My Latest Work at Critical Distance

While I haven’t been updating my own blog much lately it’s partly because I’ve been busying myself with other things. I’ve worked at finding a new job. I lost or rather finished my other part time, contract work last month. I’ve also been hurriedly trying to get my RSS feed back under control. The week I spent away from it (I’ll tell you why later on) even though it was the week between Christmas and New Years it didn’t slow anybody down when it came to posting. That and I was introduced to over half a dozen new blogs and had to get caught up on them. I got back into playing real games, not just reading about them and still have got a whole batch of essays lined up to be written. I don’t seem to have any small posts left in me, so these are going to take a while. But other than all that, the main thing that kept me busy was the projects I was working over at Critical-Distance.

At the end of last year through to the beginning of this year I was working on a new project. I knew the last week of the year was going to be a blank week when it came to TWIVGB. It was vacation time for everybody and Saturday, the usual release time (or it is on the East Coast at least) was New Years Eve and at around midnight everyone was going to be parting or recovering from the celebrations, again, depending on your timezone. Since Ben wasn’t going to do anything and the CDC podcast had put me in the mindset of reviewing the previous year I thought a TYIVGB might be in order.

So that’s what I did. I spent the week going back through every single TWIVGB from the year and reading all the links again. Many I remembered, others I needed a refresher. It was too big a project to do by myself so I asked Ian to help me. Together we got through the 995 links from the previous year and started a preliminary list of links. Sufficed to say there were way too many of them. So we went through them again, being even more discerning and got the list down to over 100. It was still too much. At the time I was aiming for something a little bigger than the normal TWIVGB, around 30 links. That idea was dashed on the rocks about this point. I had forgotten how much quality writing had come out, but I still had to cut it down. I was off for the week, no work, no responsibilities, except for what I set for myself. This is what I set for myself. Eventually I hacked away at this list until it was around 60. Did I include everything worth including. HELL NO. I had to cut some pieces I personally liked, because there frankly wasn’t room.

Did I miss some great pieces, most definitely. I used the TWIVGBs as my source of links. If we missed it there, we missed it for the final wrap up. Is it definitive? No, plenty of great work was left out, because it was too damn big. It wasn’t a here is everything from the year worth reading, it was an overview, something to remind people of all the great writing there was throughout the year. It was fun to look back on.

Spotlight: This Year in Video Game Blogging

Because I spent so much time reading the old stuff, multiple times I might add, I had a lot of catching up to do on my normal reading. Something I only caught up with this week. But meanwhile, between bouts with the forces of nature and multiple tons of white shit the sky dumped on us, I was setting up the next CDC podcast. It wont be a weekly feature, there’s no way it can be. We have no regular group of people like other podcasts. The casts will from now on be set up to match the topics. It was difficult to get this cast together, because many people I asked turned me down. It’s no longer the holiday season, people have busy lives. But eventually I managed to cobble together a great and very argumentative panel to discuss comments in the gaming blogsphere.

I knew it was going to be the topic since before we did the last podcast. That’s when the arguments started. It was supposed to be out a week ago, but like with all new endeavors there were technical problems. While the last podcast the challenge was the sheer length and size of the original recording, plus having to compile it into three different files, the challenge here was fixing an error in the recording. My voice ended up warping, doubling and interweaving itself to where I couldn’t tell what I saying anymore. I had to piece that back together fractured word by fractured word until I knew what I was saying and smooth it out. It took 3 programs to accomplish this. I don’t think I did too badly and am just lucky I didn’t talk more during the podcast. If you listen to the very end you can hear an unedited clip from the raw audio and it’s pretty much what it sounded like every time I talked. It’s a great discussion, fun to listen to, you can find it at the link below, but before that, here are a few choice quotes:

“I am interested in what they have to say; I don’t want them to comment.” – Ben Abraham

“I have a different attitude to my blog. I want it to be a beautiful place.” -Ben Abraham

“They’re like the people in the peanut galleries back in the 19800s when they had theaters.” – Ian Miles Cheong

“Hang on a minute. Why are you privileging the commenters over the author?” – Ben Abraham

“I’m really glad you have this opinion, but I don’t have it. I don’t share it.” – Ben Abraham

“Because I don’t think the fact that you have an opinion give your opinion value.” – Adrian Forest

“I think you’re misjudging you experience.” – Adrian Forest

“I’ve got a basis in experience and I’d like to think reality.” – Ben Abraham

If that doesn’t make you want to listen to it, I don’t know what will. I didn’t get any good lines in this one. Maybe next time.

Critical Distance Confab: Episode 7 – A Post-Comment World

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