A Brief Introduction to


While writing The Classic-Gaming Bookcast and several years' worth of articles for the Orphaned Computers & Game Systems website, I've gone to great lengths to compose prose that flows more smoothly and rhythmically than anything else ever written about video games, sparing the reader textual speed bumps like misspellings, grammatical errors, redundancy, unnecessary word repetition and inapt punctuation -- and even exhibiting the audacity to implement alliteration, clever-clever humor and, would you believe, lyricism. Every chapter or article has entailed endless editing and eternally deliberated word choices.

On a related note (just trust me; I'll tie the topics together in a jiffy), I'm incessantly insistent with myself that I live in the moment. Time is never recoupable, whereas, say, money always is; so the very process of any creative undertaking must be enjoyed, the importance of the finished product recognized as comparatively unimportant. Rushing to render results for the recreation of others destroys one's own present. I consequently consider myself to be my own primary readership. Who knows; I might go back in a few years and attempt to read my stuff objectively. It's especially true, then, that pressuring myself into "just getting it done" would defeat the purpose, and turn my live-in-the-moment pleasure into fill-in-the-blanks labor.

I managed to stop having fun writing articles anyway, owing to a different kind of self-pressure. I had to be honest with myself about this. You see, knowing what a persnickety reader I am -- especially of my own material -- I grew fixated on getting every phrase absolutely perfect, every joke indubitably fluid. When one has reached a very high standard (as you probably know), he can't go back to being so-so. He must lose pedantic habits if he wants any hope of changing work back into enjoyment. Fun is always recoupable, too, but only if a different approach is taken, in this case.

What you're about to bite into, then, are the fruits of a new method. I'm hoping to make the process fun again. While playing the game under discussion, I now record myself talking about it (also filming the game-play for the hell of it; this isn't to mention that the camera has a decent mic), extemporizing endeavors at being enlightening, descriptive and / or, at the very least, goofy. I then transcribe the audio word-for-word, leaving out the "uhs." Even if it doesn't always flow seamlessly, involve the best word choices or, for that matter, make much grammatical sense, what I type is what I've said. It yields prose that's just as original as before, I think, even if it's not as instructive; I'll include a link to the game manual whenever possible.

As my writing is obviously better than my speaking, given the time spent on the former vs. the improvisation of the latter, there will doubtless be some accidental humor at my own expense. The truly funny part, however, is that this sort of article might well be more fun to read than those on which I've worked tremendously hard. If it's not, however, then it's not. I can't care. Video games are fun, so writing about them should be, too, if one is going to bother at all. I really like to write, so I'll keep bothering for my own amusement and, perhaps, Adam's. Enjoy the world's first be-bop game literature!

Chris Federico

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