Greetings, beautiful party people of the world wide webbernets. My name is James B. Jones, aka "JayOnes," aka "The Internet Personality Formerly Known as 'MaximusPaynicus'." I'm an author, and a blogger. I'm also a critic and an observer of the video game industry. Hell, on occasion I'm even known to work on a game or two, with Star Wars: The Old Republic and Firefall being among my credits.
Like everybody else at Gamepedia, I love video games. Hell, we'd have to in order to endure some of the industry's many hardships. When they invited me to start up a weekly series, I was given carte blanche to talk about what I wanted, how I wanted. I was flattered by such freedom, and I appreciate that Gamepedia would go ahead and give me a wide berth to talk about what I want. Almost immediately my old, rusty editorial gears started turning as I tried to think of an angle to approach this from. In the "old days" of 2006-2010, fire-breathing punditry and incendiary headlines were what "worked." They grabbed eyeballs, and allowed sites that have since become fairly-respected news outlets to rapidly grow in their early days.
"Do I really want to go back to that," I wondered as I compiled my list. "Do people really need another voice to shout at them about how the games industry doesn't care about them, or how they're wrong to like a particular thing I don't like, or how Game A is better than Game B because Developer C gives more hugs than Developer D?"
The answer, I quickly determined, was "no."
There is an abundance of negativity in the gaming blogosphere, and it permeates throughout the "hardcore" gaming audience. We, as gamers, are part of a subculture that is in the midst of a great cultural shift; simultaneously becoming more accepting and more toxic. I mean, video games bring people from all corners of the world together because we share the same common hobbies and passions, and we use this unparalleled freedom to degrade each other using language that would see me receiving a rather curt email from the higher-ups of this fine company if I dared repeat.
We really don't need another outlet for that. I want to focus on the "video games bring people together" bit. I want to talk about how video games unite us, and inspire us, and drive us to be creative. I want to talk about how video games are being used to elicit emotions that no other medium can convey. I want to discuss what games do right, as opposed to chastizing them for what they do wrong, and I want to remember when the only thing about a video game that mattered was "is it fun?"
So that's what I intend to do. Each Tuesday, I'm going to take a bit to talk about how video games improve our lives and inspire people. I'm going to talk about the games that I like, and I'm going to talk about what I think makes a great game. I'll talk about how video games have shaped my view of the world, and I'll even give you a glimpse inside the culture of game development.
Now, I know what you're thinking. You're probably thinking "'Jay's Save Point?' That's an awful name," and you know what? You're right, but I'm hoping to work in a "Load Save Point" catchphrase for future entries in the series. It'll be huge; t-shirts, mugs, stickers, baseball caps - it'll be bigger than "You Know You Want Me, Baby!" You'll see. You'll all see!
But seriously, if you have a better name I am all ears.
This is my mission statement, and my promise to each and every one of you who decides to read the drivel spewing from my fingertips each week. Next week I'll be talking more about games - specifically, a Soviet flight simulator from Electronic Arts that came on a 5.25" floppy disk. It was the first game I ever played, and it sparked a lifelong obsession: STORMOVIK: Soviet Attack Fighter SU-25.