Monday, January 28, 2013
After taking my December hiatus (my glorious, glorious December hiatus), I've jumped back into my writing commitments this past month. Though, considering I essentially burned myself out last year (what with ten regular pieces a month, a PhD confirmation paper, a stack of features, and, uh, writing a book in my spare time), this year I'm hoping to write fewer articles but of a higher quality. By the end of last year I really wasn't completely happy with the quality of the stuff I was putting out. I was writing so much that I just didn't have the time to really edit and mature my ideas before submitting them. So this year, expect to see my articles less regularly, but hopefully the articles you do see will be of a far higher quality. Hopefully!
At Unwinnable, I've put my "Pocket Treasures" column on hold for the indefinite future. Instead, you will probably just see me writing a couple of features a month—one in the middle of the month on whatever is on my mind, and one for the always excellent theme week that Unwinnable runs at the end of the month. This month, I tried to make coherent my complicated thoughts on why Far Cry 3 really doesn't work. It wasn't so much that I thought Far Cry 3 was worse than your average shooter (on the contrary, there is a lot in Far Cry 3 that I really like. Rather, I found Far Cry 3 disappointing because it could've been so much more. It starts from such a promising place (I was really excited about it after playing the opening hours at a preview event at Ubisoft Montreal), and it just goes absolutely nowhere.
The theme week this month was "Beginnings", and I wrote about something that I've been thinking for several years now: videogame play as literacy. I think if we can consciously understand what we do when we play videogames, we will be able to form a language to better teach others how to play them. It's an idea that has fascinated me for sometime, and these short anecdotes are my first attempt to actually write anything about it.
At Games On Net I am still writing my "You Know What I Love?" column every fortnight, and still struggling not to make every column about Just Cause 2. This month I wrote about short games (largely inspired by me finally bothering to play the incredible 30 Flights of Loving) and cinematic games (inspired by my utter hatred of the far-too-common comment that videogames should be "games first" as though such a comment means anything at all).
I have been writing "A Sum of Parts" columns for Gameranx, but none of them are online yet, so I will edit this when they go up.
On this blog I wrote a videogames reader that I can point at when people ask me what books I would recommend reading about videogames. Also, if you missed it, I wrote a few paragraphs each about my top twenty-five games of the last year.
In other news, Killing is Harmless has now topped 1400 sales, which is bewilderingly incredible. More exciting for some of you, though, is that Daniel has almost finished ironing the bumps out of the Kindle version, and we should be finally getting it onto the Kinde store in the not too distant future. So that is exciting.
And that is it for January!