Hey Medium Difficulty isn't dead! And they let me put out a hit-job on some easy targets like Ben Kuchera and Randy Pitchford and PA and Kotaku. Maybe it's old hat, but sometimes you wanna just revisit the classics. But now, also, another thing.
So: one year of this nonsense...
I've been blocked and derided by enough writers and editors and designers and espoused enough unpopular thoughts in my short tenure in Games Journalism that I'm pretty sure I've established a permanent black spot on my reputation in record time. I'm impressed saying things like "you write like a Kotaku editor" or "Dys4ia left me somewhat wanting" or "maybe there are benefits in trying to clarify what a medium actually constitutes" or "namedropping philosophers and diary-level confessionals are bad looks for writing about Tetris" could get me more or less professionally blacklisted in 365 short days.
I don't know what I was really expecting, though. I started with the premise of "these people are all terrible at what they're presumably being paid to do, I could write circles around them" and... that kinda bore itself out. Compared to last year, I haven't really gained or lost any respect for anyone that I didn't admire or laugh at. If anything, getting snubbed on a regular basis helped me remember that writing with other writers as your audience is how you get all those articles I couldn't stand! And then I wrote a few of those! I guess I had to become what I hate.
I'm literally nobody, and I can go back to being nobody whenever I like. I got lucky that a struggling outlet was trawling for contributors when me and couple of other morons got an itch. And then I got to make an ass of myself in a field I never took seriously in the first place. Which was awesome! I think getting a solid year's mileage out of "fuck you, you're wrong" was pretty impressive. Or pathetic. Either way...
This isn't some kind of longwinded farewell bullshit. Like I'm gonna give up laughing at ridiculous nonsense and dumb Internet drama with Tomb Raider, Bioshock: Infinite, and an entire new generation of consoles literally around the corner? Hell no! I'm gonna get to repeat myself all over again and just change the proper nouns around, because nothing's any different. A shitty excuse for a subculture defined by conspicuous consumerism and corporate fealty doesn't magically stop being ripe for lampooning because a bunch of new shiny boxes came out. Stopping preview coverage wouldn't change the core problems with anything even if that was actually going to happen.
People who make and play and cover games have every right to be a bunch of cynical, crabby jerks. The press hasn't really responded to that at all, though, because that wouldn't keep the money flowing. I'm glad there are some people making half-assed overtures at some kind of civil rights homunculus out of Susan B. Anthony and Gloria Steinem, and when "social justice in gaming" gets to bell hooks I'm sure it'll be a hoot. All the hyper-academic writers flexing their degrees at each other can Lacan their Hegels until their Derridas rupture, and it'll keep being deliciously overwrought. And all the old press dogs who repeat company bylines like the middle guy in the Human Centipede will be around until they kick the bucket because they're the real backbone of Games Writing. Guys like me, though... we're the replaceable ones. Mostly because we don't have the money on our side, and we never will.
But what do I know? You could probably write circles around me. Really, I'm fucking awful at this! I'm a total hack! I bought like five games last year, and half of those were downloadable titles! I'm a Fake Gamer Guy, and I bullshitted my way through an entire year! Just by being crotchety and bored and stating the obvious!
Think about what you could do. Here's to Year 2.