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Q&A with Steven Seighman

bonus features:
alternate ending to Barry Graham's "Bad Beat" by Blake Butler

"Owen Morris's Other Creativity Games (to date)" by Dave Madden

deleted scene from Mary Miller's "Pearl"

behind the scenes:

So, first off, when I asked if you might be interested in doing some sketches or something for the "games issue", you immediately pitched this idea of "the history of the video game controller." Why the video game controller, and why specifically the controllers instead of a specific game or even the consoles?

I recently took my 14-year-old nephew to Best Buy and, like most kids his age, he made a beeline for the video games. They have demo stations set up there that allow you to play everything from the Nintendo Wii, to the Xbox 360, and even the now-antiquated PS2. As we made the rounds through these gaming stations, I noticed that I had to completely re-learn what all the buttons did, and it got me to thinking about the overall designs and how they vary. Having had just about every video game system there was when I was growing up, this got me to thinking about how things have changed over the years. And when you asked me to do something for the games issue a few days later, I had this on my brain, and it gave me an excuse to do a little research on just how these controllers have progressed over the years.

Which of these six controllers do you think would be your favorite -- to play? to draw? Was there any correlation between those two.

I really love the old Atari 2600 controller. It's such a classic. When I think of old-school video games, this is what immediately comes to mind. It's kind of like the starting point for all of this technology, I suppose. Kind of like those big, brick-like cell phones.

As far as what I like to use, I guess it might be the Xbox or even PS2 controller. It's better than the old one- or two-button controllers, but not as overwhelming as some of the newer ones with something like ten buttons on them. The amount of moves and commands you can do in video games today is way more than I'm used to. I don't have any video game consoles myself, and I don't get to play them too often. But when I do, it really makes me feel like I have zero hand-eye coordination. My nephew is like a wizard on those new things, pressing all the buttons in crazy combinations. I just seem like an old idiot when I try to use them.

an "origins" essay behind his Leisure Suit Larry essay by Matt Bell

an old essay about Magic: the Gathering, with new footnotes, by Mike Alber

an essay on noodles, with recipe, by E.P. Chiew

short supplemental stories:
"Picture I Stole from My Lover" by Stefan Kiesbye

"Adam, Jacob, John, Paul" (with baseball card) by Jennifer Pieroni

"Crossing Borders" by Grant Perry

short interviews with the cover artists:
Ryan Molloy

Steven Seighman

David Kramer

more bonus features:
a short story by Fart Party comic artist Julia Wertz

Gene Morgan and Matthew Simmons Discuss Dino Run

Gene Morgan and Matthew Simmons Discuss Ninja Hunter

Gene Morgan and Matthew Simmons Discuss Rose & Camellia