Today, the guy behind the counter in my local Tesco, a slightly podgy Indian chap with a big boil on the side of his nose, caught sight of one of my badges. He frowned. ‘Why you say… We can’t all be astronauts?’ He pointed at the big blue badge, with the title of my soon-to-be-actually-published-and-real-book … Read more

The first game I ever worked on was an RTS space sim called Nexus – The Jupiter Incident. It was developed by a Hungarian company called Mithis, who wrote a script, then had it translated into English by a native Hungarian speaker. This was where I came in. It was my job to take the … Read more

So, in case you don’t know, I’m kicking off a pilgrimage to open mic nights big and small all over the country (and a few beyond). I’ve got a tentative itinerary, although given that these events are mostly run by diligent amateurs, I’ve got to expect that I may turn up in a couple of … Read more

Since you asked, Cone O’ Tragedy‘s most popular feature is my weekly interviews with UK performance poets. We’ve heard from Dockers MC, Polarbear, Nathan Filer, Yanny Mac and Nathan Jones. This week, it’s the turn of Joel Stickley. [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rjBUymEywto] How did you get into performance poetry? I saw Luke Wright perform a few poems at … Read more

After yesterday’s second We Can’t All Be Astronauts comic by Line And A Dot, I just happened to be browsing through some of (MS Paint Adventures creator) Andrew Hussie’s other web comics, when I stumbled across a couple of awesome, deceptively simple single-premise series that made me chortle like the mentally subnormal. ‘Inappropriate Time For … Read more

Hooray! Line And A Dot has released a second nose-tingling installment of We Can’t All Be Astronauts, the graphic novel adaptation (the text version of which is TOTALLY available to pre-order on Amazon!). Click on the pic below for a bigger image, and click here for part one.

I’m a broken man. In my infinite naivety, I believed that any game called Ninja Clowns would have to represent some high watermark of human endeavour. Because, you know – they’re ninja fucking clowns, dude. Turns out that the obscure 1991 side-scrolling beat ’em up Ninja Clowns is literally one of the worst games ever … Read more

How did you get into performance poetry? There were some important men in my life early on. Mainly Ginsberg, then Gershwin lyrics, then the terrible Thomases (Dylan and R.S)… and Eliot! Where am I going with this? Through certain half deserted streets, probably. So anyway reading Eliot really gave me a kick up the arse … Read more

Who’s this ludicrous pillock? I hear you bleat. Well, c’est moi. I know. Reason insists I chose my wardrobe while distracted by hideous grief. What can I say? I’m a maverick. Pics by Katie Utting: kattie_utting@yahoo.com Preparations for the Open Mic campaign continue at considerable pace. Get in touch if you’ve got any open mic … Read more

Sitting alone in my Cambridge flat, guzzling cans of discount energy drink Relentless and eating bowl upon bowl of Coco Pops, I got to thinking about cereal mascots, and the tragic life of (now sadly defunct) Professor Weetos, a scientific genius who squanders his knowledge by only working on inventions that relate to Weetos. [SCENE … Read more

So yes, I do a bit of moonlighting on another blog, Mercy Recommends. For a whole bunch of weeks now, I’ve been posting a regular feature every weekend, one which I call: ‘Video Games: A Cultural History’. The tone oscillates between irritatingly flippant and a kind of Simon Schama esque middlebrow patrician didacticism, and I … Read more

Following on from yesterday’s post about MS Paint Adventures, I thought I’d point you in the direction of some funbox online adventure games. If you head to the ‘Games’ section of the Homestar Runner website, you can play a whole bunch o’ affectionate parodies that are actually pretty sweet games in their own right. The … Read more

So, a while back, the ever-awesome Metafilter put me onto this exchange, between gaming legend Tim Schafer – who worked on Monkey Island, Day of the Tentacle and Grim Fandago, amongst others – and joystiq.com. In it, Tim and his interviewers turn a simple email exchange into an adlibbed mini text adventure. It’s a lovely, … Read more

Previously, we’ve heard from Dockers MC, Polarbear and Nathan Filer. This week, I spoke to gravelly-voiced raconteur Yanny Mac. Yanny Mac has performed at Glastonbury, The Edinburgh Fringe, Latitude and the Port Eliot Lit Fest. He compered the Poetry Arena at Latitude in 2007, with his buddy Pikey Paddy, and until recently, they both hosted … Read more

In an act of either laudable pecuniary acumen or savage recklessness, the Arts Council have elected to underwrite the beginning of my forthcoming project. If you take a peek at my Myspace page, you’ll see I’ve already got a nice little run of gigs coming up in April and May. But most of them aren’t … Read more

Here’s Guy from Final Fight looking understandably displeased: By inserting more money, you make a knife fall from the ceiling. Although it doesn’t appear to sever the fuse or your bonds, Guy appears nonetheless delighted:

As you may have picked up from my previous post, I just finished a mini-tour with Ross Sutherland and Joe Dunthorne called Found In Translation, about language games and our attempts to infiltrate experimental French literature group the Oulipo. In the show, we pass it all off as frivolous japes, but in reality, experimenting with … Read more

Last week, I talked to Polarbear, the week before it was Dockers MC. Today, it’s the turn of Nathan Filer. http://vimeo.com/moogaloop.swf?clip_id=2458754&server=vimeo.com&show_title=0&show_byline=0&show_portrait=0&color=ffffff&fullscreen=1GOTH vs EMO from nathan filer on Vimeo. How did you get into performance poetry? Ten years ago I was living in Greece and working as an hotel entertainer. I was utterly useless. One holidaymaker … Read more

As some of you may or may not care, I just finished a mini-tour of our show Found In Translation, the story of my, Ross Sutherland, and Joe Dunthorne’s attempts to infiltrate the infamous French experimental literature group, the Oulipo, a group so radical and misunderstood that many people still don’t believe us when we … Read more

I have nothing to add to this, except: ‘Nooooooooooooooo!’

Since I may be without internet access for a few days, I thought I’d go ahead and post another continue screen. This is one of my my favourites, winning the coveted ‘Most Shamelessly Manipulative Arcade Game’ award. What makes it worse is that Toki is one of the hardest platformers ever created. You’ve got a … Read more

The shrewder amongst you may have discerned that this blog, far from being a innocently whimsical aggregation of my daily musings, is in fact a massive shill for my forthcoming non-fiction debut, We Can’t All Be Astronauts – which comes out on June 4, and you can preorder now (at a substantial discount). If you’re … Read more

Last week, I spoke to Dockers MC. This week, it’s the turn of the prodigiously talented Polarbear. How did you get into performance poetry? My best mate told me it was just rhyming without a beat and that I should get on stage at a poetry night in Birmingham. He had no idea what it … Read more

Lest we forget, video games are commercial enterprises designed to cajole/extort as much revenue from punters as possible. With the decline of the arcade, comes the death of the ‘Continue?’ screen. Coin-ops used a variety of strategies to try to convince players to reinvest – over the next few weeks, I’ll post up some of … Read more