Around the Network (and Blogger Recognition Award!)

Good afternoon everyone! I hope you’re well. Summer appears to be back here again, which means I’ve got all the fans running and the doors open and it’s still too hot. Oh well. Only two more videos left to record today!

Today’s Around the Network also incorporates a Blogger Recognition Award that AK from Everything is Bad for You kindly nominated me for recently. For the uninitiated, this is an opportunity to engage with the broader online writing community, offer some advice and share some thoughts.

So let’s get started with that — followed, of course, by what you might have missed this week — after the jump!

Blogger Recognition Award

Here are The Rules:

Thank the blogger that nominated you and give a link to their site.

Thank you, AK!

Do a post to show your award.

I’m doing it!

Give a summary of how your blog started.

This is a story I’ve shared quite a few times over the years, but for the benefit of anyone new, here goes.

I used to be a professional games journalist. In the past, I worked on GamePro before it shuttered, and I was one of the founding members of USgamer.net before I was laid off in the name of the site “having an all-American team”. (I am British.)

During my time on USgamer, I helped build a reputation for the site that made it an inviting, friendly place for “otaku gamers”, who were typically ostracised or outright insulted by many other online publications. As a fan of “otaku games” myself, though, I deliberately took these games seriously, spoke to the people who helped bring them West and developed a grateful audience as a result.

USgamer’s editor in chief at the time was not a big fan of many of the games I covered, being the sort of person who thinks fanservice is some great problematic evil that is going to turn all those horrible gamers into rapists or whatever. But I had an audience — an audience who found the dismissive and insulting tone of a freelancer’s review of Hatsune Miku Project Diva F for PlayStation 3 extremely unpleasant, and quite rightly felt betrayed after the hard work I had done.

In response to this, I set up a weekly column on the site called JPgamer, in which I focused on news and reviews of Japanese games and visual novels, particularly those that had been localised for Western release. My audience was enormously grateful for that, since a lot of the games I covered didn’t get any attention from the mainstream press — or if they did, they were wilfully misrepresented. Even despite this proven audience, there were still some titles I was outright forbidden from even mentioning — on of them being Idea Factory and Compile Heart’s Monster Monpiece, the first of the Genkai Tokki series of which Moero Crystal H is the most recent English release.

After I was laid off from USgamer, I wanted to take at least some of my audience with me. So I set up MoeGamer, initially to continue doing pretty much what I’d done with JPgamer. Over time, I’ve figured out the formats I enjoy writing in, and the site has only continued to grow and go from strength to strength since it launched.

Am I still bitter and upset about how I was treated at USgamer? Absolutely. But if I’d stayed there I would never have had the freedom I do now to write about exactly what I want, whever I want.

Give two pieces of advice for any new bloggers.

  1. Pick something to focus on. This doesn’t have to be your exclusive focus, but the best blogs have something around which they are built for the majority of the time. If no-one has any idea what sort of post to expect from day to day, it’s difficult to build an audience, whereas if you pick a clear subject — “this is a gaming blog” — people who are looking for that particular type of information will drift in. And once you have built that audience and you know they’re there for you, you can perhaps broaden your remit somewhat.

  2. Never, ever be ashamed or apologetic about the things you specialise in or feel particularly strongly about — even if others aren’t a fan of them. A big part of why MoeGamer has grown so much over the course of the last six years is because I treat games that feature provocative content with respect rather than running away from them screaming or branding their target audience as “perverts”. That target audience is hungry for media that understands and respects them, and making a cheap joke at the expense of other people is never a good way of doing things. Be proud of the things you know, excited to share the things that you love — and happy to engage with an audience that might be under-served by the rest of the media!

Select at least 15 other bloggers for this award.

Oh, God. I never know who has and hasn’t done these so I’m just going to pick a list of people who come up in the WordPress Reader and offer my sincerest apologies if you’ve already done one of these recently.

Click on their names to see what these folks have been up to lately!

Irina explores Fire Force series 2.
Jett continues his Stardew Valley adventures.
Kimimi delves into the X68000 version of Image Fight.
Megan Marie is back from hiatus with a new Sims 4 speed build.
Raistlin continues his “Countdown to Halloween” film reviews.
Dewbond likes all different types of girls.
Mr. Wapojif has helpful advice for you all.
Kim looks back on EGX in a year where it can’t happen.
thedeviot takes us on a tour of Mystik Belle.
Ernst Krogtoft shows us the highlights of his Psygnosis collection.
kresnik258gaming checks out The King of Fighters 97 on Vita.
Krystallina returns to Maison Ikkoku.
Scott asks how to follow up Revolutionary Girl Utena.
The Night Owl shares some retro gaming books with us.
Athena takes a look back at Metal Gear Solid.

All right, that’s all done. Let’s get down to the usual business!

MoeGamer

Hololive English: Examining a Worldwide Phenomenon – The English-speaking world has gone vTuber crazy this week as Hololive finally officially goes English!

Earthworm Jim: Shiny, Groovy People – The classic 16-bit platformer is looked back on fondly for its gorgeous visuals and incredible animation — but how well does it play today?

short;Play: The Club – Did you know Bizarre Creations made more than just excellent driving games? Here’s their arcadey third-person shooter, published by Sega.

Waifu Wednesday: Amelia Watson – With it being “Hololive Week”, I couldn’t not do this, really, could I?

Solaris: The 2600’s Finest Hour – One of the best games on Atari 2600 doesn’t get talked about nearly enough. Let’s do something about that!

The Music of Atelier, Vol. 6: Atelier Rorona – The Alchemist of ArlandIn this week’s part of the Atelier MegaFeature, we return to Ken Nakagawa’s wonderful soundtracks as we take a look at the first batch of music from the Arland subseries.

