Monday, October 22, 2012

These Things We Call Video Games

This is a site by gamers and for gamers and it is really all about the games. Call it a website, call it a blog, call it whatever you like because the semantics (and the systems) are not important here. What is important are the video games we play, why we play them, how we play them and what we think about them.

These Things We Call Video Games?

Think about it: We apply the same label to a phone app wherein you can slingshot cartoony birds at chortling pigs, sometimes clearing a stage in seconds (Angry Birds) to a sprawling space opera with character customization and branching paths providing over 100+ hours of varied gameplay (the Mass Effect series). Both of these popular titles are simply classified as "video games." I cannot think of another medium that has such variety in its parameters.

L.A. Noire (2011)
To be completely open with you, and give credit where credit is due, the name for the site is inspired from an article written by Tom Bissell over on Grantland, "Press X For Beer Bottle: On L.A. Noire." In the final paragraphs Bissell ultimately attempts to wrap his head around what L.A. Noire is. "[It] comes closer than any previous digital experience to showing us where the hands are on the clock: half past movie, a quarter past video game, and a quarter to … what, exactly? I have no idea, which is a large part of what makes the game wonderful." L.A. Noire is certainly an outlier, but it serves to get the point across that we have ascribed thousands of individual interactive creations with one single stamp: video games. Maybe the name will never change, maybe it does not need to.

By the way, L.A. Noire was certainly one of my favorite games from last year. I look forward to telling you about my experiences playing it (or how it played me rather) in a future post.

The Crew

In an effort for balanced documentation we will be assembling a variety of passionate gamers. These will also be creative writers who want to express their reactions and feelings about what they have spent their precious time playing. You can learn about each of us in The Crew tab located at the top of the site. It is preposterous for one person to try and cover all of gaming by themselves. Much like a bank heist you need a crack team on the job, each with their specialties and valuable perspectives. Nobody has the time and resources to play all the different systems (let alone all the genres and game types on each system). Even with a moderately manned-crew there will be plenty of blips lost on our radar as we charter the waters of video games. It is an overwhelming but ultimately exciting time that we gamers are living in. Our crew will strive to deliver original content on myriad gaming experiences.

The Content

This is not a news site. Hit up Kotaku or IGN for great resources in that department. These Things We Call Video Games will primarily post (but is not limited to) previews, reviews, impressions, and analyses about the games we play and sometimes the games we do not get to play. Sites like Brainy Gamer and Game Critics, not to mention the writings of Tom Bissell, were particular influential in starting this site. I believe that one cannot merely play games if they are serious or passionate about the art form. One must ponder, theorize, draw conclusions, and ultimately assay what they play. Writing and dialogues are ever available to us and will be the primary mill that churns this site. And so readers, writers and fellow gamers, without further ado, let us talk about these things we call video games.

Words by J.S. Lewis

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