Thursday, February 24, 2011

The Dead Island controversy

The vacation goes downhill fast from here.
First off, let me warn you that if you haven't seen the trailer for the upcoming game, Dead Island, it's not for the faint of heart.  It's gory, it's haunting, and yes, something very bad happens to a little girl.  It's actually heart wrenching. And apparently it's also stirred up a whole heaping helping of controversy.  While I can understand the emotional response the "trailer" has drummed up, I think it's becoming a lightning rod for knee-jerk reactions.  If you think you can handle it, go check out the trailer, take a second, then come back and I'll explain my thoughts on the brouhaha.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Effective storytelling in video games

Let me get one thing straight right off the bat.  I have the utmost respect and admiration for Will Wright.  Without his hard work, the video game industry wouldn't be where it is today. He is a creative genius and a talented mind.  Having said that, I've got to say I also think he's sorely mistaken.  Let me explain ...

Last Friday, ran an article with the headline "'Sims' creator: 'Games are not the right medium to tell stories'".  The article, which was promoting Wright's show, Bar Karma, quoted Wright as saying, "Games are not the right medium to tell stories ... Video games are more about story possibilities."  Now, it's possible that the article may not be putting Wright's statements in the correct context.  Hey, it happens to the best of us sometimes.  But take a minute to read the article for yourself, and then come back here with it fresh in your mind.

Don't worry ... I'll wait.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Busy weekend

Whew ... it's been a long weekend, and there's still more to do.

Long and short of it is that I've had a lot of writing to work on (which is one reason I'm only now updating this blog).  I've already put together a couple of reviews for USA Network's Character Arcade and three reviews for an upcoming issue of Best Buy's @Gamer Magazine.  I've also had to put together an assignment that was part of a writing assessment for a potential gig elsewhere. Now that I've got all that done and can take a minute to breathe, I'm popping in over here for a quick bit to say "Hello. Hi. Howdy." and then dive back into the writing.

 Oh, and let's not forget the fact that I'm trying to simultaneously write a book and a screenplay for an original IP.  Unfortunately, that's got to take a lower rung on the priority ladder for now, as it's the one thing that's really not on any actual deadline.  Well, other than the fact that I'd really like to get this IP developed enough to shop around sooner rather than later.

Aside from that, I'll be back working my skills as a professional wordsmith as soon as I wrap up this blog post.  I'm going to get ahead with some extra writing for a couple of outlets.  Meanwhile, I'll still be pushing forward to find some new opportunities, either writing for new outlets or helping to develop some strong online communities.  Of course, I'll also be evaluating any other opportunities that may cross my path, contributing my skills and experience where I can to do the most good.

So, that's the quick update for the weekend.  I'm sure I'll be back here shortly with an update, but at least I managed to squeeze in the time to poke my head back in here.

More to come ...

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The comic book appeal

Comic books.

Y'know, I still remember back in the day when I was young and I'd be riding in the car with my dad, on my way to spend a holiday or summer vacation with him, when we'd inevitably have to stop for gas.  After filling the tank, we'd go inside, we'd load up on snacks and drinks and he would always ask, "Is there anything else you want to get?" He already knew the answer, but he made sure to ask anyway.  Sure enough, before the last words had left his mouth, I was running over the to wire spin rack and grabbing the newest issue of Ghost Rider, Daredevil, Green Lantern, and just about any other comic book that I could.  Dad always knew that those comics would keep me engrossed no matter how long the trip was ... with the happy exception of telling him how cool it was that Johnny Blaze turned into Ghost Rider JUST in time to save the day, or how Hal just HAD to recharge his ring, because his 24 hours was almost up.  It was back then that my love was born for the four color medium and all the action packed in those tiny panels.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Failure is ALWAYS an option.

If you've ever watched an episode of MythBusters, odds are pretty good that you've heard the guys say that "Failure is always an option."  When it comes to scientific study, that's a hard and fast rule.  After all, the "Scientific Method" we all learned in school breaks down as:

  • Observation
  • Question
  • Hypothesis
  • Experiment
  • Conclusion
Since the conclusion is all about discovering if the hypothesis was correct or not, "failure" constitutes a result and therefore IS an option.  And sometimes, it's the best option to learn from.  So, if failure is a great learning tool in science, why shouldn't it also be one in life?  The simple answer is that it is.

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

DC Universe Online

If you've been under a rock lately and missed out out on any of the hundreds of television or print ads making up part of its massive marketing campaign, you might not know that Sony Online Entertainment recently gave gamers the opportunity to slip into some spandex and live out all their comic book fantasies with the release of its latest MMO experience, DC Universe Online. I recently wrote a review of the game over at USA Network's Character Arcade, but figured I could use ye ol' blog here to geek out over it a little more.

Sunday, February 06, 2011


If you're reading this and, well, if you've ever been here before this post, you've probably already realized the design changes the blog has gone through.  I decided it was long overdue to spend some time tinkering around with everything to make it a bit more manageable for everyone.  The archives are all working smoothly now, the Digsby chat box is still up (for now) so people can hit me up through the blog, and there are other features I'm planning to toy with over the coming weeks.

Why all the changes?  Simple, actually.  I want to do more with this blog and get back into the swing of things, updating all of you with what's going on, with random news and thoughts, and to genuinely build more on the idea of being active with everyone.  I'll post items here and you're welcome to dish out feedback.  Got a question? Let me know and I'll do my best to answer. Want to hear about a particular subject?  I'll do my best to get on it.  The focus here is be interactive ... to be able to talk to all of you out there and also to be able to listen.

I don't think this will be the final design, but it's a huge jump forward.  I'll probably tweak things a bit here and there until it feels just right to me (which means I'll probably never be done tweaking it).  So, let me know your thoughts and also tell me what you'd like to hear.