Games As Ebert

Well shucks, he’s at it again. Roger Ebert – a man whose lifetime of work I respect above most others – wrote another diatribe about why games can never be art. Well this is awkward, isn’t it?

Anyhow, I spent far too long just now writing out a relatively succinct, pointed response to add to his chorus of comments. In case it never gets approved or gets completely buried, I’m posting it here for official record. See, I do write things once in a while.

“My greatest disconnect with your running stance on this is that you’re ignoring the most basic tenet of games as a medium: quite simply, they are defined by their interactivity. Not by goals, or by scores. If you’re not interacting with them, you’re not experiencing the relationship that makes them what they are in the first place.

Would it be fair for me to critique any film, never mind the entire medium, only ever having listened to films, or perhaps glanced a scene here or there? It doesn’t matter how many examples are thrown at you to dismiss; you’re not playing them, so they’re equally irrelevant.

Gamers’ frustration and outcry with your argument – or at least mine – isn’t based on defending them as art. We know that they are. It’s that we’ve had these incredible, literally life-changing experiences with them, as much as with any film, album, or book; more often than not, it’s a whole lot more than “simply enjoying myself”.  But I can understand why you wouldn’t appreciate that, or see the potential for it, based on the way you’ve interacted with them (or haven’t, more appropriately).

Sit down and play an hour of Flower – actually play it – and then you can condemn it or under-appreciate it all you like; most gamers do already. It’s relaxing, it’s exhilarating, it’s creatively and intellectually inspiring. And over the course of its narrative arc – yes, you read that correctly – it develops an emotional resonance and a lasting impression that dwarfs the simple mechanics that you could no doubt forcibly distill it to. Within ten minutes of playing the game, my complete non-gamer, 56 year-old father’s mouth was agape. He had no clue that that’s what games could be, and he didn’t know because he’d never interacted with them AS games.

If it means you’ll play it, I’ll happily mail you a Nintendo DS and a copy of Electroplankton – you can hold it in your hand, play it by touching it, and won’t have to bother with learning anything. The barrier of entry for you truly having an informed voice in this discussion is remarkably low. After all, if a random music critic watched a couple of scenes from your five favorite films and dismissed the medium as not being art, you’d simply laugh it off. If it was someone you greatly respected, you’d feel more than a little exasperated. No?”

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Published in: on April 17, 2010 at 1:39 pm  Comments (17)  

For a reference all my own

One of the more inspiring, disgustingly true things I’ve read in recent years.

I had the good fortune to meet Superbrothers at GDC this year, and play the phenomenal beginnings of Sword & Sorcery EP.

These things will be kept in mind.

Published in: on March 25, 2010 at 12:23 pm  Comments (1)  

Bilithic Empire

Let me tell you about my friend Matt, one of the most ludicrously talented people I know. You know those sort who just piss you off with their immense talent across multiple creative mediums, to say nothing of their dashing good looks? That’s him. You kind of just want to slam their face into a table every time you see them, am I right? Right.

Anyhow, I went to high school with Matt, during which time he fronted a ska/punk band with some other friends of mine, the 500 Hats. Being more into that sort of music at the time, I was quite a fan. Sure, they were friends, and I had one of the more fun times of my life going on a short tour with them, but they were legitimately excellent at what they did. Long story somewhat short, Matt went away to Boston University (to do amazing talented things, that asshole), and somewhere along the way started making music with his roommate Ollie.

Enter Bilithic, a most fantastically excellent “hip hop and then some” band which I need to inform you about. Because as great as Matt is at making music, he sucks at using the computer for some reason, and he sucks even more at getting his material out there. And while I’ll admit to some potential subconscious bias, their new EP is one of the best things released this year (and 2009 has been a GREAT year for music), and I’ve been listening to it near non-stop. I won’t turn this into a review, but I will say that their sound defies categorization enough to be worth checking out for any music fan — rock and punk roots, modern hip hop sentiment, just downright fucking great.

So now, do me a personal favor and check out their MySpace page. They have the whole EP posted up there, and it’s quite varied so give the whole thing a listen if you’re even remotely digging it. And if you like it, go buy it on iTunes. They need support, it’s cheap, and who knows — maybe it’ll eventually make its way to the right people and Matt can quit his day job…of being a heroic art teacher for kids. Damn him at every turn!

