New Kids on my Block, Part #3 (BlogExplosion-style)

When I first started buttonmashing.com (I still can’t decide if I should capitalize the “B” and “M” in the name) I was looking for ways to attract visitors, so I signed up for an account on BlogExplosion (< -- my referral link, if you're interested in joining). Basically, BlogExplosion is a click exchange - you read my page and I'll read yours (for 30 seconds). I still use it occasionally, but they have a good directory of blogs, broken down by categories. I spent some time going through the list of gaming blogs and came across a few that I was unaware of and I thought I might as well share the game blogging goodness.

SpaceWorld looks like a blog I can relate to — he seems to love Nintendo, is a Conservative, and loves video games. That’s the trifecta for me!

I’ve been meaning to use my Bloglines to do a better job of organizing the blogs I read and one of the categories I want to add is one of “industry people”. I just found one of the first one’s I add: 3rd World Game Designer. Besides my fascination with all things Asian, this blog is a great read. Definitely one I look forward to having on the list!

Another Nintendo-phile, 4 Color Rebellion is heavy on the Nintendo side of gaming but has a great looking site, replete with reviews and great commentary.

I love watching the MMOG community through the eyes of the players. AFK Gamer is definitely my favorite, but Cabbage looks like he also will keep me updated on goings-on in other MMOGs. Great.

(On a side note, I noticed I was recently linked to by roXatopia as a “MMOG” gamer. Since I have played my share of MMOGs, I guess I qualify for that title but I haven’t played one regularly since I quit Neocron. Nevertheless, I appreciate the linkage, and I have been eyeing Guild Wars for a long time, so I may once again join the ranks of the MMOGs.)

We here here at buttonmashing.com are without borders, and yet we don’t have a ton of international flavor here. So with that in mind, we will be reading Geemusentaa for a Aussie point of view. And don’t ask, what the name means, just read the blog.

That raps up another edition of the New Kids. I hope you enjoy!

New Games Journalism and Blogs

Today there was a pretty good discussion over at EvilAvatar, discussing the so-called NGJ (New Games Journalism) where the formulaic review is eschewed in favor of the more colloquial and personal review.

I won’t duplicate the links here, you can follow them from EA. I did want to elaborate a little more on what I mentioned in a comment there (I go by i_aint_yer_pa). I really think gaming blogs are going to fill the void produced by reviews of games that lack emotion. They won’t be reviews per-se, they will be more like impressions and experiences that people have with a particular game. I mentioned my experience with The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker. As I was playing through WW, I stopped playing more than once to take in the environment and admire its artistry and beauty. The under-water palace is one of the more sublime experiences I’ve had playing video games. It has been a long time since I felt a part of a video game, but in that instant, after I had vanquished all my foes and I was alone in the great hall, I just looked around in awe. When I descended the stairs and saw the marvelous stained glass windows, I was absolutely immersed. I try to convey in words what I felt but they still feel inadequate. Nevertheless, people who have played the game understand what I mean and hopefully people who haven’t played the game will consider giving it a try, if nothing else because they want to have a similar experience.

That’s the kind of thing I want to read about when I read snippets and reviews about games. I’ve already sworn off previews, I want to read about how people have been affected by a game. This isn’t going to happen all the time, but when it does, I want to read about it. I want to have similar experiences. That’s why I think gaming blogs will become more of a source of gaming trends and become more influential in gaming purchase decisions.

As a small example, I point to GTA:SA as a hint of what could happenin. The “main-stream” review sites are giving it high marks. But then I read things from bloggers complaining about certain aspects of the game, I have two sides to weigh. But it’s nice to know that there’s more than just the unending praise that some of the bigger sites (and print magazines) give to games. I wish I could have read a review similar to what I wrote about Fable before I plunked my fifty hard earned dollars down for that stinker. I probably would have still purchased Fable, but at least I would have a better idea of someone elses experience. Not whether it pushes 30 fps or sounds fantastic in surround sound but if it was fun and as immersive as was promised. That would have been a start.

Well see how these things develop. It will be interesting.

Linkage!

I’ve been fascinated by the blogging phenomenon. It has definitely garnered a lot of attention with all the political blogging going on. I’ve been doing it for a while with my personal blog but that became more of a place to post pictures of my daughter for our extended family to see. I don’t update there as much as I used to. On the otherhand, I’m committed to updating here as often as I can. I’m also keenly aware of the value of getting links to your blog. When someone links to your blog it’s like blogger crack. It’s the life-blood that keeps bloggers blogging. It gives a huge ego boost (I believe the correct term is ego-boo). So when I noticed I’ve been mentioned in a blog post at Gamer’s Adventure and I’ve been added to the links over at SmashBot.net I was pretty pumped. I appreciate the props. Makes me feel good.

Update 11/2 – render has also linked me up. Thanks for the link, 4tomsm4sher!

Blogs Recap

Here we are for another installment of the round up (shall I call it a carnival? Not yet). Anyway, aside from the legal Nintendo gaffe (no need to link that here) and the fact that many people seem to like some game called GTA, there were some other noteworthy items this week:

There was an interesting (albeit brief) review of censorship in games. Whether the blood is red or green never bothered me, but censorship (or lack thereof) still dogs video games. This article talks about Nintendo censorhip in particular.

Here’s the post I was looking for.

Here’s a game expected to sell 15 million copies and is expected to gross over $200 million in revenues over the first week, and Microplay has the brilliant foresight to get just enough copies to sell to the people that already paid for a part of it.

It caught my attention because it touches on the ridiculous nature of selling “pre-orders” for video games. My example is always Halo 2. I did preorder the game so I could get it at midnight at my local Game Crazy, but I still told the kid behind the counter that it’s ridiculous to think that Bungie is not going to press enough discs to satiate the masses. The fact that I have a little slip of paper proving I paid five dollars means nothing more than I am a moron who has bought into the pre-release hype and hoopla. There’s not going to be a shortage of copies of Halo 2. Each time the press a Halo 2 disc it’s like they’re printing two twenty dollar bills. There not going to press a million discs and then decide that’s enough. You didn’t pre-order? Sorry, we just ran out of copies and they’re never going to make another one for you. You should have pre-ordered. Sorry, but this presell crap just doesn’t float my boat.

That’s about it for now, not too much that stood out for me this week.

Gaming Blogs for you

As I peruse the gaming blogs out there, I just want to highlight some of the stuff I’ve read that I thought was cool that week. This is my first attempt at this, so bear with me, this week might be kind of short. So without further ado:

Anyone who plays video games and surf the web knows about Penny Arcade. Last year, in an effort to show the public that gamers aren’t anti-social wierdos whose actions are driven by violent video games set up a charity to help their local hospitals. Response was tremendous, and they’re doing it again

As a shameless plug, I’ll direct you to my review of NCAA 2005 for the Gamecube. I don’t know if posting reviews here will become common, but I used to write reviews for the website epinions.com and enjoyed it, so we’ll see.