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Kat Brewster

Priceless Play - 9 November 2019

Feeling weird about/with games

3

Priceless Play - 2 November 2019

Games about food to bring us together

5

Priceless Play - 26 October 2019

Scare away with Priceless Play

9

6 months ago

Feature: Head to your local mass photocopy outlet today!

Priceless Play – 18 May

To this day, one of the most powerful things I've experienced is printing my own zine. Opening the box shipped to my door and seeing the neatly stacked little booklets with my handwriting inside is the sort of pride I imagine is reserved for published authors or narcissists. "Zine," for those not in the know, is short for "magazine," and it's honestly a lifestyle. Typically…

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Feature: Australia: real or not real?

Priceless Play – 11 May

Australia seems like one of those mythical places everyone agrees exists, but I have seen little to no evidence either supporting or discrediting this claim. My Australian friends are ephemeral beings, constantly on flights which last upwards of fifteen hours. Where are they going? I hope they're happy there, wherever they are. Firmly in the pro-Australia camp is The Freeplay Independent Games Festival. "Australia's longest-running…

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Feature: "Your life is currency," makes for some bleak games tbh

Priceless Play – 4 May 2019

Goodness gracious me alive, look, it's Ludum Dare time! Ludum Dare is a biannual (as in happening twice-a-year) game jam, and probably one of the world's largest and longest-running game jams. Who am I to say otherwise? It says so right on their website. I am always amazed by the sheer creativity and talent which comes out of each Ludum Dare, and this go around…

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7 months ago

Feature: Take life by the horns and run an errand today

Priceless Play – 27 April

What makes an adventure? There is, of course, that romantic school of thought: the hero's journey away from home and back again through peril and plight, death and rebirth, and all the rest. (Don't forget to save the cat on page three.) But what else? What is "adventure" for the rest of us when we have no power to save the world from bosses and…

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Feature: The machinery that runs the world

Priceless Play – 23 April

Ah, infrastructure -- that boring, beautiful thing. Infrastructure is what makes the world go. It is all the things we prefer to ignore when everything is going right - everything from roads to electric wiring to massive water filtration systems. As soon as there's a hiccup, however, that's when infrastructure reveals itself to be the all-encompassing lifeblood of the universe. And sometimes it seems games…

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Feature: Let's all love Guy Fieri

Priceless Play – 13 April 2019

Spring is settling in its April bones, showering to bring May flowering. The farmer's market around the corner is getting lusher and greener each weekend, the beach is peppered with more and more tourists in swimsuits and towels looking to soak up the sun. It is reassuring to watch the last dregs of winter (if you can call it that in southern California) drip away,…

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Feature: Free and easy and green

Priceless Play – 6 April

I've just come back home from travelling, begun a new quarter of my PhD, and I am getting over a week-and-a-half of illness. I am working on a couple of academic papers for publication, getting ready to move out of my apartment, I still have to unpack, and did I mention that I'm still ill? Sometimes it seems like a to-do list is never-ending, no…

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8 months ago

Feature: Defense is superior to opulence

Priceless Play – 25 March

One of my favourite facts about British culture versus US culture is that what North Americans call "bumper cars," Brits call "dodgems." Where the Brits dodge, Americans bump. Is there any better metaphor than that? As my friend Sean Bean likes to tell me every so often: “Invincibility lies in the defense; the possibility of victory in the attack.” Good old Sean, he's quoting Sun…

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Feature: Leaving on a jet plane

Priceless Play – 16 March 2019

Greetings from Terminal 2 of the Los Angeles International Airport! I'm seated in one of the ubiquitous hybrid chair/benches which grace all airport terminals across our great planet gearing up for a ten-and-a-half hour flight. Hooray! Like many people, the thing I love most in the world is shuffling into a gigantic airborne tube with numerous strangers for an extended period of time. (Bonus: I…

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Feature: If anyone says "always-already" I swear

Priceless Play – 9 March 2019

I spend a lot of time thinking about the past and future, and the little moments which rely on them. I mean, maybe it's just inherent in the contemporary state of Being Alive™ that we spend so much time thinking about time: setting alarms, making dinner reservations, meeting deadlines, missing deadlines, scheduling due-dates, planning for investments and interest rates... A 30-year mortgage? Will I even…

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9 months ago

Feature: If this website goes slower than 60mph, Keanu Reeves will yell at us

Priceless Play – 2 March 2019

Hey, why are people so tired on the first of April? It's because they just finished a March of 31 days! I was taking a casual stroll through the 'net, and discovered the super legit wiseoldsayings.com page for March. There are a bunch of wise old authors saying wise old things about wise old March, though I'm particularly partial to "In like a lion, out…

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Feature: Sex: from hyperreal to hyper-abstract, text, sext, and Flash.

Priceless Play – 23 February

**This week's Priceless Play is NSFW!!!** Sex in games is certainly nothing new. There are, of course, the various moral panics -- GTA's famed "hot coffee," for instance -- to countless articles about the sex lives in SecondLife. Our Very Own Kieron Gillen wrote a primer on Sporn (that's "Spore porn," for the uninitiated) eleven years ago. Cara Ellison had a column, called S.EXE, here…

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Feature: A wee existential spiral about The Sims

The Sims is the most haunted game in the world

A year ago or so, I re-downloaded The Sims. My partner and I wanted a low-effort game to play together, and I introduced them to the life-changing videogame craze: “Make yourself in The Sims and live the life you’ve always wanted!!!” We made ourselves, built a beautiful little home, and adopted a cat. I became a professional writer or something, and they went into the…

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Feature: Ah! Love! That Many Splendour'd Thing!

Priceless Play – 16 February 2019

I don't like Dream Daddy. There. I said it. A game that de-eroticises queer romance in some apolitical neoliberal mystery world isn't it, chief.* There's a lot to love there, but so much about its technically-indie-corporate-sheen marketing gay romance rubs me the wrong way. I'm glad the game is there for those who need it, I'm glad there's a game where queer folks seem pretty…

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Feature: To love and friendship and birthdays

Priceless Play — 9 February 2019

Hello friends, welcome to February in our little column. Now, depending on how you feel about... that holiday, we can all agree that there is one very important day in February. Perhaps some of you think it's a needless expression of "feelings," or maybe some of you think it's a practice in consumerism, but I know that there is a special breed of person who…

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10 months ago

Feature: New beginnings and feelin good!

Priceless Play – 26 January 2019

I make my bed every day. It's the easiest way I know to tell the day that I am ready for it. Making the bed is fairly simple to do, and (in most circumstances, I imagine) shouldn't take more than five minutes. The results can be astonishing. Voilà! A bedroom is transformed. Does a tidy person live here? Who knows! The possibilities are endless and…

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Feature: A collection of nearly-missed gems

Priceless Play – 19 January

Before I started my PhD, I was an Inbox Zero kind of person. I used labels. Folders. Conditional filtering! These days, I might as well have a permanent out-of-office message. This isn't to say that I never read my e-mails, but rather that they get filed into a section of my brain which I have deemed, "Later." Within the distant confines of Later, I promise…

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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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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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11 months 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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