Making Games Better

‘Making Games Better’ is a series of essays which look to analyse classic, sometimes underrated, videogames to better understand the complicated work and design decisions which bring interactive entertainment to life.

Future instalments will focus on the ways in which some of my favourite games of all time have shaped the games industry, including Fallout 3, Batman: Arkham City, The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker and Metal Gear Solid 3. However, I am also interested in discussing broader issues such as how historical periods and concepts could best be explored through the medium of interactive entertainment.

Ultimately, I intend to explain and justify my own pitches for games through this format, after having thoroughly considered what makes other games in the medium so impactful and entertaining. 

If you have any ideas for an essay, drop me a message and share. I’m sure you’ll spur a thought or concept which I hadn’t considered. I know the writing is repetitive in places, but the more think pieces like this I write the more I will improve. Maybe.

Thanks for reading.

All the best,


Blurring Genres, Lives and Design in Open-World Mosaics: Why ‘Grand Theft Auto IV’ Made Games Better

INMATE: A Spiritual Successor to ‘Bully’ by Rockstar Games


A WORLD WITHOUT END: The Spiritual Successor to ‘The Warriors’ by Rockstar Games


IT ALWAYS ENDS WITH BLOOD: The Spiritual Successor to ‘L.A. Noire’ by Rockstar Games and Team Bondi

Mechanically-Grounded Storytelling: Why ‘The Last of Us’ Made Games Better


Linear Open-World Narratives: A Case Study in Entering and Exiting Pittsburgh


Live at Five: ‘Black Mirror’ Story Treatment and Script Sample


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Hi, there. I’m James, a History graduate currently working in the United Kingdom.

Although this blog has bolder intentions, ultimately it stems from an honest ambition. Having made up a massive portion of my childhood, in recent years I have found myself reading more about games than actually playing them. The philosophical challenge of theory craft, interweaving story and gameplay into a single experience, fascinates me. Indeed, it is something I wish to be involved with at some point in the future. Likewise, I often think about what the interactive medium as a whole will look like in the next twenty years and what role I will have within it.

After imagining what games can and will become, and seeing the industry diversify to an exceptional extent in the last five years, Making Games Better is my first step towards gaining entry into an industry which has genuinely affected how I approach crafting fiction of my own.

With this in mind, this blog serves as my hobby for 2017. I have always put writing on the backburner when developing my own career. Now the time has come for me to take writing seriously and develop the craft in any way I can. I want to write fiction, including more satirical and humorous pieces, but to begin with the goal is to keep within my comfort zone by writing essays. Although I have never written think pieces like the ones you will read on this site, it is important that I diversify by experimenting with this type of writing first.

Still, the goal is not simply to write about games but also publish my thoughts and have them be critiqued by others. Currently, the only work I have published is within academia, using historical facts and interdisciplinary theories to structure my argument and give it weight. When time makes itself available in between work and everyday life, this is where I will publish my more creative opinions and arguments.

The essays published here will become more succinct as time goes on and I focus my energy writing about topics I believe matter most and deserve to be written about. Practice makes perfect, so I hope to see a genuine improvement in my ability to communicate through writing in the coming months.

Thanks for visiting the blog. I hope you enjoy what you read.


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