News and views about writing, eating, gaming and watching


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?

Charlie Brooker arriving at the Baftas this year.
Charlie Brooker: Through a glass, darkly
By Helen Lewis - 15 November 9:15

“I mean, what is the point of me? I don’t really know.”

The new trailer for Grand Theft Auto V looks great, but how will I find the time to play it?
By Helen Lewis - 14 November 17:28

The new Rockstar game comes out in the second quarter of next year.

Rock Band, which is like Twitter, says Charlie Brooker.
Charlie Brooker: Why Twitter is like Rock Band
By Helen Lewis - 12 November 13:06

"There’s a pressure to have an opinion on every incremental development on everything," he says.

New Statesman
Undercover: behind the scenes of our Tory Special Issue
By Helen Lewis - 04 October 18:18

The evolution of the New Statesman's Blackadder cover.

New Statesman
The death of the Cromarty fisherfolk dialect
By Helen Lewis - 04 October 13:38

Listening to extinct languages and dialects is an eerie, but incredible, experience.

Ben Jennings's final artwork for the New Statesman cover.
Undercover: behind the scenes of our Labour Special Issue
By Helen Lewis - 28 September 16:52

How Ben Jennings's cartoon of Ed Miliband and Ed Balls made the front page of the New Statesman.

Martin Rowson's artwork for the NS cover.
Undercover: behind the scenes of our Lib Dem Special Issue
By Helen Lewis - 26 September 11:22

Featuring Martin Rowson's sketch of Nick Clegg and Vince Cable.

Laurence Pieau
Why the editor of Closer should get her tits out
By Helen Lewis - 15 September 9:24

Laurence Pieau thinks that the topless shots of the Duchess of Cambridge are "full of joy" and "not degrading". I won't believe it until I see her nipples.

The Church of Scientology, Vanity Fair and an astonishing lawyer's letter
By Helen Lewis - 10 September 16:04

"It is inconceivable (to the entire world) that Mr. Cruise would have difficulty getting a girlfriend," writes a lawyer for the Church.

Leon Knight, ex-footballer and noted misogynist, suspended from Twitter
By Helen Lewis - 06 September 12:51

His "Slag Alert Pictures" stunt backfired.

Naomi Wolf on Newsnight.
Naomi Wolf: Anonymity for rape accusers gives impunity to prosecutors
By Helen Lewis - 04 September 8:55

The Vagina author's odd comments on Newsnight.

Ah, Walking Bottom Shot. How I've missed you.
Borderlands has a "girlfriend" mode, because all gamers are straight guys, amirite?
By Helen Lewis - 13 August 13:05

Videogames need to get past these kneejerk assumptions about their target market.

VIDEO: Boris, Dave and Ed boogie to the Spice Girls
By Helen Lewis - 12 August 23:30

The gif that keeps on giving.

Provocative, entertaining, infuriating: I'm going to miss Louise Mensch
By Helen Lewis - 06 August 10:19

How many British backbenchers are reliably interesting?

A male-only athletics race from the London 2012 videogame.
The official Olympics videogame thinks women's sports are boring
By Helen Lewis - 30 July 11:20

Sega only likes women if they're in bikinis.

Gamers Against Bigotry is hacked... by gamers in favour of bigotry
By Helen Lewis - 24 July 11:59

A site which opposed racist, sexist language in online multiplayer is repeatedly taken down by hackers.

A 13-year-old girl receives the HPV vaccination.
It's outrageous to deny girls the cervical cancer vaccine on spurious religious grounds
By Helen Lewis - 18 July 12:23

A textbook moral panic is unsupported by facts.

Why are you feminists always complaining?
By Helen Lewis - 09 July 17:00

My response to Chris Dillow.

This is what online harassment looks like
By Helen Lewis - 06 July 9:30

Obscene images, hate sites and a game where people are invited to beat you up have been inflicted on Anita Sarkeesian.

How a rape survivor feels when you use rape jokes as smack-talk in video games
By Helen Lewis - 25 June 23:53

"Imagine for a moment what it's like to have game time, the thing you do to relax and escape from your troubles, interrupted by painful memories."