When I started this blog ten years ago I was very much a different person. By design, I haven’t removed any posts. Revised some, but never really removed anything that had content to it. This hasn’t been a personal blog as it was never intended to be. Back when I launched this I was a far more naive person very much in the cumulus of things. The economy was just recovering from the financial crisis and the world seemed to be full of promise. I don’t particularly like to go back and read my old posts, mostly because I genuinely don’t consider anything I’ve done to be worth much anything. It’s an opinion I hold over myself, but rather the lack of success that’s the story of this blog. That too has been by intention, I must admit. From the get-go, I promised not to advertise myself or the blog itself. Linking to Twitter has been the sole exception to this, but that’s another story. Twitter has become more of a dumping ground for pictures and some archival over personal use. If you’ve been reading this blog or followed me on that bluebird site, I’d say you’re hardpressed to say much about the person behind the text. That too has been because of a choice I made early on. The blog in itself was not to be dumping ground of personal ideas, but rather from a point of view. Through the decade the tone and intention have shifted unintentionally as the two personae have made an amalgam. While you’d be hardpressed to find fanboyish reactions from the latter posts, earlier posts are full of those, I’d bet.
In reality, I don’t think I never found a tone for myself or for the blog. I’ve gone from one project to another aimlessly without any feedback from anyone, ultimately having to consider this blog a dead-end hobby that I have kept for no real reason, if we’re honest here. You can find better reading material out there. Hell, the fact that you have required to read makes the whole blogging thing rather archaic in the days when Youtube and podcasts are reigning supreme. I’m a non-Native English speaker, I can’t do either in place of this blog, I’ve tried. My enunciation is terrible, I have a semi-hard accent and I really don’t care about grammar when speaking. That’s something that is also very apparent from the texts I write. I was taught that grammar matters less than the content. If people are getting stuck to the grammar you’re using, they don’t care about the content in the first place. It’s easy to play a grammar Nazi, I do it too. I guess one of the few reasons I’ve kept this blog is that I am slightly dyslexic, and writing has kept me relatively straight when it comes to both reading and writing. I still miss the occasional word or letter here and there while swearing I typed it down, but that’s how it works for me. I skip words.
Few post types have been popular over the years, but I’ve never capitalised on them. There never was any point, as I never intended to make money on blogging. I never had the talent or skill for it. That’s one of the reasons I call this blog worthless for all to see, as there’s not one post that anyone would have paid for me to write or someone to read. Certainly, there are few posts that might be of worth. The Virtual-On retrospective is perhaps the single series of posts that I can honestly admit to adding value even when it’s largely useless and has terrible structure. I’m not sure if people are coming more for the rare image over the content the image is attached to, but I guess if I can make at least one person happy in a week with thousand plus posts I have up, maybe it has been worth it.
To meet with reality, it really hasn’t. What’s the end result of this decade? The rise of healthy macro-economics ended up people being able to drive agendas and products that ultimately were anti-consumer, attacking the market and its consumers with products that would have never been made otherwise. It appears that a healthy economy enables the production of trash products, like the Disney Star Wars movies and they’d still sell. The falling sales of each new entry in that series shows that you can trick the customer only so many times until they are fed up, and with the Wu Flu hammering the economy all of 2020, so many of these corporations pedalling with trash products found themselves in deep shit and in need of kicking people out and subsidising everything they were doing. However, the one thing this blog said from the beginning kept some of the companies in better condition; providers are there to serve the customer.
The core message of this blog, in the end, has to be as follows; If you are in a field of making something that is to be sold, it is your job to make sure it is the best it can be to satisfy the customer. Sometimes this means compromising with your own vision or integrity, sometimes it means the exact opposite. Nobody has to buy your product just as you don’t need to cater to anyone’s whims. You are, ultimately, in a business of customer service. It’s stupidly complicated and with so many opinions and tastes out there, sometimes its the best to be faithful to the product itself, though sometimes that’s a detriment towards the sales. None of this excludes creativity, it’s just the opposite. The best results are yielded when there are competition and limitations. The sheer drive to make something better drives variety and quality, something we don’t see much in modern gaming nowadays due to how much automation is used. This side tangent will make me mention how nobody really makes their own game engines anymore, making all these modern games feel and play very similarly. Nevertheless, a person with true creativity can always find a way to deliver not only what he intended, but also what the customer would want. More often than not, selfish creativity yields little profit.
