On exorcisms, spirit photography, and an obscure game that birthed a legend

In 2002, at the height of a nonstop blitz leading up to their latest release, the president of Japanese game development company Media Entertainment called a meeting. It was already well into the evening, the sun having probably set long ago. Walking into the meeting room, everyone already knew what had happened. They could feel it in the air; the news they all expected, the news they dreaded most.

Lead developer, K-Kawa, had died, their body found in a train station bathroom only a few hours ago, hung from the neck to one of the stalls. Suicide. One developer, a…


content warning: discussion of sexual violence

(this was originally made as a video which you can watch here!)

I’m being haunted by a video game. It’s a term used a lot when discussing art — haunting. But as silly as it might be, I really do think there is something to the idea. It happens a lot after all, and I think to most people, where a work of art, whatever medium it might be, finds itself invading your life. It might just be a moment or an image, or nothing more than a single word; but whatever it is…


I was never really into planes. When Ace Combat 3: Electrosphere released in Japan on May 27, 1999, I was four, living in a home in the middle of nowhere, close enough to a US Air Force training base that it was not uncommon to look up and see stealth bombers or helicopters or jets fly by; to hear the soft boom of the sound barrier-breaking overhead. Living on the top of a lonely hill surrounded by nothing but open fields and farmland, where the horizon in all directions was a flat line, they seemed almost as common as birds…


Sometimes I lie awake at night wondering how I lucked into living in a universe where Ghost in the Shell exists. How this erotic, hyper dense, hard sci-fi manga managed to spawn a multimedia franchise that is still strong some 30 years later and emerge as one of the most influential works of science fiction in that time is beyond me. Not only that, but the children of that original manga — the spin-offs and movies and shows — are good! Frequently great, even! Ghost in the Shell is a name that now belongs to an all-timer manga, an all-timer…


Work sucks.

It is wild that we have collectively decided that 1) it is good to devote the majority of your life to your job and 2) that work is, on some level, supposed to be bad. Five years later and I still think back almost daily to my year spent full-time in fast food — to the hatred spewed at me for no reason, to the constant power-plays and internal social structures dominating the back room, to the exhausting dullness of it all and the horrible knowledge that there is no end, that it will keep going just as…

Baxter Burchill

cool dude with ‘tude writing for fun Twitter: @cosmicspooks

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