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Kat Brewster

Priceless Play - 12 January

Keep cleaning up in 2019

6

Priceless Play - 5 January 2019

The life changing magic of tidying-up games.

22

5 days ago

Feature: Keep cleaning up in 2019

Priceless Play – 12 January

Cleaning is miraculous. It is the ultimate de-stressor for me. I have no patience for an unmade bed or dishes left in the sink. I pride myself on my cable management, I love making to-do lists, and nothing makes me more excited than an itinerary. Perhaps it's why I love inventory management and city sims! But even I can fall behind on my organisational prowess.…

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2 weeks ago

Feature:

Priceless Play – 5 January 2019

It's 2019 now. I know you know that -- it's been 2019 for at least several days or more by the time you are reading this. If you don't know that it's 2019, I hope that it is because by the time you're reading this it's actually 2020 or something equally as wild as the passing of time. In this new year, in this little…

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3 weeks ago

Feature: The Joy of Cooking

Priceless Play – 29 December 2018

I'm sorry, dear reader. I have failed you. I was unable to get this to you in time to save your Christmas dinners. Your beef wellingtons, unwell. Puff pastry, unpuffed. If only you had had this collection of free games about cooking -- only then could your Christmas dinner have been truly spectacular. I am here to rectify my error. There's always New Year's. Now:…

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Feature: Some of these might surprise you

Kat Brewster’s 5 best games of 2018

I wracked my brain over the past few weeks, trying to think of games I played in 2018. This seems to happen every year around GOTY time — much like when someone asks you what your favourite movie is, and you forget whether you’ve actually ever seen a movie. Did… Did I play any video games? Did any games even come out? Surely there must…

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4 weeks ago

Feature: Let it snow!

Priceless Play – 22 December

I have not, to this day, managed to be in the same place at the same time as a white Christmas. If you have, please, let me know. Is it still possible to snow on Christmas day anywhere south of Duluth, Minnesota? I have many happy memories of building snowmen, tobogganing, and ducking under snow-laden boughs in the backwoods of Virginia. But none of them…

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1 month ago

Feature: Make a decision!

Priceless Play – 15 December 2018

Is there anything quite so glorious as being right? The smug playground-satisfaction of pulling out an "I told you so," or (even better) the long-con revenge of living well? Of course, every good thing has its price. For every instance of being right, there must exist an equal and opposite instance of being wrong. The less enjoyable forfeit of "You were right, and I was…

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Feature: Christmas dating sims!

Priceless Play – 7 December 2018

It's December now, and I've already burned through a barrage of Netflix-original Christmas romantic comedies. To be fair, it's not just the holiday season that puts me into the romcom spirit but it is a good catalyst. Whether it's You've Got Mail, When Harry Met Sally, Groundhog Day or The Holiday and The Christmas Prince, hook me up to an IV and put the popcorn…

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2 months ago

Feature: Location, Location, Location

Priceless Play – 1 December 2018

I’m back from celebrating my time off for American Thanksgiving to bring you the final installment in my close examination of game components. The pair to my last piece, on embodiment and movement, we’re taking the deep dive into space and movement. I know not all games are made of only four elements -- time, rules or constraints, embodiment, and space -- but it sure…

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Feature: Movies

Priceless Play – 16th November 2018

Some games, not all games (but some) have a degree of representational movement in them. A couple of years ago I went to see a panel discussion of designers at the Southbank Centre (a dream lineup: Naomi Alderman, Cara Ellison, Emily Short, and Meg Jayanth; moderated by Simon Parkin) and one of the designers mentioned the way players automatically notice the effects of their own…

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Feature: Read all instructions before you begin

Priceless Play — 9th November 2018

I’m carrying on this month in taking some hyper-focus to a different layer of a game’s design. If last week’s focus was time, this week’s focus is on rules. Rules are some of the first things I learned about in game design, and it was probably the first thing you learned, too. When I was a kid I would yell at my neighbour, the one…

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3 months ago

Feature: A graveyard smash

Priceless Play – 27th October 2018

Horror has been on my mind a lot this month. I mean, it’s pretty wild that one of the most popular genres of entertainment relies on making ourselves uncomfortable. For me, I have found that horror is all about putting the things which make me squirm in sharp relief to the things which make me feel the safest. Is there anything better than the breathy,…

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Feature: The best horrors from five years of Asylum Jam

Priceless Play – 20th October 2018

So often, it can feel like horror is preying on fears of mental illness. How many video games are set in abandoned psychiatric institutions? What about deeming antagonists “criminally,” or otherwise, “insane”? Sure, I love Until Dawn, but I don’t care for its takes on psychotherapy. I am put off by Outlast, despite its clever mechanics and tight design. Comstock’s House in BioShock Infinite somehow…

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Feature: Spooky, scary...

Priceless Play – 13th October 2018

Welcome to October, dear friends. As we get ever closer to that spookiest of holidays, Halloween, it becomes increasingly requisite to break out the thrills and chills we find in classic horror video games. Now, obviously, I could recommend to you any AAA powerhouse: Until Dawn, Alan Wake, Fatal Frame, Silent Hill 2… the list goes on. There is a veritable pantheon of formidable horror…

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4 months ago

Feature:

Priceless Play – 29th September 2018

Atop the lofty corridors of the ivory tower there’s an even higher, loftier tower with a sign out front that says, “Critical Theory.” I cannot pretend that academia has ever tried to make itself accessible, despite its cries to the “widening participation” otherwise. The humanities, especially, gets a bad rap for its pages and pages of philosophy books and politics and symbolisms and god, what…

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Feature: The cats, humanity's absolute best mate

Priceless Play – 22nd September 2018

I got two cats last month and I am obsessed with them. While I’m currently fostering them (and let me take this moment to suggest that you, too, foster some cats because it is life-saving) they are driving me insane. Because they’re, you know, cats. They run around at all hours of the night, they knock over my plants, and they always want to know…

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Feature: Crunchy leaves and cold air and hot cocoa

Priceless Play – September 15th 2018

Since moving to California, I find myself missing the seasons. I grew up in Virginia, where the leaves change colour every September. When living in England, there was a yearly rotation of scarves and heavy coats to mark the coming of autumn. It seems silly to complain about the year-round temperate climate that blesses the beachy shores of SoCal, but it gets pretty boring here…

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Feature: Workers of the world, unite (and play)

Priceless Play – September 8th 2018

In the United States, the first Monday in September is Labor Day -- a day to celebrate workers, and all the strides that working unions have made. Like many other Americans, I work on Labor Day. Freelancers work on Labour Day. Those in the service industry work on Labor Day. And though there are many calls to “remove politics from games,” (I honestly have no…

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5 months ago

Feature: Free games to love and share

Priceless Play – September 1st 2018

Hey, RPS. Things are a bit different in this space! My name is Kat, and I’m a writer and academic out of sunny southern California, taking over the Free Games of the Week column from the inimitable Jupiter Hadley. I’m a PhD student, so I love a game that doesn’t overstay its welcome. I teach game design, so I love a game with a solid…

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