Sunday, 18 January 2009

Return fire!

OK, I admit it, I've been slacking recently, it's hard enough to get readers on a blogspot site and now my recent inactivity has condemned the blog to the darkest corner of this already overpopulated and grossly bloated blogosphere, the only way I can recover from this is to start hosting either shady software cracks with guides or you know, that stuff that 95% of web surfers actually use the internet for.............................................................. Desktop Tower Defense clones. Of course there is that other option; put some hard work in and actually post regularly again, yeah, I guess I'll do that - for the sake of integrity.

So let me provide a few reasons (read: excuses) for my recent absence, the biggest reason for my lack of posting is simply the fact that it was Christmas time and working in retail around this period is very demanding, over the past month or so I’ve had to do the most ridiculous work shifts and by the time I get home a small twitter update is about all I can squeeze out before just collapsing on my bed. Working in retail is hard around Christmas regardless of what you sell, mainly because the amount of people out shopping skyrockets and of course, 80% of those people are extremely inconsiderate and selfish troublemakers who think the world revolves around them, unfortunately for me I work in a store that sells games and consoles exclusively and it seems this year the most popular gifts are either games or consoles and peripherals, needless to say it was an exhausting few weeks.

As well as work I also had a coursework deadline to meet, this involved weeks of research followed by days of furious typing, the fact that my computer essentially had a heart attack and died the day before I started working on the coursework didn’t help much, since then I’ve been using a laptop that was kindly given to me by a family member, It’s a humble little machine that is capable of surfing the internet and running a word processor at the same time but anything more and it will buckle under the pressure.

However, now that the Christmas period is over my shifts have become far more reasonable, my coursework has been handed in and my monstrous gaming PC is nearing completion I have no excuses, so expect more from me over the coming weeks. I thought I’d ease into it by just doing a short personal update and just mentioning a few things relating to the recent happenings in the world of video gaming.

First up is UGO’s purchase of 1UP and closure of EGM, as a resident of merry old England I have to admit that my exposure to EGM has been extremely limited and confined to the last few years, as a child I read any and every gaming magazine there was, whether it was a new edition I purchased personally or an old issue that I either found in a friends house or at the library, but unfortunately I never actually got to hold a copy of EGM, it may have been possible to import the magazine but I’m sure that sort of thing was far beyond my capabilities as a child. So although I can appreciate that EGM was an institution in the world of gaming print magazines that appreciation isn’t derived from a long-standing relationship with the magazine it’s from the amazingly ridiculous things the magazine has been involved with over the years that have been catalogued on the internet, shenanigans such as the ‘Gouken’ April fools joke which has been cited as the reason the character ‘Gouki/Akuma’ was created for Street Fighter or their involvement in the creation of the Mortal Kombat character ‘ERMAC’, even though I haven’t read an EGM I can appreciate what it has done for the industry and am extremely saddened by its closure. The reasonably low level of personal damage inflicted by the closure of EGM was more than made up for by the detrimental changes made to the 1UP website. As well as offloading EGM a number of high profile 1UP staff member were also laid off, from long time senior staff members such as James Mielke and Shane Bettenhausen to fairly recent additions like Nick Suttner, Anthony and Phillip. I’m certainly going to miss the fascinating features and editiorials as well as the concise and amazingly well written reviews but what I’m going to miss the most is the podcasts. Over the past few years I’ve become quite fond of the 1UP podcasts, usually I would listen to at least one of the 1UP podcasts a day with the exception of Sunday so I guess you could say that the people and personalities featured on those podcasts are engrained into my everyday life, 1UP Yours helped me get through a number of tough revision and exam periods and helped ‘confirm’ my weekends, EGM Live was my little peek through the window into the world of Electronic Gaming Monthly and GFW Radio was my way of keeping up with PC gaming when I didn’t have the necessary equipment to play them myself, as well as expanding my horizons courtesy of evil genius Shawn Elliot and seasoned vet Jeff Greene. More recently Retronauts and 1UP FM made the long train journeys to and from work easier and getting up on Saturday mornings to watch the 1UP show with breakfast became somewhat of a ritual.

As someone who would like to work in the industry I always hoped to work with the guys at 1UP in some capacity, even if it was something small, they are some of the most talented and respected writers in the industry so like many other aspiring writers the ideal or ‘dream’ placement is at 1UP along side the likes of Shane, Nick, Anthony, Garnett and all the others, with that it mind it’s quite sad to see that I’ll never be able to achieve the dream. Lucky for me though those guys and girls are extremely resilient and almost instantly got back to work, they’ve filled the void left by all the collapsed 1UP podcasts with Rebel FM, Geekbox Radio and an eagerly anticipated new show from the ex-1UP Show lads now based at Talking Orange. You know what they say ‘with every door closed another is opened’.

Anyway, that’s enough rambling for today, until the next post why not hang out at CitizenGame, post some comments, enjoy the podcasts and jump onto the Left4Dead servers, you will be welcomed with open arms, unless you’re a zombie In which case you’ll almost certainly be shot to shit.

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