notes from a man who spends too much time playing video games

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This is where you stick random tidbits of information about yourself.

A Few Points Shy of the High Score
Thursday, February 27, 2003  
Worked on another second opinion for gamecritics yesterday--this time it was for Rygar: The Legendary Adventure. Was kind of surprised today when the editor kicked it back to me for revisions. "You flip flop too much," he wrote. "By the end of the review, I couldn't tell if you liked it or hated it." Tried to correct my flip-floppiness, sent it back to him, and was surprised again when he asked for further changes. Seems he didn't like my final paragraph. "Sounds too much like all the other game writing out there," he wrote. "We're trying to bring things to a higher level here." So I went back to work, completely retooling the final paragraph, half pissed off and half appreciative. I mean, these guys actually give a goddamn about what they're doing. They take games, and writing about games, extremely seriously. Have to say, I kind of like that.

If the Rygar second opinion is finally accepted (at this point, I'm still waiting to hear), I will then be a full-fledged game critic. Which will be nice.

Writing about games on a routine basis has changed the way I play, in subtle and not-so-subtle ways. I can't just crack a beer and let my chair swallow me up and drift in a haze of videogaming bliss. I have to be on the ball a little bit. I have to make notes. I can't drink beer (well, not as much anyway). It's a pleasure to write about something that I care about. It gives a structure to something that was previously an amorphous blob of random thoughts and musings. I now have a forum for voicing my opinions...and someone is actually reading them. I've become an Authority, albeit in a very minor way.

I like what's happening to me.

4:14 PM

Tuesday, February 25, 2003  
The editors over at asked me to send a mass email to their other critics introducing myself. After haggling over the details for an hour or so, this is what I came up with (remember, we're all in charge of our own myths):

Per Chi's instructions, here's a little about me.

My name is Scott Jones. I'm 33, which probably sounds really old to most of you. (I'm fairly spry for my age.) I live in New York City. I've had an unhealthy obsession with gaming ever since I was about eight years old. I blame it on the fact that, despite a series of lengthy, very emotional letters to Santa, I was the only boy for miles who didn't have an Atari 2600. It was a sad time....

Once I was actually old enough to have a job, I cashed my first paycheck and promptly bought a Super Nintendo. For years, I was a closet gamer, literally keeping my games, and game systems, hidden away in a closet, only taking them out late at night when no one was around. I've had entire relationships with girls who never even knew that I owned a Super Nintendo.

About a year ago I finally accepted gaming into my life. I brought my games out of the closet and proudly set them up in my living room. To my surprise, my girlfriend didn't run screaming into the night. And now, in order to spend as much time gaming as possible, I've given up television at this point. (I'm a very sick man....)

I own all three systems, and I really don't feel any allegiance to a pariticular system. If a game is good, I want to play it--no matter which system it's on. And I still have that old Super Nintendo, as well as a couple other mint-condition systems. Collecting old gaming paraphernalia is a hobbie of mine.

I have an MFA in creative writing from Syracuse U. and a BA from Hamilton College. I originally wanted to be a teacher, but somehow I wound up living in New York and working as a magazine editor. I'm still not sure how the hell I got here....

I'm obsessed with games--that's obvious--but I don't always understand why. Which is probably the reason why I want to write about gaming. I want to tell somebody about those long (sometimes lonely) nights that I spend gaming. What exactly drives me to find every last blue orb on Devil May Cry? That's not easy for me to articulate....

Favorite game of all-time? Hard to say. Probably GTAIII: Vice City. But with so much great stuff coming out all the time, that could change by tomorrow morning.

Looking forward to reading all of your future thoughts, insights and opinions on games.


4:28 PM

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