Cara Ellison

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Cara Ellison
Cara Ellison.jpg
Ellison in Los Angeles, California in 2014
Born (1985-09-28) 28 September 1985 (age 34)
OccupationCritic, developer

Cara Ellison (born 28 September 1985) is a Scottish video game critic[1][2] and developer.[3][4]


Ellison made regular contributions to publications PC Gamer, Unwinnable and Rock, Paper, Shotgun beginning in 2012.[5][6][7]

She has also written gaming related articles for New Statesman, Paste,[8] Edge magazine and Kotaku and is a regular contributor to The Guardian gamesblog. From 2014 to 2015, Ellison wrote a bi-weekly column called S.EXE for Rock Paper Shotgun about the depiction of sex and romance in video games.[9] She also contributed video game related articles to VICE UK in 2014.[10]

In 2013 Ellison won the Games Media Award 'Rising Star' for her work writing about games, and the Guardian placed her number ten in the 'Top 30 Young People In Digital Media' list 2014. [11] She also writes for the Guardian.[12]

In 2014 Ellison successfully sought funding on Patreon for her "Embed with" series, in which she became an itinerant games journalist, travelling the world and writing about the lives and processes of games developers.[13][14]

Games development[edit]

Ellison worked for Rockstar North as a QA tester on Grand Theft Auto IV until 2008.[3][15] In 2013, Ellison wrote the text-based interactive fiction game Sacrilege, which The New York Times described as a "raw exploration of female sexuality that also includes some astute observations about male desire".[16] Ellison also has collaborated with artist Howard Hardiman on Badger's Day Out, funded by a combination of a successful Kickstarter, with backing from the Arts Council England.

She was contracted by Arkane Studios as an external narrative consultant for the 2016 title Dishonored 2.[17][18]

In August 2015, she gave a keynote at Dare to Be Digital.[19]


  • The State of Play: Creators and Critics on Video Game Culture (October 2015, Seven Stories Press)[20]
  • Embed with Games: A Year on the Couch with Game Developers (November 2015, Polygon)[21]


  1. ^ "‘The Charnel House Trilogy’ Review: Pixelated Horror Game Gets Mixed Results". Game Rant. by Melissa Loomis
  2. ^ "Cara Ellison Kickstarts Games Critic Career with Patreon". Escapist Magazine, Greg Tito | 17 March 2014
  3. ^ a b "The top 30 young people in digital media: Nos 10-1". The Guardian. March 17, 2014.
  4. ^ Tito, Greg (March 17, 2014). "Cara Ellison Kickstarts Games Critic Career with Patreon". The Escapist. Retrieved 26 November 2014.
  5. ^ Ellison, Cara (November 6, 2012). "Old friends: an ode to Defence of the Ancients". PC Gamer.
  6. ^ Ellison, Cara (April 24, 2012). "Don't Take Love Personally, Babe: Being Single In Public". Unwinnable.
  7. ^ Ellison, Cara (June 20, 2012). "Choose Your Own Anna Anthropy Interview". Rock, Paper, Shotgun.
  8. ^ "The Charnel House Trilogy Review: Dangers on a Train". Paste. by Brian Taylor April 23, 2015
  9. ^ "The Complete S.EXE, Cara Ellison's Series About Games, Sex and Relationships". Rock, Paper, Shotgun. May 1, 2015.
  10. ^ "Latest from Cara Ellison". VICE UK.
  11. ^ "Games Media Awards toast new talent and top writers". MCV. October 10, 2013.
  12. ^ "Cara Ellison". The Guardian. Retrieved 19 August 2015.
  13. ^ "Critical Distance: This Week in Videogame Blogging #6 '. New Statesman.
  14. ^ "Support Cara Ellison creating transmetropolitan games criticism". Archived from the original on 2017-11-17. Retrieved 2014-09-29.
  15. ^ "Grand Theft Auto IV credits".
  16. ^ Suellentrop, Chris (July 6, 2014). "Text Games in a New Era of Stories". New York Times.
  17. ^ "Dishonored 2 Credits". MobyGames. MobyGames.
  18. ^ "Cara Ellison". Giant Bomb. Giant Bomb.
  19. ^ "Video game intimacy discussed at Dare ProtoPlay". NewBay Media. Retrieved 19 August 2015.
  20. ^ "The State of Play: Creators and Critics on Video Game Culture". Seven Stories Press. Seven Stories Press. Retrieved 20 October 2015.
  21. ^ "Embed with Games: A Year on the Couch with Game Developers". Birlinn Ltd. Polygon. Retrieved 10 March 2016.

External links[edit]