August of 2008 must have been an aftersummer like any other for me. Granted, I had just signed up for university for the second time, after having ended my study of history rather prematurely. But apart from a slightly higher amount of excitement, I was over-occupied doing nothing before the school bell rang again - figuratively or not - at the end of the month. As such, it is hard to say at this point what motivated me to log on to Gamespot - where I had been a member for two years already - on the 12th of August and post my first blog entry. Perhaps it was the rather 'livejournally' vibe of the term 'blog' that had withheld me from giving in to the desire to use my personal Gamespot soapbox in previous years, or maybe I just needed a place to dump my gaming-related articles on.
Regardless from the nobility of my motivations, that particular date saw the "Some people have no opinions" line be changed by a fairly light-hearted article on the appeal of Faxanadu. This obscure NES RPG is remembered for little more than its legendary "this is not enough golds" line, making it the ideal 'unknown-to-many-beloved-by-some' game that is so easy to write about. Like my early reviews, this article was actually taken from the 1337Planet forums, where I had posted it months earlier. As the title implies, the entry was actually the first in a series of articles on cult games. I had at one point written the second instalment, on Hogs of War, but only posted it on the aforementioned forum. A third and final instalment on Conker's Bad Fur Day was planned but never realised.
From that point onwards, I sporadically posted more writings, widely varied in nature, on the tiny but cozy personal space that Gamespot so generously granted me. The first few entries were mostly revamped articles from 1337Planet, but from about 2010 onwards, I started writing material specifically for my GS blog. While I'd probably throw away a considerable portion of my early writings now, I do like how skimming through my blog history gives me, and with that the reader, some insight into how my gaming tastes have developed over the years. Because it is no coincidence that, like with my reviews, just about anything written before 2010 dealt specifically with Nintendo-related games and themes.
Then, in the summer of 2010, I suddenly ended up with a gaming PC (it's a long story...) and my focus switched dramatically. Not only did I dedicate most of my gaming time to PC titles, but I also gained interest in specific genres and niches. Some of my friends now like to joke that I'm only into obscure Russian shooters and won't like a game if it allows me to hit a foe from distances greater than 5 metres. While this is, of course, not to be taken seriously, such a caricature would have been completely unthinkable some three years ago, when I was mostly into platformers and had only finished about 5 first person shooters ever.
With this switch in focus, I also moved away from the 'AAA game' experience. Not that I cherish this infantile, jealous fanboy rage against popular games that seems to be all the fashion these days, but if I look at what games I've enjoyed the most this gen, a lot of them aren't exactly the most polished, high production titles out there. As someone who has always liked to write about video games, my evolving preferences motivated, or possibly even forced me to investigate wherein the appeal of video games lies. This resulted in numerous articles on the (admittedly worn-out) 'video games as art' debate, detailed accounts of my favourite games, and even contemplations over the purpose of reviews and video game journalism themselves.
Pretentious as it may sound, the fact that a fair degree of academic experience ripened both my analytical capabilities and my writing skills contributed greatly to the tangible improvement of my entries over the years. While I by no means claim that I am the only one who at least attempts to write about video games in a fashion more erudite than usual, I do think I have found my own niche in how I approach video games and media in general. By trying to analyse games rather than merely describing and grading them, you become much more aware of the mechanics at play behind the game. If you are not only able to say that you think a game is fun, but also explain what makes it fun to you, it makes deciding whether or not a game is worth your time that much easier. Not only that, but being aware of why a game is so appealing exposes its true brilliance - something that goes further than their shiny packaging. And being able to capture that sentiment in words once in a while generates a genuine sense of accomplishment as a writer.
After that August afternoon in 2008, 99 more articles have been posted, meaning that this marks the centennial entry. But my evolution as a writer and contributor to this community has, of course, gone hand-in-hand with my evolution as a person. Now that I'm a working man, I don't have as much time to dedicate myself to writing as I'd like. As a result, the future of this blog is uncertain. Not in terms of its existence, because I will keep updating this small page as long as GameSpot allows me to, but uncertain in terms of how regular these updates will be. But after 24 years on this planet, it's safe to say that writing will remain my favourite pastime for the 50 or more years that are hopefully still ahead of me. And if, during that time, I can make even the smallest contribution to the evolution of the coverage of media, I'll be more than satisfied.
Thanks to all of those who have, at any point, read and enjoyed my contributions to this website.