Peter Christiansen is a Salt Lake City-based writer and editor. He holds a PhD in communication from the University of Utah and has worked as a computer programmer, game developer, filmmaker, and writer. His writing has been praised by outlets like Wired, Digital Humanities Now, and the New Statesman.



Serving as a staff writer, Peter covered issues in satellite internet, telecom policy, rural connectivity, and communication infrastructure. This involved both technical and legal research, as well as working with stakeholders in the telecom industry.

How the Internet Works | HighSpeedInternet
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Starlink Roam, is it Worth it? | HighSpeedInternet
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Why Can I Only Get a Few Internet Providers? | HighSpeedInternet
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OneWeb Satellite Internet | HighSpeedInternet
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Frontier Internet Bankruptcy | HighSpeedInternet
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How to Get Free Internet | HighSpeedInternet
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Play the Past


For over a decade, first as a contributor and then as co-editor, Peter has been a part of Play the Past, a collaborative project dedicated to thoughtfully exploring and discussing the intersection of cultural heritage and videogames.

Disentangling Science and Technology | Play the Past
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Dwarf NORAD | Play the Past
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Excavating Code | Play the Past
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Medieval Ethics | Play the Past
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Re-entangling Science and Technology | Play the Past
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Smoggy Pasts | Play the Past
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The Beehive


Peter contributed several pieces to The Beehive, a local Utah culture and humor magazine.

Heber Quest | The Beehive
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Mathletics | The Beehive
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Monuments to Love | The Beehive
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As part of his work in science communication, Peter did outreach for the ASPIRE project, which taught science and math skills to middle school and high school students through online interactive lessons.

Studying Stars | ASPIRE
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Main Sequence Stars | ASPIRE
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Stellar Remnants | ASPIRE
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Book Chapters

Game Mods: Design Theory and Criticism

Between a Mod and a Hard Place
in Game Mods:  Design Theory and Criticism
Edited by Eric Champion

This chapter explores the history of videogame modding and how the social and legal struggles that modders faced has shaped the current modding scene.  Modders today find themselves in precarious situations in relationship to intellectual property laws, licensing agreements and game development studios.  They often find themselves in one-sided arrangements, with large studios and publishers benefiting at their expense. 

Players, Modders, and Hackers
in Understanding Minecraft: Essays on Play, Community and Possibilities
Edited by Nate Garrelts

This chapter examines the nature of the Minecraft modding community and how the creative aspects of the game itself help to transform players into modders by encouraging them to investigate its world, tinker with it, and ultimately take that world apart to see how it works.  It looks at a number of specific Minecraft mods including Skyblock, Minecraft Hunger Games, and Tekkit, while also giving a broad overview of the technical aspects involved in creating a mod and the broader cultural significance of Minecraft modding within the context of videogame history.

100 Greatest Video Game Franchises

Captain Blood | Cave Story | Chex Quest
in 100 Greatest Video Game Franchises
Edited by Robert Mejia, Jamie Banks, and Aubrie Adams

These three chapters look at three important, but often overlooked games that highlight the diversity that exists within videogame development.  L’Arche du Captain Blood, released in North America as Captain Blood, is an innovative game about communicating with aliens that typified the unique games created by French Developers in the 1980s.  Cave Story was one of the first and most successful independent games of the early 2000s, making use of digital distribution to succeed as freeware.  Finally, Chex Quest, an advergame distributed in cereal boxes and created by a professional team of Doom modders, reached more players than many triple-A games while never technically selling a single copy.

The ASPIRE Program: Using Game-Based Learning to Reach Massive Audiences
in Cases on the Societal Effects of Persuasive Games
Edited by Dana Ruggiero

This chapter describes the approach used by the ASPIRE program to create educational games to teach children about math and physics. It also discusses the history of the ASPIRE program and how its approach to game-based learning has changed over 15 years in order to accommodate shifts in organizational structure, the spread of new digital technologies, and the changing role of the Internet in society.

Telescope Array


Along with his other academic work, Peter also did work with the Telescope Array Project, a large NSF-funded particle astrophysics project created in collaboration with universities and institutions in the United States, Japan, Korea, Russia, and Belgium.

What are Cosmic Rays? | Telescope Array
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Extensive Air Showers | Telescope Array
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Surface Detection | Telescope Array
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Personal Blog


Since 2011, Peter has maintained a personal blog, primarily focused on his academic research into videogame rhetoric, science communication, and game development.

Old Weird Games: Princess Maker 2
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On Ptolemy Bashing
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The Post-Apocalyptic Landscape of Splatoon
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Academic Writing

Designing ethical systems for videogames | Foundations of Digital Games (Link)
Thanatogaming: Death, Videogames, and the Biopolitical State | DiGRA (Link)
Presence and Heuristic Cues: Cognitive Approaches to Persuasion in Games | DiGRA (Link)
Can’t See the Science for the Trees: Representations of Science in Videogames | Foundations of Digital Games (Link)
Breaking out of the industry: The independent games movement as resistance to hegemonic videogame discourse (Link)

Other Writing

The Tax Man Cometh | The Beehive (Link | PDF)
How the Internet is Changing | MoneyTalksNews (Link | PDF)
What is Broadband? | HighSpeedInternet (Link | PDF)
Google Fiber Expansion | HighSpeedInternet (Link | PDF)
Government Programs for Internet Access | HighSpeedInternet (Link | PDF)
How Fast is Fiber? | HighSpeedInternet (Link | PDF)
What is HughesNet Fusion? | HighSpeedInternet (Link | PDF)
How to Install Fiber Internet | HighSpeedInternet (Link | PDF)
2022 Internet Usage Report | HighSpeedInternet (Link | PDF)
Amazon’s Project Kuiper | HighSpeedInternet (Link | PDF)