New Statesman bloggers nominated for Games Media Awards

Helen Lewis and Phil Hartup shortlisted.

New Statesman videogame writers Helen Lewis and Phil Hartup have been nominated in the Games Media Awards.

Lewis is shortlisted for mainstream magazine writer of the year, and Hartup in the blogs category for Killing Time, where he has written about being embedded in Eve Online, the secret of scary games, and asked: what if you feel sorry for the people you're shooting?

New Statesman contributors Simon Parkin and Cara Ellison have also been nominated. You can read Parkin's essay on game violence and Ellison's satirical "There's No Sexism in Gaming" on the New Statesman site by following the links.

Lewis said: "People thought it was weird when they first started noticing articles about videogames in the New Statesman. But we treat television, film and theatre as serious cultural subjects, so why not games? It's been a pleasure to publish so many talented writers over the last year, in a range of styles. The best videogame writing is up there with anything else other genres produce. Phil's blog has been a huge success for us and his articles are regularly among our most-read. It shows there's an appetite for funny, incisive, intelligent commentary on games, even if the games themselves are sometimes quite silly."

The winners will be announced on 10 October. Here are the nominations in full:

 

SPECIALIST WRITER – PRINT

Michael Gapper, Edge

Rich McCormick, PC Gamer

Gillen McAlllister, Gamereactor

Matthew Castle, ONM

Jason Killingsworth, Edge

Joel Gregory, OPM

 

SPECIALIST WRITER – ONLINE

Christian Donlan, Eurogamer

Jon Blyth, OXM

Keza MacDonald, IGN

Simon Parkin, Eurogamer

Andy Kelly, CVG

Steve Hogarty, PCGamesN

Rob Crossley, CVG

Oli Welsh, Eurogamer

 

NATIONAL NEWSPAPER WRITER

Matt Kamen, The Observer

Keith Stuart, The Guardian

David Jenkins, Metro

Lee Price, The Sun

Dan Silver, Sunday Mirror

Talal Musa, Daily Mail

 

GAMES MAGAZINE

PC Gamer

Edge

GamesTM

Xbox 360: The Official Xbox Magazine

Gamereactor

Retro Gamer

 

MAINSTREAM MAGAZINE WRITER

Rory Buckeridge, Nuts

Julia Hardy, Front

Matt Hill, T3

Daniel Nye Griffiths, Wired

Simon Ward, Zoo

Helen Lewis, New Statesman

Jonathan Pile, Shortlist

 

GAMES WEBSITE

IGN

Eurogamer

Videogamer

Rock Paper Shotgun

Pocketgamer

CVG

PCGamesN

VG247

 

GAMES BLOG

Midnight Resistance

Killing Time

Ready Up

Fifasoccerblog.com

Average Gamer

The Game Jar

 

GAMES VIDEO

OXM Breakdown

Videogamer TV

The Blurb

Feedbackula, Gamespot

PlayStation Access

SB.TV

Yogscast

 

GAMES RADIO/PODCAST

Adam Rosser, Radio Five Live

Guy Cocker’s Podcast

This is my Joystick

IGN UK Podcast

Gamespot UK Podcast

OneLifeLeft

 

COVERAGE BY A MAINSTREAM WEBSITE

Askmen

Digital Spy

BT Games

Sci-fi London.com

Sabotage Times

Huffington Post

 

RISING STAR

Daniel Krupa, IGN

Bex May, AskMen

Sam White, Future

Vaughn Highfield, Pocket Gamer

Ben Griffin, CVG

Cara Ellison, Freelance

 

TOP TWEETER

Steve Hogarty @misterbrilliant

Andrew Kelly @ultrabrilliant

Gav Murphy @cymrogav

Glans Gruber @gamewank_jim

Rob Crossley @Rob_Crossley_

Sean Bell @CaptainToss

Lee Bradley @Lee_Bradley

Martin Gaston @squidmani

 

HEINZ BAUMANN/GALLERY STOCK
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With the BBC Food’s collection under threat, here's how to make the most of online recipes

Do a bit of digging, trust your instincts – and always read the comments.

I don’t think John Humphrys is much of a chef. Recently, as his Today co-presenter Mishal Husain was discussing the implications of the BBC’s decision to axe its Food website (since commuted to transportation to the Good Food platform, run by its commercial arm), sharp-eared listeners heard the Humph claim that fewer recipes on the web could only be a good thing. “It would make it easier!” he bellowed in the background. “We wouldn’t have to choose between so many!”

Husain also seemed puzzled as to why anyone would need more than one recipe for spaghetti bolognese – but, as any keen cook knows, you can never have too many different takes on a dish. Just as you wouldn’t want to get all your news from a single source, it would be a sad thing to eat the same bolognese for the rest of your life. Sometimes only a molto autentico version, as laid down by a fierce Italian donna, rich with tradition and chopped liver, will do – and sometimes, though you would never admit it in a national magazine, you crave the comfort of your mum’s spag bol with grated cheddar.

The world wouldn’t starve without BBC Food’s collection but, given that an online search for “spaghetti bolognese recipe” turns up about a million results, it would have been sad to have lost one of the internet’s more trustworthy sources of information. As someone who spends a large part of each week researching and testing recipes, I can assure you that genuinely reliable ones are rarer than decent chips after closing time. But although it is certainly the only place you’ll find the Most Haunted host Yvette Fielding’s kedgeree alongside Heston Blumenthal’s snail porridge, the BBC website is not the only one that is worth your time.

The good thing about newspaper, magazine and other commercial platforms is that most still have just enough budget to ensure that their recipes will have been made at least twice – once by the writer and once for the accompanying photographs – though sadly the days when everyone employed an independent recipe tester are long gone. Such sites also often have sufficient traffic to generate a useful volume of comments. I never make a recipe without scrolling down to see what other people have said about it. Get past the “Can’t wait to make this!” brigade; ignore the annoying people who swap baked beans for lentils and then complain, “This is nothing like dhal”; and there’s usually some sensible advice in there, too.

But what about when you leave the safety of the big boys and venture into the no man’s land of the personal blog? How do you separate the wheat from the chaff and find a recipe that actually works? You can often tell how much work a writer has put in by the level of detail they go into: if they have indicated how many people it serves, or where to find unusual ingredients, suggested possible tweaks and credited their original sources, they have probably made the dish more than once. The photography is another handy clue. You don’t have to be Annie Leibovitz to provide a good idea of what the finished dish ought to look like.

Do a bit of digging as part of your prep. If you like the look of the rest of the site, the author’s tastes will probably chime with your own. And always, always, wherever the recipe is from, read it all the way through, even before you order the shopping. There is nothing more annoying than getting halfway through and then realising that you need a hand blender to finish the dish, just as the first guest arrives.

Above all, trust your instincts. If the cooking time seems far too short, or the salt content ridiculously high, it probably is, so keep an eye on that oven, check that casserole, keep tasting that sauce. As someone who once published a magic mince pie recipe without any sugar, I’m living proof that, occasionally, even the very best of us make mistakes. 

Felicity Cloake is the New Statesman’s food columnist. Her latest book is The A-Z of Eating: a Flavour Map for Adventurous Cooks.

This article first appeared in the 26 May 2016 issue of the New Statesman, The Brexit odd squad