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Tom Bissell

13 articles

A Polar Turn of Mind

Finding peace and quiet in the high Canadian Arctic.

Previously: The Longform Guide to Silence.


Poison Tree

An open letter on Grand Theft Auto 5 and aging out of the Rockstar Games franchise.


The Secret Mainstream

The life and films of Werner Herzog.


Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Shooter

Why people play violent video games.


The Last Lion

A visit with the novelist Jim Harrison.


Loch Ness Memoir

A trip to Scotland and an investigation of enduring belief:

I remember reading about the deathbed confession, and how strangely sad it made me, even though I had not, at that point, believed in the monster for years. How much sadder, I wondered, would it make those who still believed in the existence of a monster in Loch Ness?


Beyond Angry Birds

On the shift from the “triple-A video-game production cycle — the expensive development process, in other words, by which games like HaloGrand Theft AutoUncharted, and BioShock are unleashed upon the world” towards the simpler pleasures of gaming on the iPad.


A Comet's Tale

An investigation into The End.


Press X for Beer Bottle

On LA Noire and the gaming paradoxes presented by pairing nuanced storytelling with a player’s free will.


A Simple Medium

On Chuck Lorre, creator of the #1 (Two and a Half Men) and #2 comedy on American television, former cruise ship guitarist, composer of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles theme song, and recently antagonist of Charlie Sheen.


After the Fall

A trip to interview former South Vietnamese premiere Ky on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the reunification of Vietnam ends with government surveillance, partying, and confusion.


Video games: the addiction

Tom Bissell was an acclaimed young writer when he started playing Grand Theft Auto. For the last three years he has been sleep deprived, cocaine fueled, and barely able to write a word—and he has no regrets.