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I have been inspired by local journalist/activist/writing extraordinaire Kirsten Han’s piece on how to get into journalism, and had wanted to pen this because I had wondered, in recent months, where anything *gestures wildly* is taking me. If you have wondered how to get into games journalism, especially when you’re not based in or even remotely close to the hub of the games industry/media that is UK/US/JP, I’m not sure if anything here will help you other than myself. Maybe you’ll enjoy reading my inane thoughts. …


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One of the most thrilling aspects of horror games is the idea of actively participating in your own scares. Grappling with the conflicting emotions of wanting to be spooked — versus our innate fight-or-flight response — is sure to get your blood pumping. Turns out this is also a brilliant way to keep warm during the coldest weather. So if you’re craving an adrenaline rush this winter, stare upon the unblinking faces of terror in these itch.io games. …


Foreword: This was originally written for Trusted Reviews for Halloween in 2018, but it was not published and I was never paid. Thankfully, Videodame decided to pick up the story and it was able to find a home (psst, always pitch your stories to Videodame). Here’s a short snippet:

One of the most thrilling aspects of horror games is to actively participate in your own scares. Grappling with the conflicting emotions of wanting to be spooked — versus our innate fight-or-flight response — is sure to get the ol’ blood pumping. So if you’re craving an adrenaline rush this Halloween, stare upon the unblinking faces of terror in these itch.io games. …


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Discovering the comforts of routine.

Foreword: This piece was originally written for ReadySet (formerly known as ZAM), but with the site’s impending closure in October, I thought I’ll upload the piece here. This is the only article I did for ReadySet, and I’m incredibly sad to see it go. It was home to plenty of critical writing on videogames, and now I can only wish I had more opportunities to write for the site. RIP.

Routines are part and parcel of most gameplay experiences, whether you’re an omnipotent being overseeing the lives of mere mortals in The Sims, or a veteran monster-slayer-for-hire and radical dad in The Witcher 3. It offers some semblance of structure as we experience the game’s universe, while letting us make measured incursions into the world. Perhaps you could start with a quick look over your inventory, and then head out to the wilderness or town center in search for resources. …


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I’m kind of in a standstill with pop/geek culture. I didn’t watch Game of Thrones, I don’t know who Post Malone is, and I’ve only played Bioshock Infinite this year (still catching up on all your hot takes, Internet). That’s why I’ve often struggled with “Top Ten” lists, especially with videogames. Devouring all the latest releases is an incredibly time-consuming endeavor, and it’s physically impossible to go through those from the year and only choose the best ones.

Instead I’m going to take the easy way out and go for the best games I’ve played this year. …


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Detroit: Become Human

As a primal form of unadulterated rage, outbursts of violence are often appalling and discomfiting. Be it from cold, calculated anger or scalding, impulsive fury, critics have discussed its pernicious influence for eons. So it probably surprises no one that violence in the form of unflinching cruelty or righteous anger aren’t a new phenomenon in pop culture — and particularly not so in videogames.

That’s why I didn’t think the brutality from Naughty Dog’s The Last of Us Part II trailer at the recent Paris Games Week was out of place, at least not in a videogames convention. In fact, it surprised and perhaps even heartened me that such scenes could still repulse us. A woman, mercilessly dragged and suspended on a tree, had a knife pointed at her abdomen, ready to leave an incision. A second woman was lugged from the darkness, with two men slamming a hammer into her arms. She howled in agony. I winced. …

About

Khee Hoon Chan

B2B copywriter, freelance games writer. Dreams about maining Ryu in Street Fighter tournaments. https://www.kheehoon.me

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