An update of sorts

I’ll try to keep this brief.

As many of you knew, me and my partner were expecting our first child in march. What with the preparations taking entirely over my life, I found it difficult to play games, let alone write about them. As such the blog took a bit of a break.

It’s May now. Our beautiful little girl was born on the 18th of March and she’s doing pretty well. As any new parent will tell you, it’s been hard. We’ve cried, laughed (in that order) and wondered just what exactly we were thinking when we set out on this road, but on the whole its going great. Mila-Grace is a beautiful blessing that is no doubt going to change our lives forever, and we couldn’t be more great full.

As you can imagine, playing games has been a challenge. I’ve not so much as looked at my PC in over a month. The Switch however has been invaluable to me, especially during those sleepless nights and cluster feeding sessions where I’m just sat around hopelessly watching my amazing partner do her thing.

So that’s my update. Forgive the quality of my blog, I’m rushing. That’s what we do now. Rush. Constantly.

I hope to eventually get back to writing a little more often, but that’s working on the assumption that my daughter lets me have even a moment to myself at some point; so don’t count on it.

If you do want to contact me, you can find me moaning about hockey, dirty nappies and maybe even the occasional nugget of video game news on my twitter.

Once again. Thanks for reading. I’ll see you on the other side. Maybe.

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Becoming a Dad and Writing

As many of you will know, me and my partner recently announced that we’re expecting our first child; a girl. She’ll come into our lives around the 22nd of March (for our sake I hope she isn’t late), and obviously we couldn’t be happier or more excited.

Becoming a Dad wasn’t something I really thought about until the last 2 years. To be honest with you, having children was never high on my lists of priorities, and whilst I always figured I’d eventually ‘come around’ to the idea, I wasn’t really feeling any pressure to do that as I hit my 28th birthday.

Obviously that changed, as you might expect. As I shuffle my way to my 30th Birthday next March, I realized something. Getting older sucks. No seriously. It blows. My back hurts, my fingers click all the time and I never seem to have quite as much money as I need to. What really struck me however was this: everything felt so…trivial. Like I said, having kids wasn’t something I’d really thought about. What I think I’ve realised is that I was using that as an excuse.

Having children is fucking terrifying. I’m scared of what will happen when she arrives, I’m scared of what’s currently happening inside my girlfriends tummy and perhaps more so than anything, I’m scared that I won’t be good enough as a parent. And yet, I’m excited. I’m excited and proud and anxious to get it all under way. The great adventure of our lives: Parenthood.

My life is going to change in ways I never imagined over the next few years. And whilst 23-year-old me would be worried about missing out on the newest games, the shiniest new phones and the dankest memes, new me is excited about that change.

(That’s not to say I’m looking forward to changing nappies, feeding at 3am or being barfed on whilst at family meals. Obviously those things are awful.)

I’m excited about raising a beautiful little girl. I’m excited about taking her to hockey games, or the space center, or just the park. I’m excited about getting dressed up and taking her trick or treating. I’m excited about homework, and story time and talks about why she shouldn’t put lego up her nose. I can’t wait.

So I guess I just wanted to write something down. I know I’ve been quiet these last few weeks. Truth be told, aside from Mario and a smidgen of Rocket League, Video Games have taken a back seat. They feel very small compared to whats coming next. And whilst I’m certain that in a years time the excitement will have subsided somewhat, the tedium of it all will have set in and every day will feel like an even tougher slog than it is now, Video Games will be there for me.

This isn’t me signing off as such, I plan on blogging again in the future but with having a kid, I’m not sure the blog will remain as is. I thank you for reading my words over the last year or so, it’s genuinely been an honor to interact with you all.

So I guess to summarize. I’m sorry I’ve been quiet. I can’t promise that’ll change any time soon but you should follow me on twitter cause shit’s going to get wild in a few months.

 

 

 

 

Good News! I’m Going to be a Dad!

So for those of you who didn’t know (namely everyone who wasn’t in our immediate family), me and my fiancée have been trying for a baby for a while now. And after successfully navigating the minefield that was the first twelve weeks, we’re pleased to announced that we’re expecting our first child on the 22nd of March 2018.