Published in: on July 19, 2009 at 4:40 am  Comments (2)  

An E3 to remember

I really enjoyed E3 this year. As far as the games go — and really, what else is there — this was by far the best line-up I can remember. Outside of the severe lack of downloadable stuff (the quality was up, but the quantity was way, way down; a sign of devs jumping ship to iPhone development?), there were dozens of excellent games, all over the spectrum. Attending my first show as something other than press was…weird; not having to constantly run back to a hotel room or media room to type up rushed previews was a nice change of pace, but it was no less exhausting. Between having a few meetings, checking out the booths of every relevant publisher, and catching up with dozens of industry friends and equally friendly strangers (if you took a second to say hello, again I thank you), it was quite overwhelming. Especially considering my two day, one night whirlwind tour.

I’m also glad that E3 is somewhat back to its grandeur of old; it makes everything a little more exciting, and having everyone and everything in the same place just has a certain energy that the Santa Monica setup lacked. Anyhow, I thought I’d throw out a few personal awards, since a) this thing could use an update, b) it seems like the hip thing to do, and c)  I just finished watching Independence Day on A&E, and if I can’t make a Bill Pullman-esque motivational speech to the last survivors of earth, I may as well update my geek blog for geeks.

Lamest anything related to E3: Leaks
Seriously, if The Last Guardian trailer hadn’t of leaked the bulk of its contents a couple of weeks ago, it would have easily been the talk of the show. And when people have had months to speculate on the details of a hardware announcement like the PSP Go, it can’t help but be a bit anticlimactic when it’s finally unveiled. Hell, remember a few years ago when Reggie said “Now I know you haven’t seen this…” and whipped a GB Micro out his pocket? I almost shat myself with excitement, even if I didn’t give a damn by the time I walked out the room.

This is how you show a game award: Uncharted 2.
A face-meltingly awesome live press conference demo, a crazy cinematic new trailer, a same-day multiplayer beta release, and a badass floor demo, all in the service of showing off one of the most promising games, well, ever.

The “Remember when this was called Alone in the Dark and you hated it?” award: Alan Wake
I think Alan Wake looks great. It also looks a helluva lot like the last Alone in the Dark game, while was almost universally reviled (did anyone like it besides me?). So, really, I have no problem here; it just irks me that people are getting excited for something that looks so similar to something else they hated. Hey, fuck off, it’s my blog.

UPDATE: Ha!

Most promising/awesome game you probably forgot about: Borderlands
I’d never seen the game before in person, and seeing a couple missions played out in front of me blew me away. The new cel-shadedish art style is totally gorgeous, and allows them to get away with all sorts of cheeky humor (melting the faces off midgets, for one). The game itself is a rad FPS with all sorts of RPG elements like loot popping out of dead bad guys, and different skill trees to level up for each of the four quite different characters. It’s basically Fallout 3, minus all the reasons I didn’t get into that game, plus a whole bunch more awesome ones. Throw in four-player drop-in co-op, and unless something goes horrible wrong we’re looking at one of the best games of the fall.

Coolest game coming out only on the competition: Shadow Complex
Chair are ridiculously nice people who make damn fine games, and I was worried when they were eaten outright by Epic. But it only seems to have helped them make Shadow Complex even more badass then previously thought possible (I’ve known about it for a while as Empire). They wear their Super Metroid/SoTN influence on their sleeve, and that’s a good, good thing. And while the structure takes its influence from those older games, the visuals, physics, narrative, and core design are all completely up to speed with current standards, making for an incredibly promising package overall. It was odd that the XBLA line-up was so lacking, but Shadow Complex almost atoned for it single-handedly. (runner-up: Crackdown 2, which was essentially only an announcement in name, but I’ll be there Day 1).

Best game that will obviously be amazing: The Last Guardian
SoTC is my favorite game, by a wide margin. Those feelings of isolation, awe, companionship, and pure exploratory satisfaction all look to be present in The Last Guardian, and since almost no other games have even bothered to try those sorts of things since SoTC, I’m looking forward to it more than ever. The trailer is astounding, and will be my most-anticipated game until the moment it comes out. If you’ve seen it, you know.

Best anything ever, period: Scribblenauts
I know I’m not alone in this opinion anymore, but I was one of the first, dammit! Find me a game-of-the-show sentiment uttered before my tweet from 12:54 on June 3rd, and I’ll show you a Nick Suttner proven wrong. Anyhow, Scribblenauts is one of those rare games where if it executed on its concept 100%, it would automatically be amazing. Imagine if Spore had actually done that! In Scribblenauts, you write or type out the object you’re thinking of, and it appears. Any. Object. Chupacabra? That works. Manticore? that too. Durian? Unfortunately, yes. I didn’t even get to the puzzle-solving aspect (which sounds fantastic) in my two sessions with the game; I simply futzed around on the title screen sandbox and giggled with glee as my imagination came to life and acted accordingly. I wish I had been recording my playtime, but check out some video if you haven’t yet (including one with a surprise guest!). I haven’t been able to stop thinking about this game and the things I want to try since the show, and I have a feeling it’s going to live in the back of my brain until it finally comes out in the fall. Oh man.

