Something resembling an update of sorts
Tea: Greek Herb Tea
Critical Teatime is almost 2 years old and do not worry, this is not a sentimental outburst of any kind. Rather, I have been thinking about my content, the content others produce, and how I want to position myself within this fought over space. Blog culture is an interesting one, but also a form that grows stale rather fast. To prevent myself from becoming formulaic, I want to shift the focus of my work.
So far, most of my articles were classic reviews of recent or older games. While I enjoy writing these most of the time, recently they have been annoying me a bit. The endless run down of story, gameplay, music etc. etc. started to turn into sand in my gears. This is partially my own fault for not making them interesting and diverse enough as others have. Mostly this is due to the fact that this category is externally imposed. I read a lot of reviews and style my own work accordingly. “You need to talk about the story, about the gameplay etc.” Really my own contribution was my subjective like or dislike of certain aspects which I tried my best to underline with arguments. I do not have the capacity for a dry objective games journalism, that is exhausting me. I will never care how touching the TellTale Walking Dead Season 1 Ending is, because I think it is tacky and I hate these “interactive dramas”, just as an example. Just as a quick side note, the review section will not disappear entirely, it will just be less frequent that I write a classic piece about a game which will most of the time be about an indie title or something obscure. Something you can actually draw from.
In the future, I want to focus more on what I have more fun with and (according to the statistics) you do as well. My most read articles are all interpretative pieces, with Undertale being the most popular. And as a matter of fact, I have the most fun with these types of articles as it is also basically what I do in my studies. (I am certainly not doing this for the money). I realise that the prospect of critical theory infused writing may turn some off from the very start, but I will never assume a prior knowledge of anything and in general try to keep it accessible. I had a lengthy discussion with a friend about what we both want out of game related writing and I said: “a challenge and new perspective” and he said “a recommendation or a warning” (sad capitalist puppet that he is). Therefore, I want to write about aspects of games, implications, interpretations, artistic and aesthetic choices, basically everything I find intriguing about a game, be it good or bad. Two of my recent articles serve as an example of this. The review for The Fall was largely negative due to the game’s technical shortcomings and yet I still recommended it. In doing so I felt hypocritical, but at the same time bound by the spoiler-free piece I promised. NieR Automata’s interpretation about humanity, on the other hand was a blast to write and an article I am truly proud of.
So here is how this change is going to manifest: Interpretation pieces will rise in number while the reviews dip down. I will concentrate more on an essay type that makes digestion easier, but always with a new perspective on something aside from the classic review gaze. For example: Bloodborne (if I were to write about it again) would not get a review but a piece about the successful adaption of cosmic horror themes or something along those lines. Reviews will henceforth be games/movies that I cannot find anything interesting about in regard to analysis but that are still enjoyable times to be had (e.g. Overcooked) or the absolute disastrous failures, which will be less like reviews but more akin to slaughter (e.g. Suicide Squad). Also, and I know I say this a lot, but I will also produce more writing and eventually more Sherlock.
So here it is: My two-year reflection about what I did and what I want to do in the future. As a last side note: I am looking into maybe making my writing section available with audio of me reading it as some people have said that it gains more depth when read by me. I do not really agree, but am interested none the less. Thanks to those who have been reading my cluttered thoughts and I will provide you with more interesting think pieces in the future.