Monday, December 26, 2016

How Often Do You Game?

How often do you game?

 It's a simple question I'm sure many gamers have been asked. I was thinking of what blog entry to end the slow year of 2016 with, and I figured that this would be the right topic to discuss. Time. How much time do gamers really have to play video games? How much time do gamers prefer to have? How much time do they realistically have? How important of a topic is this? 

Well, there are reasons why we have different segments of gamers in our community. You have your Hardcore Avid Gamers who play video games for 40-50 hours a week, spending half the day on many days of the week. You have your Semi-Hardcore Gamers who play video games for 10-15 hours a week, still a good amount of time to play. Then you have your Casual Gamers who don't really have a lot of time on their hands, but when they can, they end up playing somewhere below 10 hours a week. 

It's kinda hard to pinpoint how many hours of playing games would classify one gamer as a Hardcore Avid Gamer, a Semi-Hardcore Gamer or a Casual Gamer. It really doesn't matter how many hours per week you log in to play video games. Being a gamer is a subjective topic to talk about in general. We all go on our own schedules because those schedules work for us. I also find it interesting just how knowledgeable of the Gaming Industry each type of gamer actually is. 

There is a scenario where in a single room you can have a Hardcore Avid Gamer (45 hours of playing), a Semi-Hardcore Gamer (12 hours), and a Casual Gamer (4 hours) sitting around and discussing the Gaming Industry, and then you find out that the Casual Gamer actually knows quite a bit about the Gaming Industry, though he or she doesn't play games a whole lot. Though the Hardcore Avid Gamer may compete in regularly scheduled competitions, he or she may need to do more studying on the Gaming Industry. This kind of scenario does occur.

I suppose that going by this I'd classify myself as a Casual Gamer. If I'm fortunate I will have a couple of hours to myself playing video games per week, but things have to go right with me during that week. Nevertheless I do have that passion of keeping up to date with the workings of the Gaming Industry. I am always fascinated by what I learn and read about concerning this industry. Video games in one way or another have always appealed to me. I want to stay in the gaming loop in any way that I can.

Just because a gamer doesn't spend a super duper amount of time playing video games doesn't mean that he or she doesn't like video games. I take a great chunk of my inspiration for creativity from video games. Earlier this decade in the 2010's I would write multiple custom stories that revolved around --surprise-- video games. The love for how a video game works is clearly here on the Gaming Journalist Gazette.

If I had more time, more content to choose from and more money, would I opt to play more video games? Of course. Would I like to spend more hours playing video games? Certainly. I guess that's part of the reason why blog posts have been slower to make here on the GJG in 2016. My time has become limited. The resources I have are not at an optimum level. Money? Let's not even start with that.

I would like to know out of the readers who visit this blog, which of you play video games a ton? Which of you play for some hours? Which of you are like me, Casual Gamers? On behalf of the GJG I'd like to wish you all well for the next year of 2017!

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Wordsmith: My Custom Website

Steven Vitte: Wordsmith

Wordsmiths who are busy improving their work never stop being busy. A wordsmith who is dedicated to writing content for people to enjoy is one who takes his job seriously. I like to think that I am such a wordsmith. I have quietly shared this link with some of my friends, but I would like to just get this link out now for my readers here on the Gaming Journalist Gazette blog to see for themselves what I have been busy setting up lately.

The above link takes you to the temporary base of my custom website. No, I don't own the word "wordsmith" or anything, but it's a title that I would like to be officially recognized under. I am a wordsmith at heart. I am what some people call a "scribe". I specialize in writing content that can be used by readers. As you will see this blog right here is one of the links you can go to by clicking on the "Gaming Blog" tab on the main menu at the top of the main page. 

I take what I do seriously. I like to write. It's what I'm good at. Aside from the fact that I don't officially have a game project out that includes my contributions as a writer, I know that having a custom website of my own was critical, and for the longest time I haven't had one. That is a mistake on my part. Relying just on blogs and not actually developing my own custom website was something that I overlooked and should have handled earlier on. 

Now that I do have my custom website up and running, I would like to get your opinions on it. Have I developed it the right way? Is it easy enough to navigate through? Do you find anything unique about my website? What are some of the things I could do to improve my website? What features do you think I should add to my website? Is there anything about my website you don't like? Whatever your opinion is, please let me know.

It's simply long overdue for me to have my own custom website. It's something I should have done first and foremost, but because of real life issues getting in the way all the time, I felt like I didn't have the time to make a website. I put all my worries aside recently, though, and just made one. I figured "Why not?" What do I have to lose at this point? In order to get to where I want to go as a creative person in the gaming world, I gotta have something I can show other people. Well, here you go. Here's the website.

Of course I am going to make some changes here and there on this website as time goes on, and I hope that you guys will follow me on my journey in making this website as nice-looking and special as it can be, considering all the resources that I have available.

