Sketch of a crocodile wearing a Lt. Columbo outfit and giving a thumbs-up

Hi folks

Welcome to this space where I’m planning to write about the various detective/mystery games (both video games & board games) that I’m playing or have played.

I’m talking about games where you’re sleuthin’ in a whodunit, where you’re investigating and interrogating, and solving murder mysteries and/or uncovering conspiracies. Games like Paradise Killer, Sherlock Holmes: Consulting Detective, Her Story, and The Case of the Golden Idol. There are too many to list here, but I hope to catalog them and my thoughts on them in this blog.

Who am I? I’m a data scientist with a statistics background. I’m based near Pittsburgh and I love games & detective fiction. I’m a Data Science Manager at the Wikimedia Foundation where I lead the Product Analytics team. I’ve dabbled in game development and have made a couple of prototypes. I once collaborated with Molleindustria on TradeMarkVille.

I’m new to game criticism, and media criticism in general. I haven’t exercised that muscle since AP English Lit in high school. I’ve been trying to become better about reflecting on art/media I engage with and how I articulate the outcomes of those reflections. I’m hoping that by practicing through writing on this blog and reading related articles, it will help me get better.

Why the name? “[Crocodile] ‘n’ coat” is a reference to the classic dad joke “What do you call an alligator in a vest? An investigator!” Plus, my wife and I have been watching Crikey! It’s the Irwins with our toddler, so it’s also a tiny homage to Steve Irwin.

What’s next?

I’ve been thinking about how I think about detective games – what I look for, what I find interesting or boring, and what inspires me to recommend some but not others. Now, this is not a review site, but I’ve played enough of these to have developed a vague framework for evaluating them. I’d like to try to put it into words at some point.

Past. Maybe I’ll share some of my favorites – beyond just listing them like I did at the top of this post and actually write a little bit about why they’re my favorites.

Present. Maybe I’ll write about Murder Mystery Machine which I’ve been playing on my Steam Deck.

Future. Maybe I’ll share my ridiculously long backlog.