This week marks the official, scientific beginning of the season of autumn. The leaves will be changing, the temperature dropping, and the people who are already writing articles about Halloween will be slightly more justified in their endeavors. Although the end of summer means that the days will become shorter and we have less sunshine in the coming months, the sunshine here on Adventure Rules is plentiful thanks to my fifth (?) Sunshine Blogger Award this year! This one comes courtesy of Neko Jonez from the gaming blog of the same name – thanks Jonez! He is an awesome guy who shows a ton of support to the game blogging community, so you should definitely swing by his place and say hello. I also (over a month ago now – whoops!) received a Brotherhood of the World award from Pete Davison over at Moe Gamer, so I owe him a big thank you as well. Pete writes extensively about Japenese games, so if that’s your genre of choice then his blog is the place to be!
Now if you aren’t familiar with the Sunshine Blogger Award, here are the rules of being nominated:
- Thank the blogger(s) who nominated you in a blog post and link back to their blog.
- Answer the 11 questions the blogger asked you.
- Nominate 11 new blogs to receive the award and write them 11 new questions.
- List the rules and display the Sunshine Blogger Award logo in your post and/or on your blog.
The Brotherhood of the World Award is almost identical – the only exception is that there’s no defined limitations as far as the number of questions. Moe asked me five (one of which is identical to one asked by Jonez). The first eleven questions are my responses to Jonez, and the last four are my responses to Pete; number 10 is the duplicate.
QUESTION #1: AT WHAT POINT DO YOU DECIDE A CERTAIN GAME IS GOOD ENOUGH TO WRITE AN ARTICLE ABOUT?
For me, I tend to write when I am inspired to discuss a specific topic. So when it comes to particular video games, I write articles about my experience when I’m passionate about sharing specific thoughts. I don’t just write general impressions or reviews of everything I play. For example, when Hyrule Warriors: Definitive Edition was released on the Switch, I played through the story mode in its entirety without ever once writing an article specifically about that game. Conversely, while playing Okami HD I’ve already written a couple of articles specifically influenced by my experience with the game. For me, it depends less on the game itself and more on inspiration.
QUESTION #2: HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR OWN WRITING STYLE?
I’m not sure if the intent of this question is to describe the techniques I employ or the tone I use, so I’ll do both! As far as technique is concerned, by writing style is spontaneous and passionate. When I have a strong vision for an article I want to write, the writing of it usually takes no time at all (recent example, I wrote this Mega Man 11 article in an hour) – when I have lots of ideas, I can easily push out three to four articles in one day. However, if I don’t have specific motivation or interest in an article, it might take me days of revisiting to finish even one, and those kinds of articles generally get trashed. Most of the time, I finish an article all at once or it just doesn’t get done. As far as writing style in the sense of the tone that I convey, I think of my tone as casual, humorous, and conversational. My posts are written as if I am speaking them aloud – although my written words flow much faster than my spoken ones!
QUESTION #3: ABOUT WHAT WOULD YOU WANT TO WRITE IF YOU WEREN’T ALLOWED TO WRITE ABOUT GAMES FOR A YEAR?
Yikes, this question is a tough one! As someone whose blog is exclusively about games, a year of no games at all would be a pretty drastic change for Adventure Rules. I could see that going one of two ways. I would potentially shift to writing about television and movies, as Netflix would provide a constantly-growing list of content for me to cover. The other direction I would consider is becoming a fiction blog and sharing chapters of ongoing fiction works, or perhaps multiple short stories all set in the same overarching world. I definitely don’t want to ever have to consider this situation for real, though!
QUESTION #4: WOULD YOU WAIT ON THE DLC RELEASE OF A GAME TO REVIEW THE GAME OR DO YOU REVIEW THE DLC LATER?
This depends on the situation – if a game’s DLC is already out when I play and review it for the first time then I’ll definitely just do it all at once, but when it comes to new games that I play as they are released I don’t wait on the DLC to form my impressions. For a lot of games, I don’t even bother picking up the DLC unless I’m fortunate enough to get it as part of a definitive edition. I could count on one hand the number of games for which I paid extra for DLC, a pretty small number compared to the number of games I own which support DLC. So it honestly doesn’t come up all that often.
QUESTION #5: WHAT INSPIRES YOU TO COME UP WITH IDEAS FOR ARTICLES AND/OR EVENTS?
Honestly the answer to both halves of this question is the same: games themselves inspire my ideas! Sometimes I’ll be playing a game and a certain gameplay mechanic inspires me to write about similar mechanics in other games. Sometimes I’ll love or hate the characters so much that I just have to say something about them. And sometimes, an aspect of a video game or tabletop game inspires an entire community event on the blog! Charming and Open, for example, was inspired by the Bard move of the same name in the tabletop RPG Dungeon World.
