received from your valedictory piece announcing you are remaining director of RPS is of Gus Van Sant from his cameo in ‘Jay and Silent Bob Strikes Back’.

  27. nine says:

    KIERON YOUR WRITING IS ALWAYS FANTASTIC WHATEVER YOU DO I HOPE IS WHAT YOU WANT TO DO BUT AT THE SAME TIME I WISH WISH WISH IT WAS BEING A GAMES WRITER

  28. Fenchurch says:

    We’ll miss you, old bean!

    4evar in our hartz :’-<

  29. Rinox says:

    Damn KG, all this talk about you “being an old fuck” and about when you were ” a young man” makes me want to euthanise myself out of extreme old age, given you’re ‘just’ 35.. Be kind to the elderly!! ;-)

    • BigJonno says:

      Video game culture will do that to you. I’ve been feeling like an old fuck for the best part of a decade and I’m only 27. It started with reading a Gamespy forum thread on “classic old-school games” in which there was a hefty discussion about Goldeneye on the N64.

    • Ignorant Texan says:

      Oh, fuck. First computer game I played was a ‘Star Trek game(s) designed to run on mainframe(s). Starship simulator games create the experience of commanding and operating a starship, and usually allow the player to handle a variety of functions, and to allocate resources such as ship power and systems’ *(Text in glorious monochrome!)on a TI 990 the year KG was born. I’m beginning to know how the trilobites felt.

      *from Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Star_Trek_games

    • Ignorant Texan says:

      My ‘senior moments’ are much worse than I thought. The above post should have read ‘the year after KG was born’.

  30. SuperNashwan says:

    Just wanted to say that part of what makes Kieron great at this isn’t just the published articles, but he’s constantly been involved in online communities around his work, talking about interesting stuff and responding to criticism. If you’re old enough to remember the glory days of the PC Gamer forums you probably know what I mean. After Kieron reviewed Postal 2 I remember posting, probably not very politely, inquiring why he’d given it such a high score and got a very reasoned response including some interesting stuff about how he approached giving scores to games.

  31. Moth Bones says:

    It was Gameboys From Hell that brought me to RPS, and I’m very glad it did. Prior to that I had no idea that games could throw up good, thought-provoking journalism, but RPS is now one of my daily go-to sites. Thanks a lot for your considerable contributions KG.

  32. Jack says:

    I think I’ve read nearly all of these.

    Man. I feel like such a fanboy.

  33. OOS says:

    Well this is upsetting. And unexpected for me; I haven’t checked RPS for a couple days and so missed the announcement of your leaving.

    In any case: Keiron, thank you so so much for your writing. I don’t comment here often, but RPS is home to a good clutch of my favourite pieces of games journalism ever, and you’re a big reason for that. I had no idea you were the one who wrote the Sims piece: that is definitely one of my favourites ever. The Cradle is also one of the best articles i’ve read; I almost wanted to stop for fear of spoilers, but I couldn’t because it was so well written.

    So, thank you. It will not be the same without you, but I understand your decision to leave and look forward to any future random rants that you feel like posting. Thank you for your great great writing.

  34. Premium User Badge Chaz says:

    I’ve got to say, I thought Boiling Point was a fantastic game too and I still don’t think there’s been another game since that quite matches it’s level of immersion and freedom.

    - Getting shot in the leg made you limp and you had to go an see a doctor to get properly cured.
    - You had to sleep once in a while.
    - Driving past a gun fight in your car would inevitebly lead to getting a tyre shot out, which you then had to change by pulling over and getting the spare out of the boot.
    - There was a faction system.
    - A massive map to explore.
    - An RPG system where you could boost your stats and mod your weapons etc.
    - The cars were brilliant. OK the steering was a bit shonky but drivng around the properly dark jungle in the cockpit view at night with the headlights on was just one of the most atmospheric experiences I’ve ever had in an FPS. Plus you had to start the car and switch the headlights on, so you could pull up at night and leave the car running with the lights on illuminating the jungle or where ever it was. And you could use the car too sleep in too. Pulled up to a mission area at night fall, no problem just go to sleep in the car until first light then set off to do a dawn reconnaissance of your target. Oh yeah and you had to fill it up with fuel once in a while too. Fantastic! Compare that to todays open world games where cars are just disposable objects you just instantly switch on and off at the stroke of a button.

