I’ve been putting this post off for a while, but only because I’ve been too busy to actually read the rest of the issue that my article is in. I still haven’t read it, which I’m ashamed of, but since the new issue just came out I should probably put this up.
I’m really excited to finally post here that I have a story in Issue #3 (officially the fourth issue) of Kill Screen magazine. It’s an independent quarterly magazine that launched last year, and I liken it to the literary journal equivalent for games writing. You won’t find reviews, previews, or roundups of tangentially-related games here. No, each themed issue spotlights a smattering of stories from some really fantastic writers in the industry, dealing with topics in and around games that fall well outside the standard areas of coverage. It also happens to be an impeccably designed book every quarter, and I’m hugely honored to have had my pitch accepted and printed in the issue. As unfortunately noted, I still haven’t read the issue, but I already feel dead certain that my piece pales in comparison to most of the writing in here.
And amazingly, it’s sort of a collaborative family piece, because not only is my wife a beautiful and amazing person, but she also happens to be a great photographer. So while I handled all the words, my wife snapped the photos that accompany them, and we’re each given a credit on the piece. And while I don’t think she’s actually read the article or visited the website, I’m pretty happy to say they’ve been using the splash intro page from the piece on the website for the last three months.
My piece is titled “Commuter Pain” and is located from pages 76-79 — and the tag line is “Me, my wife, and a train.” Indeed, the article is partially about my wife, which is the first time I’ve written something with that much of a personal connection. But it’s also about the Chicago Brown Line train, and more notably, about the Japanese train simulator — 2006’s Railfan for PlayStation 3 — that spotlighted the train line with high-definition video footage. I’d found out about the game some time ago and was very curious, and it generated the idea to import it (at a personal cost of $100) and play it with my wife, then gage her reactions. The Kill Screen issue is “The Intimacy Issue,” and my pitch dealt with her familiarity of the day-to-day commute that she loathes and how it pertains to this digital representation of it.
I think the whole process made her a little uncomfortable, but it also generated some curiosity and we both found it a very peculiar experience. And it spawned the Kill Screen article, which I’m immensely proud of — both for the subject matter and my approach, but also for having a piece in such a smart, different kind of publication. You can purchase the issue for $12 at the Kill Screen website or subscribe for a year for $40, which would be a really intelligent move on your part. Seriously. Issue #4, the Public Play issue, is out now. I’m readying a pitch (in my mind, at least) for Issue #5, so hopefully I’ll have something more to share in a few months.