But that was another life

The year 2012 did not start well for me. I’ve written about some of the reasons for that, while others are none of your danged business or simply don’t need to be aired in public. Suffice to say the first three months of the year were one gigantic low point for me, and I managed to wind up March by simultaneously pinching a nerve in my back and coming down with one of the worst colds of my life at exactly the same time. But it seems like my life actually works on quarterly cycles, because since the beginning of April things have actually been pretty OK! I took a too-short trip to Rome that rolled right into PAX East and back home with no significant jetlag, and the general tone of life for the past two weeks has been remarkably positive in light of the previous three months.

What surprises me is that it seems the quality of my work has run in parallel to the rest of my life. Frankly, I feel like just about everything I wrote and published earlier this year was terrible. The past week or so? Either my writing has been really strong or else I’ve lost all sense of perspective. I’m particularly happy with the editorial we published today, which uses the controversy over Fez‘s creator’s comments at GDC as a jumping off point to tackle the question of how (or whether) the actions and beliefs of developers should affect our perspective on their work.

Actually, 1UP in general was pretty boss today. You should go there and read everything. We may be small these days, but gosh darn it, we’re feisty.

15 thoughts on “But that was another life

  1. Why I can’t claim to know everything about what you’ve gone through this year, I can say with confidence it didn’t reflect negatively on your writing.

  2. People try to make issues black and white. I can’t tolerate debating on a message board or looking at article comments any more, because they usually devolve into “Guy x is in favor of y? **** him and the entire company, and I retroactively hate all his games now!” I’m pretty good at separating art from the artist. Rush and Peter Gabriel recently demanded that their music be pulled from Rush Limbaugh’s program, for instance; do they really not see the overlap between the fans that like their music and people that listen to Limbaugh? I found that reaction to be insulting, honestly. It doesn’t make Rush rock any less, but I don’t look toward a prog rock band for guidance, either.

    • I don’t really see how the two things are equivalent.

      Fez is a game. Its creator said some controversial things, outside the context of the game itself. You can separate the game from the comments its creator made. You can enjoy the game without ever encountering the controversial statements made by its creator — indeed, there will likely be people playing Fez who don’t even know who Phil Fish is or have any idea what he said.

      The Rush Limbaugh Show is a political talk radio show. Its host said some controversial things, within the context of the show itself. You cannot separate the radio show from the comments its host made, because he made them on the show and the entire point of the show is for him to express controversial political opinions on it.

      Do you see the difference?

      And that’s without getting into the point that Jeremy’s example is about people debating whether to GIVE MONEY to someone they disagree with and yours is about people refusing to TAKE MONEY from someone they disagree with.

      Your comparison really doesn’t hold water and I’m not sure why you made it. Unless you want to start an argument about Rush Limbaugh.

      • It’s two sides of the same coin. All I’m saying is that I’m of the opinion that the art is separate from the artist, and I can accept that without flying off the handle every time they say something I don’t like. The fact that people are refusing to buy this guy’s game because of some of the things he said is equivalent to Rush not wanting to take the radio network’s (not Limbaugh’s, mind you) money. I don’t know if Phil and Limbaugh are bad people because of one or two things they’ve said, but I do enjoy their respective works as a whole.

  3. Great editorial Jeremy. I don’t read much games writing anymore, but that was totally worth it.

  4. I’ve got like a buttload of 1up articles on backlog right now. Really want to read that editorial, but I’m entertaining company today, then I have errands and meetings tomorrow. Maybe Sunday. The latest previews and the Fez review though? Aces, Parish. Aces.

    This year feels like a very slow burn toward amazing things, but I shouldn’t talk about those right now or I’ll end up jinxing it.

  5. I am in agreement with the first comment.

    For what it’s worth, Mr. Parish, the content that you have written is still enjoyed and let it be known that your efforts are acknowledged and appreciated.

  6. I think it’s probably a perspective thing. I look at my own work in times of crisis, and due to probably a subconscious association with whatever was going on at the time, I will view those rather negatively. As I put distance between the work and the events, though, things get a bit better. I thought your writing was fine, honestly.

    I know you’ve had a rough few months, but these things usually do go in cycles, and you’re usually stronger for having made it through, trite thought that may sound. Keep the faith.

  7. Wow, didn’t know Sugiyama was a Nanking denier. I don’t keep up on my developer dirt like I should.

    Neat stuff as always.

  8. I have to say, I’m a little confused by 1up’s relation to EGM, or lack there of. I know you used to work for the magazine itself (and boy that was weird, picking up the thing I’ve been reading since I was a kid and seeing you in there), and I know 1up was an extension of that, but now there’s EGM, uh, Now, and I guess I missed the split or something. Good article though!

    • EGM and 1UP split at the beginning of 2009. It’s been a while. I have never worked for the magazine, though I contributed regularly when it was connected closely to 1UP.

      • Well color me behind the times. I suppose I thought you worked for the magazine when I saw your mug on the review crew page, ha. So I guess you don’t know who Sushi-X REALLY was the whole time? In my heart of hearts I want to believe it was secretly Bill Donohue, spreading the joy that was he across multiple rags.

  9. I’ve been meaning to say this for awhile, at least ever since you were a bit down about your Retronauts podcast last year. I discovered your work about three years ago when I was pretty sick and during that time your writing and podcasts were really a bright spot in a pretty crappy dark place. They always managed to pick me up and distract or amuse me and the quality was never less than excellent. (No disrespect to the guys currently doing Retronauts, they are excellent and have kept up the standard you maintained.)

    I know it’s in nature of anyone who creates to be pretty harsh and the internet can act as a nasty amplification chamber for people trolling etc. But there’s a large silent group of us out there who really dig what you do. I’ve never noticed a dip in quality myself.

    Hope things keep looking up for you this year. Gotta agree, the start of 2012? Pretty sucky. At least we have some awesome games to play this year :)

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