Thursday, December 31, 2015

The Geek Spot's Favorite Things

Last year, my final post of 2014 was a reflection on my blogging style - what I  posted, what I liked, and what I questioned about my writing. I want to continue the tradition this year with a review of my favorite The Geek Spot articles of 2015. The highs. The lows. And everything in between.

I like to think that I've grown over the years in my style of writing. While the blogging format does allow me to be more free-form and less conventional, I still try to approach my work as if I were writing for one of the larger gaming/geek sites. I can be personable and professional, except when it comes to EA and Ubisoft.

Here are some of my favorite stories of 2015:

- I played a lot of Dragon Age: Inquisition. Probably way more then what should have been allowed, or is considered healthy to consume. But with such an in-depth world that continued to expand with 3 DLC packs released in 2015, is anyone really surprised that I fell head over heels with this game? #culleniteforlife

- With all of my posts and articles covering Anita Sarkeesian, I was looking forward to her lecture when she came to UT Dallas during the winter earlier this year. While I don't typically agree with  some of her her points of view, I felt that this side of Sarkeesian in the academic setting was far more personable then I had ever expected. And it's something I wish people could see of her more often. She turned me around. I still don't agree with some of her prose, but I have more respect for her and what she's trying to accomplish. As fans of any hobby, we sometimes forget that there are people behind the microphone with feelings and concerns just like the rest of us. It's important that we keep that in mind any time we decide to raise our voices and cry foul.

- The topic of writing video games as well as game reviews has been a full-fledged firestorm this year. I dove in with some tips for new writers who were interested in writing for games - as scriptwriters, character developers, or as a reviewer. There is so much content out there these days that anyone can jump into the fold. But what makes the leaders stand out from the followers is how they write.

You have to write a lot, and then some more, and then more then that. And then you keep on writing until you're sick of it. Then you take a few classes, get a degree and learn about alternate forms of writing. You need to absorb yourself into writing that it becomes you. Hopefully some of you found the article helpful!

- Gamification. I still think we should try to get rid of it. :)

- 2015 is the year of my first book review on the blog! "The Game Believes In You" by Greg Toppo. If you haven't had the opportunity to read this yet, I highly encourage it. It's something I've  recommended to some of my professors to use as required reading.

- I realize that this next blog post has nothing to do with video games, but I'm a movie nerd too. Roll with it. My piece on keeping Gone With The Wind in film history is one of the few that I'm really proud of. It was posted at a time when there was a growing trend in the country to remove everything and anything that acted as a reminder of slavery. Some people were asking to have this movie boycotted as well as taken out of the National Archives and the Library of Congress, which was further pushed by a writer at the NY Post. I can understand and respect that some people don't want to be reminded of a disdainful history.

However it's from the past we learn our mistakes, we grow, and we do our best to not repeat them. GWTW is not about slavery, and if you want a movie with some serious racial implications, go watch John Wayne in Stagecoach. Removing our history, removing our artistic views is not the way to resolve issues.

- A health website, aimed towards healing those with eating disorders, whipped up a reverse photoshop on some female video game characters. I found it silly and wrote a rebuttal. It's one thing to point out that the bodies on women in video games is not realistic. It's another when you use a character from a fighting game, who has the body of a fighter, and alter them to the point that they would most likely be disqualified from the tournament they're attending. My issue with women's bodies in games is not how busty they look. I just want them to have some real pants and a shirt covering their boobs. Is that too much to ask for?

- The other big howdie-doo this year was pre-orders. Pre-orders, pre-orders, pre-orders. We may not see the practice die down anytime soon, but there's hope that as writers we've put a small dent into the system to give people enough pause and reconsider their purchases.

- My final favorite article of the year is a list I created on 11 Things That Are Currently Hampering the Growth of Gaming in the Industry and the Community. It started as a response to an article I found on that was complete click-bate, and turned into an epilogue listing the issues we currently face as gamers and developers. It's one of the more in-depth lists I have created, and one I'm proud of.

Happy New Year, everyone!


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