Animal Crossing’s masked money-man reveals himself through a quote, and you might too.

Tom Nook isn’t a subtle character. We see his desire for a utopia, flush with Bells and devoid of empty pockets, in almost every line of dialogue. From hair-brain scheme to fully functional island town hundreds of thousands of players have been scurrying across any number of islands working/playing for Mr. Nook. But how well do we know Tom? What does he do when we aren’t there to be bossed around? What does he READ?

The answer: Robert Frost.

About midway through the first week of play, Tom Nook will give the player 50 pieces of fencing. He encourages you…


From returning franchise Borderlands to behemoths like Destiny, games have a unique role in playing with iconic identities.

The first Borderlands released on October 20th, 2009. Nearly a decade ago, developer Gearbox pioneered a style of game that now litters the electronic landscape: first-person shooters stuffed to the gills with role-playing game (RPG) elements and loot.

While plenty of other series had experimented with RPG progression systems before, the loot is what set the game above and beyond its predecessors. Bright, colorful beams of light emanating from every corner of the bleak, outlaw filled world made progression feel constant and…


From the first round of Pong through the turn of the century, this miniseries lays the groundwork for today’s important questions.

I stumbled onto The Artists thanks to Twitter’s algorithm. I couldn’t even tell you who tweeted what, I just know a couple of weeks back I bookmarked a stylish looking mini-documentary series I had never heard of before. It looked polished and well made, just watching a trailer told me everything I needed to know before going in; The Artists wants to introduce a decades-old conversation about what games are and who makes them.

Each episode of the series…


The entire game is about continuing to enjoy yourself amidst the most political “politically void” game this year.

I ran up to the Washington Monument, hunched over, clambering behind waist high cover and toting a shotgun. The gun was decorated with an American filigree, a white pattern with red stars and blue stripes. The monument was still lit; in a violence-ridden city full of militia and violent “Hyenas” the lights stayed on.

The Division 2 prides itself on a lifelike recreation of Washington D.C. It painstakingly represents a square mile of the United States Capitol. …


Over the last decade, I have learned the value of curiosity through friends and sports. I’m convinced everyone should.

How do we choose what we like? Why do you follow what you do, across IG and Twitter for example? A lot of our choices are reactions, we see people we enjoy who are also interested and decide to extend our curiosity. I’ve been trying something else, instead of noticing what my friends have been interested, I decided to throw myself in. I looked at the world of options and decided to purposefully devote myself to one.

For the last three…


The hottest genre in gaming has had two stealth released entries in the last month, what can we learn from looking at them side-by-side? Why is this genre so popular?

From PUBG to Apex, its only getting harder to find room in the crowded Battle Royale market.

Apex: Legends released on February 4th to a huge groundswell of buzz and player support. Tetris 99 was launched in the middle of a Nintendo Direct as a free download for users of Nintendo’s online service. …


We are more interconnected than ever thanks to robust online games, but what happens when that turns ugly?

Imagine a dusty, windswept, western town. 50 paces apart stand two figures, one representing the law, clean and strong. On the other side a chaotic, slippery lawless outlaw. Meanwhile, gathered in every saloon window and crouched behind the water trough onlookers sit, all of us frozen, eager to see which gunslinger wins the day. …


Video Games are at a place novels have been before, and thats a good thing.

Why does Read Dead Redemption 2 seem like a piece of Hawthornes? (screenshot credit: stoney_memoirs)

For those unfamiliar with the antiquated white patriarch of American Romanticism, a brief background is in order. Nathaniel Hawthorne wrote in the mid-1800s and was immensely popular amongst those who had enough wealth to read at the time. If you have been (un)fortunate enough to run into the author it was likely with The Scarlet Letter, his 1850 novel heralded as an American classic. In that text, we follow a married woman, practically abandoned by her not-so-loving husband who has an affair as she navigates the social scrutiny of Puritan society. …

Ethan Horn

I write about books, games, and other things. MA in English with a focus in Game Studies. Texas-based.

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