I can't even begin writing this without thinking of one of those addiction meetings. You know, the kind where you sit and fidget in an incredibly uncomfortable folding chair, nervously spouting your name and how long you've been clean. "Hi, my name's Matthew Mason, and I haven't blogged in three days." In retrospect, that's probably not the best analogy, as writing serious articles about games is as akin to blogging as wine is to beer. I'm only deluding myself, really.
I'm that guy who some how knows everyone on the site in some capacity, even though I've put up a whopping four pieces, personally. I used to "get my blog on", so to speak, over at the eponymous 1up. Like a whole heaping lot of you, actually. I've always had a love of writing, but being able to muse about my dependency with other addicts was about as cathartic as it gets. I'm sure my wife is thankful; Lord only knows she doesn't want to listen to my blathering. It began with just experimenting with blogging and eventually exploded into internet popularity; only to digress into a former shell of my own writing. I then peeled off into my own page (The Question Block) to pick up the pieces as it where; wandering around the web like some kind of online vagrant.
Bitmob appealed to me not because it's an upstart site rooted in the history of Electronic Gaming Monthly, but because it was one that gives rise and credibility to those who enjoy videogame prose but don' t have a degree in journalism proper. There are those of us who literally take having fun that seriously. Plus, nobody around here butchers the English language with "leet" speak and texting typography.
I feel a need to add my gaming credentials and history in here somewhere; but honestly, it's not that different from yours. I happened to grow up on the NES (Zelda II and Contra pulled me in), found myself burning out at one point then coming back full tilt with the PS2, Xbox and GameCube and finally settling into not trying to keep up with the Joneses and just enjoying gaming for what it is.
Being a thirty-year-old married guy with three kids puts some perspective on things for sure; my income went from disposable to valuable in what seemed like a heartbeat. The erudite in me likes to think it gives me a deeper appreciation now that I have to wring every ounce of entertainment from the much smaller amount of games I pick up in a year. Having a brother in the industry also adds to that feeling; it boggles the mind how consumerist gamers can be when it so many people put so many hours into building a game, only to have us forget about it after a week like that pair of underwear under the bed that you can't reach anymore.
As much as I appreciate the games I play thanks to a wiser world view, I'd be remiss if I didn't mention that having a family has changed my ideals, too. It's made me more open-minded about licensed and kids games, social network titles and those of the analog variety; stuff I would have scoffed at in my early twenties. If, in the end, you're having a good time; who am I to judge you by the avenue by which you do so?
As to why I have a measly four posts; time is a commodity of which I have very little. Living the lifestyle that I do, what little free time I have is often spent playing games first and writing about them second. Until someone decides they like my prose enough to pay me, that's not likely to change. But when something strikes a chord with me, be it a game or the cultural ramifications that revolve around gaming; I put my full attention towards it. I can't just write to write; I have to put some heart and soul into it.
Maybe the AA meeting metaphor wasn't so bad; there's definitely some relief in defining who I am and what my place on this site is, even if it's a small one. But I can't help but call this place my home away from home, as it's mission statement isn't unlike the one I frequently use on my own site, "I'm not a real games journalist, I just play one on the internet." See, just like beer and wine.