If one experience or life change results from you writing your blog, what would you like it to be?

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Singular Sensation.”

If I were to go back nine years to my first blog then this would be an easy question to answer. Purely motivated by MMO gaming, I just wanted to share my experiences with anyone that was interested(turned out to be a small readership).

Those that know me(or have followed my trail) will have seen the number of blogs I have started and then closed; AE is now my longest running with 16 months of posts. While I may only have a 2.43 ppm, I write far more for myself and worry less about keeping to one train of thought.

So a life change or experience resulting from writing here?

I’d like to think that writing and posting my thoughts online will always now be part of what makes me the person I am. Giving it up is just as unlikely as if I were to become a priest.

To keep improving my writing is far more important to me than it was nine years ago. I have a goal of writing a novel(publishing is another story), one day. Sure it may never happen but the journey itself would not be possible without the ground work that I’ve put(and continue to put) into blogging. Just as putting together fanzines in the 1990’s paved the way to blogging in the 21st century, it would be nice to believe that blogging will lead to something just as life affirming.


A few thoughts on Until Dawn


After some pretty dark days recently, I needed a piece of entertainment that didn’t take itself too seriously but was serious about the love that it had been shown by its producers. Luckily, Until Dawn is both these; a homage to the horror genre(it’s a beautiful love-letter) but also knows when to poke fun at itself(or is that us?).

Road to recovery

While I’m recovering, and letting the 20mg of Citalopram take hold in my system, there’s some that may think it a bad move to be indulging with this type of entertainment. Yet it’s the effortless pacing of the story, the visually arresting graphics and the perfect balance put into when and how QTEs are used that has reopened the window to positive feelings.

Sure, this isn’t to say gaming alone is making me well; more that I’ve picked the right type of experience to aid me on the road to recovery. The last time depression had a hold over me was while smack in the middle of The Last of Us. I now know that it was a mistake to see out the story while struggling with my own demons. Rather than the sombre, dark tones of Naughty Dogs adventure, a lighter or more uplifting tale should have been picked then. And yes, Until Dawn may seem an odd choice to some but it really is fairly fluffy and throwaway.


Fright or flight?

Once the scares start to come(the first few chapters build things up nicely) it’s fairly obvious how the pattern of the game will then develop. Yet I was still caught a good several times when my guard was down. Each time I jumped, there’d be a little knowing smile to myself that that’s how I was expected to react.

QTE…when used to prop up scripted boss-fight sequences I detest them. Until Dawn has QTE yet I found myself not disliking their use. Rather they suit this experience of interactivity; narrative(cheesy) mixed with a slight of exploration along a linear world. That said, there were moments when a QTE changed the course of the story without giving away that was a possibility. So yes, QTE can be used in a way that doesn’t break mood or style if used in the right context.

The (weak)End

After losing Matt early on, and stupidly falling for an old horror troupe that allowed Ashley to lose her head, it soon became clear that Until Dawn may have multiple endings but the last scenes to end the story would be the same. Rather than having any real way of controlling how the game finishes, it really is about who survives and under what conditions those that die, die.

The games finale does feel a little undercooked and a little too tidy for my liking. Horror has a long history of bluff endings and cliffhangers yet with the credits rolling on Until Dawn I felt a little meh. I loved the journey that the game presented me and am sure to give some further time over to it at a later date – falling for the trope really does niggle me!