Published in: on June 7, 2009 at 10:52 pm  Comments (5)  

This is getting ridiculous.

Okay, I am now going to write about sports, so bear with me. This is a relatively brief story of personal frustration that must be told. Hopefully, it will entertain.

I spent most of my life in Chicago before moving out here a little over two years ago. Growing up in Chicago in the 90’s, you couldn’t help but be a huge Bulls fan. My dad introduced me to basketball, and it’s the only sport I’ve ever remotely cared about. But I cared about it a lot. I was able to see Jordan playing in his prime in person, which is something I’ll be proud to tell my children. Hell, I got to work with the guy for an afternoon when my dad was working on the set of the Michael Jordan to the Max documentary, and hired me on a PA. Though that’s probably yet another story for another time (I also got to meet the Wachowskis that day!).

Anyhow, I’ve truly following the Bulls through thick and thin since their championship years, and it’s been damn hard to catch them playing since movng out West. So I was thrilled to see them back in the playoffs this year. Problem is, between the time different of San Francisco, Chicago, and Boston, and not getting home until 7:15 on most weekdays, it’s been nearly impossible to catch the games.

The trouble first started with Game 4 this past Sunday. I remember that the first thing I did when I woke up was set my DVR to record the game, as my girlfriend and I would be out looking at apartments all day. When I hit “record” my DVR warns me that the game may run long, and asks me how much further beyond the alloted time I’d like to record. “No way they’re going into overtime again,” I think to myself, and choose a half hour. And I go about my day. A few hours later, my good friend Tom calls me — knowing I was missing the game, with the best of intentions — to tell me that it just went into overtime. Thanks, Tom, there goes the enjoyment of the first four quarters. Then I receive an e-mail from my dad, that simply says “I hope you’re watching this game!” Yes, father, I would like to be. TRUST ME. Then later, at my girlfriend’s house, I’m innocently checking my Gmail, when I catch part of the little news banner thingy out the corner of my eye; I read something about “NBA”, “even”, and “2OT”, and my brain fills in the rest, and I hope my brain is wrong and that I haven’t just spoiled the whole thing. I quickly close the window.

So I get home that evening and watch the entire second half, into overtime. And then I see it: There is precious little time left on the recording, and the game still has a ways to go. And the worst scenario comes true: My DVR cuts off with less than a minute to go in the first overtime. CRIPES. No fun. I frantically call Tom to ask him to look around online for the rest of it to watch, but alas, it can’t be found. So I stay up til 1:30 a.m. just to watch the repeat of the game on ESPN, to catch the rest of it that I missed. Hellish.

I was going to blog about just that, but then it got so much worse tonight. This morning I set my DVR a full hour over, thinking I was playing it safe. I come home from work, and probably could have just watched from about the fourth quarter onwards live, but no, I want to watch the whole thing cause I’m a goddamn Bulls fan. So I spend the next several hours watching every second of the game. And it goes into overtime, again! I’m cackling with excitement, clapping my hands with delight. And then double overtime, AGAIN. I’m excited, sure, but concerned…again, I can see my DVR ticking down to die before its time. And this time it’s so much worse. It cuts off with 29.2 seconds left in double overtime, and my heart breaks. And it’s not repeating tonight. And I can’t wait to try my luck for tomorrow. So I start to poke around online for it, and the inevitable happens: I spoil it for myself, only to see that — SPOILER — the Bulls won in TRIPLE friggin’ overtime. You know how bad it hurts to watch the first 5 9/10ths quarters of a game but not the last 1 1/10th? It hurts bad. For the briefest of moments, I sympathize with all the jocks and meatheads who usually clog the train on the way home during local sporting events. My elusive sports spot is punched, and I wince. I’m still dying to see the rest of the game in its entirety, but it just won’t be the same. Boo.

