To our loyal Project COE audience, and my fellow staff:
I’ve been on the sidelines so to speak, out of action for a little over one year now on this wonderful independent gaming journalism website, at least from a writing standpoint. That has changed as you’re reading this of course, but it blows even my mind that Alan Wake [published on June 5, 2010], is the last significant piece I contributed to our portfolio. (I didn’t even really like that game either…)
Confessions of an Editor-in-Chief VI: Dormancy is here because I wish to inform everyone, my fellow staff included, about some of what’s been going on in my life over the past 12 months and where it seems to be headed.
To put any possible fears to rest, no, this is not whatsoever a resignation letter. On a funny note, a message I posted on our private staff boards some time last year raised the blood pressure of our executive director Jarrod Nichol and fellow staff member Ahmed Mosly because the title of it conveyed to them that I was stepping down from my position. Why? Well, let’s just say that the Editor-in-Chief role had been previously a curse of sorts for this website, but thankfully I wasn’t intending to continue that trend.
Moving on, chances are you’ve seen my name attached to a number of comments on our articles since I stopped writing after my Alan Wake review, but perhaps you didn’t even know I was the EiC. Surprise! Indeed, every review you read on this website has been carefully edited by yours truly, and I’ve enjoyed the challenge of it since I was hired here in 2007. (I’m also often embarrassed to read other sites like IGN, because their obvious spelling and grammar errors are tough to swallow.) Why just comments though? Why, as the privileged ‘second-in-command’ of Project COE, has my participation been so limited, and tolerated? Hopefully the following explanation will answer that.
Not long after I posted that Alan Wake review, my life changed dramatically. In the past two years I’ve already been very active in my church and busy with my job and such, but to make a potentially VERY long story short, I am now engaged to my best friend. We’ve been together in serious fashion for over a year now, and are slated to be married later this year in the fall. I imagine you’ll understand that I refuse to divulge any further details about the two of us, because quite frankly it’s none of anyone’s business. But I do believe everyone deserves to know that I’ve been largely MIA because we’ve been developing the foundations for our future. I’m delighted and thank God.
Even then, don’t worry; I’m not going anywhere. I may be the first of Project COE that will be tying the knot, but fully intend to remain in my role around here. Before I discuss this more, I wish to thank from the bottom of my heart everyone with whom I’ve had the blessed privilege of working with here, in addition to our viewership. Your support has been an encouragement to say the least.
For starters, just in case anyone reading this has no clue what I’ve done for Project COE, enjoy the outline below. I’m not bragging or anything, just want to offer a means to help you know a little more about me.
* Currently edit all reviews, occassionally news and editorial content.
* Currently comment on other staff members’ contributions.
* Have contributed reviews for all current-generation platforms: DS, PSP, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 & Wii.
* Have co-hosted our dormant ‘I Just Wanted To Say’ podcast.
* Have recorded numerous video reviews. (COE’s YouTube channel).
* Filmed the majority of COE’s 2009 and 2010 E3 coverage.
* Have authored an editorial series: ‘Confessions of an Editor-in-Chief’ (you’re reading VI)
* Have coordinated various staff writing projects.
These days I’m only active doing the first two, but that’s better than nothing I suppose. So does that amount to that the rest are but a fleeting memory for me now? Well, no.
I’ve pondered for quite some time how I might return in some fashion to perhaps a few of those other items. My intentions are pretty simple. Given my pending marriage, spending the kind of money I had in the past on gaming simply isn’t realistic anymore, nor what my personal faith allows me to do. I will have a wife to provide for, retirement to accrue and potential children to raise. Admittedly I want to own at least one of the next generation platforms, so there’s a small chance that I would manage to contribute occasional reviews for titles on said console. I don’t know if I’ll invest in a Wii U or whatever Sony or Microsoft end up putting out. Now’s not the time for making a decision like that anyway.
Instead, what I actually think I can faithfully do before and after our wedding is kick-start a division that COE has been lacking for a long time. Jarrod could be writing for it, but he’s just too busy, so I have hope and the necessary increasing motivation to pick up the slack. What am I talking about? Well, if you mouse over the ‘By Platform’ tab above and scroll to ‘Phones & Tablets’, you would not only encounter a void of review content upon further digging, but you might also spot something missing.
Where is COE Android?
Currently it’s not there, but I like to think that it could rest with me. You see folks, for a couple months now I’ve been enjoying the technology housed within my new toy, Verizon’s first 4G[LTE] smartphone. The HTC Thunderbolt 4G has been my favorite gadget since I picked it up in April, and it may just be what helps me return to writing and recording for COE in a whole new way.
For the record, I don’t care if you think the Thunderbolt sucks, or feel an itch to gloat over the mobile device you own as though it was superior or something. As I’m choosing to refrain from expressing my blunt opinion about other smartphones on the market, which you may or may not own, I request that you extend the same courtesy. Really, don’t waste your energy. After all, we all love technology around here, but the dollar bill is hard to come by these days for some, so not everyone can afford the latest and greatest. No hating.
Thus, with my Thunderbolt, I think it’s very realistic to return to a presently sleeping writing gig. Not only is it a huge blessing to not have to plunk down $50-60 for Android games, but it’s also a lot easier to video record such software in action. I’m aware that the iPhone App Store has many more choices for sale, but the Android market I think is doing well to catch up. The Android Market is a significant attraction to indie developers as well, and I’ve enjoyed time with a number of free and inexpensive titles. It’s really something else to be able to say that I’ve spent a mere $10 on my library of games to date. Granted it’s not a huge collection, but the fact is that a large roster of phone games beats the cost of a console or handheld library any day of the week. Yes, they’re completely different experiences, but cash is cash no matter how you look at it. Plus, setting up a camera, pressing record, and holding a phone in its view should be relatively painless.
If I haven’t spelled it out by now, while I can’t promise anything, I very much want to make a comeback by covering Android software for COE. I don’t claim to be a phone hardware expert and never will, but you don’t have to be in order to enjoy the games. I’m also aware of the community that ‘roots’ their phones, but I’m not really interested in voiding my warranty and unintentionally bricking my device. I have insurance, but that’s for when the Thunderbolt takes an inadvertent toilet dive or something. I make a decent salary in my career, but I’m not pouring in my hours to acquire dough for replacement gadgets.
There you have it folks. I once again sincerely appreciate all that COE has done to help me expand my gaming horizons, work better with others, roll with my creativity…and just all-around have fun. Sure things have changed permanently for me; I’m soon to be a husband, and Lord-willing down the line, a family man. But as the famous saying goes, “Once a Marine, always a Marine.” I think the same applies to gamers, regardless of whether you pick up a controller or portable up every year of your life. I’m looking forward to further exposing my future wife to my favorite hobby and playing some games with her. She’s actually expressed honest interest in it too, and she’s not whatsoever the ‘gamer type’. I also wish to reiterate thanks to all of you readers too. Without you, COE doesn’t exist. End of story.
It’s going to be a crazy second half of 2011 for me and COE as a whole, and I’m thankful for it all in advance.