Thirteen Today


Back in 2005, thirteen years ago today, I began blogging. I have often written about what a transformative experience this was for me, and also about the tremendous value I place upon blogging as a practice – indeed, as recently as the end of May this year, I was talking about why blogging is more cybervirtuous than other forms of social media. When I started, I could write every day, but at the moment the demands of my jobs and family make this difficult. Still, I try to offer something every week at least, except when I’m taking my Spring or Autumn social media breaks. I blog because I want to express myself, hone my thoughts, and share my ideas. And I blog because I want to change the world and I want to achieve that by changing myself first of all. To everyone who has participated in ‘the Game’ over the last thirteen years, my infinite and unlimited gratitude.

If you are a stalwart of Only the Game, please support it by buying The Virtuous Cyborg and leaving a review on your blog or an online bookstore. Thank you!

Coming This Spring...

GuardianWelcome back to Only a Game, the musings and nonsense of game designer, philosopher, and author Chris Bateman! I am busily weaving my magic behind the scenes, preparing for a host of new blog pieces exploring historical game lineages, cybervirtue, and more besides, not to mention gearing up for the promotional tour for The Virtuous Cyborg, which is coming out this March. Some things to look for…

  • Virtuous Cyborg Endorsements: The endorsements for The Virtuous Cyborg are in, and can be read over at the landing page at Check it out! My thanks to Jane McGonigal, Justin Robertson, Michaël Samyn, and Babette Babich for their kind words about the new book.
  • UK Speaking Tour: I will be touring the UK and further afield to promote the book in March, April, and May, culminating at some point in a big event in London to coincide with Justin Robertson’s new art exhibition (more on this soon!). If you would like me as a visiting speaker, please get in touch using the contact link at, or any of the usual methods.
  • Player Practices Research: My player practices research project continues to gather steam, and I will be engaging in some more work on game design lineages this Spring prior to the book coming out. Expect something to appear in the next week or so to set the scene for this.
  • History of Videogame Shops: I am working on tracing the game design lineages of videogame shops and money – I would be grateful for any input anyone has concerning early examples of stock trading games like the 1940s SHOC (which I used to own…), games influenced by trading in 1984’s Elite, the origins of the round shop in 1999’s Counter-Strike, or any other significant development in videogame shops and money.
  • Lineages of Zelda: Have started another game of The Legend of Zelda: The Breath of the Wild on the Switch, having already played it on the Wii U, and am getting dangerously close to writing about it. There may be a Lineages of Zelda serial this Spring if this all works out!

See y’all in the corners of the internet!


138022823The Winter Solstice, the oldest of the religious festivals at this time of the year, and the origin of a great many of the traditions of Christmas, and thus too the traditions of its more widely-celebrated successor Swik.

The shortest day and the longest night… small wonder this time of year is peak time for depression. But don’t let your demons get their talons into you… there’s always hope, always a chance at rebirth. The days will get longer, life is eventually renewed, and every volcanic devastation is followed by a wild season of bloom.

A new dawn is coming, and beyond it another, and another, and so on and so forth until the last syllable of recorded time… Macbeth wields this metaphor to express his weariness with life – but nothing stops us from taking this repetition in another direction, as Nietzsche attempted. Maybe life is indeed a tale told by an idiot – by many idiots, actually! – but that cannot also mean it signifies nothing.

Happy Solstice!

Only a Game returns in the Gregorian New Year.

All Good Things…

Have thoroughly enjoyed my Autumnal Social Media Break – so much so, in fact, that I don’t particularly want to come out of hiding (nothing personal, entirety of the online world!). However, it has to happen, and I’ll be back to blogging next week with the first of a small set of Winter blog-letters.

If you left me a comment, I will get back to it shortly; if you left me spam, I’ll be deleting it very soon… I might rejoin Twitter tomorrow morning (1st December) or I might put it off until next week. But ‘I’m on my way’, at the very least!

