In the spirit of the season, I want to share some of my recommendations for the things I really enjoyed in 2022. So without further adieu, here is my

Best game: Omori (

> CW: _This game contains depictions of depression, anxiety, and suicide, and may not be suitable for all audiences._

Omori is a pixel art RPG about friendship, childhood, and imagination, but also about trauma, guilt, and grief. The graphics are cute and quirky and the story starts out upbeat and almost childlike, but the ending was one of the most heart-wrenching emotional experiences I ever got from any form of media. So grab your controller and a box of tissues and get ready for the ride of a lifetime.

Best series: Spy x Family (

This is really the complete package of what I look for in anime: fantastic visual style and animation, equal doses of comedy and action, and a good dose of cuteness and cosiness on the side. For anyone for whom the chainsaw anime is a bit too dark and bloody.

Best movie: Everything Everywhere All At Once (

I did not actually watch a lot of movies this year, but this one really stood out regardless. I'm still not entirely sure *what* exactly I watched, but if the concept of a Chinese immigrant mother running a laundromat but turns into a multiverse-hopping superhero sounds intriguing, this one doesn't disappoint.

Best fiction book: Perhaps the Stars by Ada Palmer (

This is the fourth book in the Terra Ignota series, so if you haven't read it you should start with Too Like the Lightning ( This is science fiction that doesn't focus on technological gadgets and innovations (though there is plenty of that, too) but instead gives a vision of how our politics and society could evolve over the next few centuries. It is absolutely packed with ideas such as the replacement of nations with organic "hives" with their own ideologies that you are free to join, a justice system that doesn't require prisons, a wholly different set of social norms around gender, and everyone being assigned a 'sensayer', a combined therapist and spiritual advisor. But most of all, the books are about the fundamental question: where do we want to go as humanity?

Best non-fiction book: From What Is to What If: Unleashing the Power of Imagination to Create the Future We Want by Rob Hopkins (

This book really got me thinking about how else we could be spending our time and effort to make this world a better place. I'm thinking about writing a longer review of this book, but what I can already say is that it opened my eyes to a lot of questions about how we approach problems in our society. Questions such as: what if we used imagination as a core tool in our approach to education, mental health, policy making, ...? I consider this a must-read for anyone who still believes things can turn out to be all right, and perhaps especially also for those who don't.

Best tabletop RPG: Avatar Legends by Magpie Games (

What if D&D was not about the struggle of good versus evil, but instead about preserving balance in a world in chaos? What if it was not about your equipment and magic spells, but instead about your story as a hero and your internal struggles? What if the thing that takes you out is not your hit points dropping to zero, but instead your emotions overflowing and you losing balance? What if the goal was not to gain levels and gold, but instead to tell an interesting story and play to find out what happens? Well, that is Avatar Legends: the roleplaying game by Magpie games. This is a game Powered by the Apocalypse, which is a style of games that I've been interested in for a long time but never really managed to get into. After playing a couple of one-shot games this year, I can confidently say that it really amplifies the most fun parts of tabletop roleplaying while cutting out the boring bits, so I'm really looking forward to playing more of this in 2023!

Best podcast episode: interview with Audrey Tang on 80,000 Hours (

It seems like these days there are less and less people who still trust our democracy to function properly. Certainly myself I've gotten quite skeptical about the ability of politicians to deal with any problem that does not jump up right in front of them (and even then...) This is why I was so interested to hear this interview with Audrey Tang on what we can learn from Taiwan’s experiments with how to do democracy on the 80,000 hours podcast. This has shown to me that there *are* ways to make people care about democracy and really listen to what they have to say, we just have to think carefully about the systems we use to communicate and aggregate their voices.

Best blog: Shtetl-Optimized by Scott Aaronson (

If you have been living under a rock, you probably noticed that the rock has little images on it drawn by Stable Diffusion and the rock is chatting with you using ChatGPT. If you're like me, this induces enthusiasm about the new possibilities, but also a lot of uncertainty and anxiety about the impact this will have on our society. Luckily there are some *very* smart people thinking about these problems and how we could face them head-on. At the same time, these people can sometimes sound a lot like a doomsday cult from the outside. That's why I was so happy to see Scott Aaronson decide to take a break from quantum computing and instead work on AI alignment. I have always enjoyed his writing on quantum computing, and I equally enjoy his writing on AI, in particular Reform AI Alignment ( and We Are the Gods of the Gaps (

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