[Conference Paper] Endless Nineties: the perennial aesthetic of ‘grimdark’ games (Gothic Styles, Gothic Substance; University of Manchester, October 2017)

The early 1990s saw a kind of crystallisation in gaming aesthetics, centred on games that either squinted towards Gothic or outright claimed a place in the culture and tradition: Warhammer 40,000 and Vampire: the Masquerade on the tabletop, Alone in the Dark and Wolfenstein on the PC. These games are genre-defining, persistent, and - to …

[Conference Paper] The Horror of Bradensbrook: Gothic Co-Ordinates in World of Warcraft (Gothic Spaces, University of Sheffield, May 2017)

https://youtu.be/u5yeSR_f_x8 Transcript Introduction Somehow - don’t ask me how - I managed to confuse the word “Bradensbrook” with the word “Ravenholdt” when submitting this abstract. Or maybe it was “Black Rook Hold” with “Ravenholdt”. Or it might have been “Rooksguard”... or “Ravencrest”... Thing is, this confusion allows me to make a point. World of Warcraft …

[Book Chapter] The Conqueror Worm: E. R. Eddison, Modernism and the Great War (Baptism of Fire, Mythopoeic Press, 2015)

Literary critics who are into modernism have this unfortunate habit of claiming everything and anything as modernist. I wanted to see how far that would fly with Eddison, who is after all profoundly un-modern and has little in common with the Eliots, the Joyces and the Woolfs despite being active in the same general period. Hence …