The lights are on
Veteran Member - Level 13
This is probably the hardest blog to write since I first started blogging. It's been a long journey, these past few years. I went from just some kid ranting in a corner to a frequently featured blogger on GIO. I even managed to get in the newsletter. People actually recognize me on this site -- they'll send me a private message or a Steam chat, asking my opinion. And now... now I actually am turning the full corner.
I didn't think blogging would be much of a means for me to do anything big with my life. I knew some people did it and managed to turn it into a career, but I sincerely doubted that it would ever amount to anything. I was a writer, but my interest was purely in prose and game writing -- what could I possibly do with a blog? Well, at first, I stuck to what I knew. I'd sometimes write about games and/or opinions, but almost always, I wrote prose. I used my first blog to motivate myself into finishing a novella I had started -- a rewrite of Bioshock 2's narrative. By the end, I had gained a number of readers on a website where normally writers were spurned due to most modders not seeing the value in them as an independent role.
From there, I tried a few shorter things. There was a Mass Effect 2 prequel that went nowhere, a Dead Space Mobile tie-in that was my first experiment with second person perspective, and an unfinished version of my 1930s African Super-Man. By the time I was well into the Super-Man story, I had realized something. Writing almost every day was getting me in shape for bigger works down the line, but I was planning myself into a hole. I had started with a partially finished work, but the latest stories were all written at the time of posting. I was running myself ragged trying to keep up, and despite numerous attempts, could get no feedback from my reader base. Sometimes the view count would reach nearly a thousand, other times it would drop into the low hundreds. I could never gauge what it was they wanted, and no amount of cajoling could get anyone to comment. I was flying blind.
It had been about a year at that point, if memory serves right, and I was burning up. I couldn't keep the quality at a level I wanted, my readers were being even more sporadic and confusing as to what they did and didn't like (based entirely on the amount of views), and I just really wanted to get away from it. I then noticed the Blog Herdings on GIO. I wasn't a big fan of GI at the time (I still openly believe that there are a lot of things that the magazine could stand to improve), and some comments made me worry that the community was in sync to a scary degree with the review opinions. I'd only a few months back had the unpleasant fortune of playing Uncharted 2 and discovering that I found it to be barely worth a 6.5/10, so to say I was a bit nervous was an understatement.
The prospect though, of just writing about games every now and then, with no fanbase expecting consistent blog posts, that kept only paying heed at my posts anymore when I made suggestions at stopping, was very enticing. GIO was my escape ladder from burning out entirely and giving up. It let me catch my breath, and despite many enemies I made at the start, it led me to some like-minded individuals.
I've had a big chip on my shoulder towards the journalist side of this industry. I often have come to blows with their opinions (set pieces do not make a game!), and just as many times shot myself in the foot by letting bitterness get the better of me. It's been a learning experience on here, as I've adapted and grown (I hope) into a far more refined writer. I still have that chip, but I don't try to bite every game's head off now unless it asks for it (XCOM...). I don't automatically assume I'm right on the matter, and I at least try to hear alternative opinions, even if I might still not agree with them. I've even tried genres and played games I might not have if it weren't for having this blog.
Why am I being so nostalgic? Why am I indulging in the thing I blame for the failing of several games? Because while this isn't goodbye, things are changing gents. I've been hired on as the latest editor to join The Game Effect ( http://www.thegameeffect.com/ ). I can still post non-review articles, retrospectives, and previews on GIO (after each article's been up a week), and I'll be sure to link you guys to my TGE reviews (Arkham Origins will be up ASAP), but my time and efforts will be focused on where my jobs lie. This is combined with me still being lead writer on that mobile game, so any reviews I make will be coming out slower than usual, with TGE reviews taking priority. I will also try to bring back Small Topics for on here so as to keep up with most news, as I'm going to be a bit too busy to yell at every raging fanboy in the comments who is bemoaning how multiplayer is destroying the franchise they love so much that they just can't stop complaining about it.*
This probably shouldn't be happening. I've been hired on as a professional game writer and as a game journalist, and I've not even gone to college yet. Understand that I do not think myself of some lofty genius that I have been so lucky. The only way I know whether or not what I write is truly good is by those around me who tell me so. I am thankful every minute for these opportunities, and I hope I don't let anyone down. Or worse, end up as lead writer to Uncharted 4, because what could be worse than that?
This was a fantastic ride, getting here. I never knew it was truly coming until it hit me, but now it is, and I'm glad to have met so many good friends on this site. I hope you all keep up with me on TGE, and I look forward to your own comments when I bring the stuff to GIO.
Cheers and good tidings,Elijah (Paradigm the Fallen)
*Yes it's a run-on, it's a joke, roll with it.