On value, freelancing, and mental health

It wasn’t supposed to be this way.

Ever since I picked up the issue of Electronic Gaming Monthly with the Metal Gear Solid 3 review featured on the cover, my life forever changed. I became enthralled by it and sister site 1UP.com as I got to know the different personalities that worked there and learned about all kinds of cool games I never even heard of. The 1UP Show and the many podcasts on the site pulled me in the most because, again, of the personal connection. What struck me most was the camaraderie, the shared love of games and the sheer enthusiasm to examine them with each other and their audience.

I wanted that. More than anything.

This was also the time you saw a plethora of different articles detailing how to break into games writing, and the gist was pretty much universal: Freelance, then get hired for a job once you prove yourself. I did so and then some, getting a staggering amount of articles promoted on Bitmob, a site for up-and-coming writers to hone their craft and get some exposure. Soon I was getting paid to write for big names like GamePro, GameSpot, and, yes, my beloved 1UP. I was on track to make my dream come true.

That’s how it was supposed to be, at least.

I’ve already relayed much of this story in this post, which also explains some of what was standing in my way – namely, my anxiety and agoraphobic tendencies. Since then, I started seeing a therapist about those problems, and I’m happy to say that I conquered them. I even managed to fly to San Francisco by myself with no issues! So naturally I could start putting myself out there and get some interviews for full-time jobs. After all, relocating was no longer a problem, and my six years of experience writing many, many articles for big sites should be enough to impress anyone, right?

Right?

The old rule of thumb freelancers are taught is to never write for free, to always treat your work like it has value, to make yourself a precious commodity that deserves payment. But there’s another kind of value you’re not explicitly told about, the kind that can’t be quantified: Knowing that what you’re doing is viewed as good and right.

The fact that editors keep giving you work is one form of this, a sign that management wants to see more of your work on their site. And let me be clear here that I’ve had awesome editors helping me and finding me work. But at some point, it feels like you’re just throwing words into the void and waiting for it to spit out a bit of cash. Unless you manage to hook up with the right group or live in the right area of the world, there’s none of the kind of camaraderie that I was craving to be found, just endlessly waiting in line for a job opening that won’t come.

Reality is there’s precious few openings in games media right now, which means every one is ultra-competitive. But more than that is just what a crap shoot the entire process seems like. I applied to an entry-level position at Kotaku recently, pouring my heart and soul into a cover letter and updating my resume. I figured six years of experience writing would at least get me an interview. My value should be indisputable.

I was quickly turned down two days later in a form letter.

Another thing writers are taught is to never read the comment sections on their stories due to the inevitable bile and abuse you’re almost sure to find there. These are wise words in general for preserving you self-esteem to some degree, but think about why we need them in the first place. Even if there are some positive comments too, the negative ones are what wound you. They’re a big, black blemish on what you do. After all, why do writers even want to read the comments on their stories in the first place? To get validation that what they’re doing is good and right.

Followings are very important for your long-term career as well. Want access to developers? Prove your reach is broad enough. But more than that, followings confirm that you have value because they’re essentially a large group of people who love what you do and champion you because of it. And in turn, we’re trained to measure our self-worth by how many champion us. If you’re good, people will naturally gravitate towards you, right?

Right?

Trying to convince yourself of conventional wisdom like this becomes commonplace in the world of freelance games writing, and if you’re not someone who has gained a following, you’re left to wonder what the hell you did wrong. Evidence begins mounting that you have no value after all. That job application you were incredibly hopeful about was unceremoniously and quickly rejected. Multiple outlets you’ve work for in the past ran out of freelance budget, or worse yet closed entirely. Nobody’s clamoring to read the latest feature you poured your heart and soul into.

What are you supposed to think of yourself after all that?

Freelance games writing can be naturally isolating – if you don’t live in San Francisco, you really are all alone with your work. You keep plugging away, sending words into that magical money void with no sign of validation, that what you’re doing is making any difference. You see you made $5000 freelancing and notice that you’d consider that a good year. It all begins to wear on you. You start to wonder what you’re doing wrong. The thoughts circle around in your head more and more the longer you keep at it.

Me? I’m freelancing at a couple of places, but still nowhere near enough to live on. The anxiety is mostly gone, but depression torpedoes me for weeks at a time. My psychologist just took me off some pills that were causing severe mood swings. I started a new public-facing Twitter account because I was getting too miserable on the one I had and people were telling me my tone was making me less employable. I’ve lost friends because of how utterly despondent I can get.

