I had an issue. But I turned it into an opportunity, so don’t worry. Both Tessa/Endalia AND Solarayo nominated me for different awards. Tessa tagged me for Versatile Blogger Award. And I thought… What better way to demonstrate versatility than by mushing it all up with the Real Neat Blogger award that Solarayo tagged me for?

Tessa noted that the Versatile Blogger Award was likely to be for bloggers who cover a range of topics rather than just one. And I suppose that while I talk about games (almost) exclusively, there is certainly quite a wide variety of titles discussed within that! Tessa noted it might also be for those that use a range of media — e.g., Blogging + Streaming or YouTube, etc. The latter one is definitely far less me than the first.

Solarayo nominated me for a Real Neat Blog — and it will be the second one of these I’ve responded to. (I apologise to any I have missed, I know of at least two that I either found too late or came too close to the first one!) The Real Neat Blog award tag is generally about opening the curtain a little on the blogger behind the keyboard of a blog you like. It follows a theme of 7’s — 7 questions asked, 7 questions you in turn ask, and 7 tags.

The Versatile Blogger award demands 15 sacrifices tags, but there has been a general consensus that this is waaay too many. Otherwise though? It can also follow the theme of 7, as it asks you to tell 7 things about yourself!

So… Here we go, the rules for this Frankenstein of a tag post… :)

A Plague Tale: Innocence, before everything turns to custard.

The Rules

  1. Thank the person who tagged you for the award.
    (Or in this case, people! Thank-you very much both Tessa and Solarayo!)
  2. Answer the 7 questions set out by your nominator.
  3. Tell everyone 7 things about yourself — you can spread them between answering the questions!
  4. (Optional) Write another 7 questions to ask the people you tag.
  5. (Optional) Tag 7 people to carry forward the Real Neat Versatile Blog Award and answer your questions while revealing 7 facts about themselves. :)

The Answers!

Question 1: Do you ever listen to video game soundtracks outside of gaming sessions? If so, which ones?

Ori and the Blind Forest

Actually, no… Not really.

Certainly not with any regularity. I’ve occasionally added a few tracks here and there — most recently (and this is still talking last year) I added a few tracks from Ori and the Blind Forest’s soundtrack to my Spotify playlist.

But… They didn’t last long before I took them off again.

I still quite like the soundtrack, but I worried that I’d listen to it to the point where that was no longer true if I kept it there!

Here’s a track I still particularly like. :)

Fact 1: I love reading! And I prefer a Kindle over ‘real’ books.

Specifically, epic fantasy is my jam! Brandon Sanderson is one of my favourites and his ‘The Way of Kings‘ was the last thing I read as a physical book. I bought it in hardcover and it was a monster at (just) over 1,000 pages. It was largely down to this book that convinced me that perhaps an e-reader wouldn’t be so bad after all.

The convenience of an e-reader in transporting it and being able to prop it up and read it while doing other chores won me over very quickly and did away with any misgivings I might’ve had about it not being anything like a ‘real’ book.

Question 2: What’s a game that you loved growing up, but find it harder to enjoy now whether due to a change in tastes or now outdated mechanics and graphics?

If it was a game I personally played at the time it was current, I typically don’t have too much trouble picking it up again later. I can usually put issues with mechanics and graphics to the side.

Where I can definitely stumble though when returning to an old game is if the controls are way different from what we’re now used to. Asheron’s Call was a case of this actually. When it was current, it didn’t really have any mouse-based camera controls. At all. They were later added… Sort of? But very poorly. It was still far, far better to just continue using the numpad to control the camera.

Getting used to that again though. Hoo boy. It has put me off in the past, and almost did this last time around. Fortunately, managed to get past that… And also past all the other changes AC had made.

Fact 2: I’m married with two kids — both boys!

Not too much more to say about that one really. :) You’ll occasionally find the odd passing reference to them here, but not usually in too much detail as I do endeavour to keep some degree of separation between the online persona and my real life!

Question 3: Which game console do you feel has the greatest library of titles to choose from?

Huh. Well… If I could, I’d pick PC. It’s by far my preferred gaming platform.

But since the question asks which ‘console’ specifically… Hmm. You know, I’d probably say the Playstation 4. I suspect I’m meant to pick something classic here, but eh! And this answer is still somewhat driven by my love of the PC as a gaming platform still, because the Playstation has many more exclusives that I couldn’t otherwise get.

These days most Xbox exclusives end up on PC as well; which is fantastic.

Fact 3: I game (almost) exclusively on PC.

