Hey, this is a compilation of what you could consider my personal gaming canon. These are games I think are essential playing — and because it’s me writing this, it’s a way of really getting to understand me, I think. I don’t post these a lot, but they’re games I think are worth trying. You might see this list and raise an eyebrow: that’s good! I’m not here to give you the canon list you’ve already seen; is there really anything that Super Mario Bros 3 or Metal Gear Solid can give you that you don’t have already? …


2020 was a difficult year, to put it mildly. Sure, I can tell you about covid or relationships deteriorating or medical emergencies or whatever, but I think you get it. You know.

So instead I’m going to tell you about something very, very cool that happened: A game I worked on came out.

One time I did something very stupid.

I was mad that some software had changed, and I was like, I don’t know, 23? 22? Young as shit, and a website I did all my Commenting on — a website that would somehow overlook how stupid I had been a few years later and give me money in exchange for words professionally — had changed its software. I wrote the poor editor in chief (who would later whip me into shape as a better writer and give me money to do it, which I am in awe of because I was…

null world fanart by @pabastien on twitter

I am hungry for good horror, and sometimes, that means figuring out why stuff doesn’t work. So, hey, don’t stop me if you’ve heard this one before, because it would be a really short article if we did that.

So, there’s this protagonist, and he’s just arrived at an isolated location. Maybe there are some people around, but usually not many. It’s far from civilization, desolate, probably dark. He cannot get help. He’s looking for his missing wife or girlfriend, maybe he’s had a shady past, he says something like “oh! my head!” …

Everyone tells you the sky turns green before a tornado, but until I saw it with my own eyes, I couldn’t comprehend it. That day, as we huddled in the basement of Sharon Baptist Church in Wichita, people prayed in hushed voices, and I thought about how the sky really did turn green.

I think I was 10.

I don’t know if I heard the tornado. I remember the sirens, but I grew up with a tornado siren — for most of my life, a Federal Signal 2T22 they tested every Tuesday— in my back yard, so that was nothing…

apparently I don’t have a lot of Doom screenshots for some reason

Doom is one of my favorite games of this generation. I love it. I have triple dipped on it, even though there’s no real point, since, y’know, I could just replay it on the first platform I bought it. Doom Eternal is not one of my favorite games of this generation, even though it is improved in so many ways, and on paper, is objectively a better game by every single metric. This discussion is, in part, meant to be an explanation for why that is.

But first, a funny story.

I almost died. Okay, maybe not so funny. But……

Back in 2012, I thought Uncharted 2 looked like the most amazing video game ever, and because I had just purchased a Playstation 3 from Gamestop, I decided to give it a whirl.

Some part of me was skeptical of all the praise it had got, but I couldn’t really imagine it being bad. The art looked amazing, the characters seemed to get along well, and while I’d heard that the game’s aiming was so bad on launch that they had to patch it (apparently they also did this for the first game?)…

Sometimes, something like this occurs: The Division 2 gets announced, it’s set in Washington, D.C., and a games critic hears that the developers have said “our game isn’t political,” and goes for a dunk about it.

But I want to try to dig into that a bit further, as someone who is an artist, was a critic, and graduated with three degrees that were all about art, cinema, communication, and creative expression. I feel like I’m pretty gosh darn qualified on the subject, and I’ll do my best to say stuff that, hopefully, you’ve never heard before.

I’m here to…

(do not attempt if baby. i screencapped this from a bon appetit episode where claire was taking over brad’s show ‘it’s alive’)

Hi. I’m Doc. I have chronic pain and chronic fatigue syndrome, which means that I can’t just store game consoles in closets and pull them out and set them up and whatever, because by the time I’m done, I’m usually too tired to do the things I wanted to do.

I have a dream. This dream is simple: hook all my consoles up to my tv, record or stream my gameplay, and share this gameplay with friends who can talk to me as I’m playing it on voice chat. …


this one has been hard.

You ever climbed a cliff face, only to find yourself at a loss as to where to go? Here is this mountain, a massive thing, full of handholds to grab, but for the life of you, you just can’t find one.

That’s been an Ace Combat essay for me for a long time, and the reason? Well… because Ace Combat takes place in the sky, which is big, vast, and empty. There isn’t a lot to do up there. …

GB 'Doc' Burford

I do some freelance work, game design consulting, and I’ve worked on games Hardspace: Shipbreakers and created games like Adios and Paratopic.

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