It took me quite some time to reply to this. I was nominated for the Sunshine Blogger award for the second time this year. Now, I want to thank Why We Play Games for this award. The recognition means a lot to me. I just love writing and sharing my experiences with people who want to read my stories. And, people do enjoy it. As shown by the various community awards my blog keeps getting. I also love these community awards, since it not only helps the readers to discover new people, it’s also a motivational boost for the person who receives it. And another reason is, it’s a nice opportunity to get to know the actual person behind the blog. So, it’s time to do my duty here and talk about this award. As usual, feel free to give your opinion on the content of this article in the comment section down below.
Ah, copy-paste is a useful thing in these kinds of situations.
- Thank the blogger(s) who nominated you in a blog post and link back to their blog.
- Answer the 11 questions the blogger asked you.
- Nominate 11 new blogs to receive the award and write them 11 new questions.
- List the rules and display the Sunshine Blogger Award logo in your post and/or on your blog.
So, we can already check that first one from the introduction. Now, let’s take a look at the questions that Why We Play Games asked us.
Questions and answer
1. What is the game that you play the most?
Well, I have some games I have clocked more than 200 hours in. Since not every console tracks your playtime, I can’t say with which game I spent the most time. So, here are a few.
Minecraft: it’s a game I play on and off. There are times I don’t play anything else besides Minecraft and there are times I don’t want to play it. I just love exploring the worlds the generator throws at me. I create a base, where the main focus is a storage system of all the different things I hoard during my explorations. Also, I have very fond memories of playing on various servers with my friends. Ah, good times.
Europa Universalis IV: I have to thank one of my best friends MiseryLC for this. From the over 350 hours I have clocked in this game, I think more than half is spent with him. It’s really surprising how addictive this game is while it’s nothing more than staring at a map.
To avoid that this article gets too long, here are a few games that I adore and I have spent ages playing.
2. What is your favorite gaming memory?
Well, it is the memories that stick with me. Like various stories, I can tell from my times playing together with friends. Besides that, there are various other games of which the story really hit some emotional strings.
Games like A Hat in Time, The Legend of Zelda – Breath Of The Wild, Ace Attorney – Spirit of Justice, Zero Time Dilemma (and the whole Zero Escape series actually), Bioshock 2, and Pokémon Mystery Dungeon are just a few games that come to mind.
I just love how they give inspiration for other stories. When I was a young lad (I’m 25 now) I used to write fantasy stories. And playing these games and them giving me new inspiration for writing stories is just amazing. So, I’m sorry that I can’t pinpoint my favorite memory since I have too many.
3. What is your favorite gaming series?
This is an evil question. But if I have to name one series that’s almost always an instant-buy for me than it’s… The Legend of Zelda. Those games introduced me to my favorite genre in gaming and that’s the adventure genre. Which are adventure games?
While I love playing a lot of genres, adventure games are my absolute favorite. There aren’t too many genres that I love playing more. I just love exploring worlds and going on quests. Sometimes I enjoy some additional RPG elements like in Pokémon and sometimes I want to explore tombs like in Tomb Raider.
4. What is your favorite part of gaming?
The answer to this question has two parts for me. The first part is simple. Gaming is my hobby. It helps to get my stress levels down and help me relax. In addition to this, it transports me to different worlds and has amazing experiences. And these experiences feel more immersive than movies or books.
The second answer is this blog. I love sharing my experiences with you all. Thanks to this blog, various developers contacted me and gave amazing and very interesting experiences to play.
So, thanks to this blog I can combine the two biggest things I love about this hobby. I can relax and enjoy playing games while I’m able to share my opinion about it.
Actually, thinking about this question, I have another answer as well. I enjoy having interesting experiences. And thanks to modern and retro games I have that experience. That’s why I perhaps go after the more unique and less known games.
5. What is your favorite genre of music?
If I have to choose an absolute favorite style of music, I have to say that I love Euphoric Hardstyle. Here is an example of this style of music, it’s an almost 3-hour long mix created by Euphoric Hardstylez.
I can’t say when I discovered hardstyle. Back when I was younger, I had a friend who introduced me to Angerfist and various other techno hardcore artists. I think that thanks to YouTube I discovered artists like Coone, Zatox, Code Black, Frontliner, Wasted Penguins and various others.
Yet, I don’t like every hardstyle track. It has to be melodic. I really dislike music where it sounds like some broken machines. While I’m sure there is an audience for those styles of music, it’s not really in my library.
Besides that, I have a few other genres that I really like. Obviously, I really like game OST. Otherwise, I wouldn’t have written a lot of articles about my favorite tracks I heard while playing games. I also like Vocaloid, chiptune, orchestral, techno, dance, trance, Eurobeat, pop-rock, symphonic metal, power metal, drum & bass…
6. What is your favorite book or book series?
Well shoot, I’m not really a book reader. I used to enjoy reading books but the last time I actually read a book was a couple of years ago when I read the novelization of Alan Wake.
It’s really awkward. I enjoy writing stories and novels, but I don’t like reading them. I think my main issue is that I always think of how things could be written differently. How would I have written the story?
And now, allow me to make it even more awkward. I love visual novels*. The asterisk means that there is an exception. I don’t like kinetic novels, those games where there is barely any gameplay.
I love reading stories in games. Games like Ace Attorney, Zero Escape, Another Code, Time Hollow, and Corpse Party are just a few examples of games I really like to play. These games are very rare and I rarely come across them. But, when I find them, these games I always finish.
So, yeah. I think I read a maximum of one book per year. And in most cases, these are books related to my education or a game series I really like. Yet, I adore story-heavy games and I love writing stories myself.
7. What things do you do to relax?
Besides playing games, I really love writing. For some reason, it helps me to zone out. When I was younger, I always wanted to create content or improve already existing content. After experimenting with creating videos, music, art and various other things… I finally settled on writing.