Published in: on May 1, 2009 at 9:09 am  Comments (12)  

Next time I’ll break a sweat instead

So, yes, I did break my finger. Kind of shocking, actually, being the first bone I’ve ever broken. Typing that last blog on it probably didn’t help. You know what sucks now? Washing dishes, tying my shoes, tying a towel around my waist, and putting sweatshirts on. So as soon as this cyborg menace is off, I’ll hopefully be able to stop typing like a wounded sloth.

fingerbed

Published in: on April 14, 2009 at 11:22 am  Comments (8)  

Post-basketbrawl

This is probably the worst possible time to update this thing — the last third of my index finger on my left hand is purple and swollen from basketball fun today — but I can’t very well go over two weeks without updating, now can I?

Quite late to the party, I realize, but GDC was excellent as always. It’s by far my favorite industry event; I’ve obviously never been as a developer (though I felt much less guilty about that this year, since it’s now as educationally relevant to my job as it is informative), but it’s one of the few events simply focused on games and the people and artistry behind them — not just the hype cycle that springs up around so many other events. I went to quite a few very memorable panels, from the fantastically hilarious “All About Noby Noby Boy” to the panel that everyone should have been at, “Games Have Feelings Too!” E. Daniel Arey (Big Red Button Entertainment) did an admirable, inspiring job of summing up the whole “games as art” discussion, and basically came to the conclusion that yes, duh, games are art, so stop wondering about it and start participating in it. It would really do us a world of good as an industry to just start walking the walk in that regard; if we’re confident and commanding in our art form, I think we’d have a lot more respect from those who would otherwise question it. Mostly, I just love talking about games, and being a part of an entire event set up for just that purpose is exhilarating and fascinating.

(Note: I just Googled “Games Have Feelings Too” to get the name of the speaker, and my Twitter feed is the first result. Madness!)

The other thing GDC is amazing for? Networking.

Quick “How I got my 1UP job” story: Two years ago, a Chicago friend of mine alerted me to this blog post by Andrew Pfister, looking for a Reviews Intern. I had been interning at GamesRadar, but it was unpaid and only a few days a week, and my savings were running out. I had moved out here with nothing but that foot in the door (at least, I thought it was), and was on the verge of taking a crappy retail job just to stay out here. But I applied for the gig, with a few writing samples and the crossing of many fingers. A week or two later, GDC rolled around, and I made sure I wasn’t working those days so that I could attend. I happened to spot Andrew in the free lunch line, and waited until he was sitting down to eat to confront him. I introduced myself, told him who I was and that I had applied to be his intern, and a month later I was hired. I still had to interview and give writing samples and all that, but I really think that putting a face with an application helped me stand out (and I found out recently that I was the only person they interviewed — yay!). In summary: ruin people’s lunches, and you’ll get a job.

This year, I attended the 1UP meetup, and met some pretty fantastic folks trying to get into the industry themselves. I don’t think my advice of “just move out here and make it happen” was the most financially sound, but it worked for me — in time — so it’s really all I can offer. I can’t imagine they’re reading this, but thanks so much to everyone who attended the meetup or stopped me to say hello this year, it means a ton (and I hope you all keep my abreast of your careers).

Dammit, I actually had so much more to say for this one, but I’ve been typing with my bad finger and it’s kind of killing me (and if it turns out to be broken, I will feel like an ass for typing with it). I’m still working on my “Think of 25 albums that had such a profound effect on you they changed your life or the way you looked at it” for Facebook, which I’ll be sure to crosspost here, but since I’m seeing Mirah tomorrow tonight, I’ll leave you with this.

More as soon as this shit is healed, no two week gap! I promise!

Published in: on April 6, 2009 at 7:53 am  Comments (7)  

Something that isn’t Peggle

Really, two weeks since I posted? That’s too bad. Still trying to find that direction, I suppose.

I just watched Synecdoche, New York on Blu-Ray, which I was heartbroken about missing in theaters last year. While I thought it was a grandiose, beautiful experiment, told with a fairly elegant self-indulgence, I don’t think Charlie Kaufman is cut out for directing his own work. I think he’s a brilliant writer, whose ideas need reigning in somewhere between inception and screen. Though I do have to admire his ability to make it work as a film at all; my friend Dan and I once started on a screenplay — rather, an outline — of a similarly…meta set of ideas (for lack of a better word), and had a ridiculously tough time even keeping the basics relationships straight in our heads.

