John Tynes

John Tynes is an award-winning writer and game designer. He founded Pagan Publishing in 1990 to produce tabletop role-playing games, as well as fiction and non-fiction books. His writing has appeared online in Salon and McSweeney's and in print for the Seattle alternative newspapers The Stranger and Tablet. In the videogame field, he has written for Acclaim and Bungie, works as a columnist for The Escapist and X360 UK, and serves as lead writer for Flying Lab Software's massively multiplayer online game Pirates of the Burning Sea. His film criticism is collected in the book Wiser Children.

Essays by this author

Prismatic Play: Games as Windows on the Real World


John Tynes argues that it took the novel two hundred years to gain cultural capital; film, forty years; rock and roll, fifteen. Given this increasing velocity and the fact that it’s been three decades since Colossal Cave Adventure, interactive storytelling should have gained a much higher level of respect than it has. Tynes argues that games should eschew escapist fantasy for more timely “engagist” settings that would allow the player to reflect on contemporary life and politics.