But I’m still here. Somehow, I still have a smidgen of hope that I’ll one day get a full-time games writing job. I’m so attached to this dream that I don’t see myself happy working in any other industry. I just love games and the awesome people surrounding them so much. I want to be a part of that world even as I feel eternally on the outside looking in. Is it worth the heartache? Probably not, but I’ve got nowhere else to look towards right now. I’m going to feel like a failure no one wants if I give up now – not that how I’m feeling now is any better.

As for solutions, I have none. Getting some kind of games writing job is getting more and more like winning a very meager lottery, and most of us are still left feeling isolated and without value. What you can do? Tell a writer that you loved something they wrote. Spread the word about them. Let them know that what they’re doing matters even a little. We’re starved for that kind of validation as things stand now.

After all, it wasn’t supposed to be this way.

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When Your Brain Gets In The Way

I’m not making it to PAX East this year even after planning to go all the way up until earlier today. Not that I was particularly excited about the show itself, mind. Going to conventions alone is no fun. No, my reasoning is rooted in a problem I’ve had throughout most of my twenties, one that’s held me back completely and utterly: anxiety.

Perhaps you’ve already heard a bit about this from my Unwinnable Weekly article on “safe spaces” and games, but in a nutshell: I went to a concert festival with a friend one weekend, and I wanted to get right home afterward. Now I live three hours away and it was already around midnight, so the smart thing to do would have been to stay the night at my friend’s house and head out in the morning. But instead, I headed out right away and, fueled by copious amounts of Mountain Dew Livewire, made it within an hour from home when I started getting really cloudy in the head and began hyperventilating. I thought I was going to die, so I called 911. I learned it was a panic attack. This incident would have severe reverberations on my life going forward.

For the next couple of years, I found myself severely impaired, at least compared to how I was before. Whenever I would go somewhere that wasn’t someplace I was used to, I would start feeling lightheaded and agitated. I kept telling myself that it was my sinuses, but deep down, I knew the truth that being away from my “safe spaces” made me feel very out of control, like I was going to die at any moment. Even being with other people didn’t help. For the next few years after, I was pretty much confined to my home and the surrounding towns with very little exception.

Now clearly this is a big, disruptive issue, but let’s back up a bit to appreciate the full breadth of it. Growing up, I had a lot of trouble making friends and talking to people, so I grew up alone for the most part. It wasn’t until college that I started learning how to make friends, and even then, I felt way too much like I was a “friend of a friend” with way too many people. College also made me face the fact that I was growing up, and I started to get a major case of separation anxiety thanks to the fact that my parents are much older than the norm – I’m currently pushing thirty, and they’re creeping in on seventy. I went to a local university mainly because of this. All these factors lead to me feeling isolated for most of my life even before the incident happened. You can imagine how much worse it got after.

This might have been all well and fine if I had the same inclination to live and die in my small hometown as everyone else I live around, but my dreams were bigger, if more ill-defined. When I was five years old, my family bought me an NES for my birthday, and from that day on, I had an ever-increasing fascination with video games that bloomed into a full-blown passion. I wasn’t aware of a ton of releases, but I found myself playing whatever I could get my hands on over and over. I occasionally drifted away for whatever reason, but something or other was always strong enough to pull me back in, like when my high school peers couldn’t stop raving about Final Fantasy VII and dragged this Nintendo stalwart into Sony console ownership. Don’t get the wrong idea, though: Connecting with people through video games was an immense rarity for me, as other people seemed to have other interests for the most part. They never seemed to want to dig as deep as I did, if that makes sense. Maybe that’s actually true, or maybe I just never worked up the nerve to really find out, but either way, I was alone in my passion.

That all changed when I picked up an issue of Electronic Gaming Monthly on a whim one day. I passed by a magazine rack and saw a magazine that featured Metal Gear Solid 3 on the cover. Now Metal Gear Solid 2 was one of the games I’d play over and over, and I had no idea a new game was coming out. So I bought the issue and pored over it. I read the MGS 3 review, of course, but I also read about a multitude of games that I had no idea even existed, both big and small. I also slowly discovered the personalities behind the magazine who repped their preferred types of games, and I found myself relating to the tastes of many of them. Finally, I had found kindred spirits, albeit distant ones I’d never met. This only intensified when I found my way to EGM’s sister site 1UP and found even more inspiring video game discussion and criticism to fuel my passion. But though the writing was good, it was the audio and video that really spoke to me, not because I necessarily wanted to suddenly do podcasts or video shows, but because seeing and hearing these personalities talking substantively and joyfully about games together – together – spoke to me who felt alone all his life. I didn’t know what form it would take, but all I knew was this is what I wanted, whatever this was.