I had wanted to see Knowing yesterday — after Dark City and the horrendously under-appreciated I, Robot I’ll see anything Alex Proyas does — but ended up seeing I Love You, Man instead when Knowing got a 25% on RT and it became a lot tougher to convince friends to join me (though I still have every intention of seeing it this week). I Love You Man was alright…Jason Seigel was great, I’m just getting a bit tired of the Apatow crowd and sensibility, regardless of whether he’s involved directly or not. It was refreshing for a while, but now I find myself just wanting more Wes Anderson and his ilk; comedies that are actually films, as well. It’s also tough because really, nothing is remotely as funny as Stella or Arrested Development. The bar is set so goddamn high for comedy right now, it’s disgusting.

I’ve owned an iPhone now for 11 days, and yes, it’s pretty great (except for the sometimes miserable reception in my apartment) . It’s just astoundingly cool how everything works so well together: I can be playing a game on Scrabble on the train while listening to a podcast, and then suddenly the audio fades away since I’m receiving a call, and there I am, talking to someone simply by doing the douchey thing where you talk into the headphone cord. I haven’t played them all yet, but I’ve bought Word Fu (3750-something is my high so far, I have no clue how Karen got 33k), Scrabble (not a bad version, wish it was online), geoDefense, 7Cities, Zen Bound (brilliant), Eliss, and Fieldrunners (and Lite versions of a few like Rolando and Edge). I’ll buy almost anything for 99 cents, and I don’t mind ponying up 5 bucks to support a unique idea.

I’d love to see some of the more creative, successful iPhone devs move to console development at some point (though I understand that would be somewhat of a step back right now, business-wise). I just think the forced distillation of small game concepts could make for a better grounding for full-scale development; I thinking having to write 90-word reviews of twenty-hour games for EGM really went a long way toward making me a better writer. Though I received about a million app and game recommendations on Twitter that I have yet to check out, I’d love to hear any more.

I’ve played through the 5th act of Resident Evil 5 co-op, and I’m really, really enjoying it. I feel like I’ll never catch up on all the great single-player games I have to play, so I’m really happy to be playing something building from the ground up for co-op. I’d also recommend everyone check out last week’s episode of RebelFM, where they had a great discussion of the Great RE5 Racism Debate. Phil was kind enough to read a letter I wrote in to the show during their discussion. Being a white Western gamer who was born in South Africa, I figure I have a relatively unique vantage point of the situation.

And before I forget, I must take a second to give my highest recommendation to A Life Well Wasted, Robert Ashley’s new podcast. The “This American Life” of gaming, as people have been calling it. It’s absolutely fantastic, as good as anything on NPR, and the production work he puts into it really shows. As much as I’ve loved 1UP Yours for years, and the podcasts I’ve been a part of, I think Robert’s work has the best chance of pushing the perception of the industry forward if it can find a larger stage. So please, check it out.

Published in: on March 23, 2009 at 8:59 am  Comments (14)  

Sunday musings — iPhone, Watchmen, and 1UP

I don’t want this to be one of those things I rarely update, but I think that’s more because I haven’t figured out who it’s for yet. For me, to have an outlet for relatively creative/personal writing I don’t have a place for otherwise? Or you, the amazing audience I’ve worked hard to garner in my short career, and would love to maintain? I think it’s more the latter, but also by virtue of the former; I have quite a few passions in my life, and if I can share and infect others with some of my experiences related to them, I’ll be happy. So that’s that.

Firstly, and most excitingly, my iPhone arrives tomorrow. Now, I’m about the biggest Mac whore you’ll find, ever since my dad bought me a Performa 6116CD for my bar mitzvah (on which I enjoyed countless hours of Marathon, Myth, Sim City 2000, and plenty more). I fully believe that Mac people are a different breed from those who don’t understand the appeal, and I’ve been fighting an uphill battle with my friends since high school. I was always the lame guy quietly pimping Macs whenever I could, and now they all own Macbooks. It’s been…manically satisfying. Mwaha.

So! When the iPhone was first announced, my best pal Dan and I watched the entire 2-hour press conference online, and I drooled through every second of it…at least, until the very end, when they announced the launch pricing, and I know it would be a while til I was able to get one. I also hate cell phones, as evidenced by what I’ve been using for the last 5 years or so: a pay-per-minute, bottom-of-the-line Virgin Mobile phone that actively discourages me to use it (and that’s how I like it). Obviously lots has happened since then, and when I found out that I got 15% off my monthly service as a Sony employee, and that they had refurbished 16giggers for $200, I cracked. Upon first seeing the iPhone, I thought that it would change American culture like the iPod did, and I’m insanely excited to have it change my life as well. Even being able to look us bus times on the go will be a godsend. Also, I’ve had a game I want to make in my mind for about two years, and the iPhone is a perfect platform for it, so I should probably finally get familiar with the whole mobile gaming scene. So I guess this is a good time to say that if anyone reading has any sweet games or apps to recommend, please do so in a comment (especially cheap ones!).

