Hey, again

While I’m normally content to simply barf up links to my own work, today deserves a special alternate link, as Andrew Vestal decided to relaunch The Gaming Intelligence Agency. I haven’t been asked to handle the mailbag yet, but I’m sure it’s coming in due time.

Andrew’s first piece, a reconsideration of Final Fantasy V, perfectly voices the manifesto I’ve been working under for all these years without ever properly putting into words. The idea that the only video games worth playing, let alone writing about, are those from the past few years is a toxic concept that can only suffocate the medium in its adolescence. Stuff like Anatomy of a Game is my feeble attempt to explore classics for smart design that should still inform new works but all too often doesn’t.

If this is indicative of the quality of the work we’ll be seeing there, I’m interested! Though a little worried about having to compete with this stuff through my day job.

Speaking of which, I just posted a piece on USgamer that ties together Shin Megami Tensei IV, Akira, and Neon Genesis Evangelion. What I’m saying, I think, is that I’m still a tragic nerd to the very end.

15 thoughts on “Hey, again

  1. “The idea that the only video games worth playing, let alone writing about, are those from the past few years is a toxic concept that can only suffocate the medium in its adolescence.”

    I’d say a different, but just as worrisome problem is that many Games industry people consume games at such a rapid pace that they only have time for the latest thing on the market, and miss out out on covering worthy, fairly recent titles that could very much use the exposure. If you’re not the hot new game that just came out or a 16-bit classic you don’t exist.

    Also, I hate to ask, but what is the GIA?

    • !! Son, you may not have been born before the internet was created, but once upon a time in the 1990’s, there were wonderful artisanal fan-made websites largely built from scratch that built the internet as we know it today, and arguably with a stronger sense of DIY and community spirit, to boot! The GIA was a legendary gaming news and reviews website, one of the few (then and now) that was actually well-written, and as I recall was also an early location of Jeremy “Toasty Frog” Parish, a fine fellow you surely may have heard of.

  2. “I’m still a tragic nerd to the very end.”

    You and me both, brother. Akira, Evangelion, and JRPGs are basically the reason I now live in Japan :

    At least you had the good sense to pursue a real career!

  3. The GIA is back! Huzzah!

    … That pretty much sums up everything I have to say about that. Oh, and I think I had a letter in the mailbag about FF7 a long, long time ago.

    It’s back!

  4. Oh my, the GIA. Never thought I’d see it again. In fact, shamefully, I had entirely forgotten about it. Hopefully it’ll be around for much longer this time.

  5. Out of curiosity, when will game journalists think we are out of our “infancy” as an industry? I am not trying to be a dick or anything, but I am genuinely curious.

    • When the market begins supporting thoughtful, mature games instead of forcing their creators to release them for free as personal passion projects.

  6. So given that you feel older games are worth writing about how do you feel about them holding their value? I am seeing people get real upset about Earthbound costing ten bucks. It doesn’t bother me, but they seem real offended that its not a buck or free. Do you agree that a re-release or emulation should not cost more than $.99?

    • I’m all in favor of publishers releasing games for what the market will bear. The devaluation of games is destroying the medium; games aren’t free to make, and their creators deserve to make a living. I don’t see why that should be any different for old games so long as their creators still receive a royalty. Like I said on Twitter, if no one buys EarthBound at $10, Nintendo screwed up. But I suspect it’ll sell quite well, in which case congratulations to them for correctly understanding capitalism. I’m willing to pay $10 for EarthBound, but not for a random old Neo Geo game. Thus I’ll happily pay for this VC release but haven’t touched those Neo Geo X reissues. Again, this is how capitalism works.

  7. I still play Castle Wolfenstein semi-regularly. That’s the original one, not Wolfenstein 3D (which is also cool but in a different way). It’s fun and doesn’t get old to me.

  8. I had a number of letters published in the GIA of yore under the pen names of Agent X, Gamer X, and Professor X–ah, to be an unoriginal teenage boy again–but I never made a mailbag that Jeremy hosted. I suppose I was not smart/witty/funny enough to reach his standards.

    Sure, I was never as hilarious as regulars like Ian P, and, no, I did not have the insight of a young Chris Kohler…but dammit, I cared! Probably too much: refreshing a dial-up connected browser once a minute for hours, waiting for the new Double Agent column to be posted, was not the healthiest way for a middle schooler to spend their Friday night.

    I guess what I’m trying to say is…I’ve been refreshing my browser for the past ten years for this moment.


    -Agent X “I’m back, baby!”

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