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Real Blogging

Blaugust is coming. A few other bloggers have mentioned it to me, either to cruelly mock my utter inability to post anything meaningful and/or regular, or to invite me to take part in a fun and slightly challenging event, or both.

I don’t know why I have signed up to do this.

I’m lying. I totally do — and it’s mostly because this poor blog has been terribly neglected and I’m stuck in the nobody-gives-a-shit-what-I-have-to-say-least-of-all-me rut, which never bothered me before. I started blogging to entertain myself and continued blogging to entertain myself and was just happily grateful that other people also found it entertaining enough to keep coming by. But at some point and when I wasn’t watching, I starting feeling as though I had to say things of import, big things, useful things, insightful things like the real bloggers out there do (by which I mean TBFKAL*, TAGN** and other acronym or acronym-less interesting people).

And I really don’t need to worry about that kind of thing. I just need to write posts that entertain me, like I used to do, and not care so much about having anything useful to say. I spent so much time advising other bloggers not to care about what their readership thinks and wants that I didn’t notice when I apparently started caring what my readership thinks and wants. I love you guys, especially those of you who have stuck with me through the posting drought and content starvation, but I actually don’t (and shouldn’t) care a jot what you want. This blog is for me and only incidentally for you — sure, it’s public, but that’s more so I can hold myself accountable to myself and not so much because I’m an attention ho (though I suspect there’s a little of that going on too; we all have an ego after all).

So maybe Blaugust will help with that. There was a time when, like Belghast, I could sit down at the keyboard and just write away — and I want that back. And since this blog was born in August, aeons ago in Internet time, August is as good as any to try and give it a Frankensteinian jolt.

Young FrankensteinIf you’re an interesting and real blogger and want to take part, the guidelines are in the above-linked Blaugust post.

Last but not least, this post was initially titled “Bits and bobs”, but while writing the ‘bits’ part I totally forgot what the ‘bobs’ part was going to be about, so I guess Blaugust is all you get.

– – – – – – – – – – – – –

— Oh wait, I just remembered what the ‘bobs’ part was going to be, but Blaugust is coming and I’m going to save it for one of those posts. Provided I don’t forget again, of course.

– – – – – – – – – – – – –

* The Blogger Formerly Known As Lum

** Who comes up FIRST in the acronym list of the free dictionary when you Google “TAGN”, ahead of such oft-used acronyms as Triaminoguanidine Nitrate — how cool is that? Unless you meant to look for TANG-the-drink and just didn’t type it correctly, in which case it’s probably a bit confusing.

Famous TAGN

 

This and that

A few observations so you don’t all forget about me or think I’ve forgotten about you.

1. Spanky new laptop is lovely. But playing WoW with a touchpad, or with the trackball I naively bought when I thought I’d never play games on my laptop (what was I thinking?!) — those are not so lovely. Looks like I’ll need a mouse. All those things I do without thinking in games, which primarily involve me moving the camera around fit to make anyone but me hurl… I can’t do those. Someone call a waahmbulance.

2. The Draenorclysm expansion launchmadness must be wearing off, because I spent THREE WHOLE DAYS without logging in. Then again, I also had a possibly broken foot (my own fault), a new laptop, a new fridge (ohhhh it is shiny and it is being delivered in 3 days), and about 3 million appointments to deal with, so perhaps it’s just that my priorities are straighter than I gave myself credit for.

3. I am feeling guilty because I never finished the first Sims 4 Legacy Family and have not felt terribly motivated to get into the second one. Expressing said guilt publicly is intended to flog me into playing, but is actually more likely just to make me contrary. One of the main reasons I don’t want to play the new legacy? Generation 1 instantly proceeded to have twins. The multiple birth rate in this game is just way too freaking high. If I picked the FERTILE trait, would my poor Sim become Octomom? WTF, EA?

Gen 2 twins again

4. Despite the xpac honeymoon madness being over, I’m still really enjoying my garrisons. I’ve got 4 level 100 characters (all the easy classes: hunter, druid, warlock and paladin) and I’m considering leveling a few more. Because despite raids and all that gearing crap, the leveling game is still (and ever will be, I suspect) what World of Warcrack does best. Combine that with my high tolerance for repeated content and you’ve got 10+ years of fun so far.