    I have to laugh when I read articles about the new hardcore mode in Fallout Las Vegas almost making out that it’s some thing new to the world of games, when titles like Boiling Point were doing stuff like that and more, years ago.

    My biggest problem with Boiling Point was when they decided to patch the steering controls, which if you used the mouse to steer like I did, were just fine to start with. However folks that used the keys to steer grizzled about the twitchy controls and so when they patch the keyboard controls they buggered up the mouse steering, and the key controls still ended up being shit. Unfortunately the patch that “fixed” the steering also patched a whole load of other stuff so it was pretty unavoidable. I just wish they put the steering fix out as a separate patch.

    • Premium User Badge jaheira says:

      Yeah, Boiling Point was great. Does anyone know what happened to White Gold?

    • Kieron Gillen says:

      There’s some kind of publisher issue. It was released in Russia, but the publisher won’t give up the rights for a western release. There’s an English-users patch you can use if you buy it from a Russian direct download site, apparently.

      KG

    • Mr.President says:

      White Gold is rubbish compared to Boiling point. Some of the brilliance is still there, but most of it is gone.

  35. Flint says:

    Wait, that Cradle article was by you? I remember coming across it years ago in a non-English gaming forum after someone had linked to it (can’t remember why) and ever since it’s been one of my favourite gaming articles. And only now I find out that one of the RPS-four was behind it?

    That’s… awesome.

    • Bret says:

      Yeah.

      Seems whenever I find an old article I liked on gaming, it turns out to be Gillen’s.

      Well, occasionally it’s Tom Francis, but…

      Anyway, man. End of a pretty good era. Wish I was still in the habit of picking up comics.

  36. StenL says:

    All of these articles are brilliant, but what really sticks with me is the ZangbandTK article. Not only is that the most brilliant piece of NGJ in my opinion, it also perfectly showcases the immersion you talked about in the Sims and Cultural Wargames articles. It also made me download the game even before I was halfway through with the article, and kickstarted my love of Roguelikes in all shapes and sizes. You could say that it was the article that first truly opened my eyes to the more alternative form of videogaming, and I can say that the games I am playing today wouldn’t be the same without the article. Thank you for so many brilliant articles, and I hope that like someone above me said, your best work is still to come.

  37. Frosty says:

    KG, it was your piece on No Russian that got me to subscribe to RPS. It the later debacle on Hey Baby that made me decide I would stay here forever.

    You are not RPS but you were the gateway for me. Thanks to you I paid more attention and through that I read more of Walker, Meer, Rossignol and Quinn’s work, leading me to buy Jim’s book, buy The Longest Journey because of John and pay a hell of a lot more attention to this website.

    In short: This place will still go strongly without you but I’m only here because of you. Best of luck fellow.

  38. Tweakd says:

    I’ll have to re-read a few of these. Journey Into The Cradle is certainly on the top of that list. I would have been 18 at the time of the PCG article and I still remember checking for the authors name. From then on I always kept an eye out for your work, and that’s how I stumbled into the halls of RPS.

    So thanks for all your work over the years, you have kept me and I’ll wager thousands of others entertained for those 15 years. Your on a roll Keiron, don’t stop completely ;)

  39. MadMatty says:

    Why don´t you just upload a poster of yourself in a Jim Morrison pose or something :P
    Darkfall was bad, but you all seemed to miss the “why” completely- it only became apparent to me about a month or two into playing it, and its all to do with exploitation and less to do with noobie gameplay.

    that said i prefer MMO´s where you can drop thinghs on the ground, and they stay there for quite some time- sounds silly, but it adds a bit of “people have been here” feel, instead of these barren plastic wastelands (WoW forgiven for just bein plain fun) – plus theres usefull noob gear in the rubbish sometimes too :)
    Go Ultima – Go Wurm! – go Minecraft even!