The problem was one of logistics. I live in the boonies of Northern Pennsylvania, while most of the industry I wanted to be a part of is way on the other side of the country in the Bay Area of San Francisco. I can’t really tell you if I would have gotten over my separation anxiety if the incident didn’t happen, but I do know that afterward, I was certainly not prepared to get a job hundreds of miles away and live by myself. It’s not something I was capable of, and I despaired just thinking about it. Of course, not moving far away hasn’t been a picnic either. For years now, I’ve felt insubstantial and stuck, almost completely unfulfilled in every way. I’ve sort of made it as a freelancer, but I still feel just as alone as I always have. Interacting with people over the Internet is just not the same as doing so in real life, and I’m all the poorer emotionally for it. I’ve basically hit a wall professionally, and though it’s not the only source, my issues have certainly reinforced that wall quite a bit.

Which brings us to the present. I’m not nearly as bad off as I used to be. I can now go fairly far with other people I’m not as comfortable with as, say, my parents. And I don’t get lightheaded from panic anymore. So I figured I’d try to go to PAX East this year, not because I like PAX, but because I wanted to find some kind of thread to latch onto, some red string I could follow that would give me some direction. I could also network with my peers for the first time, which is huge for me. But most of all, I wanted to prove to myself that I could exist and, indeed, thrive by myself, that I could go and do what I want without freaking out. I tried this two years ago too, and had a terrible time traveling to Boston by bus. I was (mostly) okay when I got there, but traveling was a nightmare. This time I was taking a plane to minimize travel time, but the problem was that I’d never been on a plane. So I plowed forward with PAX plans and even agreed to do coverage for a major games site. I made appointments with PR people to demo games, which made me a kind of happy for the first time in a long time. For once, I was being a responsible adult! And I was going to meet with professional people to discuss games!

But it was all for naught. The day before I was supposed to leave, I suddenly started getting agitated in the stomach. A profound amount of acid was starting to build up, a sensation I felt two years before, but not until after I left. And I also started to feel that feeling in my head again, where I’m lifting up out of my body because I’m so anxious. Why? It’s not as simple as a fear of crashing or something happening to me when I’m away. It’s more involuntary at this point, a reflex that occurs under conditions like this. And it’s also a fear of becoming anxious and ending up like this, which leads to me being anxious and ending up like this. It’s a vicious cycle, and one I can’t simply turn off. So I had to cancel.

I now find myself at home again, wondering where my life should go next while being, once again, stuck in one place, constantly feeling on the cusp of my future, but unable to move forward. Anxiety is my leash, and everything I want out of life is out of reach. I started talking to a therapist about this finally, and though I don’t know if it will ultimately help, it’s at least something. And hey, maybe one day I’ll be able to grasp all I feel I’m meant to grasp. Maybe one day I’ll meet all the awesome people I follow on Twitter and work with them to create amazing commentary on the incredible medium that is video games. And maybe one day I’ll finally feel like I belong somewhere and never feel alone or isolated again. But in the reality I’m living in right now, that door is shut tight, leaving me tugging at the knob yelling to anyone that will listen to open it for me. I’m unhappy where I’m at, but stuck in place. This is what it means to have your brain get into your way.

Jeremy Signor’s (In)complete Online Portfolio

It occurred to me that, given the often-disparate outlets I write for, people might not be aware of the full breadth of my work. So I’m gathering every single paid article I’ve written over the past four years currently available online here for perusal. So please check my stuff out, tell me what you think, and if you like what you see and know of any opportunities for a writer like myself, hit me up!

GameSpot

Magic: The Gathering – Duels of the Planeswalkers 2015 review

Might and Magic Duel of Champions: Forgotten Wars review

Stronghold Crusader II review

Randal’s Monday review

Freedom Wars review

The Talos Principle review

The Marvelous Miss Take review

Sunless Sea review

We Are Doomed review

Sym review

Wolfenstein: The Old Blood review

Lego Jurassic World review

USGamer

How SolForge Will Set the Video Card Game World Alight
An article detailing how SolForge leverages the video game medium to do things not possible with physical card games (featuring interviews with Justin Gary and Brian Kibler).

