First of all, I want to apologise to Eurogamer's readers for not saying anything else about why I edited Rab Florence's column last week until now. There are a bunch of reasons why I've not said anything. One is that removing paragraphs from Rab's column is the most depressing thing I've had to do in five years of editing the site and I still haven't gotten over it. Another is that the emotion of the moment was much too raw for useful analysis and introspection. And the last reason is that I hoped the column still spoke for itself.
Lost Humanity Archive
There is an image doing the rounds on the internet this week. It is an image of Geoff Keighley, a Canadian games journalist, sitting dead-eyed beside a garish Halo 4 poster and a table of Mountain Dew and Doritos. It is a tragic, vulgar image. But I think that it is the most important image in games journalism today. I think we should all find it and study it. It is important.
Last week, I started playing Dishonored. I fell in love with it. All that talk of the game being short was, as ever, internet exagger-annoyo-mania. I spent about five hours doing the first proper mission. Just hiding under tables and sneaking around houses, watching people. I loved how you could take a lot of different paths to your objectives. I loved how you could just crawl about on a roof, unseen, and then appear behind an enemy in the blink of an eye.
Size doesn't matter. It's true. It's genuinely true. The saying doesn't exist just to make you feel better about your bald little half-incher.
I was disappointed not to make it to the Eurogamer Expo at the weekend there. By all accounts it was a great event, and it managed to distract people from the inevitability of death for a few days. I was having to enjoy the event vicariously, by stalking those people who did attend on Twitter and Facebook.
PROPOSED SCRIPT FOR GAMES MAGAZINE REVIEW ROUND-UP - FIRST DRAFT
These days, I write about board games as much as I write about video games. In truth, I probably play board games more. But to me, a game is a game. And so I can't help but compare what's on offer in the board and card game world to what's on offer on the video game scene.
Last week a report released by Scottish Enterprise and Creative Scotland claimed that the Scottish games industry had a value of zero. This zero is apparently a result of the sector having a monetary value of less than £10m, which the report rounded down to f*** all. The report also claimed that less than 200 people are actually employed within the sector, which is less than the amount employed by Greggs, and less than you'll find queuing outside any Greggs in Dundee. It's one pretty crazy report.
I used to present a BBC show about video games. There were three series in total, with the last series this ridiculous sprawling thing with two TV specials and about 18 online episodes. It was hard work, often fun work, and barely anybody watched any of it. We existed in a time before the iPlayer, and the show went out on BBC Scotland in a late night slot. We were commissioned by a guy at BBC Scotland called Ewan Angus, and I remember his sole pointer being "I don't want to understand a word of it." There are very few heroes on the broadcast side of television, but Ewan Angus is often one of them. It was a brave commission, and I haven't seen anything like it since.
I write this at eight in the morning on the day you will read it. I've been up all night, having spent almost an entire day in a new world.
When I was a young boy, I bought a book from a jumble sale.
I spent the weekend at the island.
What if you can't afford a game?
Do you ever wonder what it's like to be one of them?
Nothing you are about to read is real. All of this is simply an idea, planted, left to grow.
"Hey, congratulations! You da boss now. Come in! This is your office! Take a seat in that executive leather chair. Spin around and look at the view! What do you think? Beautiful, isn't it? You da boss now! It's all gravy from here on in, baby! Enjoy!"
Everything is wonderful and games are fantastic. We are in a video game golden age.
My name is Robert Florence, and we are going to have a fight.