ABOUT PLAYING THE CANON:
Playing the Canon began as my justification for playing video games during a rather trying period of unemployment in the summer of 2012. It was originally a way to trick myself into thinking I was doing something productive, when really I was devoting time to the most quintessentially unproductive hobby on the face of the Earth. If I’m going to play some of the great games I’ve missed over the years, might as well get some writing done, too, right?
However, through forcing myself to write about the games I played, I found out something I always suspected about myself but didn’t know for sure: I fucking love video games. While I always enjoyed them growing up, I didn’t realize how sheltered I was from the potential and breadth of the medium until I sat down that summer and actually experienced just how far it had progressed since my childhood. And I don’t just mean graphics or immersion; I’m talking about how there are now some legitimately smart, thoughtful people talking about games, what makes them unique, and how they could be better. I hope, in its own small way, this blog contributes to the meaningful conversation currently taking place about the potential of games and what they do well as an artform. While I’ll largely be looking back at older titles (hence the name of the blog; I still have a lot of catching up to do), I think that discussing why certain games survive the years and become iconic or influential can help us parse out what makes a game resonate.
I feel like the best way to use this blog is to play a game I’ve discussed, then check out my review. (With rare exception, I complete the games I write about.) Since there is no proper video game “canon” in place yet (and because the name is at least a little tongue-in-cheek), I’m going to interpret this blog’s premise pretty broadly. I want to talk about big games, small games, games from all genres and countries and points-of-view. I’ll cover the big-budget, stone-cold classics, yes, but the medium is expanding in all sorts of wild, innovative directions, and I don’t want to limit myself. Barring drastic life changes, I plan to keep doing this for awhile, so hopefully I’ll have time to get to everything.
This blog updates whenever I have something to say. Sorry for the irregularity, but I’d rather take my time, absorb what I’m playing, and write the essays I want to write. If I’m playing an eighty-hour RPG and focusing all my gaming time on that, it might take a moment to finish it and get my thoughts in order.
In any case, thank you so much for checking out this site. I greatly value the input of my readers, so please feel free to comment on my posts or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, like me on Facebook, because that’s a thing to do!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Professional poetaster and human-shaped object Joel Newman grew up loving Mario and Zelda, but stupidly never bothered to play many games outside of the sheltered world of Nintendo consoles. He now devotes much of his energy to waxing poetic about video games of all sorts, even when there’s no one around who particularly cares. He’s a big hit at parties!
Joel lives in Los Angeles, California, and works at a movie studio in order to put food on his family. He wants to write about and experience a lot of things not related to video games, too; maybe if you buy him a beer, he’ll tell you about them!
Lee Landey has been kind enough to grace this blog with reviews of current titles. You can read more of his writing at his own blog, Last Boss.