Like my first venture in 2011, this year’s PAX was an amazing experience. However, there were negative moments outside of the positive. Some interviews never happened, there were missed networking opportunities, and there was never (and I mean never) enough time. Though again, like my previous experience in Boston last year, it was another excellent way to test my abilities and reveal if this is something I’m cut out for.
Let me start by saying I love writing. If these pursuits of mine only revolved around “I love video games,” why wouldn’t I simply look into game development instead? Well, okay, I’m no programmer (yet), but that’s beyond the point. Naturally, I love writing; the “video games” portion is simply icing on the fattening cake.
One thing all writers (including myself) must continually face are roadblocks. When you feel like you’ve written the best piece on a topic, there’s probably someone who wrote something better. When you think you finally have the perfect pitch, it’ll get rejected. When you know you’re ready to step up and take on new challenges, someone more socially radiant may come out of nowhere and completely cloud up the fact that you even exist at all. Nobody told me this was going to be easy — but again, nobody told me this was going to be impossible.
“Difficult” is not “impossible,” and it only translates into such for those who quit early.
It’s certainly an interesting journey, though. The more I critique games and discuss how intricate they really are, the more I separate myself from the crowd that simply sits down, flips on a game and enjoys it without thinking twice (unless it sucks bad enough).
Gone are the days when I could simply say “I liked it” or “I hated it” without reciting why. No — in order to talk about video games in a more meaningful way, one must articulate how the overall experience represents either a finished product or some half-assed alpha build with captivating box art. Is it a masterpiece, or did the developers stop caring? How do the controls and camera blend together? Are the levels, story and music creative, or is this another sellout rehash of the same crap we’ve seen before? And furthermore, was the developer truly inspired by “Final Call of Solid XIII-4″?
To write seriously on the subject, I better damn well know what I’m talking about and be willing to think critically about it. Consumers need to know what they’re getting into so they don’t get screwed (see link above).
Overall, I have a compulsive need to do something gratifying that I enjoy (writing) while also contributing towards an industry I adore, and I’d say this is a much better answer than “because video games.” Seriously — if you hate writing and only do it because you get free review copies, you’re doing it wrong.
So after another PAX Prime, the journey continues. If I throw in the towel now I feel like I’ll miss out on something extraordinary.