Retronauts: The Continued Relevance of Isometric Games
A look at the history of isometric perspective in games and why they continue to endure today. Features insights from the people involved with the making of games like Diablo III, Avernum, Wasteland II, Baldur’s Gate, and Pillars of Eternity.

Unwinnable

Safe Space
A personal piece that compares the agoraphobic sensibility of Silent Hill and Metroid Prime 2 with my own struggles with anxiety.

GamesRadar

Five Weird Parallel Worlds Worth Visiting
A list feature of games that feature parallel worlds.

GameZebo

DUNGEONy review

Oscura: Second Shadow review

1up.com (one missing)

Dark Farce: The Perils of Self-Aware Video Games
An examination of satire in games and the line between ironic and actual bad design.

True Grit: The Influence of Westerns on Games
A look at all the different games and genres that lift from the Western.

The Essential 100, No. 9: Doom
How Doom finally cemented the FPS genre.

The Essential 100, No. 18: Space Invaders
A short history of Space Invaders’ influence on arcade games and beyond.

With Strange Aeons: Planescape’s Deathless One
How characterization and design allowed Planescape: Torment to approach death differently.

Lavos and Chrono Trigger’s Otherworldly Roots
An essay on the amoral qualities of Chrono Trigger’s alien invader Lavos.

Deconstructing Nemesis
A piece on why Resident Evil 3’s Nemesis is so unnerving.

Encumbrance Value: Finding the Horror in Limited Inventory
How inventory management contributes to feelings of fear and tension.

Fights for Everlasting Peace: Mega Man’s Greatest Debates
In which I settle every Mega Man debate ever.

Vanilla Sky: The Beautiful Worlds of George Kamitani
A profile of prolific 2D game designer George Kamitani.

Zuntata and the Future-Proofing of Game Music
A love letter to the extremely influential and forward-thinking house Taito house band Zuntata.

GamePro (incomplete)

Graveyard of Genre Giants
Six genre-defining franchises that fell from grace.

Ink From A Spigot
An examination of the writing and organic storytelling in Valve games.

The Escapist

The Wages of Death
Analysis of death as game mechanic.

City Life: An Unfulfilled Setting
A lament of the unrealized potential of metropolitan game settings.

I also have articles on various print (and “print”) publications such as Gamepro, Atomix, Unwinnable Weekly, and some upcoming ones. This is me.

Monument Valley: Earthspeaker

Image

Nearly halfway through Monument Valley, the new puzzle traversal game from Ustwo Games, you meet a living totem that helps you cross previously-impassable pitfalls. All you need to do is drag it to wherever you need a boost with your finger, or even move it while player avatar and mysterious princess Ida rides on top of it. When Ida first leaves it behind after completing its signature level, it still tries to follow her even across an ocean, clearly sad that her new friend is leaving. This rare bit of characterization underscores how you interact with the world, manipulating platforms and rotating perspectives to allow Ida to progress through the Escher-inspired stages. But Ida rarely has any control over this world aside from pushing the odd button here and there. It’s the levels that take center stage in Monument Valley, elevating terrain into a player avatar of sorts. And as Ida’s relationship with the titular valley is cryptically hinted at throughout the game, an unexpected, subtle tale of betrayal and forgiveness unfolds.

Monument Valley itself seems to be just a collection of angular buildings and structures rising up out of nothing juxtaposed against colorful backdrops, each one of their four faces filled with convoluted walkways, doors, and switches. It’s an aesthetic we’ve already seen in Fez and Bastion, but Monument Valley truly owns its art style by allowing you to interact with it directly, rotating entire levels with the flick of a finger, moving levers that affect the landscape. or dragging Ida’s totem friend around. Meanwhile, Ida moves to whatever spot on the stages you touch, which lights up until she reaches it. If you touch a spot she can’t reach, she won’t move. But again, you lit up the floor. Ida reacts all by herself, lending further credence to the idea that you’re playing as the valley, not Ida.

ImageIn fact, we quickly learn that you have a complicated history with her. She encounters multiple ghosts on her journey through the valley who hurl accusatory language at her even as they try to ascertain why she’s returned, calling her a “thieving princess”. If you watch the little scenes that play each time she reaches the end of a level, she places a different odd three-dimensional shape on each podium – the “sacred geometry” the ghosts accuse Ida of stealing. They also mention that she’s forgotten her true self, a comment that becomes obvious once you realize that the only other characters populating the game are the strange crow people who impede her progress. She stands out by being the only one who looks human, but the silhouette her pointed hat creates looks exactly like the crows, heavily foreshadowing her true nature.

