British journalist and author of Trigger Happy: the Inner Life of Video Games, an analysis of gaming culture and aesthetics. Poole has a regular column in Edge magazine, where he often discusses usability issues in games, such as the importance of consistent behaviour and sensible interfaces. He is something of a champion for video games in the mainstream press.
Often referred to as an "outsider" by critics (and sometimes by himself), Poole had little contact with post 8-bit video games until playing WipEout 2097 on the PlayStation, which reawakened his interest and helped inspire him to write Trigger Happy. The lack of long-term immersion in video game culture resulting from this hiatus gives Trigger Happy a rather fresh feel, especially when compared to the specialist press that gamers generally rely on for criticism.
Poole also contributes regularly to several other publications, notably the TLS and The Guardian, for whom he writes capsule reviews of non-fiction paperbacks in the weekly Review supplement.