Today marks the first day of Blaugust, a month-long festival of blogging devised by Belghast of Tales of the Aggronaut, as well as the first day of my return to writing on this blog. To say I was inspired by this event, to come out from my RSS cloak of invisibility and write beyond the comment sections of other blogs, is an understatement.
My return also makes way for a rebranding – not that I had much to rebrand beyond a weak blog name, three articles and amateur banner. But nevertheless, I’ve renamed the blog to ‘Where The Monsters Are’ and given the site a slight facelift.
Why the title? I came across a quote from a series I’ve never read (Percy Jackson), which I found particularly interesting:
The real world is where the monsters are.
The bulk of the games in the MMO genre involve ‘monsters’ in some way or another (even if the monsters are the other players – ha). I thought this title was therefore fairly apt.
A rationale of a return
There’s no single reason why I’m coming back to blogging. In some part I need an outlet for writing outside of my day job, which involves plenty of ‘business writing’. It has little flair to it, and I find myself obsessed with brevity and exceedingly direct sentences. I am also hoping to discuss gaming again, something I rarely do these days. My ‘gaming group’ has decreased in numbers or diverged in interests and we now play together less and less.
My gaming itself has changed somewhat since 2011-12. Back then, despite already being somewhat jaded by the MMO genre, I chased the newest hotness – RIFT and Star Wars: The Old Republic at that time. Both games gave me a month or two of play before being cast upon my great heap of discarded MMOs. I was also a regular returnee to World of Warcraft. I fell off the wagon in intervals that matched the cadence of Blizzard’s expansion releases. I am only a little ashamed to say that part of my gaming has not changed. But apart from an occasional WoW visit, I find myself spending a lot of time in Project 1999 (a classic EverQuest emulated server) and playing Paradox Interactive games. I have also just recently picked up EVE Online again. I am, in a way, extremely tired of the theme park rides.
But how I play games has changed too. I am less likely nowadays to sit in front of a desktop PC in a room away from my wife for hours playing a game that requires a meaty graphics card and fast CPU. I am now more likely to play on my comparatively weaker laptop, while on the couch, watching TV, Netflix and/or conversing. This too brings its limitations. But it means a game like Project 1999, which can ‘run on a potato’ – as the saying goes – and allows for a slower-paced experience that doesn’t require constant attentiveness, is more attractive. I’ll write more on why Project 1999 is attractive to me in an upcoming post.
My beast of a ‘rig’
There is no try
I must confess therefore that this blog won’t be for reviews of the latest hotness (either AAA or indie), nor will it be a place to come for commentary on broader cutting edge trends in the gaming industry. It will be, at its heart, a place for musings on the MMO genre and other games I like, or on the way I currently play games, hued with my perspective on the ways I waste my time these days.
Reading that back, it does seem naive to try to interest anyone with this premise. But I’ll try. Though as a wise little alien once said, ‘try not! There is no try. Do, or do not.’
Fine. I choose ‘do’.
I hope you’ll join me.