I’m positive that over the coming weeks and months I’ll spend some time dissecting this news with you all, but right now I just sort of want to enjoy it for what it is. I’m going to be a Dad, and I cannot wait to get started.

 

 

 

 

 

Revisiting The List: 2017’s Gaming Resolutions

Just after the turn of the year I blogged about what I was looking to get out of 2017 as a gamer. As we approach the midway point in the year, I thought it’d be a good idea to revisit some of my resolutions and check up on how I’m doing.


Resolution 1: Mix It Up

In 2017 I’d like to change that. I’m not saying I’ll get big into grand strategy games, but I want to test the waters a little, I want to allow myself to try new things once. After all, whats the worst that could happen? I decide that maybe pigeon dating simulators are my thing after all?

There are many interesting, beautiful and truly novel games coming out every single day, in 2017 I’d like to challenge myself to try some of those games, even if it means me taking a risk or stepping out of my comfort zone.

I think I’ve got this one down. Through June 12th 2017 I’ve completed 17 games. Of those 17 games I’d consider Oxenfree, Sara Is Missing, Hidden Game By Mom, 80 Days and A Normal Lost Phone to be games I wouldn’t usually show much interest in. And whilst I can’t admit to having loved all of the above games, I’m glad I took a look at them, especially A Normal Lost Phone which (forgive the cliché), I think has made a better person, or at the very least a more…socially aware person.

Resolution 2: Newest Latest Best?

In 2017 I want to become less worried about playing the latest games and allow myself to enjoy games from previous years whilst shedding the need to ‘be in the know’. If a game released in 2017 is good enough, I’ll likely get to it eventually, and if I don’t? That’s fine too.

17 completed games: 7 of which came out in 2017. I think I’m grading pretty well on this one. The problem I’ve got going forward is this: I like to be ‘in the conversation’ come end of the year awards time. So chances are I’m going to find myself with less and less time to play older games. I’ll need to actively commit to playing games from previous years at this point, and with all the good intentions in the world…I’m not sure I’ll be able to do it.

Resolution 3: Write Em Up

In 2017 I want to continue writing about the games I love, the people who make them and the hobby that has given me so much pleasure over the last 22 years.

I tend to find I blow hot and cold with blogging. There are months I might post 10 times, and on the opposite side I could go three months without producing anything. 2017 however has been a pretty solid year for me. The #content has been flowing fairly regularly and I *think* it’s improving to some degree.

I think ultimately I’d like to start writing longer pieces about the game I’m playing that aren’t reviews or recommendation posts, but I’d be lying if I said I found it easy to write criticism because for the most part, I don’t really have the vocabulary for it. The vast majority of my posts are opinions about the games I’m playing and whilst I think that’s what I set the blog out to be, I think we can tweak it a little bit.

I’d like to imbue my posts with a little more personality as well; even if it’s through references or maybe a joke about something important to who I am as a person.

 

I’m Still Here

I know I’ve not been around much in the last two months.

I’ve not seen as much of my family as I’d have liked, I seem to be incapable of mustering the enthusiasm to do much of anything productive and as much as I’ve tried to write, the words just won’t come. You see, life has been fairly rough to me and my own this last two months.

I’ll avoid specifics, but it’s been hard for a number of reasons. Even though I haven’t been bawling my eyes out every 5 minutes, I’ve found it difficult to focus on the things I usually enjoy. I’ve played a little Overwatch, dipped my toe into a book or two and watched the occasional movie, but that aside, my enthusiasm has been at an all time low.

The good news though, is that I think I’m ready to enter the world once more. So expect to see some more stuff from me in recent weeks. Thanks for being patient, and I look forward to talking about games with you all once again.

 

 

Video Games and Me

Video Games are without a doubt my favourite hobby. If there’s a day that I don’t spend at least half an hour gaming, it’s a bad day. When I’m not actively playing games, I’m listening to podcasts about games. If I’m not listening to people talk about games then I’m reading about games. And if I’m not doing that? I’m likely watching video of people playing games.

In short, Video Games are my thing, and had they been as prominent in my life whilst I was making those all important life choices as a teenager, they’d certainly have factored into my decision-making. They didn’t and here I am..writing about how I wish they were.

