Heya, I'm Chris, an amateur game historian.

I run a community wiki for game research materials (morguefile.wiki/), occasionally upload new things to the Archive (archive.org/details/@trioptimu), have an 8+TB hoard of old game magazines I'm slowly indexing (not online), and make mini-documentaries about interesting stories from game history (youtube.com/user/trioptimumuk).

Currently working on a video about the turbulent development of Vampire: Bloodlines.


Hey if you were ever curious about where the phrase 'Game Over' came from, have I got a video for you



Yesterday was the 20th anniversary of the US release of Pokemon Red/Blue. Here's a new video about one of the strangest chapters in Pokémon history... the celebrity that sued Nintendo.


Telltale, games industry (-) 

Pretty hard to describe how angry it made me to hear that Telltale won't be offering the employees they laid off today (hundreds, all but 25) any severance. The people at the top whose incompetence created this years-in-coming fuckup should be forced to pay it from their own pockets. And if they can't, their names should be chiseled in granite as people who leave their employees high and dry.

I turned 40 a month ago, and I feel like I'm only just starting to figure out what I want to do with my life after a 20-year false start down a dead end. Kind of wish I'd made the jump as soon as I realised, instead of being all cautious about it.

If you've seen one or more of my videos, could you do me a quick favour please? Have a look at this Patreon poll (link's open to everyone, not just patrons, though you will need an account on the site to vote) and tick the boxes against the video ideas you like; it'll help me plan for the future. Thanks!


Putting Game Boy emulator captures through After Effects to add tons of fancy LCD effects is probably overkill, but sometimes you've just got to overkill things.


Experts: "Designers should almost always use only one or two font families in a design... never more than three."

Gunpei Yokoi: 🤔

So here's a weird little bit of #gameing history: EA Sports's slogan, "It's In The Game", doesn't make much sense, right? That's because it used to be longer.

The original slogan was "If it's in the game, it's in the game" - meaning, we've included every aspect of the sport (game 1) in the video game (game 2).

I made a thing 

New video! The story of a Maxis programmer’s unauthorised insertion into a retail product, and how it was the first step into a life of challenging and disrupting power.


Live performance of Stickerbush Symphony on sax, a few audience questions and we’re done. What a funny, open and humble speaker David Wise is... see him if you get the chance.

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Not tooting this but he’s basically doing a live Song Exploder now with the Fire and Water level of Tropical Freeze. It’s incredible.

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Now breaking down Aquatic Ambience track by track. This is wonderful.

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“I think it’s called Aquatic Ambience, but I just call it the water level”

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Beginning to suspect David Wise’s keynote isn’t going to be the usual speech

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Basically every academic I’ve heard speak over the last two days is now joyously playing one of the many games in NVA gallery 2

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While David Wise sets up instruments on the stage, we’re gathering in the lobby for a guided tour of the National Videogame Arcade

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