Minding games

30 Nov

“Why are you playing so many videogames all of a sudden?”

— my wife, two weeks ago

Every year around this time, I end up playing a lot more videogames than usual as the usual holiday pileup of titles begins to pile up. In truth, I’ll only get through maybe 3-5 percent of what comes across my desk, so it becomes a matter of being really picky and choosy about what I want to spend my time with and what’s worth reviewing (if, indeed, there’s even time to write full reviews for work).

I always try to give priority to games developed locally, and it was this kind of thinking <a href="http://www achat viagra pharmacie.statesman.com/life/the-year-in-austin-gaming-1997711.html”>that led to a Digital Savant column that ran Monday about the year of Austin gaming. Everybody’s sort of holding their breath for the release of Star Wars: the Old Republic, a huge Austin-developed MMO that is the biggest game ever created here. I’m working on a larger piece about that game to run in mid-December.

I got to talk to a few Austin game studios for a separate Tech Monday column about how companies that run online games deal with trolls and bullies. It was an offshoot of a previous story I did on trolling; we had to cut a big chunk out of it about online gaming and I ended up spinning that information off into its own article.

And completely separate of all that, I played with and reviewed a fitness gadget called Striiv that also has its own gaming components (racking up points and using them in a Farmville-like virtual game.) A version of that review ran in the paper, too, as did a short interview I did with Trey Ratcliff about his new iPad app, “Stuck on Earth.”

(I just realized I didn’t mention what I’m actually playing right now. It’s Uncharted 3, Super Mario 3D Land, Mario Kart 7 and the Star Wars: Old Republic beta. At some point I’ll go back and play Call of Duty: MW3 and Batman: Arkham City, which I’ve beed sad to miss.)



We had a pretty great Thanksgiving, really restful, little bit of shopping, lots of eating, some exercise to make up for the eating, more eating because the exercise made us hungry and wanting to do more shopping.

Work is still work. I haven’t been doing much freelance at all lately, but a separate writing project I’ve been working on for a while is coming along really, really well. I’ve been devoting a little bit of time on it nearly every night and as much as I dread and fear screwing it up, when I sit down and slip into that little portal, it’s always a good feeling, one that gets more comfortable and enjoyable the longer I stick with it. If all goes well, I hope to have a lot more to say about it as the year comes to a close.

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