Why I Play Games

There seems to be two common trains of thought when it comes to the age-old question of ‘Why Do You Play Video Games’. The idea that gamers enjoy it because it allows them to relax and chill out, to let off some steam after a heavy work day or retreat to a safe place if life gets you down. Or that games allow their players to experience new things, that they allow you to feel things they otherwise wouldn’t be able to feel in day-to-day life.

Ultimately I think I’m somewhere in the middle, perhaps skewing to the latter. If I’ve had a rough day at work, or my life is particularly stressful, I retreat from games. I’ll pick up a book, or watch a film to take me away from the troubles that are on my mind at that time.

For whatever reason, I find games to be prohibitive when stressed. I’m not focused on the task at hand, it can worsen my play which in turn will worsen my enjoyment of the game and as someone who wants to get the most out of video games I find that idea unpleasant. I don’t play games to relieve stress, I play them to open my eyes to new ideas. I play them to show me cool things, to wrap me up in their arms and weave me a good tale. Video Games are there to entertain me rather than comfort me.

Single or Multi

I’ve always considered myself a single player person. I enjoy narrative focused games over online competitive games. I play games to get lost in their world, to fall in love with characters and interesting new stories…for the most part.

I get anxious around new people, and the idea of playing online with a group of people I don’t already know scares the crap out of me. That’s changing a little though. Despite putting some serious time into The Witcher and many other narrative focused games in the last 18 months, the games that have dominated my free-time have been entirely focused on the online arena. Destiny, Rocket League and now Overwatch.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not joining up with random fireteams, putting on my headphones and talking on microphones just yet, but I have made the jump into online gaming. For the most part I mute the other players, but I’m no longer horrified of the idea of ruining someone else’s fun by not being great at Overwatch, or trying and failing to hit the perfect Ariel in Rocket League.

Single player games will always be my bread and butter, but Overwatch, Destiny and Rocket League have opened my eyes to a world of games that can be fun to play in a more competitive arena, and that maybe it’s okay if I’m not the best player on the team, as long as we’re having fun who really cares?

Desk v Couch

I love my gaming PC. I love the desk it’s sitting on (or will do when it’s finally drilled into the wall for support). I love my gaming mouse, I love my gaming surface. I love almost everything about playing games on PC, and thus it’s my favourite means of playing games.

Being a ‘PC Gamer’ is how I like to represent myself when I talk about games. I’m a PC gamer, I play console games but first and foremost, I’m a PC gamer. Immaturely, I like what that says about me.

I like that it means I’m open to plenty of different genres, that I’m not just looking for FPS or Sports games (because really, who plays Sports games on a PC?), that I want to play games with a little more precision than a controller allows. I like that it shows that I take my hobby and interest a little more seriously than the norm.

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This is me. I’m a PC Gamer.

My one shame? I’m one of the few that abjectly hates tinkering with my PC .It’s not that I’m against it or anything, I just don’t find the experience all that enjoyable. The thought of fucking up a £200 CPU by applying too much thermal paste? No thanks. I try to leave that to the professionals. That being said, I did build my current PC and whilst it was a nerve-wracking experience, it was also very rewarding, not so much that I’m looking forward to doing it again mind. No, I’ll buy a pre-built system next time, even if it costs more.

Despite waxing lyrical about PC gaming as a whole, I’ve still got a lot of time for console gaming. My PS4 is where I go to play games that don’t require my full attention. Games that I play to waste some time; Overwatch and Rocket League for example. Without wanting to sound dismissive, I use my PS4 differently to how I use my PC.

It allows me and my partner to play games together, or at the very least share the experience of playing games, and that’s something that’s very important to me; the ability to share what I like with my friends and family.

I haven’t always been in love with video games, but as a 28-year-old man I think I’m fairly comfortable in saying that they’re going to be ‘my thing’ from here on out. Perhaps I won’t be playing on PC in 10 years, but whatever I’m playing on, and however we experience those games I’m sure I’ll be right there with you.


 

So there we have it. A quick tour of my relationship with games. If you’ve made it this far, well done.

Here’s a picture of a cat with brain freeze for your trouble.

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