I used to keep a regular, daily (ish) blog back in 2004-2008ish over at the almighty LiveJournal. In it, I would write down all sorts of random rubbish that would help vacate my brain of all the useless junk that clutters it up on a day-to-day basis.
I thought that I would resurrect that ethos for the year 2015, and maintain some sort of Friday Blog thing where I can just talk about random stuff that I’ve seen or played or done over the week, rant about the Star Wars prequels and salivate over board games that I want to buy but can’t afford. I’ll jot down things during the week and/or blog down little sections each day, and then collect them all into a Friday Blog (inspired by Friedemann Friese’s Friday project) which summarises some of the things that are going on in my own little world. Basically, it’ll just be a little catalogue of whatever’s hitting my brain at the time and what’s important to me.
Since this is the first proper Friday of 2015 (the last one doesn’t count since it only had a day to get prepared, and it sort of overslept), here is Friday_001. Let’s get shifting.
So: 2015, then. For all kinds of reasons, 2014 was a bit of a strange year. Lots of things happened across it; both good, and bad. The climax of the year sparked in me a noble goal of making the best of 2015 and for creating some sort of fresh start; at least, mentally. 2014 was plagued with a variety of struggles and stresses, and so I vowed to make the new year one in which struggle and stress would be minimised, if not eradicated. I see it as an opportunity to make myself a better person – not materially, or in terms of who I socialise with or who is in my life, but as a chance to align myself more closely to the ‘me’ that I’d like to be; better at keeping in touch with people, less susceptible to procrastination, resistant to worry. Simon 3.0, if you will.
I suppose that the success of this endeavour will only become measurable over time, but hopefully it will be measurable, eventually. 2015 marks the beginning of a variety of new journeys for me, so the time is as good as any to embark on a fresh page of ‘me’ and to decouple the feelings, troubles & regrets of the past from the adventures of the future. Too often, I’m my own harshest critic and will chastise myself far harder for my mistakes than I would do for literally anyone else in the world. Well, Twenty-One-Five is my chance to be 100% more awesome and 100% less rubbish, and those aren’t just hollow words. This calendar year will be one in which I cross over the threshold into my fourth decade, and so naturally it lends itself to a convenient excuse to let go of the past and its plethora errors & regrets to think only of the positives that the future will hold. I’m by no means a perfect person, but – again, perhaps with time – I can finally approach the asymptote of the well-rounded, mentally-strong, good person that I strive to be.
So yeah, my Resolutions for 2015 are generally just: be better at stuff; spend less money; eat less crap. Y’know, all the normal stuff that people resolve to do in the New Year, but with a genuine sense of incremental, noticeable change. Simon 2.0 was a solid release but still had a few bugs; Simon 3.0 aims to ship with fewer glitches, more documentation and better usability. Let’s crack on.
Anyway, that’s enough boring talk. What else in new in January?
Well, I’m horribly addicted to board games again. Those people that know me will say: “But…you’re always horribly addicted to board games!” Yes, this is true. I think it’s just amplified at the moment because [a] I’m in between jobs and therefore have a heck of a lot of time to think about them; [b] I’ve still got a bunch of new-ish ones on my shelves that I still haven’t played but would like to; and [c] I’m in the process of designing my own (Penny Black) that my brain is constantly being bombarded with new ideas and potential mechanics to introduce to the game. Furthermore, one of my best friends in Southampton has also just picked up the ‘designer board games’ virus (albeit, from me) and hence we’re spending much time and conversation in playing, and talking about what we want to play next.
Just before Xmas, I picked up Camel Up at Dave’s Comic Shop in Brighton, and it’s badass: not sure yet how it’ll stand up to repeated plays, but it certainly seems to be fun so far. In the pre-Xmas sales I bought The Witches: A Discworld Game and, only yesterday, put in an order for Stefan Feld’s lightweight strategy game La Isla; which is about searching for rare and exotic animals on a newly-discovered isolated island. Put this in the context of the other games that I own but still haven’t played in anger (Lewis and Clark: The Expedition, Asgard, Jamaica, Shipwrights of the North Sea, The Lord of the Rings) and those that I want to break out again (Village, Priests of Ra, Vasco da Gama), and I’m a bit wrapped up in the cardboard world at the moment.
Which reminds me: I would quite like to go to SPIEL ’15 in Essen this year. Please?
Furthermore, I’m well back into the swing of point-and-click adventure games again. They’ve come and gone in my life, but always been a staple of my most memorable gaming experiences. After a bit of a false start this time last year (I only managed one; in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade: The Graphic Adventure), I’m vowing to get back into both adventure gaming and video game reviews; starting with the highly enjoyable 20th Anniversary Edition of Gabriel Knight: Sins of the Fathers. In my ample spare time recently I’ve been drafting a review summary, penning some of my thoughts about the game and its comparative ‘good’ and ‘bad’ points. Hopefully it’ll materialise on here at some point in the next week or so.
Anyway, that’s probably enough words for now. Friday_001 is finished; in time, Friday_002 will rise to take its place. All power to the Friday.