We Don’t Need a Flow State: Intentional Frustration in I Am Bread

We Don’t Need a Flow State: Intentional Frustration in I Am Bread

I first experienced an intentionally frustrating game when someone showed me QWOP in my freshman dorm room. I was relatively new to PC gaming, and some of my boyfriend’s rather unkind friends liked to poke fun at my lack of skill; I was probably presented with QWOP as a joke intended to frustrate me for their amusement. (more…)

Making Friends With the Grim Reaper: Processing My Grief in The Sims

Making Friends With the Grim Reaper: Processing My Grief in The Sims

I’ve been playing The Sims for almost as long as I can remember. My first copy was burned onto a disc with a paper cover, given to me by the uncle that used to sell pirated DVDs at car-boot sales. My memories from that part of my life are hazy and jumbled, mixed up by the loss of my grandma when I was seven. (more…)

The Art and Play of Collecting

The Art and Play of Collecting

There was a moment early in the pandemic when I decided I would become someone who could identify birds. At the lake in my local park, I recognized mallards, swans, and some kind of crane, but the trees were full of birds I couldn’t name: tiny black and white striped ones that hopped and whistled, soft gray ones that sang sweetly, blackbirds with bright red racing stripes on their wings. I started taking notes and realized, with a jolt, that I was birding. (more…)

Character Creators, Fatness, Gender, Body Horror, and Me

Character Creators, Fatness, Gender, Body Horror, and Me

I’ve been uncomfortably conscious of my body since a pretty young age. When it came to food, I was a fussy child, which resulted in me being overweight. In turn, adults would feel like they were entitled to comment on my body. I have a specific memory of eating a Yorkie (a plain chocolate bar, for non-UK readers) and a stranger harassing me on the street about it. My school’s principals once contacted some form of authority, I can’t remember which, about my fussy eating, which in hindsight broke some serious boundaries. The doctors weren’t even concerned, as other than being overweight I had no serious health issues. But everyone else always had problems with my body. (more…)

Let Me Tell You About My OC: The Shared Anxieties of a Long-Time Storyteller

Let Me Tell You About My OC: The Shared Anxieties of a Long-Time Storyteller

As an indie comic artist and visual storyteller, I’m used to creating characters with complex backstories and edgy personalities. But none have been so strange and intriguing as that of Laurus Francoeur, my latest creation and member of my friend group’s first Wanderhome game. (more…)