    …and i even managed to make sense of Dwarf Fortress as of recently, at my third try to get intimate with the rubbish and plain illogical UI (with a 3rd party graphx addon- i might add) ….
    Worth It.

  40. Dao Jones says:

    “I do remember Kieron unloading most of his nukes into Manchester for absolutely no strategic reason.”

    Thanks, new Quinns. :)

  41. Ian says:

    The Sensible Soccer piece is still one of my favourites of yours, Kieron. Possibly because I’m a footyite, I don’t really know.

    Also any game diaries that featured both you and Quinns. And the Blood Bowl reports.

    And…

  42. TooNu says:

    The BEST review ever is that Deus ex review. It’s so utterly awesome that reading it, in game, while playing the nameless mod makes it even more awesome.

    Also your man MPB up there pretty much said the truth.

    • Bobiroka says:

      Ditto to that. Just re-read the Deus Ex review again for the first time in years. Took me back it did, to a time when RPGs and FPSs were different genres entirely… amazing to think how far we’ve come now, yet so few games exist that practice the ideals that Deus Ex preached.

      Bioshock & Mass Effect are probably the closest we’ve come since…

  43. Tacroy says:

    In your article about the New Games Journalism, you mention “Bow, Nigger” – I’d never read that piece before, but I was an avid JKII player back in the day, and that is quite possibly the best description of the dueling that I’ve ever read. It was pretty much exactly like that. I’ve never seen a game form so much culture around a single aspect of play before; even in multiplayer deathmatch servers, you’d occasionally even see people bowing to each other before going at it with lightsabers – and the amazing part is that people would frequently stay out of an ongoing lightsaber duel, though if you were in to that sort of thing the duel servers were where it’s at.

    I remember that I was impressed with myself for binding Force Push and Force Pull to mousewheel up and mousewheel down – I could shove people around with a flick of my finger, it was awesome.

    That game was pretty great, though I did end up leaving before the hax became common; I remember that during my time in it, people had figured out how to change your avatar to the “floating hands and nothing else” you see while using a lightsaber in first person perspective, so they were basically just a pair of floaty hands holding a lightsaber. Jerks.

    • Babs says:

      ‘Bow, nigger’ was the first piece of NGJ I ever read and I was astonished (I think I found it while lurkng on the State forums). It’s still one of my favourite ever pieces of games writting.

      Good luck with comics Kieron! I look forward to your future rants with antici……….pation.

  44. DanPryce says:

    I referenced the No Russian article in my dissertation last year – I suspect I was the only person to quote ‘signifying jack shit’, ever. Thanks, Kieron. All the best.

  45. Rich says:

    Bye bye Gillen. Bye bye.

  46. The Tupper says:

    I find this really annoying and most bothersome. I only discovered RPS (and, through it Eurogamer) in the last couple of months, having spent the last five years bemoaning the fact (to my beleaguered wife, usually in bed with a copy of PC Gamer in hand) about how PC games journalism wasn’t what it used to be (who says that the sparkle disappears after the wedding ring goes on?).

    Then, just when I discover where Kieron’s been hiding, he buggers off. Most perturbing.

    I do like the other writers here, though. Especially John Walker – I love his PC Gamer rerelease reviews.

  47. Phil H says:

    Another Goodbye, but only to your games journalism (which was always a good read), as the comics you’re writing have a habit of ending up in the stacks I bring home.

  48. DeepSleeper says:

    Guys. It’s cool.
    He’s not really leaving forever. He’s just ending his “beta test” period. He’ll be back in a week with a fancy new writing style.

    …right?
    …oh man…

    Good luck, Mr. Gillen.

  49. Paul S. says:

    I’ve always thought of the KG years on PC Gamer as the magazine’s golden years. I read it before he arrived and enjoyed it, but he appeared and wrote at a time when I was busily turning into a beautiful butterfly, and his writing played a large part in that. Lots of his writing made me genuinely pull up and evaluate the way I looked at games, but also (forgive me a moment of vast pomposity) art in general. Any writing I do limps forlornly in his shadow. Huge thanks, KG. You’ve been an enormously enriching presence.