Ed Smith is a writer from Derbyshire, UK, whose work has appeared in such publications as Killscreen, Vice, and The Observer. He runs (and writes) the websites Words That Won’t Sell and shutupvideogames. His work is (as you will soon discover) nuanced, wry and engaging—and oftentimes quite challenging; Against Child Protagonists an example of all these, but the latter particularly. I don’t always necessarily agree with his conclusions (that last article highlighted not merely for its challenge)—but agreement, of course, isn’t requisite to stimulation (frequently it’s the opposite, actually), nor even enjoyment. Smith has an excellent eye for analysis where all key elements of games are concerned, and I’ve found that I can always rely on his commentaries to greatly deepen and/or alter my perspective on the game at hand—L.A. Noire and The Beginner’s Guide as examples of either or both circumstances.
Whatever my level of alignment normally, there are absolutely no caveats necessary, no gray areas at all, in my agreement with this pithy and surgical piece, Shut Up, Her Story (summary and link to full text below), which is fitting given that writer/director Sam Barlow’s whodunnit/who’s who, for the many accolades thrown its way from choice corners of cyberspace, contains not even a rumour of subtlety or nuance itself. I finally made time today to sit down with the game myself, and I did so, I might add, equally prepared to love the thing or hate it—or to land without embarrassment somewhere between. My experience, however, paralleled to an unfortunate tee the words you’re about to read.
Speak up, Ed Smith!