To that end, POEE proposes the countergame of NONSENSE AS SALVATION. Salvation from an ugly and barbarous existence that is the result of taking order so seriously and so seriously fearing contrary orders and disorder, that GAMES are taken as more important than LIFE; rather than taking LIFE AS THE ART OF PLAYING GAMES.

The Principia Discordia, pp. 74

Games I have made

A selection of games I have created for you to play and ponder:

The Warbler's Nest

A short, interactive horror story, originally written for the 2010 Interactive Fiction Competition. You can play it for free on the web, and there's an iOS version too. This game has won various community awards an occasionally shows up in college cirricula and such.

See my interactive fiction page for more work in and around text-based videogames I've been involved with.


A web-based interactive text sculpture I created for the first "ShuffleComp", an informal competition for text games inspired by music.

The McFarlane Job

A comissioned work built with Massively, a platform for creating, sharing and playing text games that resemble IM conversations. (No direct link; download the free Massively app for iOS or Android, then search for The McFarlane Job within the app. It's a free download from there.)

Sixis for iPad

A licensed adaptation of a tabletop dice game designed by Chris Cieslik. I stopped selling it in 2016, but you can browse the source code on GitHub.


A board game. To play, you need a checkerboard, a deck of cards, and a pawn, along with these rules.


A tiny game I wrote as an entry to an Obfuscated Perl Contest, many years ago. I have since learned that it's been used in at least one classroom setting as an example of the madness of which Perl hackers are capable.


My first published work of interactive fiction, and an entry into the 1999 IFComp. A short, rather gimmicky game that seemed quite clever to me at the time.

Game organizations I help run

The Interactive Fiction Technology Foundation

A charitable non-profit organization dedicated to the support and preservation of the technologies and services that make the ongoing study, play, and creation of interactive fiction possible. I co-founded it in 2016, and serve today as its president.

The Interactive Fiction Competition

An annual competition for short text-based video games by independent creators. The IFComp, as we call it, has been around since 1995; I organized it between 2014 and 2017, and continue to maintain its website.

Other art made from games

Jmac's Arcade

A half-dozen short video monologues reflecting upon the intersections of my life and old arcade games.

My game criticism

See also my portfolio of reviews, critical essays, and other games writing.

Play of the Light

An audio podcast co-produced with narrative designer Matthew Weise. An attempt to offer deep analysis of videogames as cultural artifacts, rather than focusing on their more commonly served role as purchasable, disposable media.

The Gameshelf

A game-critcism blog I share with Andrew Plotkin. Before that it was a TV show and video podcast that I produced about lesser-known digital and tabletop games, and all those episodes are still there, too.

(We retired this blog in 2017, but years of posts and comments remain permanently online. I continue to write about games and various other topics at Fogknife.)

My game-studies work

A one-semester game-studies lab

I designed and taught the laboratory section of an introductory game-studies course at Northeastern University in 2011. All my notes and course materials are right here.

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