Home Gaming Let your mind wander with 40 of our best reads

Let your mind wander with 40 of our best reads

We’ve been lucky enough to publish some wonderful work on Eurogamer over the years, written by some wonderful writers, and we thought pulling some of it together at a time like this would be a nice thing to do.

If you see something you like, scroll down to the bottom of the piece and click on the author’s name to see what else they’ve written. There are some real treats I haven’t been able to include here – it’s a long enough list as it is!

Thank you everyone who contributes to Eurogamer and helps make it what it is, and thank you for reading it. Have a nice Easter weekend.

How Age of Empires 2 got some Scottish kids into RTS – Here’s a question: How do you get a bunch of disillusioned kids in the arse end of Scotland into real-time strategy games? Sam Greer remembers the 90s in Scotland and an unlikely gaming champion.

Petscop, the internet’s favourite haunted video game – Last March, a YouTube channel titled Petscop began releasing Let’s Play-style videos of what appeared to be a bargain-bin Playstation One game designed to entice undiscerning children. But things quickly took a darker turn, as Sara Elsam finds out.

An ode to video game doors – It’s easy to underestimate doors, Andreas Inderwildi writes, and yet they are also imbued with a kind of magic. If you’ve ever wanted to see a lot of lovely video game doors, now’s your chance.

After half my life, Ace Attorney’s re-release brought me full circle – Some games can have profound influences on our lives. Jay Castello grew up with the Ace Attorney series and wanted to be a lawyer – but life doesn’t always go the way it was planned.

I went Christmas carolling in Rust with a real piano, and got shot a hell of a lot – When Emma Kent heard that craftable pianos were coming to Rust (with MIDI support) and she could plug a microphone in too, there was only one thing she wanted to do. But would her fellow Rust players share in her festive spirit?

The story behind the Oblivion mod Terry Pratchett worked on – Imagine one day getting an email thanking you for the companion you made for Oblivion, signed by someone claiming to be author Terry Pratchett. Then imagine discovering, many letters later, it really was him. Cian Maher tells an unlikely story of friendship and collaboration.

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The Lords of Midnight: on the legacy of a truly epic wargame – Even now, there’s little else remotely like it. Jennifer Allen remembers a cruel but magical adventure for Commodore 64. And thanks to devoted fans, there is now a way to play it.

Red Dead Redemption 2 and XCOM 2 have one crucial thing in common – companionship – From perishable squad mates to tales around a camp fire, Vivek Gohil digs into what makes companions in Red Dead Redemption 2 and XCOM 2 so special.

I was in Football Manager and I don’t know how to feel about it – Imagine our surprise when writer Chris Tapsell turns around and announces he was once in a Football Manager game, a series he loves – but as a football player. If it weren’t for a shoulder injury he may well have been a professional footballer today. But something always bothered him about his FM representation: his stats weren’t right. His height, his birthday, his eccentricity. This is the story of him getting to the bottom of it.

Roleplaying across the internet – It doesn’t have to be people sitting around a table. In its purest form, roleplaying is when a person says, “Let me tell you a story,” and the other person says, “Me too.” Giada Zavarise takes into the world of forum roleplaying.

If Ubisoft wants to cling on to Clancy, it’s time to talk politics – Tom Clancy relished a political drama so why does Ubisoft try to avoid it in his name? Is such a thing even possible? Edwin Evans-Thirlwell takes a closer look at Clancy and the legacy he left behind.

I owe everything I am to Buck Rogers: Countdown to Doomsday – You’re in a game shop in the mid-1990s and you have £15 to spend, and that’s a lot – you’re a kid and you’re poor. Jennifer Allen had a choice on her hands. What to choose? Pele? Streets of Rage? Or how about this box with the hero and the aliens on…?

Kazunori’s War: the world of Gran Turismo’s creator – He keeps a selection of pre-packed bags by his desk so he can leave at a moment’s notice. He’s an occasional racing driver. And he spun out a car at 200km/h as a very naughty youth. He is Kazunori Yamauchi, creator of Gran Turismo, and Martin Robinson travels to Japan to meet him.

It’s not easy being green: a brief history of orcs in video games – Who invented orcs, how did they get their green colour, and when did they start being more than dumb enemies? Nic Reuben seeks answers.

Why did ancient Egypt spend 3000 years playing a game nobody else liked? – Here’s a game responsible for one of the first ever instances of trash talk, a game played by pharaohs, but even after 3000 years of play, Senet went the way of the disonaur. Christian Donlan tries to find out what happened.

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The boy who stole Half-Life 2 – In May 2004, a German boy wakes to find his bed surrounded by armed police officers. Seven months earlier, the source code to the in-development-and-late Half-Life 2 leaks onto the internet. Simon Parkin tells the story of a global hacker hunt, from both sides.

The six-year story of GTA Online’s long-vacant casino – When GTA Online launched, the Vinewood Casino was there. It wasn’t open but it was “opening soon”, according to a sign on the door. One year later, still closed; two years later, still closed. Nearly six years later, still closed. Why did it take so long? Jordan Oloman digs into a troubled development.

