Cordwainer Bird might have something to say ...
December 28, 2016

Poking around for a game for my Mom - yes, she's an avid gamer, haven't I mentioned she's the primary talent behind the ACME Resource Pack? No? Okay. We both adored Dust: AET a couple of years ago, and I'm still on the hunt to repair or replace my PS3 which has unceremoniously desoldered its components for me so she can play Journey.

Oh we do love pretty graphics and a good story. So, I turned back to a game that caught my attention nearly a year ago - when it launched. Ori and the Blind Forest. I had to put down Stardew Valley for it, but no one really got across just how amazing Ori is. I wonder if I'm the only one who "gets it", sometimes ... but then I met you guys.

Reading your reviews tells me you get it too. What being a gamer means, I mean. It's more than a hobby; your share experiences with people in ways you can't fully express in words. Ironically, that is what we're trying to do, but valour is in the attempt. When I meet someone who "gets" Portal, we can rattle off the lines until we're about curled over with laughter.

I love that.

Ori has that sort of emotional resonance, but you've got to be willing to take a chance and commit. To what? A challenging platformer! I've heard complaints that "it wasn't fair I wasn't warned". Want a bucket to cry into? Get over it!

The point of games is to challenge the player in one way or another, be it reflexes, emotion, stress, grief, competition, creativity - - any and all of it. There's no effective limit to the kind of personal challenge a game can put you through. It can be dangerous, in fact, but without that we get nothing from the experience and just won't return to it.

Ori's a rare, special title, and it's now on my review list. I can say I'm no where close to doing it justice; with zero of six world events activated, and a 11% exploration count, I've a long, long way to go. I look forward to every minute of it, though, and being able to discuss its gorgeous presentation is also, a special pleasure.

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honestgamer honestgamer - December 28, 2016 (04:00 PM)
Games are a special medium, and enjoying them fully--and sharing your experiences with others in a way that allows them to more fully enjoy the medium--is a terrific hobby. My energy for such an endeavor has tended to come and go over the years, but right now I have a lot of it.

I hope you enjoy playing through and writing about Ori. The game definitely looks great, so I bought it at some point a number of months ago. I'm just not sure when I'll find the time to actually play it. The list of games I still plan to play is ridiculously long and it grows longer all the time.
hastypixels hastypixels - December 29, 2016 (10:21 AM)
Not being a journalist, specifically, but learning more about the craft, I've enjoyed the work of George Weidman, a YouTuber with professional training and background as a journalist. It's from him I'm gaining some perspective about what I need to focus on as a writer.

For anyone around here who's floundering ... I'd suggest watching his opinion pieces about gaming journalism. His perspective is informative and insightful, especially to a newbie. Over the years I've found a few references who I use to signpost my path, and he's one of them.

Here's a link to his Opinion/Editorial playlist:

Of course I've looked at the list of games in my Steam Library and realize I'll never play them all. Even if it were my full time job to do so ... that's really not the point. I'm playing games that interest me and telling people if it's worth their money or not.

I consider it educational, or ... at the very least good shopping advice. If something is especially worth the attention and money, like Transistor, then I'm pleased to be able to share that. If a game falls by the wayside on my personal list because of something else, that's a shame, but also the way of it.

How many games in my youth did I miss out on because I sunk so many hours into Secret of Mana or Final Fantasy II/III? None, actually, because I found what I was looking for in those games and others like them. We're guides, so our attitude is a little different now, but we're still answering the same question:

"Is the game the experience you're looking for?"

Harlan Ellison always wrote stories that had a particular question as its premise, and that helps to lend focus and purpose to the work. If we keep in mind our purpose, we'll feel better about what we're doing. Publicizing that purpose and connecting is another issue, naturally, for another time.

...yeah, I've been pondering this for a bit.

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