› Alex Wiltshire

TK-80

I write about videogames, design and technology. I am author of books including Minecraft Blockopedia and Home Computers, a former editor of Edge magazine, and also contribute to Rock Paper Shotgun, PC Gamer, and various other places. I am publishing editor for Mojang, where I help to publish books about Minecraft, and a member of the PC gaming podcast The Crate & Crowbar.
February 23, 2021

I’m no poet, but I found myself writing a poem. I listened to Blur’s song Oily Water, which I’d ripped years ago from my CD of their album Modern Life is Rubbish, and heard in it a little audio aberration which I’d forgotten about but was immediately familiar. For me, it’s even part of the song, since I’m not sure I’ve ever heard Oily Water that hasn’t originated from that CD.

I know what caused it: a mark on the reflective playing surface which I noticed way back when I bought the CD in the mid-1990s. But coming across it in 2021 brought home how that song has been a part of my life for so long, despite hardly being a favourite, and how such a tiny blip of happenstance has subtly transformed a mass-produced piece of digital media into something that’s entirely personal to me.

Anyway, yes, so I wrote a poem.

December 30, 2020

Taken by my daughter in our back garden during the first lockdown

It’s pretty well-established that 2020 was “a weird one” and also “bad”, and my line of work has been affected by it in various ways. But I’ve been incredibly lucky to have been able to continue working throughout on various books, articles and other projects. Here’s my year in work.

December 8, 2020

Scrivener

As a dork and serial procrastinator, I’ve amassed a set of tools and ways of working over my seven years of freelance writing which I’ve fumbled into something like efficiency. I like to read about the ways others work, in case their methods and tools also work for me, so here are mine.

December 3, 2020

Illustration by Ollie Hoff

I wrote a feature for the latest issue of Edge (E353) about boredom, which was a far easier pitch than I thought it’d be. (Thanks, Jen!) It’s about our psychological experience of boredom, and how game designers understand and work with it.

I wrote another book! This time about a bunch of computers, and it came out last week. What a time for a book launch. Gah, let’s not think about that!

It’s called Home Computers: 100 Icons that Defined a Digital Generation, and it collects 100 machines which tell the story of the rise of the home computer, from the kits of the 1960s to the off-the-shelf all-in-ones of the late 1970s; their entry into living rooms and bedrooms in the 1980s; and then taking a role in everyday life into the late 1990s.

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