QUESTION #6: HOW DO YOU WRITE? DO YOU CREATE A DRAFT FIRST OR JUST START WRITING? DO YOU WRITE WHILE LISTENING TO MUSIC?
Golly, I need to start reading these questions ahead so I don’t accidentally answer them before they come up! Since question 2 hit on most of this already, let’s talk about music. Most of the time when I write, I’m sitting in the living room with my son and/or my wife. That means that it’s pretty normal for me to have lots of background noise – kid’s shows, my son playing with action figures, and my wife voice chatting with her buddies are normal things for me to be hearing when I write an article. Generally it doesn’t bother me because I have tunnel vision when I’m “in my head,” but if outside noise it causing me to lose focus I’ll put in headphones and listen to music. I keep a playlist of over 200 video game songs that I’ll put on shuffle to get me in the zone.
QUESTION #7: DO YOU HAVE HOBBIES AND/OR ACTIVITIES YOU DO OUTSIDE OF WRITING/GAMING?
Honestly, I don’t. I only have a couple hours of free time a night that’s split between spending time with my family and indulging in my hobbies. I do have regular get-togethers with a group of friends every month, but even that is centered around video games and tabletop games. I’d say the closest thing I have to a hobby outside of writing for the blog or playing games is watching shows. In particular, I recently started making an effort to watch more anime, as that’s something I’ve been cautiously interested in for some time. At the writing of this article (not necessarily the posting of it), I’m in the midst of Attack on Titan and I’m quite enjoying that so far.
QUESTION #8: WHAT GAME(S) ARE UNDERRATED OR NOT WELL KNOWN ENOUGH IN YOUR OPINION?
Any tabletop roleplaying game that ISN’T Dungeons and Dragons. I understand that D&D is the first introduction to RPGs for most players, and that it is popular because it is backed by a successful company and gets a lot of publicity from groups like Critical Role. But there are so many other roleplaying games out there for folks to play, ones that are tailored to all kinds of different settings and play styles. In my experience, these smaller games have been a lot more enjoyable than D&D despite it having better long-term support from its developers. Indie RPGs are also a lot more affordable for those trying to get into the hobby but unable to purchase the core books for D&D. If you’re interested in trying a smaller game one time to get a feel for how diverse and unique other RPGs can be, I fully recommend Ten Candles or the starter set for City of Mist.
QUESTION #9: ARE THERE ANY GENRES YOU DON’T LIKE REVIEWING AND WHY?
I’m actually getting ready to post an article this Friday all about my relationship with game reviews, so this is a timely question! I’d say that the only genres I don’t like to review are the genres that I don’t like to play in the first place. For example, I don’t enjoy first person shooters, so that’s not something I’m going to happily embrace an opportunity to review. If I had to choose a genre that I do play but would be the least likely to write a view for, it would probably be multiplayer games. I’ve talked about ARMS but never written a legitimate review for the game, I didn’t review Snipperclips or Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, and I haven’t reviewed any party games I’ve played with other people like the Jackbox Game packs.
QUESTION #10: WOULD YOU CONSIDER WRITING/BLOGGING AS A JOB?
I would love for blogging to be my full-time job! I truly enjoy the job that I currently work, but my “dream job” is to work for myself as a content creator doing things like blogging and streaming. Realistically, though, only the most successful folks in those roles do so for their living, so it’s not like I feel as if I am realistically working towards that as my career. I am perfectly content with Adventure Rules as a hobby rather than a job – but hey, if I earn your dollars someday, then I’ll be happy about that too! Note that Pete asked me this same question as his Question #4, so this one answer counts for both slots!
QUESTION #11: WHAT DO YOU DISLIKE DOING THE MOST WHEN WRITING OR PUBLISHING AN ARTICLE?
Dealing with images! Trust me, if the way the human psyche worked was that we could read paragraph after unbroken paragraph and be satisfied with it, I’d be the happiest blogger in the world. Images are important for blogging as a medium but by golly I hate the process of either finding them or creating them. I dislike drawing them the most because that process is SO time consuming, but even just looking for the right image to compliment a particular paragraph can be aggravating. Then there’s the whole “what counts as Fair Use” thing to contend with…I just know that at some point I’m going to have to backtrack through my posts to get rid of a bunch of stuff because I’m somehow violating copyright even when using the official cover or character art from the games I discuss.
QUESTION #12: HAVE YOUR TASTES IN GAMING CHANGED SINCE YOU WERE YOUNGER? WHY DO YOU THINK THIS DID/DIDN’T HAPPEN?
This is my first question from Pete for the Brotherhood of the World, and the rest are questions from him as well. Honestly I can say that my taste in games has barely shifted at all. When I was a kid my favorite games were things like The Legend of Zelda, Super Mario, Mega Man – titles in the same genres or even the same series that I play now. Games I didn’t play until my teen years like Fire Emblem are still some of my favorites. So if anything, I think the only change to my gaming tastes are that they have expanded to include more series and more types of content than they did when I was younger.
