Archive for February, 2014

Hola Amigos! After a 3+ years hiatus, it feels great to be back here, writing about games once again. I hung it up for a while because I was working in the industry for a major publisher, and it would have been impossible for me to write about the video games I was genuinely excited about without introducing all sorts of conflict.

In the interim, I poured some thoughts put about fatherhood and my 2 awesome daughters over at We’re Gonna Need More Bathrooms. Even after I had moved on career-wise, I found myself with so little time to play that it didn’t really make much sense to opine on the industry.
Getting away from games for a while has gotten me more in touch with what I REALLY love about games in the first place.

Listening to a bunch of pleasant Michiganders describe their fledgling board game company on the Happy Mitten Podcast is inspiring, and I can’t get enough of Wil Wheaton’s excellent YouTube show TableTop, where he plays a new board game every week with a different assortment of friends. Games frame the fun. They give us something to commune over.

03_10_11_sneakysnackysquirrel1At 4 years old, my oldest daughter is starting to ask more and more to play board games with me when her sister naps. And I’m pleasantly surprised at the quality of games for the pre-school set! It’s not exactly a night playing Pandemic with friends, but a quick game of Richard Scarry’s Busytown or Sneaky Snacky Squirrel scratches the “board game” itch pretty well. She’s also moved slowly into video game territory on the iPad, and it’s been interesting to see how her tastes differ from mine, or even what mine were like when I was her age.
Most importantly, the landscape of games — the way we buy, play, and share our games — is undergoing a massive, really interesting change. In 5 years time it will not resemble at all what I grew up with. And that’s made me really, really miss writing about them.
I have played 1 console game in the last 6 months. But I’m still playing. The time has to fit around my day job and parental duties now, and (like so many other gamers these days) that takes the form of whatever device I have with me in that downtime. This week alone, Cliff Bleszinski swore he would never develop another packaged, disc-based game. AND Irrational Games, the studio behind the critically acclaimed BioShock series, called it quits.  Director Ken Levin will be continuing on with a dramatically smaller team, making shorter multiplatform games. These are both on the order of techtonic shifts in the industry, and I think we’ll see a lot more of these in the coming months. Should be a lot of fun.

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