Let me start off by saying this, and please bear with me here, the Internet is an overcrowded mess. I know it’s not really an original thought but it’s important to understand where I’m coming from in order to know where I’m going. This is probably the reason I’ve struggled for several years now to get a blog off the ground. The problem was finding something I could consistently write about in an interesting way to. The Internet is littered with countless cat memes, travels blogs and “look what I had for lunch” porn awash with cliché and rampant self-indulgence. It is within this cataclysmic mess that I hope to wade into the online under the premise of presenting something “original”. No doubt a daunting task and perhaps somewhat negative but hopefully I can deliver something of value to readers and get some discussion going.
I don’t want this blog to be about me but I feel I should probably give a short introduction of myself. My name is Alex Gaillard, a 25-year-old, bald male of middling stature and a fantastic beard. I have studied and worked briefly as a journalist in the past and have also spent the last two years travelling and working before settling into where I am now. I am currently studying as a copywriter in Cape Town, South Africa. I am an avid gamer and technophile at heart, albeit a penniless one.
I have always loved gaming and technology and over the years these interests have shaped and inspired who I am today. Ever since I watched Discovery Channel’s Rise of the Video Game a few years back I have grown more and more interested in the concept of video gaming beyond just playing the games themselves and it always interests me to delve into the thoughts and experiences of not only gamers, but the developers behind them. Other attributor to this is such sources as the Retrospective series from Gametrailers.com, various books such as 1001 Video Games to play before you die and of course special mention to Michael Abbot’s Brainy Gamer blog.
I see gaming as much more than just a pastime, even though I don’t have as much free time as I used to. For me gaming is closely linked to storytelling and many of my fondest memories of gaming actually play out as stories I can tell and retell to gamers and non-gamers alike. Whether solo or multiplayer the best games are the ones which give us the tools to tell our own stories.
Growing up in South Africa, I was never really at the forefront of gaming technology, especially in the realm of Online. Using the Internet in Africa is like trying to carry water in a bucket with no bottom. This have given me a unique view into an industry which was relatively slow to develop and only really flourished under the deep and burning passion of a handful of dedicated gamers for whom the latest technology and games was either not always available or overpriced.
I love looking back in retrospect at these games to see where the discipline has come from and the shortcuts and compromises that past developers had to do with the past technology. Gaming is no doubt a powerhouse industry today, but its roots were in fact far humbler than they are today. With the sheer amount of financial backing and corporate management prevalent in gaming today I think many would agree with me that the golden age of gaming is probably over. There are however some indie developers and gamers who still keep the flame alive.
I will seek to avoid news, previews and reviews of current blockbuster breakouts in the video game market and instead focus on thoughtful opinion pieces and reviews either on retrospective gaming or gaming as a concept. From Pong to Smashbros, Space Invaders to StarCraft 2 and everything in between, I hope you can join me in exploring and celebrating the discipline of gaming and technology that has shaped both myself and the industry of today.