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Astrid Johnson

3 weeks ago

Feature: Saxophone solo

Soundbyte: Why sex games are important and what makes a good one

 Soundbyte is back, and a lot sooner than it took for us to get from episode one to episode two! In this one, we’re talking about sexy, sexy sex games, why they’re interesting, what the rest of the industry could (and should) learn from them, and the queer erasure that comes along with blacklisting these sexy things from storefronts and streaming websites like Twitch.

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5 months ago

Feature: New-wave hipster Mormons

Polyamorous representation and spitting on your friends in Spitkiss

Not a lot of people understand what polyamory actually means. Some consider it cheating, others conflate it with polygamy, and think polyamorous people are just new-wave hipster Mormons. I’m polyamorous, and while I’m both new-wave and a hipster, I’m not a Mormon, because from experience that isn’t what polyamory is. Without taking a good while explaining the nuances of polyamory (the different relationship orientations, the…

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Feature: And the folks who make them

Soundbyte: The controllers bringing games to those with disabilities

 Welcome to Soundbyte! A podcast mini-series that stimulates your ears to explore hot topics in the games industry. In this episode, we’ll be taking a look at accessibility in gaming, and talking to the studios making specialist hardware, the people who use it, and the activists and advocates trying to do even more to bring gaming to those unable to put two hands on…

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6 months ago

Feature: It was all a dream

Catherine Classic review

I’ve never played Catherine before. I heard a bit about it from friends and fellow journalists: the stylish interface, the intriguing story that often fumbled gender stereotypes, and, of course, the trans character. But if you sat me down before launching Catherine Classic on Steam and asked me what I expected the gameplay to be like, well… fast-paced puzzle platformer with a heavy emphasis on…

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7 months ago

Feature: Come together

Hardcoded lets trans women be horny without being a fetish

It’s rare for the media-at-large to portray trans women as sexual beings. When we are, it’s either as predators by transphobes, or as fetishistic objects by “chasers” -- people that see trans people not as the gender we really are, but instead as toys designed to cater to their particular sexual proclivities. When a piece of media does allow trans women to be sexual on…

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10 months ago

Feature: Table of reds

Pool Panic: one indie game’s journey from cue to pocket

Perhaps one of the most challenging things about Pool Panic is figuring out how to define it. “Do we put this in the sports sim category of Steam?” Mike Robinson pondered apprehensively. Angus Dick followed, exclaiming that “No-one’s really made a stupid game like this before.” He’s right; Pool Panic is a deeply unusual indie title, and it certainly earned its place in the EGX…

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12 months ago

Feature: The 1000 step program

Soundbyte: Why is it so hard to start a union in the games industry?

Welcome to Soundbyte, an audio mini-series that stimulates your ears and explores topics in the games industry. In our first episode, Pixel Picketers, we're talking about unionisation in the games industry, what some folks are doing to make it happen, and the challenges they face. Let's start by speaking to Doug Cockle, who plays Geralt in The Witcher among other roles, about his negative experiences in…

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1 year ago

Feature: Listen and get Rezzed

Podcast: The weird, wild and wonderful of EGX Rezzed

It’s a podcast special! Astrid Johnson takes us through the halls of London game show EGX Rezzed, on a search for oddities and weirdness. And she finds plenty of both. There’s Stereopolis, a game projected onto a disc of frosted glass, or Wobble Garden, which is played entirely by twanging a bunch of springy door stoppers (pictured above). It’s an overview of the show for…

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Feature: A little buggy

Let’s analyse David Lynch Teaches Typing as if it’s a David Lynch movie

“I don't do a perfect Lynch impression off-hand, it took hours of practice,” Luke Palmer says, his words trailed by a humble chuckle. He’s the man spearheading Rhino Stew Productions, an experimental studio behind David Lynch Teaches Typing, a mid-90’s inspired tutorial game where the Americana all-star himself (or at least an impressive impersonation of him) runs you through the basics of typing on your…

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