Miscellany – Flexing the Writing Muscles, Random Thoughts, Yadda Yadda

Enjoy this Random Screenshot from 2013!
Enjoy this Random Screenshot from 2013!

As I sit here on a Thursday afternoon, all I can think about is Jumpgate. There’s a big event starting tomorrow — well, big in Jumpgate terms, as the population on the server is disgustingly tiny — and while I’ve not touched the game in months, it has a special place in my heart. I was in the beta for the game back in, I think, 1999 or 2000, before it officially launched in 2001, published by 3DO of all people. I put like 3-4,000 hours into it during its eleven-year official existence. Unlike Elite: Dangerous, however, it doesn’t have other AI pilots to give the game some zest, so if the server population is low, you really feel it. This is why I’ve not come back so often. I’m hoping this event tomorrow will change that.

Oh, hi there! As you know, I said in my recent State of the Site thingy that I wanted to write more. This is the beginning of…that. I never know what to write about, never think of topics. I react to other things — via reviews, podcasts, interviews, etc — rather than make my own things, and I need to change that. Be more proactive than reactive, you know? So here I am, putting thought to words in no discernible pattern or flow, just to start actually…you know…DOING the thing I said I was going to do.

I love doing videos, but I’m going to be honest: they’re a crutch, and in this case, one of my own making. As I’ve said, when I started this site, it was primarily a written-focused wordy thing, which would’ve been fine as I was unemployed. Then I got two jobs. Working full time is demanding, and I find I have little energy for much else many days, but I made this blog, so I need to freaking use it, right? It’s excuses and such that have helped me fall into the video trap. Written articles take a lot of work. There are notes, screenshots, more notes, and this is before you even write the thing. To do an entire series of videos for one week takes around 3-4 hours with recording and note taking for each entry. It takes that long to do maybe one written article. But hell with all the hubbub around YouTube and their effort to be more transparent with their advertising, maybe video ISN’T the future.

Sure, video is just one more type of content that can happily coexist with textual content, and while both take skill to do effectively, one definitely takes a larger and more specialized skillset to do than the other. I’m talking about writing, of course. The flow of language is a fascinating thing, and capturing it properly via the written word is a real challenge, one not everyone can succeed at. So yeah, I need to write more. Not to replace videos, but to expand away from them and not rely on them so much. I’ve been relying on them too much, and I kinda am starting to think this site is suffering for it.

So let’s see, topics topics. What to write about. Jumpgate is awesome…oh, wait, I already mentioned that. I’m sitting here, staring at WordPress, and I’ve no idea what to write, so I’m writing this. Seems kind of like a cop out, but there you go. As I sit here, listening to the Mad Max: Fury Road soundtrack (extended, of course, because c’mon), my brain is seriously. God. Damned. Stuck. About topics.

Maybe I’m putting too much pressure on myself. Maybe I need to come up with topics separately from writing them immediately after thinking about them. Maybe I need an outline! Let’s see:

  • Jumpgate is awesome.
  • Gonna write more
  • Videos are a crutch I can’t keep relying on
  • …oh, distractions?! Yes, distractions.

So when I stream Jumpgate tomorrow, as I write this, I’m going to do it solely on Twitch. Why Twitch? Because I like listening to disco music as I play Jumpgate. It’s a very, very long tradition of mine, and I can barely imagine playing without it. So to share that experience, because YouTube is much more strict about that sort of thing, I’ll be on Twitch only. Now, with that said, folks have told me they listen to podcasts or audiobooks while playing games like Jumpgate or Elite Dangerous. Personally I couldn’t listen to a podcast while playing a space game because I’d find it WAY too distracting. I’d likely not even listen to the podcast at all because I’d be too focused on SPACE.

Now music I can deal with, and I can listen to podcasts while I drive, but for some reason I can’t do audiobooks. I get way too into them and almost crash the car. Multiple times this has happened. So tell me, my friends, what do you usually listen to while playing MMO style games if it’s not the music to the game itself? I’m damned curious about this now.

So hey, that’s about 800 words, not too shabby. I think I’ll start putting drafts with outlines together of topics. My Patreon patrons gave me a list of topics a while back they want me to cover, I’ll start there, but don’t hesitate to hit me up below in the comments (or on the social meeds) about stuff you’d like me to cover. Thanks y’all for reading my rambly bits. Also, join me in Jumpgate if you can. The game is free and needs players and is awesome and you’ll love it I swear. ;)


Author: Brian Rubin

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