imageI’ve got a new article on GamersWithJobs entitled Onto World Two. I discuss some of my feelings beginning a new job and how they run parallel to my first experiences playing video games past the initial stages on my own.

Two months ago I stepped into the new office, my new work space, and was met with many of the usual new-hire cliches. Sit down and meet with folks whose names I’ll forget in five minutes and whose daily responsibilities are a jumble of slang terms pulled right out of A Clockwork Orange. I sat down to a computer that I don’t even have access to, the name of the person that used to have my desk popping up on everyone’s caller-ID.

None of this was off-putting. It was familiar, comfortable — just part of starting a new job. What started to get me nervous was every time I met with someone new, my supervisor would inform folks of all the projects I was expected to take on. Some folks even began to see me as some sort of God-sent savior, come to conquer the demon hordes of HTML and JavaScript. I nodded and responded in as confident a voice as I could, but all of my insecurities and doubts started to creep out. I mean, yeah, I’d kept practicing my web code every so often, prototyping some site redesigns and experimenting with jQuery, but I felt rusty. I was starting to feel like a fraud. I was a sheep in wolf’s clothing, and any minute they’d sniff me out and start prep work in the kitchen. These people hired me for real, honest to God web development?

The article has received a lot of positive response on GamersWithJobs so far, with many claiming it to be my best yet. Oddly enough, I don’t feel like I can agree, but I suppose that’s the reality of the creator’s desires versus that of the audience. The community of GamersWithJobs is very much into the more traditional “new games journalism”, and yes, I’m aware of how silly it is to refer to “new” games journalism in any way as “traditional”. When “new” games journalism emerged, however, it was largely focusing on well-written pieces where the authors would reflect on how their lives and gaming intertwined. Upon my bookshelf lies issue zero of Kill Screen Magazine, when they were going to try and make an effort for print rather than being a “typical” gaming news and reviews website. Nothing in there counts as more critical thinking, really, but it’s no surprise to see that this form of writing be identified by the greater gaming audience as such a thing.

Personally, I enjoy Basements much more, as it digs deeper into why these games produced such fear in me. Or even Eyes of Opposition, where I dug deep into the so-called “morality” within the world of Bayonetta.

The one thing Onto World Two has, I suppose, is a universal experience. “I understand that imposter feeling,” many readers reassure me. It’s not just about gaming, it’s about stepping into the world as a so-called adult and pretending to be this professional you heard so much about. There’s very little critical thinking going on, at least in regards to games. I was just one day reminded of how I played games as a young child, and tied it all together for a neat little story.

A story that is relatable, and thus would resonate much more with the audience, especially an audience such as GamersWithJobs, than any efforts to define agency in regards to games writing or to gaze into the narrative elements of a title whose protagonist is an absurdly proportioned woman clothed in her own hair.

I wonder if, one day, this article shall be my November Rain.


 

I'm Playing:

Splatoon 2 Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age Hollow Knight Gravity Rush 2