An American writer comes to London to promote a history of videogames
Monday: I've been here three days now, doing interviews about my new book Joystick Nation, and seeing London. To me it's part of the job. You can't be Thomas Pynchon about these things any more unless you're Thomas Pynchon. I know I'm seen as a kind of Generation X, techno-literate commentator. I don't have a problem with that. I don't have a problem shrink-wrapping the high- lights of my books. I think one day there might be a finishing school for authors that will teach them how to do this.

I was interviewed by a guy who runs a website that throws darts at people who run media empires. So we already had the basis for a conversation. I went on a books programme on Sky TV, and took the train to Southampton for an MTV-style discussion sitting on a couch with a bunch of teenagers. That was fun.

I go and see British films when I'm London, because they don't open in the States until about three months later and I like to go home and annoy my friends about them. I went to see Lawn Dogs. It was bitingly accuracte and had some great moments, but it was also punctuated by some horrific bits of soundtrack. I've also seen Nil by Mouth. Very disappointing. No narrative, nothing happens, and maybe that's the point. But it makes it excruciating as a film-going experience. It was probably cathartic for Gary Oldman to make it.

This morning I recorded a discussion with Douglas Adams at the BBC. It was a thrill to meet him. There was a GLR interview this afternoon and another interview with a trade paper for video games. Then I met Sue Douglas from The European and she took me to a party at the Ritz. You take your parties very seriously. It's an odd confluence of seasonal festivities and professional responsibilities. I think office Christmas parties in New York are more relaxed.

TUESDAY: They might as well have set up a little cot for me at Broadcasting House. I'm spending most of my time there. Today it was BBC Manchester and BBC Scotland. You're put in this little closet with your headphones and all these buttons and left to your own devices. You'd never be let loose with so much equipment in an American studio. I resisted the temptation to fool around with it. The Scottish DJ tried to chat me up.

Then I met some editors at The Face. They serialised Joystick Nation and it was No.7 in their list of coolest books of the year, below Matt Groening but above Damien Hirst. So I've got something to talk to Damien about if I ever run into him at a cocktail party.

I went to see Regeneration. It was all right. But once you've seen one First World War film you've seen them all.

WEDNESDAY: It was LBC today. Then I met a woman from BBC World whose name I'd been given by a mutual friend. She grew up in Tennessee and went to Oxford and married an Englishman. She has an interesting take culturally.

THURSDAY: My last day. This morning I went to the Barbican and saw this fantastic collection of Finnish art. Then had lunch at Cafe Rouge with my former publicist before a car took me to Heathrow.

FRIDAY: The obligatory call to my agent to catch up on things.

It's been a good week. What I like about going on radio shows in England is that, unlike in America, the interviewer has usually read your book.

J C Herz is 26 and lives in New York. Her first book was 'Surfing the Internet'. 'Joystick Nation', an Abacus paperback price pounds 9.99, was published earlier this month.

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