I might write a full Watchmen review sometime soon (it’s been years since I’ve written a movie review), but generally I fall into the camp of having definitely enjoyed it, but finding it a bit unnecessary as a near shot-by-shot adaption of the novel. Except…missing all the periphery stories that act as microcosms of the main narrative and give everything a little more context. Some of it was sublime (the intro, a few of the music choices, the Comedian and Night Owl’s casting and performance), some of it was horrid (Laurie’s performance), and some of it was just unnecessary (the extra violence/swearing/nudity). Though I am glad that a slightly more thoughtful superhero film is out there for the masses who’ll never take the time to read the novel or indulge themselves in deeper comic book culture.

One last thing I wanted to touch on this evening (since I’ve forgotten most of the other things I thought about that I wanted to write during the week). I haven’t written much at all about the 1UPocalypse, and one day, I certainly shall (I was actually thinking it would make a great book: “1UPocalypse: The Rise and Fall of Gaming’s Enthusiast Press”). But something that’s struck me even after two weeks working at a very big company is how wonderfully isolated we were at Ziff from the corporate end of things. It’s not bad by any means where I am now (my small group particularly is great), but walking around the building it’s clearly…a business. At Ziff, we were just a bunch of writers and filmmakers who loved hanging out and making things together. Sam and Simon did all the dealing with New York (our corporate office) that needed to be done, and I now realize just how amazing a job they did shielding us from everything. There was a never a sense that we had to look a certain way or behave a certain way or write a certain way or not play loud music during the day. We could do, almost literally, whatever we wanted, whenever we wanted. Yes, we were being paid to make editorial content, but we did it because we loved doing it, and cared about the industry, each other, and — against all odds — the fate of 1UP and EGM. I try not to think about it too much because it makes me sad, and I know I speak for many of us who got laid off when I say that losing our jobs really wasn’t that distressing in the end — it was losing 1UP, and everything we had built together.

Man, that’s a bummer to end on, I apologize. See you soon!

Published in: on March 9, 2009 at 10:36 am  Comments (21)  

Today was a rock day.

When I woke up this morning, I never thought I’d be screaming into the mouth/mic of this man, “You and I, we were meant to be together!” Well, I knew I was going to see my favorite still-together band Les Savy Fav tonight, and that their wonderfully bearded leader and sexual icon Tim Harrington would be strutting his stuff amongst the crowd at some point (many points). I suppose our beards just had a connection, and we shared a sweaty moment. It was grand.

The show was amazing, as LSF always are (opener The Mae Shi were pretty great too from what we caught), and while it was fantastic to have my lady with me, I was sad that none of my friends attended. Though why would they? I wouldn’t pay to go see a band I don’t listen to either.

But things were different back home (in Chicago). For the last decade or so, I’ve been the guy who introduces my friends to new music (and rarely ever the other way around). I go out of my way to discover bands, and immerse myself in their culture, something most people don’t make the time/have the impetus for. So I forced my opinions on my friends until they paid attention, and now many of my favorite bands are theirs too. It’s something I’m quite proud of, actually, probably more so than anything else in my life — that I’ve been able to introduce people I care about to awesome music. But for whatever reason, things have been different since I’ve moved out West. I suppose when you’re working alongside people on the premise that you both care about videogames, that’s the initial basis of discussion as far as entertainment media. One of the long-term projects I was working on at 1UP when we got laid off was making a weekly mix for people that I’d bring in and put on the office server on Monday mornings, with some notes about each band. The first installment was two weeks away; probably one of the more personally sad things about leaving that place, but maybe I’ll still find a way to share (and on a larger scale, if people care).

Anyhow, I’m going to try to do a better job of it. I’m going to see Trail of Dead, RX Bandits, and Pelican this month, and I’ll be damned if I don’t drag along Anthony or Phil or someone.

Also, I was recognized for the second time ever tonight, on the bus on the way to the show. Being approached by strangers on the bus in San Francisco is about the most normal thing ever since half the city is insane, but they don’t usually ask “Are you Nick Suttner?” Kind of a weird thing, really. And very fleeting; little does he know, I want to know who he is, what he does, what he thinks about games, etc., etc., etc. Honestly, I’d rather go out to a diner and chat with someone like that than have a brief hello/goodbye. But still…neat, I guess?

Published in: on March 2, 2009 at 1:26 pm  Comments (25)