The cult of Hideo Kojima – What is it about Hideo Kojima that has crowds turn out in their hundreds to meet him? Khee Hoon Chan waits among one such crowd in Singapore, and then all of a sudden, spotlight on, Kojima is there.

Hearts and minds – Tom Bramwell puts on his best suit for the WWE Hall of Fame ceremony, and it leaves him wondering why there aren’t more heroes in games.

The US town ruled by an AI storyteller – Great storytellers talk about creative partnerships with all kinds of things, from drugs to religion to half-awake states of mind. Can artificial intelligence now be added to the list? Emily Gera shines a light on a fascinating storytelling experiment.

The God who Peter Molyneux forgot – Do you remember Curiosity and the promise of a life-changing prize for whoever tapped the last block? Bryan Henderson does – he tapped it. But did it change his life? Wesley Yin-Poole travels to Scotland to find out.

The Wind Waker inspired me to build a boat – Ever decided to build a boat because you really liked a game about sailing around? No of course not. Nor, I bet, have you ever bought an ocarina instrument because of a game, or fashioned your hair to look like Nathan Drake. Or have you? Omar Hafeez-Bore ponders the influence of games.

Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp and the feud that keeps on running – This time he’s demanding a single coconut. Philippa Warr tells the a hilarious story of two lifelong friends falling out over a valentine.

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Brando and Bowie: The amazing stories of a man you’ve never heard about – He alone witnessed Marlon Brando’s last ever performance, and David Bowie kissed him on the lips. He held high positions in the video game world and directed big games for big companies. And yet, he never quite found success as we know it. Or did he? Bertie tells a long story.

Why can’t video games get shoulders right? What an inspired question! And it turns out it’s all in the shoulder blades. Alan Wen investigates.

Viva Piñata places a brutal lens on late-stage capitalism – Don’t be fooled by its cutesy looks. Viva Piñata is, as Hazel Southwell tells us, maybe the only game where the kind of business psychopathy preached on Huel-based wellness retreats outside San Francisco will actually work.

The promise of a game world you can touch – James Holland puts his hands in front of him and as the on-screen bubbles start to pop, he feels them popping on his skin, on his bare skin – he’s not wearing gloves or equipment of any kind. Is this the tech of the future?

Inside Tomb of Horrors, the hardest D&D module ever made – Just getting inside can be an ordeal, as two of the entrances lead to certain death, and losing a character level 10 or higher – all that time invested – really hurts. Why would someone make something like that? Malindy Hetfield takes a closer look.

PS2: The Insiders’ Story – The PlayStation 2 is still the best-selling console in the world. It was a landmark machine and its success made Sony feel invincible. Ellie Gibson takes us back to a time of David Lynch adverts and wild parties.

VR has already taken people with dementia to the seaside, and now video games are exploring neurological disease itself – Watching a participant literally cry with happiness as they remove the headset is not a sight writer Luke Kemp will soon forget.

Decoding Shenzhen: The Chinese city that makes the world’s tech – Known as the mecca of manufacturing, Shenzhen is a fishing city turned megatropolis, where an idea can be made a reality and sold in a market stall in two weeks. Arshiya Khullar investigates.

The human cost of Red Dead Redemption 2 – In October 2018, Red Dead Redemption set a new benchmark for the kind of production values a video game could reach. Technically, it was a marvel. But at what cost?

The folklore roots of Sekiro’s anus-ball snatching enemies – Why does an enemy in Sekiro grab a pale fleshy thing from your behind, hold it up like a trophy, then devour it in its own behind? It’s all to do with some disturbing monsters in Japanese folklore, as Ewan Wilson finds out.

Why I play video games – Dr Omar Hafeez-Bore believes a good part of why he chose to pursue medicine was because of video games, and not for the reasons you may think.

Stories with dice: the thrill of old-school D&D – Even 40 years on, video games have a lot to learn from Dungeons & Dragons. Oli Welsh discovers the joy of pen-and-paper role-playing games.

A horse named Gizmondo: The inside story of the world’s greatest failed console – It’s like it never existed now, but for a while Gizmondo – a handheld gaming machine – was going to conquer the world. The 2005 launch party even featured Pharrell Williams and Sting. But less than a year later, the company behind Gizmondo collapsed into bankruptcy. Ellie Gibson hears the whole shady story from the people who were there.

Passing on the gift of games – Have you ever passed the gift of gaming on and watched someone come to terms with it like you once did? Oh the tantrums I used to throw playing Street Fighter! Emad Ahmed has a niece and nephew to pass the gift onto, with surprising effects.

After I stepped into Yakuza’s world, Yakuza’s world seeped into mine – Wish you were there, in Japan? Well, there are few games better than the Yakuza series for taking you there. They helped Malindy remember happy years studying there, and overcome a painful memory.

The quest for Shadow of the Colossus’ last big secret – What if everything in Fumito Ueda’s renowned game had not been found? Could there be a 17th colossi hidden somewhere, waiting to be discovered? Craig Owens takes us into a world of unsolved mysteries and secret hunters.

The secrets of Dark Souls lore explained and explored – It’s not easy to get at the story in Dark Souls because unlike in other games, it’s scattered and hidden away. Richard Stanton connects the dots for us.

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