Extra Credits: Where Do Consoles Come From?

Once again, I’ve collaborated with the folks at Extra Credits on a topic I’ve followed for a while: supply chain problems in console manufacturing. Proud as punch serve as a co-writer with EC, and hey, is that Morgan Spurlock of Super Size Me fame? Damn.

This sounds like a dull issue, but it’s increasingly important. Our globalized economy provides mind-boggling manufacturing power, but it also hides the people who actually make the objects we use in our everyday lives.

Give it a watch:

I’ve Got Some Assassin’s Creed Ghost Stories at Playboy

AC Dickens

There’ll be scary ghost stories and tales of the glories of Christmases long, long ago…

Man, ghost stories at Christmas. Can I live at your house, Andy Williams?

The only holiday ghost story at my house is A Christmas Carol–but then again, it’s pretty great. Victorianism and Christmas go together like eggnog and brandy, and what did Victorians love more than anything?


Don’t believe me? Well guess what: Dickens himself was a paranormal investigator-I’m dead serious, it’s a documented fact.

And you can read all about it in my new Playboy article “The Truths Behind Assassin’s Creed Syndicate’s Ghost Stories.”

I can’t emphasize how much historical weirdness is in this article. It has:

  • Queen Victoria Being Creepy
  • Lincoln Attending a Séance
  • Mourning Warehouses
  • Spring-Heeled Jack
  • The London Monster
  • Trance Mediums Making Out With Clients
  • Spirits From Beyond Calling for Women’s Suffrage

Check it out–or I’ll haunt you.

Playboy, Lovecraft and Pikachu: A Post-Halloween Article Roundup

It’s been a busy time — as a writer who loves ghosts, ghouls, and everything spooky, the Season of Shadows always means more work for me.

Now that we’ve hit November (aka post-Halloween depression season) I can finally take stock and update what’s been going on.

First of all, I visited the interactive Resident Evil haunted house at Universal Studios Japan and wrote about it for Playboy.

By the way–that link is now Safe For Work since Playboy‘s gone nude-free.

I also had a just-for-fun piece on GamesRadar+ about all the ridiculous outfits the Pokémon company has dressed Pikachu in. Are you ready to see a J-Pop Pikachu? Is anybody?

And finally, I wrote a piece for Slate‘s Future Tense Blog on how H.P. Lovecraft is an unrecognized master of environmental horror. It also has some thoughts about how society tends to age out of certain fears, and age into others.

So that was Halloween. Bring on November! Gonna be a good one.

I’m at Playboy Discussing the Video Game Wars of the Future

I wrote an article for Playboy that included an interview with leading defense expert P.W. Singer.

Singer’s a brilliant guy, the type that you listen to when he talks. So when I found out his new novel, Ghost Fleet, predicts that video game technology will merge with military hardware, I thought it was worth asking him about it.

Military Expert P.W. Singer Predicts the Video Game Wars of the Future (NSFW, because Playboy. Do I really need to say that? I mean, there’s no nudity, but still, it’s Playboy.)

Wait, did you say you read it…for the articles?

Haha, so funny. You’re totally the first person to tell me that.

Extra Credits: Returning to World War II

Hey! I helped out on an Extra Credits episode on how shooter games could re-approach World War II.

Working with the team was a blast, and I hope to do it again one day. And, oh man, is it cool to see myself as an EC bean person.

If I had to add anything to this, it would be that our WWII games draw so much inspiration from films, that perhaps devs could start by looking at WWII films that are different than the standard fare.

One great example in theaters this week is Assassination, an action film about the Japanese occupation of Korea. Perfect fit for an FPS? Probably not, but it’s not the worst place to start in seeking other cinematic visions of the war.

SHOOTER Review Roundup

What critics are saying about SHOOTER: 15 Critical Essays About Games With Guns:

When a piece of criticism grabs you by the collar and demands you take a second look at something, you know it’s doing its job right.

Nic Rowen, Destructoid

Shooter asks us to look at shooting games and say something more than “lol shooters” or the dreaded “ugh videogames.” It’s about looking the largest, most successful commercial products square in the face and trying to figure out what the hell they’re all about. It’s about looking at a format, or an expectation, and tracing its existence from massive blockbusters down to weird anomalies like Call of Cthulhu: Dark Corners of the Earth.

Cameron Kunzelman, Paste Magazine

A group of writers and their essays that could–nay, should–shape a broader understanding of games.

Tyler Colp, Victorypoint.tv

Where to Buy SHOOTER:

SHOOTER on GumRoad — Mobi, PDF, and ePub files

SHOOTER on Amazon Kindle Marketplace

SHOOTER: Available for Purchase Now!

SHOOTER is Here!

Fifteen critical essays on shooting games–a collection for genre fans, design students, and anyone interested in what happens when we digitize the gun. That’s a lot of value for $5 USD.

And did I mention the art’s jaw-drop-fantastic? Or that I get to perform a postmortem on one of my favorite odd-duck games, Call of Cthulhu: Dark Corners of the Earth?

My chapter description, from the publisher:

The Lurking Fear: Firearms in Call of Cthulhu: Dark Corners of the Earth

Robert Rath examines the danger and unreliability of the guns featured in Headfirst Productions’ Call of Cthulhu: Dark Corners of the Earth. In highlighting the risk, both physical and psychological, of using firearms as weapons, Rath reads Dark Corners of the Earth as a commentary on the real-world power of the gun, and paints an interesting contrast with a genre that takes the power and skill necessary to properly use a firearm for granted.


Either click the image above, or this link. The eBook’s available in PDF, Mobi, and ePub formats.