I am now on the last leg of completing my PhD. I know I said that in my last “life update” but this time… it’s serious. All I do, all day, is sit at my desk and try and figure out why words have stopped meaning what they used to. By the end of the project I should have over 70,000 words ready for the nine people around the world who it will be relevant to.
As you might imagine, I’m finding it difficult to sit and type in front of a screen – who knew that there was a limit? – and formulating blog posts at the moment seems like an arduous, difficult task. I have to have… an argument? I have to have opinions? Sounds a bit too similar to the every day struggle of stringing together sentences that include words like ‘ontology’, ‘problematise’ and ‘heterogeneity’.
The plan is to submit by the end of July – yes, next month. To celebrate, I was hoping to indulge either by going on holiday or buying a Switch (preferably both) – but my funding dried up months ago so I may have to settle for a packet of crisps, a movie and possibly a phone call with someone who does own a Switch. They can talk to me about their Switch experiences and I can translate their experiences into blog posts that will rock the internet to the very core…!
I apologise if this sounds like my current situation isn’t any fun – actually it’s been good. After a hard day’s thinking, there’s always time to enjoy videogames. Videogames still make sense. In the last few weeks alone, I’ve enjoyed spending time with Donkey Kong: Jungle Beat, Splatoon, Portal 2, Shovel Knight: Specter of Torment, and assorted Neo Geo games.
Anyway just to say thanks for bearing with me in this limbo phase. There will be a one or two posts coming your way, just not the usual weekly ones – I can’t wait to jump back on the blogtrain when the time is right!
In a long overdue bit of blog-keeping, I have gone through Very Very Gaming’s wacky archives and tagged each and every post (podcasts excepted) with “written by Adrian” or “written by Maya”, or in a few rare cases, both! Now you can know who wrote which post, past and present! This is something we’ve wanted to do since the very beginning of the blog, but we were too uncreative to think of an elegant way to indicate who wrote what. Big thanks to geozeldadude for his feedback which prompted us to re-think the issue. Certainly, dual or multiple authors can work well on WordPress – see our blog buddies over at A Most Agreeable Pastime and United We Game for good collaborative blogs in action – but it didn’t seem appropriate for the way we work here, for various reasons.
For one, every post on this site is a collaboration between Maya and myself to varying degrees. We proof-read, make edits and offer suggestions on each other’s posts. There are posts that are written from my point of view, when in fact Maya did most of the work, and vice versa. That happens sometimes when one of us has an initial idea but gives up or neglects it, and the other person will pick it up and finish it. For simplicity’s sake, I just followed the post’s “perspective” when doing the tags.
And, for this reason, while it’s tempting to count the archived posts and declare myself the CHAMPION FOR ALL-TIME for most posts authored… it doesn’t even begin to do justice to the reality of our blogging endeavour.
Speaking of winning, there was a cool thing that came up recently. Retro Gamer, a print magazine based here in the UK, cribbed a Sexy Parodius screenshot from none other than Very Very Gaming for a recent feature on Sega Saturn shmups. Talk about gratifying!
Hello from the other side! Confession: I have been avoiding you all. I was deeply ashamed and needed time to heal. For about a month and half now, I’ve been contemplating changes to my AV setup and it snowballed into a kind of nerdy hysteria. Honestly, it’s been an emotional rollercoaster, and I’m finally ready to tell my story. Continue reading
Last year there were some absolute corkers that I didn’t write about, incredible stuff that was all the more tragic for the lack of dedicated blog posts: Sky Odyssey (PS2), Disaster: Day of Crisis (Wii), Metroid: Other M (Wii), Trauma Team (Wii), Dragon Force (Saturn), the list goes on. By comparison, this year has burnt a little less brightly. It’s not that the games haven’t been good – they have been. Apart from a few exceptions though, they’ve not left as deep an impression, not cut me to the core, in the same way as the absurd theatrical masterpiece that is Disaster: Day of Crisis. These are some of the most wonderful (and weird) games I played last year. Continue reading
It’s been long. So long. The NX was “announced” at the same time as Nintendo announced their intentions to release mobile games. So it’s been a while – a year and a half, to be specific. The NX was Nintendo’s way of reassuring their fans that they weren’t going mobile-only. But until now that’s been almost all anyone has known about the NX: it’s a device that means that Nintendo aren’t going mobile-only. The only other thing we know about the NX, officially, is that the upcoming Zelda game, Breath of the Wild, is going to be released for Wii U and NX in March 2017. That helps pin certain things down, but still it doesn’t tell us a whole lot, especially given the mysteries and surprises that Nintendo’s hardware have contained ever since the original DS’s dual screens.
When you think back, it’s no wonder people are so intrigued. How exactly are Nintendo going to top dual screens (DS), motion controls (Wii), a 3D screen (3DS), and a portable tablet-like controller (Wii U)? If past precedent is anything to go on, the NX is going to be anything but an average PC-in-a-box console. But even precedent has not seen anything quite like this: now as we enter late October, the NX’s release is due within the next five months! No wonder there’s an unbelievable sense of anticipation and excitement around the reveal of what NX is going to do differently.
The NX rumour mill has been gathering steam these past few days… something’s got to give. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got some webpage refreshing to do – where was I?
EDIT: And what do you know, less than a minute after publishing this here post, a wild NX appeared:
— Nintendo of America (@NintendoAmerica) 20 October 2016
Emphasis on the brief, but it’s about time I shared the reason this blog has been somewhat quiet this past month or so, and it may continue for a while. I’m currently nearing the end of my PhD, with hopefully just a few short months to go before I finally submit. I’ve always worked to deadlines throughout the PhD, but being in the final stretch has meant being stricter than usual with my time so I can finish sooner rather than later – theses have a habit of stretching on and on if you let them.
I started this blog at almost the same time as my PhD, a (mostly) stress-free space where I could practice and develop mad writin’ skillz beyond the realm of academese. Of course my writing skills were and still are irredeemably poor, but the blog has served me well as far as stress relief goes. (It’s also been terrible in terms of procrastination, but that’s another story!)
What about going forward? Well, despite its beginnings as a PhD distracton, I hope to keep the blog alive long after the PhD is done and to post regularly in the meantime too; basically nothing will change. At least, that’s the plan! I just wanted to give an explanation for why I’ve posted less regularly recently, and if the trend of fewer posts continues then at least you’ll have an idea why. I’ll continue to cajole Maya into contributing posts during dry patches, and there are other goals too: more podcasts, reviving Weird Video Wednesday, so we’ll see how those pan out.
are in store, let me take the opportunity to say a massive thank you to everyone who reads our blog. It’s a privilege to know and be part of such a passionate and vibrant community of videogame bloggers, and I’m eternally grateful to those who’ve read, shared and commented on Very Very Gaming these past three years. Responses and correspondence from readers is the most gratifying part of any form of writing, so thank you all again for making blogging so rewarding and fun!