Wrapping up my stupidly long day of one year anniversary content with a roundup of my twelve favourite pieces of content I have published during the last twelve months. Some of these are self published, some freelance for outlets, and all are pieces I am incredibly proud to have produced.
I’m popping the first episode of Podquisition on this list as a proxy for the entire run of this particular podcast. Episode one kicked off easily the silliest, most popular and most consistently enjoyable long term projects I have ever been involved in.
I don’t think it can be overstated how important Podquisition has been to the success of my career this last year, and it all started here with episode 1.
This interview came out of nowhere for me, and is without a doubt the most professionally rewarding piece of content I have ever produced.
The result of a last minute Skype request for an interview, I honestly didn’t expect to get anything of real substance out of my time talking to Molyneux. Through some perseverance and professionalism, I was ultimately able to get Molyneux to open up considerably, giving me a couple of really solid quotes to work the story around.
The total time from the interview ending to me having it transcribed, pitched and published on The Guardian was fourteen hours, and I am incredibly proud of the end result. I feel I did a really balanced job with a very difficult story.
Ultimately the result of my balanced coverage of Molyneux earlier in the year, this interview with Jack Attridge was an interesting chance to get a look at the public face behind the Molyneux empire. Getting an outside perspective on the events that unfolded earlier in the year provided a really interesting lens into Attridge’s time at 22Cans.
My first freelance feature for Polygon, this feature allowed me to talk frankly about some very distressing personal experiences from my life, as well as using those as a launching point to discuss the effects of agency in video game narratives, the duty of care designers face in our industry and the ways that video games have a duty to protect players beyond other forms of media.
It was a very tough piece to write, but I am incredibly proud of the end result.
This is one of those features I’d had in my head to do for a very long time, but only got around to actually writing a couple of months back. Again focused on very personal experiences and how they interweave with gaming. I was actually incredibly proud of how positive and supportive the comments on this were, with no moderation they stayed clean, constructive and positive.
It’s pretty popular on the internet to view the ending of Mass Effect 3 as the worst ending of a game ever, a total ruination of what the Mass Effect series had been leading up to.
I strongly disagree.
Written on a whim after a discussion of the ending, I was ultimately very proud of the end result. While many disagreed, most totally understood where my perspective stemmed from.
I’m mainly proud of this review as it was the very first time I was invited to do a freelance review for a major gaming outlet. Alongside getting to work with Arthur Gies as an editor which was in itself a career milestone, I am also very proud of much of the structure and pacing of this review.
The Buzz Report – Do video games need trigger warnings?
Somewhat of a follow up to my feature on Life is Strange for Polygon, here I took a stab at discussing the reasons why trigger warnings might be more valuable to video games than other forms of media, the role Agency plays in that discussion and ways that they could be implemented that would not negatively impact those who dislike the concept.
Considering how contentious the concept of trigger warnings can be, I was ultimately very proud of the reception this video and accompanying written feature received.
It should be no surprise to those of you who follow my work that this news story is one of my favorite things I published this past year. An actual piece of investigative journalism that revealed the existence of a game six days early, with no other site able to find their own sources for the news? I think that’s pretty impressive.
Somewhat connected, you can read a breakdown here of how this news happened to leak to the press when it did.
Laura Plays – John Cena’s Sexy High School Adventure!!!
One of my favorite parts of this past year has been playing really weird video games, from fish sex dating sims to games about gay men doing phallic things to their cars. Perhaps most emblematic of this series of silly videos was John Cena’s Sexy High School Adventure.
You play John Cena, who moves to John Cena High School to date other John Cena clones. What’s not to love?
This written feature and accompanying video component were really interesting to create on a personal level. Arguing that video games might be better with the ability for players to opt out of certain interactive design elements isn’t easy, but I feel I managed to concisely lay out examples of situations where mechanics being able to be stripped would offer significant value to consumers.
What Volleyball Anime Haikyuu Taught me About Pokemon Pinball
Last on my list is a video that is undoubtedly silly, but actually one of the most hilariously rewarding and in depth things I have done.
Haikyuu is a volleyball anime. Pokemon Pinball is an old GameBoy game I got back into playing earlier this year. I found a way to link the two in a surprisingly meaningful way, considering how drastically separate and unconnected they appear on the surface.
So, that’s my twelve favorite pieces of content I have created in the past twelve months. Looking at it all in one place, I realize quite how strong a year I have had, which helps shoo away that little nagging Impostor Syndrome monster in the back of my head.
So, is there something I did this year you liked that did not make the list? Make sure to mention it in the comments below.