Seven months ago, inspired by the success of my friend, Tamara Lunardo, I thought I would try my hand at serious blogging. Until then, my understanding of blogging was mostly limited to personal updates and family news, but Tamara showed me how a blog can really be about something important; a well-written, thoughtful blog can generate important and meaningful conversations. When Tamara put out a call for guest posts on her blog, I decided to write for her, but I didn’t want her decision to be influenced by knowing me, so I sent the essay using a pen name whose initials corresponded to my first and middle names.
Not long after that, I decided to start Virtual Stowaway using the same pen name. I was concerned that as I started pursuing publication opportunities (and eventually academic positions) in Victorian literature a blog on video games might not be the best representation of my interests. And yet, over the past months I’ve discovered a rich and burgeoning field of serious academic thought on video games that intersects with my studies in literature.
As such, it has become increasingly difficult to produce my video games writing under a pen name, especially when it might hinder my ability to make real world academic connections. So this post is to announce that I’m officially dropping my “Jonah Stowe,” pen name. From now on my posts here and at other outlets, like Gamechurch.com, will appear under my real name: J. Stephen Addcox. I hope that by dropping my pen name won’t cause too much confusion, and thanks to everyone who has been kind enough to read my writing both here and elsewhere.
When I began Virtual Stowaway, my experiences with video games writing was mostly limited to news reporting. I thought there was an absence of critical reflection and discussion of video games, and yet it wasn’t long before I discovered that a wealth of wonderful writing had been around the whole time, I just hadn’t looked very hard to find it. Indeed, there were many people writing a lot of substantive essays about video games, and I’ve been happy to offer some small contribution to the conversation. Now, I can continue to do under my actual name.