April 24th, 2009
With the possible exception of the monthly Link Out column, I rarely ever participate in the overrated blogging ritual of glorifying another blog in the hopes of obtaining that ever elusive trackback link and a complementary slice of recognition. The truth is, beyond the legendary Simon Carless (smooch!), no one with a crown and trophy room in this internet microcosm genuinely loves the little guy. *sobs* Oh it’s not all bad, I’m just a terrible writer.
Here comes the eventual ‘but’; but today I want to discuss my favouritest of favourite writers; Jeremy Parish and his merry band of Retronauts. Specifically the 1UP Retro and RPG blogs, and to a slightly lesser extent GameSpite. This trio of blogs provide a good chunk of my retro and niche gaming readings. I usually reserve a special spot in my week to huddle up and read the collective group of posts from these sites. Always warms a soft spot in my heart.
They cover a type of gaming that I’ve become very fond of, and do it in a very intelligible and respectful manner. The collective writing style of Jeremy, Kat and Ray is smart, clever and always interesting, if occasionally snarky (I mostly blame Jeremy for that). Their writing approaches are diverse, individual and rather personalized. Each writer has their own character within the language and as a whole the group of their have their own congruent style of writing. I’m always gleaming interesting writing techniques from what they have to say. The content itself is wholly unique, these guys are masters of their own niches and cover their respective specializations in progressive, uncategoric ways of writing. Never mind the content they cover, it actually feels good to read insightful journal natured writing on games.
For these writers, it’s more or less their job to become enveloped in this truly hardcore brand of games, and their history supports this with an encyclopedic knowledge on various mainstream and niche subjects. They also have a strong frequency of posts, a rare thing for most outlets covering this material.
I’m out of compliments for now. All I really want to say is that I wholeheartedly admire the roles that these guys are playing out. What they’re doing for niche games coverage in my mind is having a real impact, and I think their influence will be significant. I’m envious though, and not in a green kinda way. The lives of these people revolves around covering specialized topics with the freedom that they desire. It’s passionate people producing labour-of-love content that can’t be found anywhere else, and that so few people actually care or know about. When I blog about something that I know people aren’t particularly interested or well versed in, such as the games-culture relationship or even some of the retro stuff, I feel a great pride in being one of the only people writing about it, even if my audience is minuscule. Their jobs are what I’d personally endeavour to live out, if that were possible. The content made by this team of talented writers remind me of some of the most evergreen feelings I’ve had playing games.
Furthermore Jeremy and many of the writers for these blogs contribute elsewhere on podcasts, video shows, print and web. A good example of this dedication is reflected through the print produce starting to come out of Game Spite. Near the end of last year, Jeremy collated 350 pages of collected critiques from the portal and produced them into the site’s first yearly book, which he then distributed by himself. Just a few days ago, the maestro announced that he was turning the site on it’s head, where the writers firstly do copy for a new print magazine, rather than the site. The same content is being made for and uploaded to the site, rather the team operates as though they’re writing for print first, with a magazine being released regularly full of content. It’s a marvelous idea.