Gosh, has it really been that long since my last blog post?
November is always a busy month for me. First, there’s NaNoWriMo which I make a point of doing each year even if my participation is just limited to further work on whatever book I’m currently writing. Then every couple of years there seems to be a World of Warcraft expansion released around this time. And this year there’s the added complication of having moved the contents of a 60 foot storage container into my new house and having yet to unpack all the boxes. I’ve also upped my swordfighting training to twice a week. It’s no wonder I have little time to blog.
I’m a huge fan of the PC game, Terraria. Whilst I also own it for Xbox and iPhone, I don’t think it plays as well on those systems as it’s primarily a mouse and keyboard game. However, I’ve seen a lot of friends, who I think should love the game, struggle to get into it. Everyone’s tastes are different, of course, but I suspect that their frustration is from not fully understanding the game.
A lot of things change in twenty years of friendship. We get older and hair goes grey and starts receding. We move away, some of us get married and settle down to have kids. It’s no wonder that our get-togethers have also changed over the years
There was a time in our early twenties when we’d meet in pubs nearly every weekend, our lives a cacophony of drunkenness and next morning regret. Then as we reached our late twenties we’d meet a couple of times a year for our shared love of film. Who could forget the annual Easter Film Festival – three days of back to back film that was more about endurance than enjoyment.
As we grew out of that and the friend pool dwindled (partly because of the horrors of the Easter Film Festival, partly because people drift apart and getting together becomes less important, more easy to miss), fFilms gave way to videogames in our thirties – weekends of playing rock band and other multiplayer games. I was usually trying to write website updates in the kitchen. The beer was replaced by tea.
And now as we start to move into our forties, our now near annual get-togethers have become about Tabletop gaming. The first few were a bit of a mess, the hosts not really knowing the games. This lead to long periods of waiting whilst they read or rules being changed mid-game (usually to their advantage I’d note) because they’d misread them.
But now, we seem like the early problems are ironed out. A few of the group regularly tabletop game which has given them time to understand rules and have a couple of playthroughs.
For the last couple of days I’ve been wondering whether I still have the time to raid in World of Warcraft and write as well. I’m behind schedule, I have a mountain of work to do and I’m starting to question whether the extra time gained by giving up my Tuesday and Thursday evenings would resolve my problems. Probably not.
I think I originally posted about this video a month or so ago on Twitter. All too often we hear about the negative impact of videogames, of how they are responsible for society’s ills, so coming across this mini-documentary on how videogames have helped people with depression is actually surprisingly heartwarming. Probably just about the best video Gamespot have ever done, in my honest opinion, and well worth a watch even if you’re not into videogames yourself.
Not all my characters lend themselves to MMO characters. Just trying to think of the character classes that suit them is enough to make my head explode. But sometimes it’s a lot clearer than it is for others, and you think to yourself… I really ought to go and make that character now!
The Xbox 360 was a machine that made a console gamer out of me. Sure, I had a Super Nintendo and a Playstation but I bought most of my games on the PC. With that came a bunch of issues: driver incompatibilities, slow frame rate, disc speed. The 360 solved all those for me. I took a disc, put it in and the game just worked.
Book promotion is a busy time. It feels like since September I’ve been working my way through a list of things that needed to have been done yesterday, culminating in a couple of months of solid interviews, guest blogs and reviews. It’s been hectic but a lot of fun.
There’s still plenty of things ongoing: blog posts to write, articles that are due in, interview questions that need to be answered. But it’s not so frantic as it once was and inbetween the ongoing items I’ve found time to have a bit of R&R.
I have recently returned from two weeks holiday from the day job. When asked whether I went anywhere, I replied that “No, I had just stayed home and played games.”
“Oh, so you didn’t do anything then?” they say.
This annoys me slightly. Just because I was playing videogames, doesn’t mean I wasn’t doing anything. In fact, I’d specifically taken the holiday then so I could play videogames, or rather one in particular- World of Warcraft.
When I used to work as an IT contractor, you never got paid if you took a day off. As a result, even years later, I still need to be reminded that I get holiday with my day job, and reminded even more that I need to take it. So when I saw that the latest World of Warcraft expansion was coming out, I thought why not spend two weeks in the new continent of Pandaria? When I told my boss, he was just happy I was finally taking some time off.