2009 in Review

London Eye

I haven’t been in the habit of doing year-in-review posts, so why not do one? Looking back at the blog, I’ve drifted away from the continuous navel-gazing of play experiences, towards lengthier, more thoughtful, and less frequent posts. Over the past few years, I’ve also refrained from re-posting or frequently commenting on gaming news, which has also slowed the rate of publishing. I don’t think these changes were necessarily bad things, though I’ve felt guilty for not posting more often. The longer, in-depth posts are more challenging to write, and often require a bit of research, however I am generally more satisfied with them in the end. I think I’ve published more of these sorts of posts over the past year or so, than I have in even the first few years of blogging here. I think that’s a good progression, though of course there’s always room for improvement, in terms of volume and in terms of conveying my thoughts and ideas.

In other achievements, Alex, Tami, and I launched The Border House, a feminist, intersectional, inclusive collaborative blog. I was pleasantly surprised at the enthusiastic positive reactions and support we received from our friends in the gaming community and in the feminist community. Our commenters seem to feel that The Border House is a welcoming and safe space for them, and this is incredibly thrilling, not just because I’m an editor at the blog, but from a community perspective as well. The response to our call for contributors has been surprisingly strong, and I hope we’ll continue to keep the smart, critical feminist commentary flowing. Perhaps my surprise at the response to The Border House is coloured by a slightly conservative outlook—I don’t want to get my hopes dashed, right? However, I’m hopeful that we’ll continue to carve out an awesome inclusive space in the feminist corner of the gaming community, with the support of our contributors, readers, and the wider blogging community.

In terms of what I’ve actually written for The Border House, I’ll generally cross post my lengthier posts at this blog and on The Border House. I’ll decide on a case-by-case basis whether I’ll publish here first, or simultaneously publish. For my recent Dragon Age post, I chose to publish it here first, and one week later at The Border House. This worked quite well, as I was able to gather more thoughts and consider more ideas based upon discussion here (and elsewhere, like mailing lists and Facebook), and added those thoughts in a new section when I published the post on The Border House. I’ll post shorter posts over at The Border House. You can see everything I’ve written at The Border House at this link.

On the technical side of Acid for Blood, it’s been over a year and a half since I moved from a self-hosted WordPress blog to a hosted TypePad blog. No regrets here. Upgrading WordPress installations, even with the automated tool that my previous web host (they are great, BTW) provided, and making sure all my plugins didn’t break in the process became burdensome, to the point that I just got completely fed up with it all. Like WordPress and Blogger, TypePad isn’t without limitations and drawbacks. I’ve been relatively active in providing feedback to TypePad through comments to their blog, to their customer support representatives, on their GetSatisfaction forums, and I was even asked to participate in a conference call to provide feedback on the upgrade to the dashboard this year. Whilst TypePad needs improvement in several key areas, it’s been the best solution for my personal wants and needs, and it’s served me well so far.

I also changed my domain name registrar from the company of dodgy business practices and sexist advertising, GoDaddy.com, to Name.com, a smaller registrar, but one that seems more reputable, and as a bonus, engages in philanthropic efforts. I also considered Gandi.net, but they were slightly more expensive.

I guess this retrospective wouldn’t be complete without mentioning games I liked in 2009 and looking at anticipated games in 2010. I enjoyed UNCHARTED 2: Among Thieves immensely, followed closely by Dragon Age: Origins (which I have not completed yet). Whilst I’m not a Final Fantasy fan, I am looking forward to Final Fantasy XIII, if only because the main character seems interesting. I’m also looking forward to Puzzle Quest 2. Apart from those two games, I don’t have my eye on anything in the immediate future.

Further along in the future, I continue to keep tabs on The Secret World and World of Darkness, though only The Secret World appears to be active in terms of information releases here and there. My interest in Star Trek Online has waned to the point that I’m no longer considering a purchase, and my interest in Star Wars: The Old Republic is also low, though I’m open to surprises from SW: TOR.

At this point, I have not set any particular gaming goals for 2010. I suppose I should be more diligent about completing games in a timely manner, and there’s certainly no shortage of games for that. I guess we’ll just see. If anything, completing more games will give me more to write about.

Cheers to you all in the new year!

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