Good morning, 2012.

I woke up sometime this afternoon to a loud banging upstairs, suggesting my upstairs neighbors were either moving out or moving something large and heavy in. Prior to this I had hibernated for nearly 36 hours straight after the five days’ worth of insomnia, all-nighters and excessive caffeine intake which comprised my MA exam week.

USC’s School of Cinematic Arts Critical Studies program puts its second-year MAs through three of six available exam subjects. These are 10+ page essay responses on delivered prompts due within a 24 hour period. Even if you’re an efficient writer, it’s pretty punishing. I managed to be done by midnight for my first two exams but the final one kept me awake until about six in the morning, a mere four hours before the deadline. So I elected to take an extended vacation, not to visit the fam, but to visit my bed. David Carlton, luckily, filled in for me for TWIVGB over at Critical Distance— thank you for that, David.

I guess since I have exactly two seconds before I pass out again in preparation for the first day of my last semester tomorrow, I’d catch everyone up on what I was doing these past few weeks.

Critical Distance Confab

First, I showed up on a podcast with the rest of the Critical Distance cabal, in a five hour mega-podcast reflecting back on the Year 2011. Eric Swain moderated, Ian Cheong sounded American, Ben Abraham was pretty laid back, David Carlton lamented that we don’t feature mobile releases enough, and Katie Williams was very very quiet until we started discussing the Freeplay Panel. Fun was had by all and I think I’m tied with Ian for number of cursewords.

TYIVGB

Subsequently the other editors and I aided Eric in determining our final list for 2011’s This Year in Video Game Blogging. Apart from doing my share of the whittling and participating in a very long Skype conference, I also saw to it that Eric’s tenses were consistent.

Everything that made it onto TYIVGB is very good. Not all the pieces on there were my decision, but this is a collective process among six very distinct editors no two of which have the same background in approaching this kind of work. We all strove to feature the best of the year’s offerings from many different authors. Here’s to 2012 being an even more diverse and dynamic year for the ludodecahedron.

Gameranx

I agreed to Ian a while ago that I’d do a few articles for him for Gameranx. I’ve written two so far, the first of which you can already go and read on the site. It’s about how Mass Effect is actually a hypercapitalist dystopia, and as consequence, why I think it’s a more interesting sci-fi universe than the giants it seeks to rival. The second one, when it appears, I’ll also remember to link here. Um, if I remember.

Oh, if you’re wondering, my new year’s resolution was to pass my MA exams. So, here’s to hibernating for the next 365 days.

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