In one of the later stages of the game, Ida doesn’t return a shape to its rightful place, but finds her way to a tomb with countless stone caskets and leaves a flower. Whatever happened to Monument Valley after she left obviously caused a great deal of devastation, sadness, and death, and it still weighs on her soul. While the reason she stole the sacred geometry in the first place is never explained, by now it’s clear why she’s returning them: She’s seeking redemption, trying to right her past wrongs by returning what she stole and breaking the curse she caused – all her subjects regain their color and start to fly, and Ida turns into the crow princess that she is as she glides away with her people.

But as we’ve already established, you don’t really play as Ida, but the valley itself. You’re not on the all-too-familiar quest for redemption that Ida’s on. You play as the victim of a great crime who one day encounters the one who wronged you. Guarded and unsure of her intent, you slowly but surely gauge her actions as she seemingly tries to make amends. You go out of your way to break down the barriers that keeps you from accepting her fully. The ghosts of the old hurt still linger, though, making your feelings of betrayal loud and clear before you let her move on. And yet part of you wants to reconcile with her – the totem – as she too is a piece of yourself that’s been missing for so long. Yet before all is forgiven, you want her to see who she used to be – and who she’s become – so you lead her to a mirror which reflects her true self: the princess of the crow people, not the cowardly thief she became. Only once she faces herself can this ancient hurt be let go, her people freed and your grudge subsided. Monument Valley is not about Ida’s redemption. It’s about the valley’s process towards finally forgiving her.

We often form connections with the environments we play on, but too often developers just treat them as the platter on which we metaphorically dine on their games. Monument Valley uses its world’s own history and mechanics to give you its point of view, allowing it to bare its very soul to you.

Monument Valley can be downloaded for iOS and Android devices.

Final Fantasy X: The Inevitable

ffx-sinPlaying Final Fantasy X again makes me realize that it’s exceptional for the opposite reason most other entries in the series are. The combat system had potential, but the game too often made you put a square peg in a square hole, making battles pretty braindead. The Sphere Grid gave you the illusion of control over leveling your party, but it was thinly veiled at best. (The International version fixes this with a more open Sphere Grid, but you still end up railroaded on one path or another.) And though the visuals were an impressive step up from the previous generation, the series already wowed people with Final Fantasy VII, so a graphical leap was only to be expected. No, where X really shines is with its story, an aberration in a franchise filled with anime cliches and bloated narratives. It manages to connect its characters and world to the central conflict in an almost symbiotic manner, creating credible themes of mortality, resignation, and the inevitability of life in the process.

X offers a story mostly free of the usual tropes and deus ex machina. Instead, the game wisely focuses on the characters and their relationship with the requisite world-threatening disaster. Here, the big bad, known only as “Sin”, already exists as a reality in the world of Spira. A giant monster that routinely goes on killing sprees and destroys whole towns, the people of Spira can only accept this as a way of life, hiding when Sin comes knocking and rebuilding once he’s done. Only the summoners, sponsored by world religion Yevon, can hope to defeat Sin, though it really only serves to keep it at bay for ten years – The Calm. In exchange, the summoner dies in the process, and one of his or her guardians, who would become the Final Aeon which would defeat Sin, would become Sin in its place. Everyone can only live their lives as best as they can, ever fearful of a sudden attack tearing everything away from them, ever hopeful that the next Calm comes soon to end their terror for a time.

ffxThe big tagline of Final Fantasy X is born of main character Tidus saying “This is my story,” but it’s not really true. X is actually centered around Yuna, the young summoner everyone else in the party is guarding, one who holds the legacy of the last person to defeat Sin on her shoulders. But more than anything else, Yuna is a woman who holds a great deal of empathy for every single person in Spira, so much so that she would sacrifice herself to provide everyone else a bit of happiness, however temporary. This engulfs her entire identity, making her stiff, proper, and determined. When she interacts with other people outside her inner circle of guardians, she played the role of diplomat. She was not afforded the luxury of a personality. Her life was defined by others. Nothing else mattered.

