from the bureau

While discussing potential themes for our fourth issue of electro bureau I received the horrific news that my mother suddenly died. Her death made my life come to a grinding halt (and took electro bureau with it). In the months after, as I attempted to put everything back in order I realized we had our theme. How does gaming exist within the grieving experience? Does it numb it? Does it let us process it? Does it give us permission to grieve in a society that views grief as an inconvenience? As we collected the stories for this issue I knew that the issue itself became too much too soon. So we sidelined it.

They say that time heals all wounds, but that is simply not true. Rather than heal, time grants us perspective. It allows pain to be carried. With that in mind we set out to create an issue that explores grief in its myriad forms. We want to tell these stories because we believe that games can heal, help and save people. These experiences are important and valid and need to be heard.

First, Gaby explores how an abusive romance in Dragon Age 2 began to mirror her own and empowered her to no longer feel shame. Tony takes us on a journey framed by Final Fantasy: Crystal Chronicles which reveals that life, like the game, is filled with innumerable heartbreaks punctuated by hopeful memories. Tate tells how Animal Crossing: New Leaf carried him through the toughest month of his life and unexpectedly saved him from suicide after his mother’s death. And lastly, your editors discuss how developers attempt to elicit grief from players, and reminisce about moments in games that succeeded in that end.

The situations discussed in this issue are serious. And it takes a great deal of courage to tell these stories. If you believe someone is at risk or you yourself are having suicidal thoughts, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or visit Additionally, if you or someone you know is a victim of domestic abuse please call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) or visit Alternatively, you can text the Crisis Text Line at 741-741. You can learn more about the service here:


We want to include a wide range of voices here at the bureau. If you've got something to say about a game, by all means, e-mail tony and let him know what you would like to say. We are proud to offer compensation to underrepresented authors.