Sunday, December 28, 2014

Stuff I Wrote in 2014

The end of 2013 was a turning point for me as far as my writing goes. I couldn’t be more grateful for the great response to my Kotaku feature story on the Chicago indie gaming scene, and my fantastic internship at PC Mag made my actual journalism school graduation six months later feel like just a formality. In 2014 I tried to keep that freelance momentum going and ended up writing a bunch of stories for a ton of awesome publications that, a few years ago, I never imagined I’d break into so soon. I think I did some of my best work in 2014, and it just so happened to fit in a nice, chronological, top ten list.

Best O' 2014

Obligatory Blog. Obligatory Awards.

Top 5 Games of 2014

5. Mario Kart 8

It’s the most beautiful Wii U game, it’s the best playing Mario Kart to date, the DLC is fantastic, and it dominated my free time towards the end of my college career. Too bad they ruined battle mode.

4. Transistor

I didn’t love Bastion as much as everyone else did. It was pretty and sounded nice but the style was incoherent and the fighting was dull. Transistor took everything good about that game and fixed all the flaws with a brilliant, creative combat system and haunting, ruined, yet still classy cyber world.

3. Bayonetta 2

Above all else, I am a fan of ridiculousness, and there was no other game this year that featured more, better ridiculousness than the continuing adventures of gaming’s favorite sexy librarian dominatrix bullet hair witch in Bayonetta 2.

2. Threes!

You can read my thoughts on why this is the best mobile game of the year over on 148Apps.

1. Super Smash Bros. for Wii U

Still hate the name, but Super Smash Bros. for Wii U is the best entry in my favorite series so how could it not top my list, even if its 3DS counterpart doesn’t feel entirely necessary.

More after the break.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

The "Good" Gamer's Dilemma

My first, and hopefully last, article on GamerGate, specifically the untenable position of its moderates. There's a lot to it.

Check it out!

Friday, October 10, 2014


I wrote a feature called "Milestones" about pivotal moments in game developers' careers. Download this week's issue of Unwinnable and check it out!

Monday, August 11, 2014

The Rise of Facebook Games and Teaching the Game Developers of Tomorrow

In 2011 I wrote a pair of features I'm very proud of for Yahoo's contributor program. Unfortunately, the program has now been shut down leaving these stories without a home. So I fixed that. Here they are!

The Rise of Facebook Games and Teaching the Game Developers of Tomorrow

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Video Games' Afrofuturism Frontier

My first feature for Media Diversified examines what video games could stand to learn from the Afrofuturism artistic aesthetic. Check it out!

Sunday, June 29, 2014

On the Politics of Pikmin

You know what's awful and tedious about being a journalist? Transcribing hours of interviews. You know what's a great distraction from transcribing interviews? Having a wonderfully thoughtful conversation on the nature and ideology of Nintendo's Pikmin series with my good friend and fellow recent Medill graduate Anna "Anne" Frank. So here it is, mildly edited.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

So I Graduated College...

Today, I graduated from Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism. So I'm now just a journalist, not a journalism student. When I tweeted that out, game developer Gut Shot Games tweeted me this picture back.

So I'm not just a journalist, but, now more than ever, a games journalist.

I don't even like dogs.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

"Halt and Catch Fire" Pilot Review

“Halt and Catch Fire” is proof that no matter how many things a TV show has going against it, all I need to give it a chance is a premise that speaks to my niche interests. Sure it’s another desperate attempt by AMC to finally have another show that’s actually good once “Mad Men” joins “Breaking Bad” in the great channel in the sky. Sure the main character is just another hyper competent, amoral, successful, white male anti-hero. And sure the title is basically for no one. But how can I not watch a series about the early 1980s PC boom? I was willing to tolerate the TV movie cheesiness of Pirates of Silicon Valley so of course I’m going to watch this.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Stubborn Gorilla: The Wonderfully Weird Ballad of Donkey Kong

     Did you think I had forgotten about this blog? Hot, original content coming  at you! Check out this thing I wrote about the strange history of my favorite Nintendo franchise: Donkey Kong.

     And if you aren't already, please follow me on Twitter @JordanWMinor. It's my main e-hangout space these days.

Considering the game named after him is what first put Nintendo on the map, Donkey Kong should be a pretty big deal. And yet, over 30 years after his arcade debut, he remains a B-level franchise at best. He's certainly no Legend of Zelda, and although he continues to appear in various Mario spinoffs, Super Mario 3D World got the big holiday release spot while Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze was pushed to last February. However, existing in this strange space between "important enough to keep around" and "not important enough to hang our hopes onto" has made Donkey Kong's history one of the most enjoyably bizarre among Nintendo's more prominent mascots.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Watch "Who Wore it Best?"

Remember when I said video was the future? Well the future is now! Check out my new video show for 148Apps where similar iPhone and iPad games go head to head and I pick a winner.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Coding Clementines: Black Girls Make Games, Too

Here's my new, big video game feature story! This time for The Escapist. Just in time for Black History Month, I wrote about what it was like teaching game design to minority children at The Generation Station summer camp last year as well as the world of educational games in general.