It seems I don’t have anything interesting to say this week. So here’s a list of writers who do!
- Mattie Brice writes about videogames a lot. Unlike most videogame journalists, however, her writing style is neither obsessively technical nor academically detached–she approaches all her writing with a fierce individualism and a strong commitment to broader perspective that is sorely lacking in videogames. You won’t find stat breakdowns or frame rate counts in her reviews, and you won’t find excessive academic jargon in her critiques; instead, you’ll find thoughtful and articulate musings, analyses, and manifestos on how games relate to our wider culture, and how we can relate back.
- Chris Bateman writes about videogames a lot too, but he also maintains an interest in a broad range of topics, especially the intersection between science and philosophy. Though his tone is much more academic than Brice’s, he writes with a clarity and open-mindedness that is refreshing in academic works and in philosophical writing particularly. I have yet to read a piece of his writing without at some point going “huh, that’s an interesting thought”–and unlike most philosophers, those thoughts frequently have actual applications!
- Finally, Paul Graham is one of the most intelligent, readable, and influential people writing about computers today. Though the subject matter of most of his essays focuses on his interests (computer programming and technology startups, mainly) nearly all of them can be read with no prior knowledge of the subject, and in every case he tries to tie the topic in to some broader theme of interest (e.g. effective communication, or the nature of beauty). Though I don’t agree with everything he says (and since some of his older essays were written years ago, he probably doesn’t either), and he occasionally suffers from the naive short-sightedness endemic to all people of privilege, he invariably has something interesting to say and he almost always says it well. If Brice is the heart and Bateman is the eyes, then Paul Graham is the head.
How about you? Who are your favorite internet writers?