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StriderHoang avatar 3:03 AM on 07.14.2012  (server time)
The Write Stuff of 07/13 - Watch your tone mister

Welcome back to the Write Stuff, a weekly column that picks a few blogs out of the week that represent the best, worst, and everything in between about the cblogs as an expression of a bunch of disgruntled writers who can't get paid for what they do best. This is where I talk about not what you're talking about per se but how you talk about it.

So this has been running for a few weeks now, so I probably don't have to explain myself. Or maybe you're new to the column and still want the run down. This column is an exercise in editing. Perhaps you structured your blog really well and made it really clear. Other times, you completely misspelled a word over and over again or gave us the dreaded wall of text. This column spotlights the ways we've blogged and attempts to teach in what better way than by example. See this great blog? Here's a reason why it's so good.

This week's tip of the week is tone. Tone is often times responsible for how your reader will interpret your intentions. The Tomb Raider controversy is in a large part about how people react to the idea that the new Tomb Raider game is fueling male power fantasies and reveals an inner rape victim in Lara Croft. How might those opinions have been read as?

A lot of blogs would try tackling the issue with a straight face of analysis. The tone is directed at getting your point across and often times that means getting straight to the point without a whole lot of fluff or anecdotes. Other times, a blog will approach the manner with a sense of humor that a lot of Dtoider are familiar with. Let me use Manchild's blog and contrast it with Voltech's blog.

Manchild's blog is a more straightforward look at the difference between big corporate game devs and indie devs along with what makes those guys indie. It might not be 100% serious but it wants us to give the issue some amount of thought and to do that, the language doesn't meander too far off topic.

Voltech's blog on Sengoku Basara however, is a bit more lighthearted in approach. In talking about what makes Sengoku Basara so great, he doesn't hesitate to pick out examples that are as ridiculous out of context as they are when they're in context. What reader wouldn't hang onto the words of a writer when he talks about a samurai who uses six swords at once in between his fingers?

But both blogs accomplish their goals of conveying their intended information. One wanted to draw us in carefully chosen words and images, like the picture of a breakfast McMuffin which, while delicious, is a very apt way to describe parts of the industry. The other, wanted to sing the praises of a game not many people have given a chance. Even he was skeptical in the beginning that he might've bashed his brother's head in with his own PS3 before giving Sengoku “Better than Dynasty Warriors” Basara a chance.

So next time you start your blog, hopefully you've given some thought as to how you'd like to present yourself. Humor? Serious? Thoughtful? Sarcastic?

Jinx sells us the bullshot

It's not everyday a blog has a big focus on images. Usually images are only used to enhance the body. But Jinx presents a blog with a big focus on pixel counting high quality images and the reality. Not only that, he presents a question to catch us up on the problem and gives a possible answer as well as great comparison picture juxtaposition. My favorite thing about the blog is that Jinx lists previous changes and edits done since the original copy.

SephirothX doesn't lose anyone with his examples

Long pieces can be nice but it's up to the writer to be skillful enough to keep our attention, especially after hundreds of words. Sephiroth has a good piece that is pretty expansive, so how would one keep the attention of a reader who'd much rather go off and play games? In my opinion, he keeps our attention by continually using examples his audience would be familiar with. Someone well versed in comics, anime, and of course video games will keep gushing as Sephiroth references Vash the Stampede, Bang Shishigami, and Captain America as points of comparison to himself and maybe even the reader.

Shadow's brief but great introduction

Shadow's hilarious review on Revelations 2012 is downright funny but his introduction really hooks you into reading the rest of the review.

Jim was wrong -- so wrong about the game, he couldn’t have possibly been further from the truth about this game. Revelations 2012 isn’t anywhere near as bad as Jim has made it out to be.

It’s worse.

Hobogenized lacks the urls

Hobo-G presents a great argument about the state of Mario games. He offers a lot of links as source material too but they aren't formatted for ease of use. Sure, copy and paste is easy but if you want to make a good impression, you'd go that extra mile to format your url!

Nekobun is hardcore for Pokemon

There's actually nothing terribly wrong about Nekobun's blog. But I find myself asking why or how it fits in with the topic of the month. A next-gen Pokemon-centric handheld would certainly be something else but it seems pretty inclusive for anyone but hardcore Pokemon fans to take to. I suppose I'm thinking too broadly to be accepting of a handheld that caters exclusively to Pokemon. This entry is up for discussion but something about how focused it is on Pokemon puts me off.

Volomon didn't check his blog after it went live

Volomon wanted to put in his two cents about the Ouya. It should be all good and fine but for some reason there are giant gaps instead of line breaks. It's a pretty obvious oversight but the weird thing to me is that Volomon didn't bother checking his blog after it went live in order to fix it. It's boggling how you can post it and just turn your back on it. Pros make sure it's 100% before it even goes live. The least a blogger can do is make corrections after reading the live copy.

SDGundam, why should I care?

When you craft a blog, it should at least engage the reader. There should be a point as to why the reader should devote their energy towards reading your piece. SDGundam certainly has his heart in the right place by talking about how important Seth Killian was. But that's all he really offers. It could've been spiced up with a retrospective on his accomplishments at Capcom but the blog really just boils down to “Seth Killian was a great guy, cool story bro.”

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