Electronic gaming, of course, has been the main topic of this blog. Well, perhaps humanity’s play culture would be more fitting, as I made it a sort of passion to cover all sorts of historical curiosities from that Breakdown trilogy of posts to touching upon girls’ games early one. In hindsight, it’s interesting to note that girls’ adventure games have a lot in common with visual novels, with the major difference being that VNs are far heavier on story than play and interaction with the world. Ultimately, I have come to a conclusion that despite the play cultural differences between boys and girls, and by that extension men and women, in video games the difference is far smaller. Competitive gaming attracts a competitive person, and statistics I covered in one of the posts I had statistics on how games like Super Mario Bros. are very much sex-neutral in their userbase. I haven’t seen much modern statistics or analysations on the current trends but with new generations the gap between what sort of games are being consumed and by whom is growing narrower.
I’ll have to say Thank You to people I got to know through Muv-Luv. While I’m terrible at keeping in contact, practically all of the posts when it comes to Visual Novels, especially âge ones, would not have existed without the influence of Gabgrave, Chris, Evan, Jason and the rest of the romp. Yes, even the friendships that got cut because of differences in worldviews. I cherish you all still, despite all of you haven’t heard from me for some time. In the same breath, sorry to Froggy AKA A9 for pestering him to cover my ass with those Trek posts. Go check his stuff out.
I have asked this from myself for a few years now; What’s the point? Do I want to keep writing this blog still? It has become a habit, a chore of sorts. I’d like to think I’m doing this out of altruism and there’s some worth in there, hidden in plain sight for someone to take notice and appreciate it, but I’m realistic enough to admit that’s a childish, utopian thought. You can only go so far without getting anything back, and I stopped gaining anything from blogging a long time ago. I don’t mean that in any monetary manner or valuables. It depresses me to say this, but I’d like to quit. However, at the same time, I have found writing something, even something worthless like this blog, to be a rather nice pastime. As much as it has become a chore, it’s also become a habit. To reconcile between the two opposing wants, I’ve decided to ditch the notion of having any sort of schedules. This has, if anything, lead me kicking the dead horse over and over.
I’ve been wanting to give a shot at writing fiction for some time now. That needs its own blog though, I won’t start mixing here. Perhaps with this, I can disregard that knacking feeling of letting nonexistent readers down. Ten years of mostly consistent posting of text nobody really reads amounts to nothing, doesn’t it? Have I ever shown you new ideas or approaches as I intended? Has any of my retrospectives added to the overall wealth of knowledge on the Internet? The topics themselves surely haven’t helped any. Have any of my reviews given any information for someone deciding on a purchase? I don’t know. The lack of any kind of feedback, while never bothered me, ultimately showcased how insignificant this blog is. Sure, I never made big numbers in readers, I never intended to, but again, deep down I wished there was something of worth in there.
Perhaps, ultimately, all this has been a useless exercise despite all the good it has done to me personally. It sounds so pitiful, but that’s how it works. Some of us are just so small no matter how hard we try, no matter how much we pour our hearts into something, it’ll never be good enough for the people out there. I should have been more ambitious, should have made more connections, spread the word around far more and advertised that this little corner of the Internet exists. It’s not admirable to admit that all the things I’ve missed are of my own fault. It’s just the reality of things. All that said, I should not look for validation outside to any significant extent. That’s the child mindset I keep battling against, as well as the whole not having any self-confidence. I should not give one penny how things go or look to others if I’m having a blast myself and entertaining myself. This was supposed to be a hobby, not something that’d stress or undermine.
Things have to change, and rather than pressing for posts twice a week without no heart in them, I’ll be putting more heart in those posts and returning to topics and posts that I’ve left in the backburner for far too long. Maybe I’ll get to spend a Saturday or Sunday without having to stress over what to write about for once. I’ll get some time to get some drawing commission done and that eleven kilos of books on the scanner. No more Monhtly Music posts, those were a bad idea to begin with and haven’t served a purpose with less time on my hands to plan anything properly. I don’t want to be hampered by the word count limits anymore either, so that goes out of the window. Still, I’d like to practice some level of control over how bloated these posts end up being.
Nevertheless, I truly am grateful for all of you who have read any of the posts during this last decade. Maybe, just maybe, there’s a kernel or a spark of something you found interesting. Maybe that’s all for the time being.