Why Write About Games?

It’s been a while since I busted out an Anthem screenshot for anything, but I suppose it’s only fair given it is what brought me back to the blogging fold earlier this year. If you go alllll the way back to my initial ‘Hello!‘ post you can see the barely constrained (and ultimately undeserved) optimism I held for the game.

Initially, this blog had been envisioned as being Anthem only. I had a different domain registered and had started down the path of setting things up there.

I already knew in the back my mind that such a narrow path was a mistake. But with just how broken down my normally quite dense armour of jaded cynicism was, I was in no mood to listen. Fortunately, before I publicly unveiled anything I came to my senses and went with the compromise position you see before you today — Time to Loot.

One of these days I’m going to get around to doing the long overdue version 2.0 of my About page. But if you look there at the moment you can still see traces of the original vision there. I was going to be a useful site. Packed with guides and in-depth coverage of game systems and optimised builds.

While I have no aversion to that style of content and have done a few pieces of that nature, it turned out not to be what most excited me about coming back to game blogging again. What did most excite me came as an epiphany a month or so after my initial return.

It was far less about writing technical, practical material — and far more about keeping a personal history. A place to reflect on who I had been vs. where I will end up in the years to come, perhaps. Memory alone is a fickle beast, so having this sort of journal could be very enlightening.

I credit making this discovery of what motivates me to blog to Wilhelm. I read his about page and simply gasped when I realised that what he talked about was precisely what I wanted. Needed, possibly. That it should take someone else to spell it out though, in hindsight, is a little baffling. How many times had I lamented to myself at the loss of history, of connections?

Many. I’ve even run several blogs before, but all (clearly) lacked any sense of permanence. And so the connection between the blogging platform and this personal history wasn’t one I’d ever consciously made.

This isn’t my only reason. But it lies at the heart of it. For the others, you can actually jump over and read Kluwes’ post. He essentially wrote the rest of this post already. I agree with everything he included. :)


As a side note — I wrote this post a little differently than usual. Differently even than what I’d outlined in the changing approach to writing post. I was struggling to get words to the page for this one starting out, I’d write a paragraph and then delete, dissatisfied.

So! To bust through that wall I went full stream of consciousness, NaNo-mode ‘Sprint’ on it. Just started writing, banning myself from editing other than typos or grievous grammatical errors (that I saw, I make no promises that none remain)!

It turned out to be a very different post from how I first imagined it, but this might be a style I play around with a bit more in future. I think there might be something to it, especially for helping specifically with uncovering my own writer’s voice.

Anthem off the Games List

Tomb Raider (2013) — Revisiting my campaign from years ago. Hurrah cloud-saves.

I resisted moving Anthem off the side-panel ‘Games of Interest’ block even after declaring my time done with it in the immediate future. I resisted in large part because I was still interested to see how it would unfold from here. How the early roadmap might play out.

I’ve changed my mind. I don’t care. I can’t care. You might have seen the Anthem expose article from Jason Schrier already, if not, Asmiroth wrote a most excellent condensation of the article. Asmiroth covered essentially everything I would have, had I not been distracted by another post topic on the night.

The revelations of the article give me a mixed sense of optimism that — if given the time — that the Anthem ship may yet me turned around. That’s a mighty big ‘if’ truthfully. But it isn’t this doubt that is the other part of the ‘mix’ I was talking about. The other part is a sense of betrayal. The much vaunted dev transparency for Anthem was a sham. An absolute have.

The worst part is of course being an active participant in the sham. There were many clues early on. I don’t just mean in hindsight, either. When the revelation was made that there would be no inventory, no loot display, nothing of the kind while ‘playing’ the game was made. When this was presented as a ‘design’ decision I remember thinking it incomprehensible that any developer — especially one experienced with RPGs like BioWare — would actually make that call.

When the demo rolled around and there was a load screen to access the inventory? That suspicion clicked more firmly in place, and yet still hope was held onto. Ah well. Live and learn. I still hope to be able to reinstall some day in the future for a great, more complete experience.

Full Changes to the Game List

Removed

  • Anthem
  • The Elder Scrolls Online

Nearly Removed

  • Final Fantasy XIV

Added

  • Far Cry: New Dawn
  • Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice
  • Tomb Raider (2013)

I didn’t login to The Elder Scrolls Online at all last month, with Final Fantasy XIV taking the MMO spot in my life. Nothing has put me off ESO, it’s entirely likely I’ll be back. Just… not now.

FFXIV itself is living on the edge with no major activity from me in a while. Still. I hold hope that I’ll get back to it again soon. Not having to do any side-quests is such a win for me.

As to the others I added? I suspect they’ll be short-lived, all being one-and-done campaign style games. Tomb Raider I’ve gone right back to the start of the current trilogy though. I never quite finished it at the time, but going to give it a go again now that the entire series is available. :)

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