A Virtuous Interlude

Sunset BirdsIt is time once again for my autumnal social media break, a chance for me to exercise my cyber-restraint, pay less attention to my pocket robot’s distractions, and peer more deeply into the world around me. When I come back in early December, I have a small handful of blog-letters to share before the Winter Festival hits – mostly on or around game topics, and following on from discussions that have already happened here or at events I went to this year. I have room for one more that I haven’t started yet, so if you want to write a blog-letter to me while I’m away it would be more than welcome.

Then, as the Gregorian New Year comes around again, it will only be two months to the release of The Virtuous Cyborg and I will be gearing up for the book’s launch events. I will be touring, so if you would like me to come for a guest lecture or other speaking gig please get in touch through the contact link at, or directly if you already have my email address. So far, I am focussing on the UK but a US trip is always on the table and Europe is only a short trip away even if the current political climate makes it feel more distant.

To everyone who has continued to support the discussions here at Only a Game, my unlimited love and gratitude. Enjoy the silence, and we shall speak again soon.

The Game resumes in December.

Coming Soon: Babich and Bateman Rides Again

DErlwLuXkAAXizsAlthough I have been robustly overworked in recent weeks, I have managed to break ground on the editing for the final segment of the Babich and Bateman dialogues, this time looking at Nietzsche, music, and the psychological tricks of corporations. I don’t know when it will be ready (September is my guess), or how many parts it will be, or which tangents will get added between now and this putative future moment, but all will be revealed in good time…

Silk Anniversary

Birthday-cakeToday, Only a Game is twelve years old. Hasn’t the time flown by! I would love to have produced something special for the event, but alas I have been swamped with my professional commitments and am way behind on my blogging.

Coming up soon (hopefully!), more virtuous discourse in the Republic of Bloggers, the final part of Babich and Bateman, completing what begin in The Last of the Continental Philosophers and Living with Machines, and of course, the build up and launch for my latest book, The Virtuous Cyborg.

Thanks to everyone who has supported my blogging over the last duodecimal 10 years, and to everyone who gets drawn into my strange thought processes over the next binary 1100 years!

Want to send me a present? Comments and blog-letters are always appreciated!

Open the Choke and Pull Starter

Starter CordGreetings and salutations!

Having enjoyed a month off from social media, I am now ready to reconnect with the hive mind. I cracked open the blogs late last week, and will uncorking Twitter and G+ very soon.

The first phase of the Cybevirtue Campaign is concluded, and the book, The Virtuous Cyborg, is now written... an announcement about the publisher very soon, I hope. We’re now moving into the second phase. If the first phase was ‘write’ the second phase is ‘talk’. I won’t be planning much in the way of articles for this, I’ll just see which way the conversation takes us.

I’ll see you in the corners of the internet!

Pause for Reflection

Labyrinthe ClockHaving completed the first phase of the Cybervirtue Campaign, it is time for my Summer blogging break. I shall be working on incorporating the pre-reader feedback to the new book, The Virtuous Cyborg, prior to submission to the publisher – whom I hope to announce when I return in June. Then, in the second phase of the Campaign, we’ll be exploring contemporary issues as problems of cybervirtue and engaging in debate about living with robots. While I am ‘away’, all the previous posts here at Only a Game are eager for your comments, and I will reply to everyone when my hiatus concludes. Thanks to everyone who has participated in the Campaign so far – it has been extremely enlightening to share this with y’all!

Only a Game returns in the Summer.

Starting this week: Babich and Bateman, Dialogue II

blogupdateAs well as the continuation of the Cybervirtue Campaign (which has its first player now – the awesome Ari, who I’m thrilled to reconnect with), this week also sees the start of a new Babich and Bateman Dialogue, provisionally entitled Living with Machines. Starts on Thursday – hold on to your seats, as it gets off to a turbulent start! (There should be four of these dialogues in all… the fruits of what started as an interview with Babette but which has spiralled out of control into something much more interesting.)

Remember last year when I suggested I might go down to fortnightly posts? Seems instead I have stepped the pace back up to biweekly posts. How typical of me!

See you in the comments!