Electron Dance

Electron Dance Highlights


Discussion: Lest Ye Be Judged

Welcome to the slightly late May newsletter (sign up if you want to read it):

You might want to set a limit of a couple of hours for your child, but apparently her friends are allowed to play four hours of Animal Crossing: New Horizons straight. Then there’s the kid who seemingly plays whenever he wants. When he wakes up. When it’s time for lunch. When it’s time for bed. When it’s morning in Tokyo.

Dear subscribers, if you feel like chatting about anything at all from the newsletter, please speak your mind in the comments here.


Puzzleworks, 2: Tametsi

There was some excitement over a Sudoku video last week, the "Miracle Sudoku", where a handful of arcane rules and just two numbers allows a Sudoku expert to fill the board. And it blows him away after he initially thought it was a joke.

And I thought, well, that's how Tametsi makes me feel.

Nutshell: Hard Minesweeper with interesting ruleset. Later levels take me an hour per board. Unfinished.

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Puzzleworks 1: Puddle Knights

It's high time I wrote about some of the puzzle games I've been tearing through recently. Although "tearing through" is probably an exaggeration. It's more like syrup dribbling through a heap of used coffee filters. Anyway: the first is Puddle Knights.

Nutshell: Clever mechanic that tickles same neurons as a Sokoban game or Snakebird. I cheated on the final level.

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Discussion: The Path to Hell

Welcome to the slightly late April newsletter (sign up if you want to read it):

This is anecdotal but it seems, at least in my local middle-class suburbo-bunker, kids are satisfied with a monogame experience that muscles everything else out of the spotlight. These games have successfully harvested the attention of young children and won’t let them go. This makes me sad.

Dear subscribers, if you feel like chatting about anything at all from the newsletter, please speak your mind in the comments here.


Slave to the Rhythm

This is the fourth in a series of five musings on Control. Previously: Behind the Poster, Use of Weapons and Reverse Shock.

There will be spoilers.


Let’s say Control isn’t working for you. It’s fine, it’s keeping you entertained but it doesn’t give you that rush. But inside this puzzle box of hype is another one.

They say: this is the actual good stuff.

They say: this is the real deal.

This is the real get hype.

And now you are here. You don your spacesuit ready for your first step on the surface of Planet Disappointment, because that’s where a free ride through hypespace usually ends up.

You enter the Ashtray Maze - and wait for the other shoe to fall.

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Transmission: Return Home, Ethereal

60 minutes-ish. Four games.

Stream this week - Wednesday 08 April - and will begin at 9:30PM UK, 10:30PM Central Europe, 4:30PM EST. My Twitch channel can be found at twitch.tv/electrondance.

I will discuss the following titles:

Previous Transmissions are available on the dedicated E/TX YouTube channel.

Update 09 Apr 2020. The stream has now been archived on YouTube:


A Hundred Cyborgs: Mathematics

Chris Bateman published his book The Virtuous Cyborg back in 2018 which explores how technology is not morally neutral because our behaviour - being the cyborgs in the book's title - is shaped and influenced by the technology we augment ourselves with. Technology in this context does not mean circuitry or even software, but a tool for changing the way we deal with the world. It can even be conceptual.

So when Chris asked if I wanted to contribute to his ongoing A Hundred Cyborgs series, where he looks at the impact of one technology in a brief 500 word post I thought, okay, yes, but I'm not noted for my 500 word constraints :)

And it's done, it's out there, it's 500 words of real. You can read my contribution, entry #81 in the series, on mathematics as technology on Chris' site.

For many people, mathematics is that thing you do with numbers. In reality, it is an enormous, constantly evolving subject from which new concepts spring every year, the applications of which are rarely obvious at first. The square root of -1, the “imaginary number”, turns up in electrical engineering. Group theory, which is essentially an analysis of addition, turns out to be important for encryption and crystallography. Who knew.

Links for further reading:


Discussion: What Sticks

Welcome to the slightly late March newsletter (sign up if you want to read it):

But as there are infinite floors in the museum you can keep on deleting forever, falling from one floor to another, again and again, haunted by the same, repeating artworks. You can try throwing yourself out a window but there’s nothing out there to escape to but the infinite white.

Dear subscribers, if you feel like chatting about anything at all from the newsletter, please speak your mind in the comments here.


The Lost World

It happened without warning, as it often does. My wife’s hard drive died.

This was 2016. Everything of value had been on a separate data drive which was, of course, backed up. But this was the Windows drive which we never bothered to back up. It rarely seemed worth it and, personally, I like the opportunity to start afresh on a new drive.

But then I remembered Minecraft... and the blood drained from my face.

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Filed under: Longform 11 Comments

Reverse Shock

This is the third in a series of short musings on Control. The first was Behind the Poster and the second was Use of Weapons.

There will be spoilers.

Black Rock Quarry in Control is a visual wonder. Few games get me to marvel at rock - caves were the worst part of INFRA (Loiste Interactive, 2016) - but, my God, I was screenshotting up a whole folder of rock formations. Here’s some rock. Here’s Jesse standing in front of some more rock. Here’s Jesse looking into the distance, by some rock.

Combat in Control was settling down, a little too much. I was comfortable with most fights and had become somewhat complacent. Bored, even. But the quarry threw a screwball into the process.

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