Detroit Become Human — I think the last PS4 game I played to completion? Although… Possibly that was God of War. But I think I stalled on this, finished God of War first, then returned to finish DBH later.

Alright, this one might’ve been spoiled by the last question — but dangit, deciding on 7 facts to share is actually not the easiest thing to do!

Tis true though. I also currently own a Playstation 4 and Nintendo Switch; but barring a window of time around exclusives being launched that I actually want for them — they basically never see the light of day. So I’m incredibly pleased that even Sony seems to be more open these days to bringing their first-party titles to PC.

Come on Nintendo, join in the fun!

Question 4: Name a video game character that has made a positive impact in your life?


Ummm. Well shit. I’m pretty sure I don’t have anything for this.

I don’t think any game or game character has really had this degree of impact on me. Moving games and character moments? You bet. I was still very young when I first played FF7 through for the first time, and badly animated as it was… That one scene… You know the one. Holy bejeebus.

But a character that has made a positive impact on my life overall? Sorry.

Fact 4: Time to Loot isn’t my first blog…

…But it is the first one I’ve had running consistently for over a year! I noted a while ago that I felt something was different about this blog. That was back at 115 posts. I’m over double that now at slightly over 240 posts and still things seem to be going well.

I’m not really any closer to understanding for sure what the difference between this blog and my prior attempts is — but whatever it is, I’m thankful for it.

Question 5: If you could sit down to a conversation with any fictional character (book, movie, or game) who would it be and where would this conversation occur?

These questions are hard for me!

But I think I have an answer to this one.

I’d talk to Kvothe from Patrick Rothfuss’ Kingkiller Chronicle. In his bar would be fine. Or in my lounge. Anywhere. I just can’t wait for day / book three any more. Aaaahhh! I NEED TO KNOW WHAT HAPPENS! TELL MEEEE!

Fact 5: I don’t actually know what my favourite game genre is right now (or if I even have one)!

Deep Rock Galactic: one of my current gaming interests.

Once, I had a clear cut genre preference: RPGs. But… Before that it was MMOs. Before that, FPS. Before that, RTS. I still like RPGs, but they don’t excite me quite as much as they once did.

I still want to play Greedfall though, for instance. But I’ve had it since, I think, the Christmas sale.

In any case, the curious part is that I couldn’t really tell you what, if any, genre has taken over from it as my favourite game genre. Perhaps it is like Bhagpuss had said recently in a comment that the lines are so blurred here now that ‘games’ and even specific genre labels just aren’t useful.

I can tell you I like mechanics that provide a sense of progression. That could be character strength. City/village progress. Anything. But you can find this in… Well… Almost anything these days!

Question 6: If you could travel to any video game location for a hard-earned vacation, where would you go?

The Islands of Panau at Sunset.

Oh lord. Um. You know what I’ve been craving lately?

And island get away.

And when it comes to games and islands; I remember none more than Panau from Just Cause 2. Sure, it has some issues… Like, a despotic ruler backed by an army of goons. But have you seen those beaches??

Although as the lockdown extends, I suspect more and more places will start to look appealing. ;)

Fact 6: If I had a choice — I’d rather be too cold than too hot.

In fact, summer in many respects is one of my least favourite times of the year!

Now, I say this in the context of having lived all my life in a pretty mildly-temperate area. Auckland, New Zealand, for how often it can change its mind about the weather in a single day, is never going to reach the extremes of temperature at either end of the scale. It never even snows here in Auckland! You have to travel a little further south for that.

But yep. With that context outlined; I’d far rather be cold. At least then you can grab blankets, extra clothes, etc. Too hot? Past a certain point… Not a lot you can do!

Question 7: Quarantine Question: What’s your go-to movie or TV show?

I mean… It’s still no Firefly, but it’s better than Castle at least.

With TV, movies and games — I rarely return to something I’ve already finished. I can with books, but still frequently don’t just because of how much is still on my reading backlog to get through!

So with that in mind, I don’t really have a go to. But I can tell you I am quite enjoying The Rookie right now. That’s probably my favourite show at the moment in fact.

I’m also quite enjoying catching up on the latest season of The Blacklist!

Fact 7: I’m the oldest of three siblings.

I have a sister (middle of the pack) and a brother (youngest). I feel pretty luck to have the family I do as we all get on pretty dang well. My brother is doing his isolation at our place and even after two weeks there is narry a sign of murder to be found.

If anything might be helping cut some of the tension that might’ve otherwise existed with being locked in with a limited number of people for so long!

My Questions for You All!

