Later Levels started at the end of December 2016 and since that Christmas, I’ve written 289 posts (with this one taking the honour of being 290th). I hadn’t realised it had been so many and now I’m wondering just how many words that equates to? Anyway, it’s thanks to Kelly from Why We Play Games that I’ve had a chance to take a look back through them and remember those I really enjoyed writing.
She very kindly nominated the blog, along with some other amazing writers I’m flattered to be in the company of, for a Sunshine Blogger award earlier this month. It struck me that I’d written previous articles about the subjects covered by many of the questions she posed to her nominees, so I’d thought I’d use this opportunity to take a nostalgic trip down blogging memory lane. Here are some of Later Levels’ best bits dedicated to Kelly!
What is the game that you play the most?
Right now it’s Guns of Icarus Alliance, an online co-operative game featuring flying airships. It’s not the sort of title I’d usually play but I became hooked after getting roped into a match at Rezzed in April when the developers needed one last player to take part. Let me know if you want to Come fly with me.
What is your favourite gaming memory?
In last year’s Christmas collaboration, one of the questions we answered was about our Festive gaming memories. Mine was about something that happened involving a PlayStation 4 and an excited young kid, around a year after I met my stepson for the first time.
What is your favourite gaming series?
Monkey Island is a favourite (more about that in The Games That Define Us collaboration) but there are two more. There’s Fable, as the original title was the one that got me back into gaming and made me WLTM: Peter Molyneux; and the other is The Longest Journey as it’s The series I love, but can’t finish.
What is your favourite part about gaming?
I usually play a game for a good story over anything else, but something I’ve come to realise since starting Later Levels is just how much those stories and the characters within them can influence us. A number have put me on the path to Becoming a better person; it goes to show that pixels on a screen can do more than just entertain.
What is your favourite genre of music?
I’m sure most people will know this already: anything from the 80s! Give me a bit of synth or a cheesy power-ballad, and I’ll be dancing and singing along in no time. It should therefore be no surprise that several tracks from the decade featured on The Later Levels Official Album.
What is your favourite book or book series?
I don’t get a lot of time to read unfortunately but when I do, I tend to go for something on the darker and pick up a book by an author like Stephen King or Neil Gaiman. That’s probably why I became addicted to Stranger Things so quickly and why I’d love to see a Stranger adventures video game.
What things do you do to relax?
As my other-half and stepson are gamers too, most of what we do together involves video games in some way. We try to support a charity as much as possible and you’ll often find me Volunteering for SpecialEffect at expos, and I rope the boys and friends into participating in the annual GameBlast marathon.
What inspired you to start blogging?
It was a book called 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die by Tony Mott and a conversation with friends in a pub after work one day. That was all the way back in February 2013 and there’s a post I wrote earlier this year in which you can find out Where it all began.
What is one of your favourite articles you have written?
Writing this response post for Kelly has made me realise that most of my favourite articles involve my family in one way or another. The one I look on most fondly though is about The hardest co-op, as it was one of the first times I wrote something quite personal and it steered the direction I wanted this blog to go in.
What is your favourite part about blogging?
It’s definitely the community: everyone here is an integral part of The WordPress jigsaw that makes it as special as it is. I’ve met some amazing people over the past few years and am proud to now call them friends! I love seeing everyone come together during events such as the blog parties and welcome newcomers into our group.
What is one piece of advice you would give to other bloggers?
Can I cheat and give several? First would be that Finding your thing is so important in keeping up your motivation. Next would be that you need to make sure you’re Playing games for playing’s sake and not just to have content for your site. And finally, it would be to remember that community and collaboration are The secret to blogging success.