In keeping with the trend of I have of doing entirely too many things on the off-chance that one of them might eventually lead to one of the lives I want to live, I started a new project earlier this year. Coupling the knowledge that came from being involved with gaming communities in my twenties, writing communities later (including NaNoWriMo, this blog, writing groups and more), and also writing spatterings of my own facile attempts at game journalism, I started a game blog of my own.
If you’ve been following my shtick for a while, you know it’s not the first. I’ve dabbled in it on this blog, which is part of what took me down this path. Let’s go on an abridged memory trip, shall we?
Other than playing them, my earliest memories of writing and games together was writing fanfic as a pre-teen for Sierra games. Later it was planning to make them with AGI, or modding, or using MUSHes to tell the stories I wanted to. Occasionally I’d flip back to writing novels based on the game ideas instead, but stalled often.
My involvement with the community around Lionhead Studios’ The Movies brought me back to writing. It got me writing scripts and taught me that I could actually finish something that I started. That led me to doing NaNoWriMo, which gave me a taste for meeting people and running events. That escalated over the years to the point where I was actually co-organising the thing for two years running, and it’s from that and giving narrative and plot advice to my writing babies that I realised I wanted to start *this* site.
This site got me to writing about storytelling in games, which brought me into contact with people with that interest. That got me involved with writing for Save Game, and that threw me into everything. Two posts ago, well, you can see where that went. I’m still sad about it, but now’s not for the dwelling. It’s for the sharing.
I know that writing about games is something I’ve wanted to do for a while, based on the fact I’d been y’know… doing it for a while. It’s all a strange, alien world and while working on a myriad of things it, to steal a metaphor from myself, sometimes feels like I’m a velociraptor, testing the fences for weaknesses, hoping that one of these attempts will lead to where I want to be.
One of the goals with my new site is to earn a place in whatever slice of the game industry I’m currently pacing the borders of.
I lucked into a writing gig that feels so different to what other people tell me their experience has been, that it’s hard for it to feel real. It’s as simple as being asked to represent at an event, me writing something about it, and suddenly it was a deal. Nothing was ever written speculatively, and I had freedom with words.. I’d seek out some contacts, but many of the story ops came via the EIC, where all I had to do was ask questions, write, play, whatever. No submissions to speak of.
I wasn’t ready for that level. Especially not when the potential audience was far bigger than any I’d had before and I hadn’t earned a bit of it myself.
So in the tail end of January 2016, I started clevergamepun.com. I think it’s experimental, hopefully different to other sites, and I think it tries to not take itself as seriously as I take myself. It’s still a baby, but it’s definitely on the right track (not that train tracks are where you want to find a baby). Even in its current state, it couldn’t be what it is without the support of those around me. What it might be tomorrow is anybody’s guess.