Leigh Alexander is a games journalist who writes articles on gaming culture, her work has appeared in a variety of websites and publications including Edge, Gamasutra and Kotaku. She is a wonderful writer who shares her views, opinions, thoughts and feeling freely however her writing can be somewhat divisive. I follow her on Twitter and like her insights and interesting articles, but there is a large contingent in the gaming community who don't like the things she says or the way she expresses things. This has most recently come to light with GamerGate, where many gamers have tried to reclaim the label 'gamer' and tried to hold gaming journalism to account, however many have attacked Leigh and specific women with a disproportionate amount of abuse, which is disgraceful and unfair (for an excellent article on GamerGate I would recommend you read Tadhg Kelly's article linked below.)
It is a shame as I have read many of her articles and more recently her e-published books 'Breathing Machine: A Memoir of Computers' and 'Clipping Through.'
In 'Breathing Machine: A Memoir of Computers' she talks about her experiences of growing up alongside the emergence of the internet. For someone of my age or similar (33 just so you know) her experiences are similar enough to mine to stir up some nostalgia for a time when technology seemed so so powerful, so exciting and so complex. It's a wonderful journey through a childhood where meeting people on chat-rooms, receiving e-mails and searching online in long forgotten search engines will seem familiar to anyone who grew up around the inception of the internet.
The authors other book, 'Clipping Through' is a a very personal read, giving first hand insights about the journalistic side of the gaming industry. Leigh provides a remarkably open and personal perspective of attending the week long GDC 2014 Conference. She discusses her thoughts and fears with us and describes the stress that comes with the job. The e-book is a simple read clocking in at under 90 pages. Of particular interest to me were the chapters that included the awkwardness of seeing Ken Levine, the developer and writer of Bioshock Infinite, a game she lambasted but in my opinion fairly so. She also talks about meeting her hero Koji Igarashi, creator of Castlevania: Symphony of the Night and how she found it hard to create a bond. Leigh also shares her theory about Metal Gear Solid 4 and why the GDC Award ceremony is not that great for gaming.
Leigh Alexander is a refreshingly honest writer who offers interesting viewpoints and thoughts for discussion. I like her writing and I think in the often fanboy world of gaming, having someone like her who questions the status quo and offers a unique perspective is important. If you get a chance read her books and articles and support her in her work please do, you will not be disappointed.