Its almost here! A new year full of surprises, excitement, and hopefully only a few let downs. For me it is an incredibly opportunistic year with much hope; for the last twelve years I have worked in the pre-press industry and have finally been able to move up through my company into an IT position. Although I am confident with my knowledge in computers and programs, it is a leap of faith to start toying with Active Directory, Microsoft Office, Exchange, and Vantage. This year will show tremendous growth in my knowledge of these programs and operations.
Besides that, I am also stepping up podcasting and blogging into the gaming sphere. This year I have two major trips planned, one to San Francisco and the other to an undisclosed location for Sony Fan Faire. With that in mind, I want to also step up my podcasting from doing Voyages of Vanguard and a sporadic episodes of EQual Perspectives, to doing both shows on a regular basis, but also start doing a monthly show based on a single episode I did last year called, TMOG, or the Theoretical Massive Online Game show — this will have more personalities on it from both the blogosphere but also from industry designers and producers. Of course, if anyone out there is interested in being a guest on the show, give me a shout.
And this comes to blogging which for the last several months I have been as dry as Death Valley! I admit it, I am the laziest blogger that is out there — except for the dead ones, I guess. The year of 2008 will hopefully see a resurgence of my stories, articles, and rants about all the goodness and horribleness of gaming. I hope to start adding in tidbits about the esoteric side of gaming as well as my ideas on how to improve the industry and what needs to change to better promote it. I tend to go in streaks with my writing coming fast and furious, or nothing at all.
As the New Year is but hours away, I sit here in front of my computer hacking out this article thinking to myself what do I want to get accomplished this year? What is it that is going to separate this year from the years of the past and the years ahead. I am one of these silly fools that love to make lists of my New Year’s Resolutions and have been keeping such for the last 15 years. Its often fun to look back and see what I thought I needed to change or what I was working on at the time. Strangely from last year, blogging was not even on the list. Podcasting was listed only as something I want to listen more to, but was not mentioned in any shape or form in making my own — VoV #1 debuted in May: I only vaguely knew of Virginworlds, and of course, the podcast collective was not even a sliver f a thought in Bren’t mind.
With every list one makes, there are things that can be accomplished and things that never reach fruition. I look back on last year’s list and weigh on what I think I succeeded and, sadly, things that just did not work out.
For example, one of my goals was to play less MMOs and play more of other types of games — sadly, I am hooked on MMOs like a drug addict is to cocaine — I talk with bravado after a 10 hour marathon, but the next day finding myself drawn to the computer like a moth to the porch light. I sit there minutes heeing and hawing, before boldly diving into my MMO with glee.
Last year, I was playing WoW at the time of writing the list, still several weeks away from starting Vanguard. I remember how Warcraft was beginning to make me feel — perhaps thats why I could boldly print I was going to escape the MMOs forever — HA! Unknowingly to myself Vanguard was about to be released, as well as some real exciting expansions for Everquest 2. In those early months Vanguard still held the mystique of something beautiful, rather than the grotesque monster that it evolved into at this time. I hope that Vanguard can someday be remade into that game I fell in love with back in late January of 2007.
Another funny resolution I made was for me to get to bed by 10 PM and secondly no reading in bed — as one might begin to realize my resolutions are not of the kind of saving mankind from hunger or re-inventing myself into the next Bill Gates — but rather if I can go to sleep at a regular time or stop eating so much damn candy! Anyway, that too has slipped into perhaps a next years list (although that one won’t be making it into the top 10 things for me to do as a Blogger). I am lucky to get to bed by midnight, and then of course, have to get up by 6 AM for work. I am also back in the habit, or better to say, never gave the habit up, of reading in bed — I don’t know about you, but I have about 6 magazine subscriptions and they tend to pile up by my bed. Strangely, I keep finding them tossed into my study — I think my wife is trying to tell me something.
Here is my 10 New Year’s Resolutions for the Lazy Blogger
1. Write More: That goes without saying, of course, but what I also mean about this is to write more consistently. I would like to find myself writing throughout the week, editing my work a bit better, then posting my ideas on Friday or Saturday of each week. That to me is a big step into climbing out of the hole of the Lazy Blogger.
2. Read More: One of my biggest problems is that I get in the rut of reading only small smatterings of forums and other bloggers. This year I want to enlarge the scope of my reading both in the forms of forum posts but also the in the blogo’sphere. There are so many talented and thought provoking writers out there but often they are lost in the maelstrom of the internet that its hard to find them. I want to start finding those buried gems and read far more than I did in the last year.