QUESTION #13: YOU’RE PRESENTED WITH A VIDEO GAME THAT IS POPULARLY REGARDED AS BAD. HOW DO YOU APPROACH IT (IF AT ALL)?
Honestly, chances are I won’t touch it. I don’t have a lot of time to spend on gaming, which means that I am lucky if I get to play all of the games that I am really excited about experiencing. I definitely don’t have time for games that are generally regarded as being bad. Heck, a lot of times these days if a game is getting middling reviews I’ll avoid it unless it happens to be in a series that I absolutely love. In a world where I had more time to play video games, I would want to give a shot to games that get a bad rep but the time factor is too big for me right now.
QUESTION #14: WHAT IS YOUR “MAGIC BUTTON” FOR A PIECE OF ENTERTAINMENT? WHAT MAKES YOU IMMEDIATELY KNOW YOU’RE GOING TO LOVE IT?
I’m a sucker for crime/murder mystery/detective stuff. What originally drew me to the Zero Escape game series is the whole “trapped by a serial killer” angle, the Ace Attorney series ranks among my favorite video games, Death Note is the show that got me into anime, and shows like Psych and Leverage are my favorite live-action shows to watch. This could have something to do with being sort of adjacent to the criminal justice system my whole life thanks to my mother’s career and now my own, or it could be that I just love trying to figure out mysteries.
QUESTION #15: WHICH OF MOEGAMER’S MASCOTS IS BEST GIRL?
Well everyone is somebody’s best person, amiright? In the spirit of the question, though, I think Penelope looks coolest cause she has that snazzy suit! Plus, the fact that she is described as “less frequently seen” makes me think she could use a fan.
So there you have it, adventurers, my answers to the questions for both awards! My final mission is to ask questions of my own for bloggers of my choosing to answer them. I’ll address the nominees first. The Sunshine Blogger asks me to nominate 11 bloggers, and the Brotherhood of the World award asks for roughly 10. I am very fortunate to be currently hosting a community event that has exactly 11 other people involved as competitors or judges. So congratulations to the cast and crew of Blogger Blitz: Black Sheep – you are all nominated for a Sunshine Blogger Award and Brotherhood of the World Award! Since one award specifies a specific number of questions and the other doesn’t, I’m just going to ask as many as the highest requirement. So here are 11 questions for you to answer if you wish! I’m also gonna put short answers to them because when I read these, I always want to know what the blogger’s answers to their own questions would be:
- How would you pitch your content to someone who might be reading it for the first time right now?
If nothing else, you’ll at least find something to laugh at.
- Do you prefer beginnings or endings?
Beginnings! I love the early parts of video games and building your character from the ground up.
- What video game or series do you not like, but wish you did?
Xenoblade. The story of the first game fascinated me but the gameplay didn’t, so I never finished. Honorary mention to Splatoon for that amazing soundtrack.
- If you could choose a character type to be in any game world (e.g. an RPG class), what would you be?
I think it’d be fun to be a Pokemon Gym Leader! I’d choose bug as my preferred type.
- Have you ever stopped having a crush on a character you used to? What changed?
Julia Styles’s character in 10 Things I Hate About You. I went through an alternative phase as a teenager but I’m not into angst anymore.
- If you could revive a fallen franchise, which series would you choose?
Golden Sun. I want to say Mega Man: Battle Network but at least some form of Mega Man is still around. Golden Sun is just gone.
- If you had to stop being human but could choose a video game race to become, what would you choose?
A Zora. The kind from Ocarina of Time or Breath of the Wild, not the kind from the original game or A Link to the Past.
- If you could port all of the console exclusives off of one of the big three (Nintendo, Sony, Microsoft) and put them onto another console, which ones would you choose?
Sony exclusives onto my Nintendo console. If I could just get them on my nice, portable Switch alongside the Nintendo ones then that would be the ultimate combo for me.
- Which universe from another medium (film, comics, etc) do you want as a well-executed video game?
Avatar: The Last Airbender is my favorite television series of all time, but it’s not had a game that resonated with me. I think the real potential of that universe would be in a game where you create your own characters in the tribe of your choice rather than just replaying the story of the show.
- What magical item or technological marvel from a video game would you use for completely selfish purposes in real life?
The Ocarina of Time. Teleporting so I can sleep in, making work go by faster while making my time at home go by slower, and the ability to instantly put my son to sleep when he needs a nap.
- What video game quote do you bust out in normal life most often?
“Andross won’t have his way with me!” I always, always say this after saying “I’ll do my best!”
I hope you enjoy your questions, Blogger Blitz folks, and thanks again to Neko Jonez and Moe Gamer for nominating me for the awards!