Recent Work – 29 November 2015

When I went to Blizzcon this year, I had an odd and fun assignment: I wasn’t supposed to do any game previews or news posts. Instead, my job was to focus both on what it was like to be there, and what it represented as a cultural event.

It wasn’t as easy as I thought it would be. Greater freedom is actually harder to deal with as a writer, especially now that I’ve written up so many short interview features in which a developer explains a new feature for an upcoming game. Being given a free hand to do something else can induce a bit of paralysis… especially when every Blizzard person I met was there to talk about a new feature for an upcoming game.

Still, I tried to capture two important moments from the event: the first was the opening keynote and the crowd gathered for it, which marked a stark departure from other Blizzcons I’ve attended. Blizzard always seemed to be speaking to me and gamers of my generation, reminding us of the glory days of Warcraft and Diablo while promising more of “the same but better” in the future. This year, I realized that Blizzard were aiming their pitch at fans of a decidedly more recent vintage, and those fans have different reference points than I have.

The other moment, and this was probably the highlight of my Blizzcon, was the StarCraft final between Life and sOs. I tried to break down both their games, and also why the meeting of these two players in particular was an important and redeeming moment for StarCraft and the flawed Heart of the Swarm expansion.

Overall, however, this has been a quiet week due to the holiday. The most momentous thing to happen was that Three Moves Ahead broke $1000-per-month on Patreon, which is a huge source of pride and relief this time of year.

I’ve been on break since Wednesday morning and this is the first day where I’m really trying to get back in the swing of things. I did have one bit of good news this week: despite a slip and fall last week, my leg is healing quite well and I may be off crutches a couple weeks earlier than I thought. I can’t wait: while I’ve been slightly pampered lately, and a friend dropped by with a small feast to take some cooking pressure of MK, I’m officially getting a bit stir-crazy. So even if it means a return to housekeeping, I can’t wait to get back on both feet.

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