I've been a reporter, a military journalist, a photographer, and a science writer at different points in my career. Now I write about video games and their relationship with culture, with a focus on the intersection of games and the military.
Kerbal Space Program has a secret, but it's not hard to find - it just takes some time. As you fiddle with rocket configurations and fuel payloads, while you're nervously watching the countdown timer on the launchpad, as you adjust an orbital velocity, suddenly it happens: something clicks, and you get it.
'Project Hospital' screenshots courtesy of Oxymoron Games My father has always been a doctor, at least as far as I'm concerned. He was the director of a rural New York hospital for a decade, and he worked in family practice since before I was born.
The opening moments of the first-ever Star Wars film are among the most memorable in the entire series: Leia's Corellian Corvette fleeing from the gargantuan white wedge of a Star Destroyer, its irregular hull bristling with cannon turrets and gradually filling the screen.
When I sat down to play Magic: Legends at PAX East on Friday morning, I had an idea of what to expect - a new iteration on Magic: The Gathering, the granddaddy of trading card games.
Accessibility advocates talk about what Apex Legends gets right - and where it misses the mark - when it comes to making games more accessible. In the time since Apex Legends burst onto the scene, almost out of nowhere - the game has amassed a staggering 25 million players, hitting a peak of two million concurrent players, according to Respawn CEO Vince Zampella.
While he was deployed to eastern Afghanistan, Lt. Jonathan Bratten would trudge back to his hut after long shifts in his battalion headquarters and stare up at the Hindu Kush, the 500-mile-long range of snow-capped mountains that straddles the country's border with Pakistan.
Escape from Tarkov has seen a recent surge in popularity, thanks largely to big-name streamers with huge audiences who tuned in over the first week of the year, incentivised by the promise of valuable in-game loot drops.
Jim Watson / AFP / Getty Images We are living in the age of tacticool, and the AR-15 pattern rifle is the weapon of the age.
The stars have aligned again and called for an accounting of Korean War games. Really, it's two rather terrestrial factors at work here: The Koreas have been in the news again lately thanks to a dizzying 180 degree turn in foreign policy by President Donald Trump's administration, and The Wargamer...
Darkest Dungeon is dripping with H.P. Lovecraft: inky alien tentacles protrude through dimensional rifts in the game's fetid sewers, your characters' sanity is steadily drained as they trudge further into the darkness, and Wayne June (the narrator of several Lovecraft audiobooks) provides a fraught basso narration throughout it all.
All images courtesy Green Tree Games Take a quick look at your average World War II-themed game and you're likely to find a heavy emphasis on weapons.
Destiny 2 has had a rough time of late, what with players discovering that late-game grinding may very well be a gigantic waste of time, and the general hostility to microtransactions going around these days. Since its launch on PC in October, players have also groused about its strict communication rules: there's no in-game chat [...]
When Andrew W.K. took to the stage at Bethesda's E3 2018 showcase to perform 'Ready to Die' - his song which features in the live-action trailer for Rage 2 - it wasn't his first appearance in videogames. It wasn't even the first time he'd worked with Bethesda.
The settlement began with what can only be described as cautious optimism. The dwarfs made quick progress building their new mountain home during the first year despite the herds of vicious elephants outside. They found an underground stream that allowed them to irrigate indoor farms and began work on some rudimentary fortifications.
I've never been interested in hunting - you know, the kind hunters do, which involves getting up extremely early, wearing ridiculous outfits, and trudging around in the woods. But Monster Hunter: World lets me at least get a sense of the appeal.
It was while I was hurling yet another pipe wrench at the back of a security guard's unsuspecting skull that I had the thought, "Why aren't there any good detective games?" IO Interactive's Hitman (2016) isn't a detective game, but playing it now reminds me of the classic mystery stories I read years ago.
There's no pithy way to sum up the Vietnam War without cheapening events or glossing over crucial details of one of the most complicated conflicts of the modern era. What began as a regional shift in power dynamics after the departure of the occupying Japanese rule metastasized into a long...
There's a throwaway gag in a classic episode of The Simpsons when, faced with the shocking possibility of increased funding for his school, Principal Skinner says one of the possibilities ahead of him is "history books that know how the Korean War turned out." Like the show's best jokes, this...
There's nothing quite as satisfying as a well-managed production chain. Or at least, so I'm told. The coal-to-electricity complex I've designed is supposed to do three things: extract raw coal from the ground, process that coal ore into usable coal, and burn that to generate power.
Revenge is a dish best served cold, the ancient Klingon saying goes, and nobody knows this better than penguins. Having made the interstellar journey to this dusty backwater planet alongside my rugged band of frontier fighters, the penguins quickly proved themselves admirable fighters in our war against the vicious psychic bugs who had showed up first.
The surprise defeat of Robert E. Lee by George G. Meade's Army of the Potomac at Gettysburg marked both a high water mark for the Confederate army and a key turning point in the American Civil War.
Up near the Korean DMZ there's a place called Rodriguez Range. If you make the trek up the hill to the control tower, you can almost see the whole thing. Tank gunnery lanes stretch out for miles before you, curving around rugged mountains and eventually disappearing in the misty distance.
The horror stories embedded in our culture have mostly grown out of ancient folk wisdom. They're used to warn us against taboo behaviour and to scare the young away from danger. Don't go into the woods alone, they say, for scary creatures with sharp teeth live there.
There are those of us old enough to remember poring over BattleTech books, who remember the plastic models of FASA's table-top tactics, and who remember the story that underpinned MechWarrior 3, a game that stunned us at the time with its landmark 3D graphics.
Okay so get this rap, cats: You got you yer motorcycles, you got yer steampunk, you got you yer sadboy walking to the right. It can't go wrong, right? This is a sure thing.
An urban setting doesn't add much to the already strong turn-based combat. Frozen Synapse 2 follows up on 2011's excellent turn-based tactical combat game with another round of meticulously planned shootouts. Its new ideas are a little sparse, though, mostly centered around a single-player campaign in a massive city that looks a lot deeper than it actually is.
Developer: Texel Raptor Publisher: Texel Raptor Release: November 29th, 2018 On: Windows, Mac, Linux From: Steam Price: £25, $30, €30 The noisy, chaotic, and slightly illegal feel of the carnivals of my youth isn't quite present in Parkitect. instead, its spaces are idyllic and peaceful, the twinkling lights of the Tilt-o-Whirl and Ferris wheels highlight [...]