In this new weekly feature, we read some of your mail and answer even less of it. Send all correspondence to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dear No Escape,
I really enjoyed the personal angle on your post about The Gardens Between. Why did you decide to write about that, and do you think there is any risk to being so public about your personal life?
I’ve been on the Internet for a long time, and I was part of that wave of first-adopters on social media like Twitter. The platform encouraged us to be hyperpersonal in the public sphere, and by the time any of us realized this was a mistake, it was too late. I’m just used to talking about my pain online; it’s also part of what I think makes a compelling story for others to read. But really, I’m only public about my personal life to a limited extent. I will never name names except my own without express permission, and I will never dive too deep into situations that I think are exceptionally personal.
I think a lot of us right now can relate to the feeling of loss we get when we’re missing someone. Maybe you’ve been in a long-distance relationship that didn’t start out that way. Maybe you’re moving from your hometown and all your friends to pursue a career or a college degree. Maybe you haven’t seen your parents in years and you miss them but feel too disconnected from them to reach out. Loneliness, loss, longing — they’re all connected, and we all feel them.
Dear No Escape,
I noticed you gave Outer Wilds a starred review, but you haven’t done that with other games. Why did you decide to start doing that? Will you go back and give your other reviews a star rating?
Scoring in Scottsdale
The Outer Wilds review was a challenge to write, partially because to talk about that game at all requires you to talk about spoilers, but also because it’s such a complex game in general. I needed to figure out a way to talk about the game to my own satisfaction and also give folks a quick idea of what I thought without any of the spoilers in the later paragraphs.
That day was also the day I discovered this WordPress layout had things like starred reviews and page breaks so it was also a little bit of an experiment for me, and kind of a joke. I don’t currently have a real review scoring system and I don’t think I’ll be implementing one for past or future reviews.