Blowing Dust Out of the Cartridge

Blowing Dust Out of the Cartridge
In case imagining is just too hard.

Picture, if you will, a figure struggling through an endless expanse of desert. The sun sets purposefully in front of him, piercing his eyes with its rays while promising the caress of frigid night air in due time. The figure runs with a sense of purpose towards the West. In front of him rises a desolate waste of sand, a dune which staggers him to his knees as he climbs to its peak. At the summit, a gasp of air escapes his chapped lips- more sand awaited him. Then the sudden crack of a stick against his skull. Seth’s body went limp, making it that much easier to carry his body to my car waiting at the base of Sleeping Bear Dunes.

This is my solid promise of an attempt at a return.

Since abandoning the site to work on various other projects (including a brief stint writing editorials for another site, the harlot that I am), I have nonetheless nurtured the idea of AcaGameia in my heart. Through the efforts of both myself and AcaGameia’s co-founder Seth Brodbeck (who you might remember as the gentleman who actually posted on the site and not just as the man causing all the thumping in my trunk), AcaGameia meandered its way into Charity and Twitter. In the 2013 Extra Life Charity, we managed to raise $1,715 for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, and are looking to replicate that success this year with a $2,000 goal. On Twitter, Team AcaGameia updates readers to our roleplaying experiences with guest stars like Kate Reynolds. Yet, deep down, I have been long in looking for an excuse to come back to the writing.

A Godly Face
The Face of Tim is amaaaazed.

It is and has been an incredibly exciting time to write about gaming, both tabletop and digital. Digital games have grown in ubiquity, reach, and depth even in the short time of my self-imposed exile. When I left, it was really only Spec Ops: The Line which left me contorting my body in convulsions of glee. In the intermediary time between then and now, Lucas Pope pushed the envelope far enough away to safely set it and the medium on fire with Papers, Please. The advocates for inclusion have steadily advanced far enough to make a giant like Nintendo retract their missteps (though obviously not far enough to prevent such missteps from getting through all the committees in the company). And, in one of the most shocking moments for me, video games have finally acknowledged the Holocaust in a video game about killing Nazis. Sure, it probably was not the best presentation we could have hoped for- but the fact that companies have finally reached a point of discussing what makes Nazis so evil is great.

Then there are the board games. I was first introduced to the world of modern board gaming during the first Team AcaGameia charity night. Since then it has been a not-uncommon experience for my fiancé to return home from work to find the dining room table cleared of all papers and replaced with a shiny new board game. Although they are still not nearly as widespread and accepted as their electronic cousins, board games and other tabletop fare have remained a robust industry, with such Spiel des Jahres winners as “Dominion” featuring on non-trade store shelves alongside your standard Monopoly and Scrabble.

So the time continues to be ripe for people to be engaging in a meaningful conversation about what it means to play games, to understand games as a meaningful medium and gaming as a meaningful culture. It is this conversation that I think AcaGameia can contribute to. In a world where there are still significant segments of the Gaming population that can hold on to the contradictory notions that Games merit artistic status and license without the critique and criticism that comes with it, this is an important conversation to have.

That and, let us be completely honest here, I love hearing the sound of my own voice. Or reading the text of my…own…words…ugh, you get what I mean.

So here is my pledge at present:

Is your Editorial ready, Herr Blazkowicz?
Is your Editorial ready, Herr Blazkowicz?

I aim to continue posting a link (with commentary!) on about a daily basis, nothing too fancy or crazy. Just something that catches my eye as being worthy of thought or attention. On Friday I will pop out an editorial of some kind. If I am incredibly lucky, I will even goad Seth into throwing up his own concise ramblings onto the site, although I cannot completely guarantee it until I convince him that it is in his best interest to stop writing to the police with the computer I put in his cell.

In any case, that is the skinny of my re-re-introduction. Will I succeed? Will I fail? Will Seth ever accept my distinction between kidnapping and being spirited away? What have you all been up to while I was away? Any new games catch your beady little eyes? I personally imagine that you all have been in a stasis awaiting my return, and that it is only my attention which keeps your petty worlds together, so I will totally understand if most of you spend your time catching up on what has happened
in the last two years.

Until next week!

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