I was a little confused by this message at first. I’ll admit I’m not that hugely into the blogging ‘scene’, but this morning I found a message from Ken McGowan at pdxkcm stating that he’d nominated me for a Liebster Award. Still waking up and rather confused I looked into it, although I don’t really read enough of other people’s blogs to be able to pass it on as I should, I shall however endeavor to answer Ken’s questions.
So what is this award? Well it’s an award between bloggers, to encourage and show appreciation for other small bloggers. It admittedly somewhat baffles me that I was nominated, but that’s years of low self-esteem for you. The other part of it is to get the nominee to open up a bit, letting readers and other bloggers know more about you.
1: Why did I take up blogging?
Afraid I have to give a terribly dull answer to this, as it was part of of my Bachelor of Game Design at SAE/Qantm. Each student needs to create an online prescience, and a blog is to be a part of that. I’d like to say that I blog more outside of that… but it’s something I find extremely difficult, I’m an introverted and rather private person who has had self esteem issues for many, many years. As such, I tend to feel I don’t really have much of importance or interest to say.
2: What is my ideal work environment when writing?
Someplace where I don’t have too many people wanting my attention, and music. Music is definitely important, sometimes it’s something to put in the the right mindset for what I’m writing. Other times it’s just something calm and relaxing to let my mind wander.
3: How do you fight writer’s block?
The bane of every writer! For me when a story is ready, it tends to just flow. So generally when I’m suffering writer’s block it’s because something’s not right with the story. So I run it through in my head, trying to work out where it’s snagging in my head, try and work out what’s wrong and ways of fixing it. Another tactic that sometimes helps is looking at the story from different angles, perspectives of different characters, the world/setting, the overall narrative. Looking at a story from a different angle you might see a weak spot you hadn’t actually noticed before.
4: What’s my favorite thing about where I live right now?
This is hard to answer… I’ve lived my entire life either in Melbourne or Geelong, I’ve never even had a chance to go interstate. But, I have to say what I like best about Melbourne is that it’s laid back, there’s not a sense of a constant grind or rush.
5: What are my top three favorite video games, movies, tv shows, or books? Either choose all three from one category or mix and match as I please.
Movies/TV Shows: Ghost int he Shell. Interesting cyberpunk futurism, insightful philosophical questions and stunning cinematography (especially in the movies). I like GitS because it’s not afraid to ask difficult questions and then not answer them. This is something important that I feel far too little media does, there’s an obsession with providing an answer, any answer, rather than leaving the viewer with a question to remember and ponder to find their own answers.
Video Games: Balder’s Gate series. Still stands out to me as a gold standard for party interactions and narrative. Sure in many modern games the NPCs will say their piece and maybe had a bit of interaction… but no other game has made me stop playing while I laugh at the ridicules antics my party members get up to.
Pen and Paper Games (OK, wasn’t a supplied category, but I’m making it one!): Shadowrun. Combining genres in a way that makes them more than the some of their parts is something of an art form in of itself. Often when done badly, all that results is a dissonant mis-mash that doesn’t make sense and feels badly cobbled together. When done well, you get things like Shadowrun, in the surface it’s a mixture of swords and sorcery high fantasy mixed with cyberpunk. But underneath is something more sophisticated as magic, technology and humanity all interact with each other across the physical, digital and astral worlds.
6: Name one game/movie/tv show/book I love that most people hate.
I’d have to say the F.E.A.R. trilogy of games, the first was generally well received but many don’t like the 2nd and 3rd games. What I liked most was the alternating tensions. Going from high-intensity combat to to suspenseful horror and back. There wasn’t really a whole lot of letting up of the tension, but moving back and forth between the adrenalin of combat, and the occasional well done jump scare, and creeping tension of wondering when some supernatural threat was going to materialize really kept me in the games.
7: If I could spend my days doing anything I’d like, what would I do?
Listening to music and writing… be it for games or just in general. I write because I enjoy making worlds, characters and systems. There’s something about looking at disparate things and seeing how they can combine into something new, I don’t kind myself that I can make things no-one has ever thought of… but I do set out to create things that are interesting.
8: What’s one job you would you never want? Why?
Haha, programming. Might come as a surprise to some that reading my coding blogs but I’d never want to be a dedicated programmer. Overall I find the process and experience of programming much too frustrating to want to dedicate most of my time to it, that and I frankly lack the head for the mathematics that more advanced programming requires.
9: What’s my favorite online community/site?
Shadowrun Tabletop forums. Running a P&P game as complicated as Shadowrun is, it’s really helpful to have someplace to go where both fans and developers hang out.
10: Suppose I could spend one full day with anyone in the world, past or present. Who would that be, and what would I want to discuss with them?
This is… actually really hard… I don’t… I honestly can’t come up with any real answer to this one.
ii: Suppose I’m one of the last 1,000 people on Earth. Everyone is voting whether to stay on a dying planet or take their chances trying to colonize Mars. The odds are about the same in either case: there’s a 50% chance of survival in the next ten years. How do I vote, and why?
I vote to go for two reasons. Colonizing Mars is taking a proactive step rather than simply shuffling deck-chairs on Earth. Secondly in that situation leaving Earth is a chance at a fresh start, if Earth is dying then staying is only a question of delaying the inevitable, colonizing Mars, while extremely difficult and hazardous, does offer a hope for the future.