  1. If you were to start another blog, or branch off your current blog into a whole new direction, what would it be about?
  2. What mix of mechanics or genres would form your absolute dream game?
  3. What thing (game, book, movie, anything) have you experienced recently, thinking it should be right up your ally — only to find it very much was not?
  4. The opposite! Have you been convinced to try anything you thought you wouldn’t enjoy, only to discover you very much loved it after all? What was it?
  5. What new thing do you most want to achieve with your blog this year?
  6. What’s on your wishlist that you most want to buy, but for whatever reason you haven’t yet pulled the trigger on purchasing yet?
  7. When this whole lockdown thing is over; and the shops/services currently closed reopen, what is the first thing you’ll visit/do?

The Nominations

Welp… With 15 people being nominated in Tessa’s round, and every Blapril participant in Solarayo’s… There’s going to be some overlap here. Anyone who I nominate can choose to ignore this one if they so choose. I mean- that’s always the case, but even moreso now!

Equally, to be very clear — if you’d like to run through a response to this Real Neat Versatile Blogger hybrid thing, sharing 7 facts and answering the 7 questions above, then whether I nominate you or not — go ahead! Join in and let me know! :D

I’m not going to nominate anyone I nominated in my last tag post, but otherwise I think for simplicity’s sake I’m not going to look terribly closely at who was nominated already. xD

RakunoShards of Imagination
EverwakeEverwake’s Internet Adventures
PaerokaNerdy Bookahs
SDWeaselUnidentified Signal Source
AywrenAywren Sojourner
ChestnutGamer Girl Confessions

This was a post for Blapril 2020, the annual blogging event (albeit usually as Blaugust), brought forward to help bring a sense of community during the challenging time of COVID-19. Blaugust is an event aiming to welcome new blogger blood into the fold and revitalise those who’ve been at it a little longer.

The Blaugust Discord is still available to join in, year round!


Gamer, reader, writer, husband and father of two boys. Former WoW and Gaming blogger, making a return to the fold to share my love of all things looty.


Bhagpuss · April 8, 2020 at 11:43 pm

Kindle vs book is a very interesting one. It’s heresy where I work (a bookshop) to admit to preferring eBooks. The only person who did left a long time ago. His choice, I hasten to add. We have customers who are quite tribal about printed books, too.

My feeling is that it’s about as meaningful a choice as whther you watch movies on dvd/blueray or at the cinema – it depends on what you’re looking for, your circumstances and your personal preference. The experience you get will be different even though the core is the same.

For me, it’s not even about convenience. I don’t like hardback books – they’re too big and too awkward to carry around and I do most of my reading out of the house (ironically, the more time I have off work, as now, the less I read). I like a paperback, preferably one that fits in the back pocket of my jeans.

eBooks, however, require me to power up my Kindle and log in and since it’s both password protected and takes a minute or so to wake up, that means a two or three minute delay between when I decide I want to read and actually having a page open in front of me. With a physical book that interval is about five or ten seconds and where the Kindle is concerned that’s more than enough difference to make me change my mind and do something else. Not to mention that once I have the Kindle up and running there’s a screen in my hand that shows moving images and that is a lot more tempting than static text.

So I still do most of my reading on paper. The Kindle gets used as an online media portal and for reading when I go away on holiday. Then it really does come into its own.

    Naithin · April 9, 2020 at 8:56 am

    It sounds like you have a Kindle Fire or some other LCD based display — which as you note are great if you ALSO want to use it for media. I should have been more clear though, that I mean an e-ink e-reader. Motion is not something these guys do, which removes a raft of possible distractions.

    Not to mention make the actual ‘as if paper’ experience that much better from a visual display perspective. Easier on the eyes than LCD too, significantly.

    And with the frontlit options available now, reading without disturbing your partner (I frequently read to go to sleep) is so much easier without requiring a lamp or other lighting source in the room.

    Then yes, there are the convenience factors you mention — but even moreso. re: Password protecting though, for my Kindle? I don’t. It’s just swipe to unlock for me. The only ‘inconvenience’ that gives me then is that I can’t save my credit card details in Amazon for one-click purchasing, but I’m pretty OK with that.

    I could probably set up a pin at least, and have some modicum of protection for the device, but eh. If I ever lost it I can de-register the device from my accounts remotely.

    In any case, for all that and probably more I’m not thinking of right now, the Kindle became my primary reading device… Wow, 10 years ago. (I looked up when The Way of Kings was published.)

    I know there is still some tribalism around it, and frankly it can go both ways. I know many e-reader users who refer to traditional books (sometimes in loving jest, sometimes… not) as the ‘dead tree edition’ of a book. ;)

Comments are closed.