5. This xpac doesn’t have quite as sharp an end-content wall as the previous ones did, which means I’ll probably play it for longer than the 3 months Cataclysm and Pandaclysm lasted for me. In the early expansions it was “OK, you’ve hit max level, now go out and get on the raiding treadmill, bitch.” Which I don’t do. Then it became “OK, you’ve hit max level, now go out and get on the rep / daily / raiding treadmill, bitch.” Which I don’t do. It’s still sort of that, but I don’t feel any real need to build rep with my alts and I can get fairly high-level (645 from the highest garrison missions I’ve seen so far) gear just from running garrison missions.

Yes, it’s probably easy-mode, but if Blizzard are smart then the stuff I can get from missions is lovely, but not nearly as good as what I can get from dungeons and raids — so it keeps non-dungeon me happy with shiny new stuff while hopefully keeping the hardass raiders happy with shiny new stuff asshole casuals like me can’t get. Or something like that.

6. Several of my friends and e-friends and blogging acquaintances keep talking about Elite: Dangerous. STOP IT AT ONCE. Or I shall have to buy the game, and I’m already drowning in games I don’t have time to play. (Or else tell me why I really should get it anyway.)

7. I missed EVERY. SINGLE. STEAM. SALE. on my wish-list by 2-24 hours. I suck. I hope you guys did better with that.

Happy 2015

I am still recovering from bringing in the New Year. Without me, we’d all be sitting in the dark wondering where the sun went.

My head hurts.

Thanks to the Sims 4 readers who have visited for the first time, and thanks to those who have been visiting for almost a decade now, despite my occasionally eccentric (that’s fancypants for ‘flaky’) posting habits.

Happy New Year, fellow bloggers, blog-readers and gamers. Health, happiness and harmony.

2015

Bloggy Xmas 11 – Nothing New Under The Sun

So, #bloggyxmas Day 11, it’s just you and me…

…and the score of other bloggers who came before me and said everything good, right, and interesting *I* was about to say. No, really, I was. Except now I can’t and you’ll never know, because they already did and I can’t possibly copy what anyone else said. /ragequit

GRRRRR!

GRRRRR!

Okay, I lied. No /ragequit. Because that’s partly the point of community for me, especially the gaming community but probably, to be honest, any community that’s passionate about whatever it is it’s passionate about — we all share this gestalt mind that pursues the same subjects at the same time and says very similar things. And subjects come around again every so often (in my case, Solo vs. Grouping and Why Dungeons Are Horrible), get hotly debated, and then die back down for six months or a year.

For a while — which coincided with me not blogging a whole lot, so the past 2-3 years or so — I wasn’t so sure, but now I think this is A Good Thing™. I started this blog back in 2008 and for a very short while it was going to be a blog just about Warhammer Online, because that’s what I was involved in when I started it. It’s all the fault of Casualties of War, you see (and they appear to be a casualty of the internet because the forums have either moved or are no more) — a bunch of people I met online and don’t even remember how I met, because that’s the cool thing about gaming: you meet people all the time while playing games and while many of them fall by the wayside, a not-inconsiderable number of them end up sticking as acquaintances, friends, possibly RL friends and sometimes even spouses.

cropped-casualties_2.jpg

Casualties of War – Warhammer Online group shot

I am now RL-friends (and neighbours, as it happens) with people I met in Asheron’s Call almost 15 years ago, not to mention having changed continents in order to get married to one of those met-in-an-MMO people. Back then it was weird, and people kept telling me I was going to meet axe-murderers; it’s not so unusual these days (meeting people online – not meeting axe-murderers). So I probably met someone in Casualties through someone I knew who knew someone who knew someone who was involved. And Casualties was chock-full of blogging types who encouraged the rest of us to try it out, and many of us did, and most of our blogs went from “this will only ever be about Warhammer, I swear!” to “games rock! let’s talk more about games!”, which is entirely predictable given that most gamers are passionate about more than a single game.

I’m not sure where I’m going with this, because I’ve lost the blogging habit these last couple of years and anything other than stream-of-consciousness is hard work. But at some point — and many bloggers have encountered the same thing — I felt as though I’d said most of what I needed to say, that others were saying it much more cogently and with a fresher perspective anyway, and that I was just rehashing stuff nobody would care about. So I stopped writing, and told myself it was because life had become very busy (which it had) and I had many other things to do (which I did) — but when you’re passionate about something, you find time for it no matter what. That guy who never calls you back because he’s ‘too busy’? He didn’t want to call you in the first place. We make time for the things we care about.

