Guilty Pleasures

Author Elissa Washuta Says Video Games Are Relaxing

For the writer, the perfect creative balance is finding the right amount of stimulation, allowing relaxation, and turning pleasures into projects.


Guilty Pleasures is a monthly interview series featuring a conversation with one artist about their so-called guilty pleasure.

Elissa Washuta is no stranger to obession. As an author, Elissa tackles her obsessions with fervor until they shift or reveal new possibilities—from witchery and magic to Twin Peaks. From her tweets over many years, I’ve known that Elissa plays (video) games as almost a hobby. Last spring, she announced she’s writing her next book, an essay collection about gaming, power, and money. For this month’s Guilty Pleasure interview, I spoke with Elissa Washuta about the world’s most popular guilty pleasure — video games.

Elissa Washuta is a member of the Cowlitz Indian Tribe, and the author of White Magic, Starvation Mode, and My Body Is a Book of Rules. With Theresa Warburton, she co-edited the anthology Shapes of Native Nonfiction: Collected Essays by Contemporary Writers. Elissa is an associate professor at the Ohio State University, teaching in the MFA Program in Creative Writing.

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