Are you exhausted by all these posts all over the internet, recapping and listing everything that you already lived through this year? Well here’s another. It’s my favourite, best and most popular posts I made in 2016, in a secret order known only to me!
- My first and favourite of my Throwback Thursday posts (I will get back to them I promise) was on Pokemon. While I’ve played and loved many games in my childhood, none have really meant as much to me as Pokemon. My Poke pals were there for me in a tough time in my youth, so it’s nice to hear people responding similarly.
- One of the posts I was most scared of sharing was this piece of fictional writing on The Long Dark. I really swithered about this as I thought it might come off as more fanfic that I wanted it to (not that there’s anything wrong with fanfic). But I don’t want to write “objective” reviews here, I want to share subjective and emotional responses to games. And if that means writing something that’s one part personal, one part how I imagine the protagonist feeling, well then Letters from The Long Dark is it. This ended up being one of my favourite posts, and I was so pleased by the positive response that it received.
- And in that vein I’d like to signpost the found poem I wrote about the ending of The Witcher 3 base game. Again, this was another piece I was nervous about posting, so was delighted with the positive response.
- Stardew Valley is easily the game I have played the most this year. Right now, Steam reports that I’ve clocked in about 160 hours. I’ve found it hard to express to friends just what I like about this game – I find it difficult to describe the beautiful, little heart that’s at the centre of this farming sim. This post on Depression in the game is the closest I’ve come and is probably the post I’ve got the most hits on outside of WordPress/Tumblr/Twitter. It’s great to know there are so many people in the sad chicken boy fan club.
- I started thinking about difficulty in games after one conversation and found it to be a deeply interesting and engrossing subject. So far I’ve written 4 posts on the subject, and I hope to write more in the future. It’s such a complex and emotive subject, including issues of genre, accessibility, ableism, toxic communities, game design and much more. My first post is possibly my favourite as it’s the one that hooked me on this topic – I suggest you have a read and then let me know your thoughts, I’d love to hear them.
- Dark Souls 3 has been a defining game for me this year, and from it came one of my favourite series – a look at religion and faith in these games. I haven’t written much of them recently due to Soulsing myself out for a while. Despite that I still find the SoulsBorne worlds so beautiful and deep, and I recently began thinking about this series again… My favourite faith group (lore wise) might just be the Mound-Makers with their desperate, clinging belief in madness. These are my love letters to Miyazaki’s world and I look forward to continuing them in 2017.
- Virginia was another of my favourite games of 2016 and the review I wrote for it was one I greatly enjoyed. Anything that involves David Lynch and visual weirdness is my favourite thing, but this really topped them. It’s more of the sort of review/response I’d like to write – instead of offering an attempt at a numerical score for the whole game, I’d rather share my thoughts and impressions of it and show you aspects of the game I enjoyed.
- And finally we have my thoughts on why all games are political – which is possibly a good introduction into what I’m trying to do here. Not that I always want to explicitly talk politics, but that I think it’s valuable and worthwhile to pick games apart like I would a novel or piece of art and view it from different angles to see what I can learn from this.
And finally I would just like to say thank you to those who have taken the time to read this, but especially those who took the time to read these posts and others all throughout this year. I started this blog because I missed writing and I didn’t have many friends who share my love of gaming. So thank you for reading my little blog. I sincerely appreciate every view, like and comment I get. And here’s to 2017. If I know anything about gaming communities and industries it’s the more things change, the more they stay the same – so let’s look forward to a year of dumb, creative, beautiful, buggy, delayed games. See you later 2016 and hello 2017!