I am a Gothic ludologist (a fancy way of saying I study horror videogames). This longread is an extension of my PhD research, but also an examination of myself. It explores my experiences with consensual submission — in Gothic media like Metroidvania, but also in human interactions more broadly. It…


This longread analyzes the role of the Promethean Quest and military optimism in the Metroid franchise. This includes Metroid Dread, which Nintendo just announced. Apart from an introduction and conclusion, there are three main sections:

  • Metroid Dread: Thoughts and Impressions
  • Gothic Analysis, part 1: The Promethean Quest
  • Gothic Analysis, part…

This interview is with ShinyZeni, a Metroid speedrunner. He primarily plays Super Metroid and has held a WR for the 100% category in the past (which you can view by clicking here).

“Mazes and Labyrinths” interviews speedrunners and Twitch streamers about disempowerment in Metroidvania and survival horror games. The series…


My main body of work is vast; this compendium seeks not only to list my favorite pieces for people to read, but to organize them into different categories and provide summaries for each.

I’ve divided this compendium into five sections:

  • About Me: This section includes posts I’ve written specifically about…

This interview is with Behemoth87, a Metroid speedrunner. He has held numerous world records in Metroid II: The Return of Samus and Super Metroid (which you can view by clicking here).

“Mazes and Labyrinths” interviews speedrunners and Twitch streamers about disempowerment in Metroidvania and survival horror games. The series follows…


This interview for “Mazes and Labyrinths” is with CScottyW. Scotty is a Metroid speedrunner, and holds numerous world records in Metroid Fusion, Metroid Zero Mission, and Metroid 1.

“Mazes and Labyrinths” interviews speedrunners and Twitch streamers about disempowerment in Metroidvania and survival horror games. The series follows a pretty set…


This interview for “Vintage to Retro” is with FrostyXen. Despite having his own YouTube channel, he’s also a world record-holder for Doom Eternal. I’ve also interviewed him about Doom Eternal before. This time, we’ll be talking about the Halo series.

This series, “FPS: From Vintage to Retro,” interviews FPS players…


This interview of “Vintage to Retro” is with my friend Alecandstuff. Now a Twitch live streamer, Alec was originally a Top 500 Overwatch player. We’ll largely be talking about multiplayer FPS like Counter Strike and Valorant, but also MOBA hybrids. …


I’m a Gothic ludologist who writes about horror in videogames. My specialty is Metroidvania, but I also research FPS (first-person shooter) and survival horror. This post is the abstract for my upcoming interview series “Mazes and Labyrinths,” which interviews speedrunners and Twitch streamers about Metroidvania and survival horror games. …

Nicholas van der Waard

I'm a Gothicist who writes about and illustrates sexuality in videogames.

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