Kittens make every post 1000% better. True fact.

Kittens make every post 837% better. True fact.

And I care about gaming, so here I am. I’ve always stated that I blog primarily for myself — and I do, which freed me from caring about how many people clicked this or how many people commented on that (though the stats are kind of fun and the positive attention is freaking awesome, especially when it’s from people I admire). But blogging for myself doesn’t mean I’m not part of a community of other people who blog about games and a whole host more people who read blogs about games. And yes, we’re terribly incestuous. We share ideas, we all post about the same thing pretty much at the same time, we have storms in teacups and get our knickers in a twist and make up and write posts about how awesome the gaming and game-blogging community is. Because it is.

Because despite (or perhaps because of) being an introvert I can connect, whenever I want and to whatever extent I find comfortable, with folks on blogs and all the other social media out there now. We all have different lives, we all have daily triumphs and tragedies and challenges, and although we don’t necessarily talk about them (though I find I share that stuff a bit more nowadays than I used to, and it can be a comfort), we share a bond that somehow makes life a little better. Because we’re passionate about that one thing. It can lower barriers and build bridges between people who otherwise wouldn’t acknowledge each other in the street, for whatever political, religious or cultural reason. It’s not a panacea, but it is A Good Thing. And whether it’s reading blogs or writing them or simply making friends through gaming and Twitter and Facebook and MyLifeHasNoPrivacy.com, we should continue doing it.

Thanks to Syl for running this initiative, which has reminded me why I started this blog in the first place. Alone but not lonely, I game.

Happy holidays.

xmas

 

 

Search Terms Are Weird

Every now and then I check various stats on this blog, especially the search terms that bring people here because those are usually worth a laugh. Today, I’m puzzled (among other things) to note that of the top 10 search terms of all time, only 3 are related to games (two, technically, since two of those are variants on the number ’13’); and the top term by far is for a game I only ever wrote ONE post about. A short one at that, linking to an actual post on Gamasutra.

Weird search terms are weird. And people coming here from their searches almost certainly don’t find what they were looking for. That makes me feel a bit better, actually. /Schadenfreude

Blog search terms

BloggyXmas? Thieves, all of them!

I’m getting this whole THEY STOLEZ MY IDEAZ!!! rant in before it’s too late, just so that when I post on the 11th I won’t have to open with it. I probably will, mind you, but this way I have a choice.

You can find the bloggy advent calendar here, and in the sidebar, probably until next July because it’ll take me that long to remember to remove the widget. In case you’ve never had an advent calendar before, click on each day to reveal adventy bloggy community goodness. And chocolate.

Oh wait, no, that’s only if you get a REAL advent calendar. Silly readers.

I was going to include the daily links for the supremely click-lazy but I changed my mind, because like Mr. Burns I am unpredictable and fickle. And also because Syl deserves much click-love for the idea.

And now for something completely different: a baby platypus. Happy holidays!

baby platypus

A Very Bloggy Holiday!

Syl over at MMOGypsy has launched a fun holiday initiative which I instantly signed up for. It must have been the Belghast-assisted banner, because I’m not normally much of a joiner, but I (like Syl) grew up in Switzerland and I too remember advent calendars, street-corner hot chestnut vendors (if you don’t burn everything that comes in contact with them you’re doing it wrong), snow, lights, more snow, hot chocolate, and all that western hemisphere Holiday goodness.

bloggyxmasLet’s caveat this right now: sometimes I will say Christmas, sometimes I’ll say Xmas, sometimes I’ll say Holidays, and sometimes I’ll say Great Cthulhu’s Midwinter Brains Extravaganza. Please, please don’t be a dick — just insert the relevant holiday for you and let everyone be happy, m’kay?

Now that that’s out of the way, here’s Syl’s Bloggy Xmas Advent Calendar, which will let you find and enjoy each day’s entries. Apparently so many of us signed up that much of the month offers not one, but two daily entries. That’s how spoiled you’ll be.

There’s a clicky image linky thing over on the sidebar, too:

BloggyXmas2Oh yeah, and I’m up on the 11th, along with Contains Moderate Peril.

 

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