You begin to see the cracks in this facade in her interactions with Tidus, her only window into a world free of Spira’s spiral of death. “I want my journey to be full of laughter,” she confesses to him as she teaches him to not only force a smile in the face of despair, but to force laughter as well. This often-misunderstood scene actually lies at the core of Final Fantasy X. The spiral analogy for Spira isn’t quite accurate. While there’s plenty of death to be had thanks to Sin, what Spira is actually caught in, what Yuna is caught in, is a spiral of inevitability. Sin will inevitably bring death to people and destruction to their homes. Summoners will inevitably be sacrificed to give some small glimmer of hope to the people. Any other methods to break the cycle will inevitably fail. X is about how people cope with this inevitability, how Yuna trudges on towards a ruined Zanarkand as she constantly reassures herself of her own abilities, how her guardians – her de facto family – react to the reality of keeping her safe only to be killed off at the end of her journey.

This only works because plot is kept to an absolute minimum. Spira is given some light backstory and a couple of requisite plot twists – Seymour in particular reads like the developers’ panicked response to realizing they didn’t include a monologuing villain – but the characters and spectacle of Sin’s attacks do all the heavy lifting, valuing themes over canon, the world’s reflection on the characters over their reactions to events. Later entries would go back to piling on plot to mixed results, but X’s lean narrative still stands tall.

Yuna and her guardians eventually find a way to break the cycle and rid Spira of Sin forever, but that’s almost beside the point. The parallels between our intrepid party and the world at large tell a tale no amount of piled-on plot could convey. The state of the world made the characters who they are, and they reflect back this state to us. The result is a bleak tale of a world tilting at windmills, hoping against all hope as they try to remain steadfast in the face of doom. What we see on this journey is how all these different people force their laughter in the face of the inevitable.

Hello, Gaming World

You’d think, as a freelancer, I would have my own blog by now. After all, it’s a smart way to keep your writing up, post your contact information, and direct prospective editors to. But why do things the smart way when you can do things the hard way? That’s always worked out for me. But enough about that. My name is Jeremy Signor, freelance games writer, and I now have my own blog to post my thoughts on. And since my trade is writing about games, that is what this blog is about: games. Nothing shocking there, but you may not have seen the title of my blog, so there you go.

So who the hell am I and why should you care what I have to say? Well, I’ve been writing about games for over a year now after getting my Master’s degree in Education and realizing I don’t want to teach, or at least not in a school hierarchy. But I did realize in the process of earning that degree that I did enjoy writing when I’m interested in the subject. And my capstone research project, which dealt with educational video games’ effectiveness, showed me exactly what interested me most. Of course, you could trace my love of games writing back to the Metal Gear Solid 3 issue of EGM, but whatever! What matters is I’m here now.

So I began posting some articles on the great writing community Bitmob and found that the editors liked my stuff enough to begin posting it on the front page. Because of that, I began dutifully posting stuff that was both interesting to me and would survive on the front page of a big site. This meant proper formatting, lots of carefully placed images, and an interesting angle. I currently have 26 promoted articles, including my monthly RPG column that breaks down all the RPG releases for the month, which I’m still maintaining to this day.

Of course, the outlet I’m most excited about writing for is Gamespite Quarterly, a bastion for intelligent print discourse about games. I’ve always been a fan of Jeremy Parish’s work, as everything he tends to value in games writing are thing I also value. Because of that, getting the change to contribute to Gamespite has been a humbling experience as well as a richly rewarding one. Contributing to the gigantic Gamespite Quarterly #5 is just plain thrilling, and the stuff I wrote for #6 pushed my writing abilities to new levels. And very soon you all will get to read Gamespite Quarterly #7, which contains my goofiest pieces by far. I wrote Boulder Dash/Dig Dug crossover fan fiction for goodness sake! But that’s what makes it fun, so I don’t mind.

Since then I’ve actually gotten work at GamePro and saw my first piece to be featured in a major publication, a postmortem on Fable III. Tailoring my writing to a particular style, structure, and angle based on what an editor is looking for has taking some getting used to, but it’s not a bad way to make a living should you find enough outlets that will contract you. I haven’t yet, but I’m working on it.

Ah, but I’ve droned on long enough. I promise to try to not do that, though I’m sure I still will on occasion. Now it’s time to look to the future of this blog. What will I write about? Well, I’m currently playing Crysis and loving it. There was the announcement of Final Fantasy XIII-2 and the Internet bitching that followed. And, of course, there’s that 3DS thingy that’s supposed to come out soonish. But whatever I write, I hope you find it informative and entertaining.

Oh, and I probably know what I’m going to play very soon, too.