Video games won’t fix you

Very recently, I’ve been battering into Dark Souls. It’s a gem of a game and I get a real feeling of satisfaction from every little piece of progress I make. But when I switch it off and go to bed the feeling soon wanes – I haven’t resolved anything, merely distracted myself til it was bedtime. I fall asleep, the gnawing at the back of my mind grows a little.

I feel like a prick for writing  this, honestly it’s so conflicting. But if someone else reads this and identifies, then job done. I feel conflicted because my issues aren’t any worse than anyone else’s – there’s no great tragedy in my life and your problems are probably worse than mine. Again, it’s not about my problems. However, for too long I’ve just avoided confronting certain things, choosing instead to escape from them. After time, this has built up straw by straw on the camel’s back. Recently, I lay down on my bed with a shooting pain in my chest – at the same time, pins and needles danced down my arm.

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Wrestling with numbers – MITB Edition

MITB_numbers

The Money in the Bank briefcase always guarantees an exciting time for WWE fans. Whether it’s speculating who will climb that ladder and haul the briefcase down at the event itself, to anticipating just what moment it will be cashed in and a new champion potentially crowned – and this year’s event promises even more than the usual excitement with the uncertainty around the WWE title.

But before Sunday’s event, lets take a look at the MITB matches of the past. Like any annual wrestling event that’s been around a while, the Money in the Bank provides lots of stats to dive into. So I created a Gdoc, dropped in a pile of data, and started sifting through it. Here’s Wrestling with Numbers – MITB edition. Sources of information and a Gdoc with raw data can be found at the bottom of the article. 

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Wrestling is Awesome #2 – RPW

RPW logo

When I was young I went to a good few independent British wrestling events with my dad and younger brother in tow. The product on offer was a mishmash of past-it heavyweights, wafer-thin lightweights and at least four WWF “tribute” acts (which always had a Kane and a Doink in there). Simply put, the standard was terrible.

Fast forward to 2014 and British wrestling is thriving. Top international stars are joined by the best young talent from these shores to put on cards that rival any independent wrestling show anywhere else in the world. There’s not a single sniff of hyperbole in that last sentence, just take a look at Revolution Pro Wrestling for instance.

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Wrestling Is Awesome #1 – NJPW

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Everyone has that one safe wee space to retreat into. Be it a go-to book, game, film or TV show. It’s always there when you feel you need it, and you always get that familiar feeling of comfort from it. It’s just familiar and nice to dive into it and switch off from the world. For me, it’s wrestling. I can watch it any day, in any mood, and just get lost in it for a while.

It’s an industry that has branched into so many different flavours now, that the old adage there’s something for everyone really does rings true. There’s the mainstream WWE, which merges serious athleticism, comedy, drama and star power into its own unique product (male soap opera is a term the company has thrown around a lot in the past). I’d imagine that nearly every wrestling fan got their first fix of the squared circle from WWE/WWF.

Now though, you can tumble down the wrestling rabbit hole via YouTube and find a fantastic amount of different interpretations of the ‘sport’. From the serious to the surreal, I find myself dipping into parts of every kind – I’m like a kid in a sweet shop, except they’re serving up suplexes rather than sugar. I’m going to be writing about some of my favourite companies and feuds (sometimes just a little bit, other times I’ll write a lot), first up is Japan’s premier promotion: New Japan Pro Wrestling.

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Ready, steady, write!

Status

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I’ve really fallen out of the habit of writing and it annoys me. It annoys me because I have ideas during the day, and come the evening when I sit down to write, nothing happens. I just stick on Netflix and melt into the sofa. I used to do this stuff for a living.

When I worked in newspapers I wrote every day. All day at the paper itself, then back home and on here to write up videogame or comic book stuff (because writing for a magazine/website was where I wanted to end up). It’s amazing what you can do when your career depends on it, I guess. I don’t have the necessity of writing since I left journalism for PR, but the need to create something still gnaws away at me.

Which is why I’m going to make a real effort to batter out some stuff and try and get used to writing again – for my own sanity. Reading some old articles like this interview with Judge Dredd creator John Wagner reminded me that I am capable, and shouldn’t be worried about others looking down on my content (an anxiety that has stopped me before). I’ll be looking to get some stuff out on videogames, wrestling and comic books soon.

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Christmas Memories – pt3

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These next two pieces from Kirk McKeand and Chris Spann both discuss the relationship between father and son. I was really moved as I read them, and it made me think a lot about what I think time of year is all about. I recommend you find somewhere quiet and contemplative to give them a read. 

header image from sonicretro.org

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Christmas Memories – pt 1

mario gift

A couple of weeks back I was thinking of writing up a little post to share some of my Christmas memories involving videogames. At the same time I thought it would be cool to hear other people’s Christmas videogame memories too, so I asked them to contribute. They were given no parameters except being asked to share a memory or what springs to mind when they think about Chistmas and videogames.

There’s a good mix of people from devs to journalists and even some other industry types too. I’ll be sharing these on the blog every day this week. In this first batch Nicoll Hunt and Becca Roberts share their fave Christmas game. While James Spafford shares a few Christmas gaming memories, starting with a ZX Spectrum from Santa back in 1986.

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Another game finished – Gunpoint

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Seems I’m on a bit of a roll! Had a blast playing this one. An incredible atmosphere created from a combination of charming visuals and cracking use of sound. It’s amazing how much has been squeezed into its tiny 50mb file size.

Definitely worth picking up.

You can see my ending story after the jump in case you don’t want the spoilers. Continue reading