3. Specialize More: Often I find myself pulled or drawn into so many different venues of the gaming and esoteric fields of study. I love reading about the gaming industry, but I am also equally drawn into ancient history, paranormal activity, UFOs, scientific breakthroughs, and the rest of the grab bag of things I love reading about. If I try and write on all of that, it will and it has, come out to look like gibberish and foolish prattle. I need to concentrate my writing, at least in the form of blogs, to a select area and stick with it.
4. Get Involved: too often I am sitting on the sidelines, looking at the game being played. I want to get in there couch — give me the ball and let me run with it ((You can tell my wife has been watching allot of football lately — WOOTS)). Anyway, what I am trying to say is that I want to get more involved with all the podcast collective shows from Brent’s production, to Darren’s, to even sitting down with the guys from Warp Drive Active. I want to have more of the bloggers come and read my site and also talk to them on topics and subjects about gaming. I want to go to more shows and conferences and meet the real people behind the curtain of game design and production. I also want to meet more of the players, and truly realize how wide the spectrum is of gamers.
5. Write More and Play Less: I guess this could be rolled into into my first goal, but its slightly different in the sense that I want to really play less of any single game and write more about allot of different games and gaming subjects. I would love to get involved with groups of gamers playing all the different MMO gamers out there and experience more.
6. I Want To Learn More: Similar to wanting to specialize more, I really want to hone my skills as a writer but also want to understand more about game programming and the economic side of gaming. I want to climb out of the cave of game newbishness and really start understanding everything about the gaming world. There are so many aspects of gaming which I have no real concept about — from the basic concepts of programming to the ethereal marketing side. The more I understand, the better my writing will become.
7. I Want To Return To My Role-Playing Roots: For me gaming was all about role-playing. Not the schlock of MMOs who pretend to be role-playing games, but real honest sitting down at a table with a bunch of friends and diving into the world of fantasy and adventure. This is what gaming is all about — strip away the technology and the massive worlds of unfriendly, uncaring, sons of a bitches who just want to rob you blind and leave you dead along the road. The richness of a rpg world, even though not as visceral as computer games, is far more alluring and completely full of rapture. Before marriage, I had a game running every night of the week, with many of the games having years of history and character development. Sadly, those days are gone, but I would like to have 1 night a week to sit down with four or five guys and play Dungeons & Dragons, Villains & Vigilantes, Tekumel, or even Phantasm Adventures.
8. Get Organized. Again, perhaps a subset of one of my earlier points, but when I look around my study I see a collection of hodge-podge and bric-n-brack from every corner of my cluttered mind. Stacks of books, magazines, old computer game boxes, manuals torn asunder, plates, dishes, coffee cups with dried coffee at bottom, litter — oh the litter, junk, boxes, a plastic pumpkin from Holloween (and I don’t think it was from last year’s Holloween either)! Candles! How did candles end up in my man cave?!? Bills — I hope I paid them. Junk, just so much junk that I need to get organized. How can someone write in this morass of confusion and clutter. Yes! This is a serious goal for myself to clean the damn clutter out of my study.
9. Embrace Technology: I am behind the eight ball on all this technological wizardry of the last couple of years. I just got a cell phone — but do not ask me how to work the thing beyond calling someone. And I just bought myself a cheap MP3 player — though I wanted to buy an Itouch (better later this year). But really all these technological gizmos are quite foreign to me. I want to be able to know about blue-tooth, streaming video, DX10 graphics, Kindle, Iphone — all the buzz words of this new century. The more I can understand that, the better my blogging will be. Again, I feel like I am on the sidelines looking at a game being played that I want to be involved with but don’t know the rules.
10. Meet New Friends: And finally, I want to meet a whole slew of new people. I am so thankful for Darren over at Shut Up We’re Talking and Brent from Virginworlds in having introduced me to a bunch of new friends. My eyes have been opened up to many new ideas and concepts. I am a horrible person when it comes to socializing. If there is the right things to say at a party, I will say the opposite. If I meet a person for the first time, I often come off looking like an ass or am a blur in their memory. I want to turn this around and meet 100 new people this year — meet and say hi, my name is Troy Christensen, and this is what I do. I want to say that to 100 people and have those people remember that a month after my introduction.
Well, thats my goals for blogging this year. I would love to hear what you have to say, as always, and would like to know what your goals are for this year as well.
See everyone in 2008! It will be an exciting year!