Atari A to Z

Atari A to Z

This week we’ve got a solid type-in listing from ANALOG Magazine for Atari 8-bit, a STOS-powered action adventure on Atari ST, and the Atari 2600’s take on Dave Theurer’s classic Missile Command.

Patreon

Don’t forget that over on Patreon I post a daily behind-the scenes personal blog that is, effectively, a resurrection of my old #oneaday blog I used to host over at angryjedi.wordpress.com. At the present time, this also includes exclusive patrons-only weekly vlogs and Let’s Plays at the weekends! If you’d like to get to know me a bit better, be sure to sign up; just $1 a month (about 80p) can get you in the club, and it also provides you with access to the MoeGamer Discord as well as helping to fund and support the things I do here on the site.

Find out more and sign up to Patreon here!

Cool Stuff By People Who Aren’t Me

First up, Patreon goodness! Right now, I’m supporting Paul “Mr Biffo” Rose’s creative endeavours on the Digitiser YouTube channel, the ever-grumpy (and always hilarious) Cheap Show Podcast, gaming and gaming culture commentator Liana Kerzner, independent games writing collective The Well-Red Mage, fountain of retro computer gaming knowledge Rob “Hellfire64” Caporetto, and blogger/YouTuber meggsngrits, all of whom you can find out a bit more about by clicking through to their profiles.

Here’s a selection of YouTube and podcast goodness from several of this lot:

And normally we’d wrap up with a look around the WordPress community but I kind of already did that up top, so I will bid you a fond farewell for now, and invite you to enjoy the rest of your weekend — as well as everything I have in store for you in the coming week!

Thanks as always for all your kind support.


If you enjoyed this post, please consider supporting the site via any of the services below! Your contributions help keep the lights on, the ads off and my shelves stocked up with things to write about!

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13 thoughts on “Around the Network (and Blogger Recognition Award!)”

  1. Hey Pete, great advice. Sounds like you were done dirty at USgamer. And I honestly can’t even imagine what kind of objection anyone would have to a Project Diva game.

    It took me some time to get over feeling weird about liking certain games (like Monster Monpiece for example) but when I did, I was much happier with that aspect of my life. And it turns out that you get a lot of views and support writing honestly and in detail about such games, so that’s a nice bonus! But I’d do it even without that. Maybe I should go back and write proper reviews of a few of those more lewd Vita games… the system’s been discontinued, but that wouldn’t stop me.

    In conclusion, Astrid is mean as hell.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. First off congratulations on your well deserved award. I don’t even think I have to say you deserve this one, because well…you know that already right? 😊 I’m glad to have been along for the ride, and hope you will continue for a long time.
    Thank you as well for nominating me😊 I’m really behind on awards, but I hope to get to it at some point! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Cheers Pete for the mention! MoeGamer has been a great resource for me to get some perspective, learn about genres I’m not familiar with and to check out something new… most recently I would not have looked at Coffee Talk at all if not for your post. You totally deserve the recognition. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Sorry I’m a little late to the party – congrats on your award! Very interesting to read the Moegamer origin story. It sounds like there were a lot of tough times and adversity in your dealings with USGamer, but the site you’ve built since is testament to having come out stronger and better for it.

    I was just reading your post on the history of the magical girl genre yesterday (no prizes for guessing why!) and it occurred to me that I very rarely read anything in the professional media that shows such a level of research and attention to detail.

    I actually came to congratulate you on the fine review you did for NintendoLife on Moero Crystal. I played Chronicle this year and it was a tremendous surprise. My expectations going in were low – a bad experience with an Agarest game had given me a very poor opinion of Compile Heart – but every flaw in that game was transformed into a virtue here, with strong writing, wonderful characters and a fundamental respect for the player’s time.

    All of which is to say I’m looking forward to checking out Crystal and I’m really happy it seems to be the business. And I’m overjoyed to see that Talos is back, bibo! I guess she must have been popular in the last game? Her presence in the party in your screenshots is testament to your taste! I wonder whether some of my other favourites also made the cut..

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Crystal is great. I actually haven’t played Chronicle yet, but from what I understand from people who have played both, Crystal is Chronicle, but better, so you should have a blast! I believe 50 girls return from Chronicle, plus 30 additional ones, so you should be kept busy.

      Early Compile Heart is definitely an acquired taste. Their stuff back then has heart and soul — which is what attracted me to them as early as the first Neptunia game — but it’s often covered in layers of technical and mechanical jank that can make it difficult to enjoy for some people. They’ve always been a bit behind the curve in terms of 3D tech in particular — with their PS4 games they were just about catching up to where most people would probably think PS3 games “should” be in terms of performance — but their stuff has always featured strong characterisation and witty writing, and now that their tech is better, a lot more people are willing to enjoy them, which is great.

      Anyway, hope you enjoy Crystal when you get a chance — it really is a good time. I unfortunately only had a limited amount of time to explore it before deadline on Nintendo Life so I’m continuing to play with it in my own free time — expect some Moero Crystal articles and videos here very soon 🙂

      Like

      1. Sounds great!

        I understand what you mean about the technical/mechanical jank – there was a germ of a good story in Agarest, and an intriguing idea with you playing successive generations of heirs, but it was buried under layers of poorly thought-through design, and.. grind. So much grind.

        I think they must have realised their mistake, because if you launch the Steam version, they throw end-game weapons at you from level one and there’s a pop up that all but begs you to play on the easiest difficulty setting – both of which I disregarded to my cost, wanting the ‘original’ experience.

        The good news though is that this means that one day, when the soreness has healed, I’ll probably be able to go back and get through the main story with a lot less misery. I gather that the true ending is still off-limits to all but the hardest of hard core fans.

        Liked by 1 person

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