So, other things I really like doing are watching anime. I really like anime since it feels nostalgic but always new and fresh. Also, the storylines in anime just appeal more to me than western series.
Another thing I do to relax is to experiment with virtual machines or computers. Just trying to find little tricks and tips to fix computers really interests me. I find that I learn the most when I was able to experiment or find it out myself.
Let’s not forget about my theater group. I really enjoy being up on stage and playing a role to entertain an audience. It’s quite a lot of work in studying lines and during rehearsals but it’s oh so gratifying when you get the applause when everything comes together.
On rare occasions, I really like exploring cities. It’s really fun to do. Just take a train to a city and explore. Don’t prepare yourself. Besides the opening hours of some places, you want to visit. But, just explore the city. I have discovered so many places that way.
8. What inspired you to start blogging?
I have told this story various times before. I don’t have a large family, but we have a lot of family friends. So, I got tired of telling each story five or six times each family party. Or answering the same questions again and again: “How is school?” or “How is it going with such and such?”. So, that’s why I decided to make a website and share these stories on a personal site. I wrote my articles in my native language back then, which is Dutch. Well… it’s Flemish. But Flemish and Dutch are like American and British English. Quite similar but not the same.
At first, I shared it with Facebook but not too long after, I got visitors that found my blog over Google. One summer week when nothing special was happening I decided to write a game review. And I got hooked.
I decided to remove the Dutch blog, but I still missed writing. So, back in 2013, I decided to start writing in English after I played the reboot of Tomb Raider.
Besides that, I have been writing since my childhood. I just love writing and creating stories. As I said earlier, I’m not that good at creating art or music; so I settled on writing.
9. What is one of your favorite articles that you have written?
I have been writing for 8 years on my blog so picking one of my favorites is quite difficult to do. I enjoy writing to each and every article a lot. It’s fun thinking and reflecting on the gaming industry.
But, if I have to choose it’s my Zelda project I did last year. Just the fact that I was able to work along with all these other bloggers and that two of those bloggers started the Final Fantasy project in the style I did my Zelda project… well, it’s humbling.
This year I’m following it up with the Tomb Raider project, which I’m quite excited about. We are trying to aim for the release in October.
10. What is your favorite part about blogging?
The moment when it all comes together. When I’m able to write and don’t need to interrupt myself with looking something up or thinking about how I formulate a certain sentence.
But, something I love doing more is the interaction with readers and developers. Yeah, the PR stuff. I write this gaming blog for two reasons. The first reason is to have some sort of log/diary of my gaming life.
My 2nd reason is to talk about games that I want to talk about. Certain games I play don’t get a lot of attention and I want to change that. Thanks to that, I got the chance to play various games that have unique experiences.
It surprises me every time that developers actually want to know my opinion or what I would change in a game. It’s quite an honor and I enjoy playing the beta versions of these games and giving them feedback to improve their game. And I enjoy playing these games months or years later to see what the finished product is.
11. What is one piece of advice you would give to other bloggers?
Well, I have been blogging for 8 years so I could give various points of advice. But something I think is very important is, get yourself a place to write down notes that’s handy to take along and is easy to manage.
I use a built-in note app on my tablet. It’s easy to sort and when I’m looking for certain notes about a game, I can easily find them. It’s a godsend. Since you never know when inspiration will strike.
My 11 nominations
Drakulus – I really like the style of content he puts out. He is a great reviewer and always gives his honest opinion. Check him out.
SheikahPlate – A very tasty gaming blog run by an outstanding woman!
TriformTrinity – This guy creates amazing content. I can’t wait to see what he comes up with next.
LaterLevels – Always a joy to read and maybe level up… 😉
I Played The Game! – Thanks again for helping me defeat those theft bots earlier this year. You are a great guy and write pretty nice stuff.
LividLightning – I’m so glad that you are back. I really love your stuff.
KillerRobotics – The support this guy gives to bloggers like us is heartwarming. He also creates very interesting content for tech people so give it a read!
FalconGameReviews – Reading his blog wants me to spend a whole afternoon browsing his website. Good stuff man.
OverThinkerY – I don’t need to overthink this to nominate this blog!
AdventureRules – The charm and art on your blog are lovely as is the writing and blogging collabs you organize!
The Well-Red Mage – Hey my magey friend! Keep rocking on!
AmbiGamingCorner – What are you doing? Go and read AmbiGamingCorner, this is a must-read site!
And there are many others I would love to nominate but I already cheated with 12 bloggers here… Sorry to everybody else.
My 11 questions
- At what point do you decide a certain game is good enough to write an article about?
- How would you describe your own writing style?
- About what would you want to write if you weren’t allowed to write about games for a year?
- Would you wait on the DLC release of a game before you review the game or do you review the DLC later?
- What inspires you to come up with ideas for articles and/or events?
- How do you write? Do you create a draft first or just start writing? Do you write while listening to music?
- Do you have hobbies and/or activities you do outside writing/gaming?
- What game(s) are underrated or not well known enough in your opinion?
- Are there genres you don’t like reviewing and why?
- Would you consider writing/blogging as a job?
- What you dislike doing the most when writing or publishing an article?
Thank you for reading this article. I hope you enjoyed reading this since I really enjoy writing Q&A’s like this. If you ever have a question for me, feel free to contact me on Twitter or my contact page. I love answering them.
Receiving community awards like these are quite a lot of fun. The fact that your peers recognize you is such a humbling feeling. But, I’m also quite surprised by the amount of traffic my blog is getting the past few months. It’s a big motivation for me to continue in what I’m doing and I hope you keep enjoying the content I’m writing. So, with that, I hope I’ll be able to welcome you in another article but until then have a great rest of your day and take care.