By popular request, an introduction blog seems to be in order, and thus, it appears. Shameless really...
What is a videogame?
Ouch, self, you're merciless - that's a cruel question to start an introduction with because there is no simple answer. Videogames started as a box connected to a CRT monitor for the purpose of playing Pong - since then they've evolved to challenge any limiting definition one can muster.
A videogame, simply put, is an interactive sensory experience which does not necessarily have to be visual in nature, or a game. The creation of videogames is an art form, worked in a medium capable of storytelling, entertainment, and education.
"What is a videogame" is also simply a wicked question to ask the detractors of gaming, the Jack Thompsons and Fox News anchors of the world - as it so plainly showcases their ignorance.
Who the hell are you?
I'm Paul, aka Subrosian, and I am a gamer. I started gaming at just a few years old, in an era of experimental arcade gaming, a shift in PC gaming, the rise of the Gameboy, and the end of the 8-bit console era. Since then I've been a "player of games" - gaming on every platform and game I can get my hands on.
I've been a gamer long enough to know which way the wind blows, get fed up with pandering, biased gaming magazines, and gain a genuine appreciation for creative titles like Okami, Psychonauts, Eternal Darkness, Deus Ex, and Little Big Planet.
Put simply, I'm an art gamer, I love the gaming medium, and I believe strongly in a future where more powerful technology, and greater public access to creation tools will allow each of us to put our fingerprints on an ever-shifting gaming culture.
What's your favorite game?
That's an impossible question to answer, because I like so many different games for so many different reasons. My favorite game of the generation, thus far, has been Mass Effect. A third of the way into my first play-through, I found myself genuinely upset that character's in the game were angry at my actions. For a game to reach that level of emotional engagement is an impressive feat.
For all time? I'm tempted to give in to the cardinal sin of rattling off a list.
What games are you looking forward to?
Too Human, Mirror's Edge, and Little Big Planet.
Too Human is simply a fun game to play with friends that offers up storytelling to fill the void during the single-player experience. It has gotten undo hatred as a 360 exclusive, and the expectation level has been set impossibly high - however if you simply sit down to play this game as you would Phantasy Star Online or Diablo II, you really won't be disappointed.
Mirror's Edge looks to be a blast - I live in Orlando, so looking out across the downtown rooftops, I've fantasized about jumping from rooftop-to-rooftop dodging the "bad guys" and saving the day (Yes, I'm a bad enough dude to save the president). Mirror's Edge offers up that excitement in a less suicidal fashion (broken bones hurt way more than broken pixels).
Little Bit Planet will likely take home GOTY. Combining social networking with player-created platforming experiences is brilliant - doing so against a visually stunning backdrop while offering up a cooperative gaming experience? Incredible. Little Big Planet takes that next step - it takes a gaming revolution that you would expect to be forced into a low-budget PC or Wii title, and instead turns into into a technical and artistic masterpiece.
What's your favorite system?
I don't have one. I was never really a fanboy, even in youth, and as I grew older it just made even less sense. It strikes me as odd that thirty and forty year olds will sit around and shove their biases down kid's throats, and it's not something I'll ever do as a gamer.
Of course I do understand why some people get upset, you go on the internet, having just spend $250+ on a new system, and some anonymous jerk says "oh, that system is crap, it doesn't have a single good game" - well of course you're going to be upset, that's not fanboyism, that's just being human.
That said, I'm not a fan of the Wii - what Nintendo has done with their development focus (as showcased in E3 2007 and E3 2008) simply saddens me. While Super Mario Galaxy is an excellent game, and the Wii plays home to interesting titles like No More Heroes, I haven't been able to justify having my own, as it has too few games I like.
I have access to one, and all of the big titles, of course, but it's one of those rare consoles that likely won't see a spot in my living room until late in the generation.
I have more questions!
I know - I didn't give anything too juicy out here. If you have any more questions, feel free to ask them in the comments or in PM, and I'll post answers.