A totally ineloquent life update

I have been playing the shit out of Sleeping Dogs; I've not enjoyed a game this much in months.

Good grief! It’s been about a hundred years since I updated this thing – and unfortunately, my gallant return to this blog doesn’t come in the form of a particularly wistful or insightful analysis on any kind of video game thing. Nah. I kind of just want to update my readers on recent stuff that’s been happening, and share some cool events and links. So here we go!

Freeplay

This is the big one. At the end of 2012, I became the new director of Australia’s Freeplay Independent Games Festival, alongside my good friend and brilliant indie dev Harry Lee. Freeplay’s been a very big deal for me, and I credit it with part of the reason why I write about video games for a living today; being able now to be an actual part of the thing, and to hopefully influence others through it the way it influenced me, is quite a thrilling thought.

The Freeplay conference happens in Melbourne in late September this year, and Harry and I have some crazy ideas planned that we hope you’ll love, too. In the meantime, we’re focusing on lots of gaming-related off-season events. Our first, Indie Allsorts at Federation Square, was incredibly successful – check out our photos!

The next week is also a big one for Freeplay. This Saturday, we’ve got Twine workshops happening at the Children’s Book Festival. Twine’s a wonderful tool for creating interactive fiction, so we’re hoping to expose more potential game designers to the ease with which they can get their own games up and running. And then, on Tuesday, we’re doing another Re:Play event at ACMI. We’ve gathered up a bunch of incredible speakers – Farbs, Andrew Brophy, Yang Tian Li, and Laura Crawford – to chat about just what it means to be indie, anyway.

If you’re not one of the hundreds of people jetting off to GDC next week, we’d love to see you there!

No More GameSpy :(

So yeah, awkwardly, my most stable freelance gig came to a halt due to GameSpy’s closure. I did the weekend news there for nearly a year, and really loved the work I got to do – my editors were incredibly cool, and they encouraged a really unique and engaging voice in our writing. I also loved doing the Free Agent columns.

Needless to say, I was pretty crushed when the site closed, and sadly envisioned myself dining on meals of potato chips for the rest of my life. It’s not all bad, though. The silver lining is that I’ve picked up more work elsewhere!

You’ll find me doing random bits and bobs of news at IGN. I’ve also joined TouchArcade’s team of reviewers (yes, iOS devs, I finally have a place to write about your games now!). The extra time I’ve suddenly found myself in possession of also means I have more room to work on the long-form feature article-type stuff again…

Recent Articles!

I’d love it if you checked out the new magazine Five out of Ten, a publication dedicated to video game culture. In its second issue, I’ve got two pieces – one’s an edited version of my exploration of Sleep is Death, originally posted on this here blog. The other is a vaguely manic piece looking at the overly sexualised female monsters of Silent Hill: Downpour, with an analysis of when misogynist monster design is okay – and when it isn’t.

Five out of Ten is only five pounds, though there’s an early-bird discount on right now that’ll get you an extra 30% off. These two pieces haven’t generated as much feedback as my other online work tends to do, so I’d be really keen to hear your thoughts.

The other main article I really want to spruik is this interview with Day[9] at Games.on.net. When I got into this games journalism thing, Day[9] was my number-one dream interviewee; who knew that, not even a year and a half later, I’d get to speak to him for nearly an hour? Dreams do come true, guys! He did not disappoint, either. His views on the school system are really interesting, I reckon, and he has really refreshing thoughts on how being a better gamer might actually equate to being a better person.

And finally, if you prefer bloggy stuff, I’d love it if you added my Tumblr to your lists. I’ve had it going for a few months, and though the past few weeks have seen little action, it’s still better updated than this WordPress blog. Something about the simplicity of the Tumblr interface makes it much more inviting to write on, y’know?

GDC Funtimes

Finally – GDC. I’ll be there this year, with grand plans to crash all of the parties. I’m leaving tomorrow morning for a flight that will see me land before I leave. Yay, international dateline.

I really want to meet people over there. I’m going with a kind of dual purpose in mind – I’ll be doing my freelance thing for sure, and I still have some times free to check out some cool projects. As usual, I’m most interested in PC games, but I’d love to hear from any devs with a groovy thing going on. Get in touch! I’d love to check out your wares. Maybe we could arrange an interview?

I’m also going for Freeplay business – Harry and I would love to meet with anyone interested in contributing to the festival. We’re especially on the lookout for possible international speakers. If being flown down to Australia to talk about indie games sounds like your thing, hit us up! We’d love to have a chat.

I’ll be in San Fran Town till Wednesday the 3rd of April. Email or tweet at me; I’d love to meet you.

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