Monday, July 25, 2011
What It Is
Still don't have cancer anymore.
Still here? What good taste you have. In the months since the NMCMF Throwdown and now, I've gone through a few check-ups; all of them on the up and up. I have my first post-cruddymuffins (we're bringing it back) PET scan in a few weeks, though, and that's the telltale sign. My glass is half full, though. So don't worry your pretty little heads.
Now that I have all this time on my hands, what am I doing? You're very inquisitive, internet. Since my freelance gaming work is getting a little thin lately (for various reasons), I think it might be time to finally write that (other) book. I've slowly been chipping away at ideas, but it's between two things:
1- A quasi-memoir of the cancer thing interspersed with critical game analysis. Sound kinda dumb? Maybe it is, but I just read Extra Lives by Tom Bissell. Bissell is a particularly gifted writer; his vocabulary is astounding on the level of Michael Chabon, his observations on gaming culture are memorable, and he has a way of making you naturally curious about his thoughts on things that I already knew. But I didn't really think it was a great book. Part of it was my fault, I guess. I'm still waiting for the book Chuck Klosterman would write if he worked for EGM and not Spin in his youth, and I really thought that EL was my answer. It wasn't, but that doesn't mean that it isn't worth reading. The last chapter in particular - which is what I found most interesting - candidly dealt with playing Grand Theft Auto IV while on various cocaine benders. The book in my head will be something more along these lines (not a pun), but in the place of hard drugs will be harder drugs of a different stripe.
2- A book of critical essays dealing with the various ways that Demon's Souls may be the best videogame of the last five years. Yes, I'm absolutely serious. DS is the kind of game that takes patience and dedication to play, but the best parts of it are what's left unsaid in between the melange of player deaths and monster-slaying from religion, views on life and death, opt-in plot and need for narrative. Shit, I could go on forever.
Yes, both are vanity pieces. But I'm a vain guy. I can bench over 300 pounds. There. Vain.
I've already started on essays for both books. The good thing about doing this is if one works better than the other, I can fold them together, but we'll see. Anyhoo, here's hoping you're well, and not in the same situation as the guy in the picture.
He's straight screwed.