News and views about writing, eating, gaming and watching


Ed Miliband with his former advisers Katie Myler and Polly Billington. Getty
If Ed Miliband wants more women in public life, he can start with his own team
By Helen Lewis - 28 June 15:22

The Labour leader presides over an admirably mixed frontbench - but things aren't so rosy in the policy-making back rooms.

Iain Banks.
Away the Crow Road
By Helen Lewis - 20 June 11:17

Remembering Iain Banks, an intensely political writer.

Melanie Phillips appearing on BBC Question Time.
Read Melanie Phillips' memoir and politely disagree: it will annoy her
By Helen Lewis - 19 June 11:05

A fascinating psychological portrait of a woman who seems to feel most alive when under fire.

A Little Sister in BioShock.
No, the Internet, YOU shut up
By Helen Lewis - 11 June 11:37

Anita Sarkeesian's call for more female protagonists in videogames attracted the standard level of vitriol. Here is why that's an important issue.

Squeamishness costs lives: Why the world needs better loos
By Helen Lewis - 05 June 10:54

Somehow I don’t think I’ll get many takers for my next Faeces Are A Feminist Issue rally.

We must threaten women with rape to save comedy, says the internet
By Helen Lewis - 05 June 9:58

When Lindy West says that bad rape jokes are the last refuge of the lazy, unfunny comedian, threatening to rape her is not the most convincing way to demolish her argument.

The Invisible Men Project.
"What do you think about his choice?": uncovering the men who visit prostitutes
By Helen Lewis - 10 May 12:32

The Invisible Men Project aims to reveal what men who visit sex workers think about the women involved.

Luisa, a 40-year-old nanny, photographed by Lina Bertucci.
Will a tattoo ever hang in the Louvre?
By Helen Lewis - 24 April 12:58

Meet the unconventional art historians trying to discover what it means for an image to be marked on the body.

Ding Dong: a puerile joke has been turned into an act of defiance
By Helen Lewis - 12 April 9:50

I have five thoughts on the row about the BBC playing an anti-Thatcher song.

Meera Syal
Reviewed: Fifty Shades of Feminism
By Helen Lewis - 08 April 13:48

Woman’s hour.

Talking yourself into jail, the “sidebar of shame” and the lonely Falklands Three
By Helen Lewis - 21 March 8:02

Also: how many journalists does it take to watch some smoke change colour?

Lara Croft in the 1990s.
The five most retrospectively creepy pieces about Lara Croft
By Helen Lewis - 05 March 11:32

Games journalism has come on a lot in a little over a decade.

Why don't women speak out about sexual harassment? Here's why
By Helen Lewis - 25 February 16:37

Whistleblowers are often incredibly badly treated - even when they have sheaves of documents to prove wrongdoing. Imagine being a whistleblower when you know that half your listeners don't think that being patted on the leg sounds like such a big deal, an

Reeva Steenkamp: our media invites you to ogle a dead woman
By Helen Lewis - 15 February 11:45

Tasteless photos of the woman found dead at the home of Oscar Pistorius.

What it's like to be a victim of Don't Start Me Off's internet hate mob
By Cath Elliott - 27 January 11:42

DSMO, the website that abused Mary Beard, did far more than host threads dedicated to obscenity and offence. Its users took delight in bullying and harrassing their victims.

The YSL catwalk: it's not just women's fashion that has a problem with extreme thinness
By Helen Lewis - 21 January 14:37

Male models at Hedi Slimane's show for Yves Saint Laurent looked ill, tired - and unhealthily skinny.

The six most absurd booth babe moments at CES
By Helen Lewis - 10 January 13:42

Because nothing makes you interested in tech products like oiled buttocks. That's, like, science.

Revelation without contemplation: the problem with Navel Gazing
By Helen Lewis - 10 January 10:29

Anne H Putnam's memoir about obesity reviewed.

Michael Gove, celebrating his curves
A wig for WikiLeaks, the political party for men and Michael Gove’s curves
By Helen Lewis - 03 January 5:17

Helen Lewis's "First Thoughts" column.

Dys4ia, the game.
Game Theory: talking videogames at the New York Times
By Helen Lewis - 31 December 12:44

Games as ballet, a playwright on the medium, and (sorry) me talking about ladies, again.

Anita Sarkeesian.
Anita Sarkeesian and the gamification of misogyny
By Helen Lewis - 07 December 10:52

How internet communities encourage bad behaviour online.

Jonathan Blow's Braid.
A videogames critical reader, by Liz Ryerson
By Helen Lewis - 06 December 11:33

All the best reading, digested.

Unamazing Grace
By Helen Lewis - 06 December 7:25

Grace Coddington's memoir is neither brutally honest nor amusingly bonkers. Thank God for the cat psychic.

Xcom. Courtesy Flickr/JBLivin
When you say nothing at all
By Helen Lewis - 06 December 7:04

What makes you care about a videogame character? Clue: it's not ladles of expository dialogue.

The Japanese videogame Catherine.
Where to find good videogames criticism
By Helen Lewis - 03 December 14:19

Brendan Keogh cuts through the dross to uncover the best writing about games anywhere on the internet.

Journey, for the PlayStation 3.
How much games criticism does anyone need?
By Helen Lewis - 28 November 10:02

Videogame writer Ed Stern argues that "video games as a medium are not going to gain cultural legitimacy or worth through the attention of critics or theorists - it's going to be because the games are good".

A still from Far Cry 3.
How to create compelling videogame characters, by Far Cry 3's lead writer
By Helen Lewis - 22 November 17:47

"How the world reacts to your character tells you who you are," says Jeffrey Yolahem.

The Discworld, travelling through space on the back of Great A'Tuin
“There’s no justice. There’s just us”: Helen Lewis on the politics of Pratchett
By Helen Lewis - 21 November 9:43

A common misconception about Pratchett’s work is the fantasy setting divorces it from the real world. Nothing could be further from the truth.

A still from Dishonored.
Why are we still so bad at talking about video games?
By Helen Lewis - 20 November 11:58

In the past 30 years, video games have become more beautiful, more intricate and more intense - but we still lack a critical language to evaluate them. Will we ever move beyond previews and reviews?