One thought I will leave before ending this blog entry is that more exposure will be given to the Gaming Journalist Gazette blog as a result of the link through my Wordsmith website. That is going to play an important role, I think. With the combination of this blog, The Autistic Help blog and the Wordsmith website I am hoping that this little network I have in front of me now will help take me to places I need to go in order to achieve my dreams.

Gaming Year In Review: 2016

It's hard for me to come up with a review of the year 2016 when it comes to gaming because, quite frankly, I have felt like more often than not I have been out of the loop. Regarding the trending news on gaming and the hot topics that drove the Gaming Industry in 2016, I felt like I got lost in the shuffle by leaps and bounds as a consumer. I didn't at all feel like I was a part of anything aside from one important project, which the above picture is a hint of. Aside from finally getting Punchy Business off the ground and swinging punches at the development stages of its demo, I don't feel like I have accomplished a lot in gaming circles.

Yes, I got to go to GDEX (formerly OGDE) in Columbus again, and that was obviously fun since it's not everyday I do something like that, but really when it comes to getting down and making something in gaming, I felt like I missed some opportunities. It wasn't until midway through 2016 when I got the help I needed. After initially writing the manuscript for Punchy Business way back in 2008, it took 8 years for me to finally see something that I had envisioned come to life. I'm hoping that this alone illustrates a problem in the Gaming Industry when it comes to folks and their willingness to reach out and help those who want to start making something in gaming circles. When people ask for help, they should receive it as soon as they can without so much hesitation.

Nintend-Ho-Hum! Blah's the Way We Go!

Now when it comes to mainstream gaming, I have to say that 2016 was a pretty "blah" year when it came to surprising developments. I mean "blah" as in it was just there, not that the developments we got were bad. Nintendo announcing that they start publishing their games on Apple devices like the iPhone? Okay. Fine. That's good, but it's nothing super groundbreaking, if you know what I mean. That kind of news isn't compelling enough for me to quickly report about.

Now regarding the Nintendo Switch, formerly named the Nintendo NX, that was something VERY significant because this marks yet another change in course for the Gaming Industry. Yet again we're getting a new console that we'll have to start wondering about. Discussion about new gaming stuff is always interesting. The introduction to the Switch basically means that Nintendo has abandoned its support for the Wii U, which, let's face it folks, was a bit of a letdown in comparison to the original Wii. Was the Wii U a bad console? No. Not necessarily. However, it could have been something more and it ended up being something "blah", just there.

YouTube, We Still Don't Like You

In other news YouTube is continuing to ruin general experiences for gamers as they are putting the kibosh on monetizing methods through their established programs. Of course, gamers who post their "Let's Play" content on YouTube will still get to monetize in general (barring obvious copyright issues), but the amount of money that they make for their videos has significantly gone down. What's worse is that reports are surfacing that YouTube is intentionally finding ways to take down the view count of gaming videos so that those videos won't be recommended when you first log on to the site. What in the world is this crap about?

As I have mentioned in posts of yesteryear, I don't see the harm in gamers putting out the content they want to share with others. It's free advertising for the game dev companies whenever one of their games is featured in a Let's Play. What's it to them if a Let's Play personality makes a few bucks off video production? All this talk about gray areas and whatnot (legal mumbo jumbo) needs to stop because quite frankly the legal experts on this issue don't know what they are talking about. They don't understand the language of a gamer, and more importantly, the under-privileged poor person, so what right do they have to defend YouTube?

Ultimately if you get rid of any and all economic incentives for the Let's Players to make their video content on YouTube, then guess what? You won't be getting your free advertising for your game, which will make it HARDER (not easier) for you to sell your game in the first place. Understand now?

Virtual Reality Gaming: Neutral Stance

Again, as I've said before on this blog, virtual reality gaming is fine to implement. Nothing wrong with VR in theory. My neutral stance on VR is what it is, though. I don't believe it's wise to put all your eggs in the VR gaming basket because I don't see this type of gaming overtaking the main way we've been gaming for decades now. I just don't see that happening. Realistically speaking you have to develop the VR games in moderation, and you have to play them in moderation. I consider VR gaming to be a big fad right now, but a fad that doesn't have staying power. There have been multiple attempts at VR gaming in years past, and look how those attempts turned out.

I do believe interesting gaming concepts can be found in the way that we create VR games. I do believe you can dig up a new mechanic through VR game development, and then turn around and implement that in a typical console/mobile gaming experience. I do believe that VR gaming is a valuable learning experience in itself.

Looking Ahead: Punchy Business

I am legitimately excited for the finishing touches to be put on my custom project called Punchy Business, a game concept about a boxing kangaroo who is trying to become the World Heavyweight Champion of a fictional world, but along the way he goes on a platforming adventure to save his big brother from the snares of rotten cheetahs and their wild cat peers. If you go up on the Sketchy Games website you will see the progress we have made so far. In January 2017 we are looking to finish this demo version off and then showcase it to gaming audiences. I want to get Punchy Business out there. I want to share what I know and what I see in Punchy Business with others. I want to share my views on gaming and game development with those who want to play this demo. That is what I find very important looking ahead to 2017.