I unexpectedly found myself mentioned over the weekend by the great MoeGamer Pete Davison. I really do mean unexpected. For those who stumble upon this and may not know, Pete has a long history writing for gaming mags; often reviewing the esoteric games many people wouldn’t want to write about. Particularly, the stuff that might have a lot of over-the-top fan service, or even an eroge (erotic) themed game. Before internet websites posted long-form content, and independent enthusiasts made YouTube channels, you often thumbed through magazines to get your game information. So to be recognized by any veteran is humbling. It must be kind of like the songwriter of a fledgling rock band putting out a song, not thinking it will get far beyond the cult status and then surprisingly it turns out James Hetfield, or Billie Joe Armstrong or Robin Wilson heard it and adored it. Sure, it may not lead to becoming the next big name, but it’s cool someone with far more star power enjoyed their visit to your tiny corner of the universe.
So anyway, there are a few things you’re supposed to do when a fellow blogger gives you the rub (as they say in pro wrestling circles) and so I’ll have to do those here:
The first step is to thank the blogger who nominated you, which I really do thank MoeGamer. They do some terrific stuff on their own site, and there is a lot to binge on. So do head over there and have a look. Chances are, you’ll learn something new, agree with or disagree with an opinion, and perhaps it will lead to a friendly debate or discussion.
You’re supposed to give a summary about how the blog came to be. I kind of do that in a super bite-sized capsule form in the “About” here, but I’ll unpack it partially here I suppose.
I’ve been blogging for a very, very long time in one form or another. I started out actually in a small patchwork of would-be poets in a now long defunct group called A Window On My Mind. Which is where I made a few friends and it was mainly therapeutic for us. When that went away though I had moved around to a few different places. I probably did the best with my Vox page, but when that service went belly up it took a ton of stuff with it. And it was around this time I was also dabbling in talking about my other big passion; gaming. I never fostered a huge following, I haven’t here either but that was never the point. But I did take a crack at a few user sections of other bigger places before those went defunct as well.
Things on my poetry end went right off a cliff in 2012 though. I had of course written in a local, offline group from around 2004 to around 2010 until the person running it came grievously ill and had to disband it. But what really put a stake in that heart (and proverbially mine as well) was when a long time friend of 15 years unexpectedly cut me out of their lives completely. It was someone I felt very close to. And at the time about the only person I could really feel unjudged confiding in. We’d become friends over writing, reading, and critiquing each other’s work. We’d gotten each other through ups and downs with emotional support. To this day if I try to write poetry it’s like picking at that scab. The hurt just bleeds out and I can’t do it. I don’t begrudge the person. I only wish the best for them. I have no idea where they are or how they’re doing, and I don’t care to find out. I just hope and pray it’s well. I have no animosity. But I don’t desire to go through the five stages of grief over and over again though. Once is enough. And so if the urge to write poetry again comes back peaceably without reminding me of that ordeal at every attempt to put pen to paper, I may do that privately or on a separate blog altogether. Time heals all wounds as they say, so perhaps someday there will be an interest in trying again.
But I did still have my love of video games. I still had the ability to write other things, and so I decided to continue to write about video games. A local friend at the time started a small game blog called Retro Retreat, and I contributed a couple of articles here and there to the page before life got in everyone’s way, and that folded. But that was a great outlet in its short time. Eventually, I just decided I still wanted to write even if I was the only one doing it and so here we are. I still think there’s a place for long form written reviews. As much as I like a lot of the people doing YouTube videos there are situations where just reading something feels better. Hopefully people feel the same way and like what they see here.
From here, I’m supposed to give two pieces of advice to anyone who wants to start a blog. So these are two things I’ve learned over the years.
First: Write about whatever you want. Really. Write about whatever it is you want. If you’re passionate about something let the world know. After you’ve been doing it awhile you might find the topic or the angle you want to focus on, which is good for retention. You may build an audience who shares your love of say, spaghetti. But if you need to take a break from spaghetti to talk about lasagna instead, there’s nothing wrong with that. Sure some of the spaghetti fans might be disappointed, but you also don’t want to burn yourself out either. You can branch out once in a while.
Second: No matter what you decide to write about though, be sure to proofread. You may want to download something like Grammarly to help with that task. But even a good utility isn’t perfect. And you’ll want to be sure you’ve gotten the spelling, punctuation and everything else the best you possibly can. Why? Well for one, it looks more professional. Whether you’re writing for a hobby or writing to get a check, that professional look is key. A well written and well edited article will usually garner more attention than the 600 word cluster filled with spelling errors and bad spacing. You can have a mediocre writer and a fantastic writer write about the same thing using 2,000 words. If the mediocre writer does a great job with periods and commas while the fantastic writer only focuses on content, chances are the mediocre writer will still get a better reception. I am not a professional paid writer. But I want to make sure that when I do put something out there, it can hang with with the work of the pros. Or at least get as close as possible. I may be writing for my own love of doing so, but I’d like someone else to at least want to attempt to read the ramblings of this madman. And they won’t want to even try if it appears that I didn’t care to try. So proofread!
Finally, I’m supposed to choose 15 articles for those who see this to go check out. Clearly I need to sub to more because I don’t think I’ll hit all 15, so some will be videos. But still, I hope you’ll check them out anyhow.
Neese005 takes a look at Valorant
Benez256 waxes nostalgic about some of their favorites
The Shameful Narcissist updates us with their progress
Hungrygoriya found some great acquisitions this past August
The Well Red Mage reaffirms their mission statement
Extra Life takes a deep analytical look at The Last Of Us 2
Qudduws Campbell reviews Dead By Daylight
Yheela muses about the little things
VidChord reviews Escape From Tethys
NekoJonez talks about video game OSTs
Arthur has a fresh eyed look at Final Fantasy VII
ABXY Mage reviews Black Forest Games’ remake of Destroy All Humans
My pal Peter Skerritt unseals his final game before he’s done moving.
The ReNESance paints a beautiful Breath Of The Wild landscape.
The Best Spuds continue their Rogue Legacy run