I’m the gamer.
I say that like it defines me, but that’s fitting since we do it with games too. Is this game a AAA game or an indie game? Is it a shooter or a strategy game? We use these definitions to help put games, and people, into boxes that we can understand without getting to know what they’re really about. Sometimes this works as short-hand jargon. It’s a pretty good bet that the next iteration in the franchise will be pretty similar to the previous, and can have many of the same adjectives thrown at it. In general, I try to avoid this kind of definition. I’m a gamer because I play games, but there’s very little else that you can tell about me from that single description.
So instead, I’ll tell you a little bit more about what makes me a gamer. I started with a Nintendo, the old NES in the 1980s. I got it as a gift from my parents when I was forced to spend a week in bed dealing with a hip injury. We had one TV in the house so my parents made the sacrifice not only of buying the expensive system and a game to play on it, but of putting the TV into my room for that week. Prior to that week I had been pretty anti-video game. I had seen TV advertisements for the Nintendo and thought it looked stupid, and even went so far as to tell my parents one Christmas-season, “I don’t want that,” to ensure that Santa did not bring it by mistake. But playing Super Mario Bros. and Duck Hunt over the course of that week, something changed and I was hooked.
I currently own several systems, including that original NES, though it rarely gets used now except as an instrument of instruction for my own children. “This, this is what we were forced to play with when I was your age. You whippersnappers have no idea how good you’ve got it!” My most frequently gamed systems are my PC and my Xbox One, though the Xbox 360 still gets robust usage as well. I was a huge Playstation fan during the PSX and PS2 era (I still own each) but fell into the Xbox ecosytem a few years into the seventh console generation. I also own a PS3, a Nintendo 64, Gameboy (original), Wii and DS; and a Sega Dreamcast. Yes, even that poor relic has a spot in my pantheon.
Genre-wise I like strategy over action most of the time. I’m notably bad at first-person shooters and tend to avoid them, which makes much of modern gaming a chore. But on the plus side, I get to see a lot of variety that the “Gears and Halo”-only players miss. Some of my favorite games tend to be digital adaptations of board games. I also can not cover my genre preferences fully without talking about my historical love of RPGs. Towards the end of my time on the NES I was loaned a copy of Dragon “Warrior” IV. The same friend who loaned me that game a few years later introduced me to Final Fantasy “II” and that spurred my first console upgrade. And, of course, it was Final Fantasy VII that lured me to the Playstation. I don’t have the time to play sprawling games, as RPGs tend to be, as much as I did when I was a kid. However, I still enjoy them and love to come back to the genre every now and again. Final Fantasy IV owns the distinction of the game of which I have bought the most copies across multiple release iterations and systems. Dragon Quest IV and Final Fantasy IV came to me at a formative time and remain fundamental drivers of gaming concepts in my head-space about video games. Neither is a perfect game, because such a thing does not exist, but both have qualities that I wish more modern games would exhibit.
I’ll spend the majority of my time here blogging about video games, old and new. I’ll have occasional reviews, industry news and insight, analysis of the weird and unusual, and opinion pieces on broad subjects tangential (at best) to the industry. All delivered with a je ne sais quois and characteristic pith.