Monday, January 31, 2005

depression + 9999999999999999999999999999999

What is depression?

Is it just a chemical reaction, in the pit of your stomach like a cancer?

When you are told by 'professionals' that you cannot write, your confidence will inevitably be affected. It is then up to the aspiring journalist to do something about it, be proactive, practice until your fingers bleed - until you start to inhale the stench of cheap plastic keys eroding from the mesmerising flurry of digits protruding from your palm.

I, on the other hand, do not take criticism well, even constructive criticism. I am, as they say, depressed.

Fuck everyone and the stinking world we live in.

Fuck the media, fuck London, fuck Bath, fuck writing, fuck inverted pyramids, fuck careers and, most of all, fuck games.

Fuck game company PRs masquerading as games journalists . Fuck T-Shirts, fuck jeans, fuck trainers. Fuck short haircuts with a bit of fucking stubble.

Fuck the Internet. Fuck blogs. Fuck advice on how to write videogame news for 16 year old gamers.

Fuck getting a trendy flat near a trendy bar. Fuck expensive rent you can afford. Fuck art on your fucking wall. Fuck intelligent comedy/music/film.

Fuck awards shows, fuck festivals, fuck scouting the Internet all day for a nice cultural news story that would make a good feature. Fuck freelancing.

Fuck thinking you have a valuable opinion of games. Fuck thinking you can express your useless opinion in words. Fuck thinking you can add to the heap of shit people read every minute of every day, for the rest of your life.

Fuck it all.

I tell you what, how about I go and get the easiest, boring, pointless job this rotting society offers, spend my life playing games, die and wish I was back in my mother's womb waiting to explode in a fury of blood and dead tissue so I could try all over again.

Because that sounds infinitely more fun than going to an interview, getting pissed off, getting over it, trying again, getting pissed off again . . .

I'll get over this, don't worry, and I'll try again. Because I'm too much of a coward to give up. If I had an inch of bravery in my gaping soul, I would jack it in, but I can't.

The scariest thing is, if I come to realise I'll never be good enough to write about games, I have nothing to fall back on. I'm trained for nothing. All of a sudden I'm reminded of the summer, when Wayne Rooney got injured against Portugal and everyone started asking what Plan B was. Nobody had an answer. And we all know happened next, don't we?

I'm going to post this now before I lose my nerve.

Thursday, January 20, 2005

The Playstation Generation

The Independant has come, for me, to be a shining beacon of tolerance, rationalism and sanity in a generally fucked up mainstream UK press that has, including the Guardian, made me increasingly despondent of late.

The normally insightful and observant Johann Hari, who is a regular columnist for the virginal tabloid, said something today that caught my attention, not only because it stuck out like some sore thumb that had been stung a million times, but bcause of the context in which the dreaded word was placed.

To quote:

' . . . Wherever this British bourgeoisie gathers, there is a mood of quiet triumphalism. I earned my Mercedes; they (the poor) earned their Burberry hats and their scuzzy flats. And when - just occasionally - this belief is shaken, they reach for the soap. They scrub themselves down with the argument that nobody in Britain is really poor. They've all got fridges and jaunts to Ibiza and PlayStations, haven't they?

On the one hand, while reading this on the train home, I was shocked that a (sniff . . . previously) broadsheet carried the word PlayStation in the gargantuan accumulation of words that is the Inde nowadays, but more pertinently, what it's place in that paragraph says of our beloved hobby.

Are PlayStation lovers Chavs, as the writer suggests?

Are we all poor?

Is gaming, in the eyes of middle class Britain, still viewed as a low-art pursuit?

Of course it is. But it has clarified something for me. The Playstation marketing campaign of the mid-90s, for all its achievements, will ultimately be remembered for getting ravers to play games, not for dragging gaming into some mythically respected vacuum.

In the eyes of people like Johann, gamers may no longer be spotty nerds with no social skills. They have transformed into drug/booze fuelled louts who listen to The Streets.

We still have a long way to go, it seems. Credit though, must go to Ms Hari for putting capital letters where they should.

Sunday, January 16, 2005

Tsunami Disaster Appeal raffle results

Just held the raffle. We sold over 200 tickets which is fantastic. Thanks to everyone who donated.


CeX £100 voucher: Elizabeth Losada, ticket number 44 orange
Framed Cricket 2005 sleeve signed by Michael Vaughan, kindly donated by EA: Mike, ticket number 29 orange
Framed A3 Tiger Woods Golf 2005 signed by Tiger Woods, kindly donated by EA: Ade Adebangbe, ticket number 6 green
Slimline PS2, kindly donated by GamePlay: Miss E Lecca, ticket number 91 green

Comiserations to the losers. Your donations have gone to a wortthy cause.
To the winners - congratulations, your prizes will be sent out to you very soon.

Which wraps up the whole big screen game tournament.


Until next time, which will hopefully be in a couple months - don't forget the victims of the tsunami. Just because it's off the front pages, it doesn't mean they stop needing our help.

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Life bar refilling too slowly . . .

I am tired, overwhelmed, humbled and delighted all at the same time.

Which is a bit confusing.

The weekend, after starting slowly, really picked up on Sunday - we had some really good gamers in, who put on a great show for the grand final at the end of the day. I've got some pics I'll be uploading soon, so keep checking back.

We made over £1,000 which is wonderful, especially as we could only have 4 people playing at once. I had ideas to have 16 at one point, and realised that would have been rediculous - 4 is perfect.

Tickets are still on sale for the raffle of course, and you can get some by calling me, requesting them here or by some other electronic technologically fabulous way. Only £1 each - and you can win a framed A3 poster of Tiger Woods Golf signed by the great man himself - a framed Cricket 2005 sleeve signed by Michael Vaughan and a slim line PS2.

It's worth it - for the prizes, and for the cause we have all worked so hard to raise money for.

Microsoft have the winners addresses - they guarantee delivery by the end of Jan. Vouchers will be sent out by the end of Jan too to the runners up - Fearless - on both days.

We hope to do it again in the future - but bigger and better and we will raise even more money. Keep your eyes open.

For now, see you on Live - wyp100 - and I'll show why I wasn't allowed to enter!

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Game tournament tsunami disaster appeal

The place: Vue Cinema Leicester Square
The cause: The millions of victims of the tsunami disaster
The time: Sat/Sun 8th/9th Jan 2005 9am to 5pm
The prize: consoles, games, mrchandise
The price: £3 to play - £1.50 to watch

Come down this weekend and play games on the big screen against the best the UK has to offer to raise money for the millions of victims of Boxing Day's tsunami. Those who have survived face the grief of the death of their loved ones, homelessness, starvation and disease. They need our help - now's your chance.

Any questions - post a comment and I'll get right back to you.