Announcement: JRPG JULY

-by Dylan DiBona

One video game genre I’ve always wanted to like but haven’t until a few months ago is the JRPG. After doing some research and playing some amazing games, JRPGs are quickly becoming one of my favorite video game genres for their lengthy playtimes, strategic combat, detailed stories, worlds and characters. I’ve decided a good way to continue my venture into the genre and play even more great games is to dedicate this month to them on my blog.

Summer evokes a gaming related nostalgia in me. Every night (sometimes day) my friends and I would gather on Xbox Live or have a sleepover to play games together. Now that summer is back I want to be busy during daylight, outside having a great time, but inside playing games late at night.

So I bring you JRPG JULY (the all caps  reminds me of when I see weird anime names online or on Netflix). So every Monday, Wednesday and Friday I will bring you one JRPG-related article. It can be a review, a top 5 (or 10), topic piece or whatever. 

Don’t like JRPGs? Don’t worry; Tuesday and Thursday  will still have normal posts that can pertain to anything.

I hope you guys really enjoy this theme with me, maybe read my posts on a nice summer night. This is a passion project, I want people who love JRPGs to join me in the comments for lengthy discussions. I also want people who don’t like JRPGs to maybe give them a try, because once you find a game in the genre you like- it’s simply addicting.

Get ready my friends, for JRPG JULY.

So guys, are any of you excited? What topics would you love to see me cover? I hope I satisfy not only JRPG fans but video game fans. Have a great summer. As always, thanks for reading.


We’re Back [PlayingWithThought Reboot]

-by Dylan DiBona

It’s with my full pleasure that I welcome you back to PlayingWithThoughts. Yes that’s right, the “s” is on its way out. Sometime during summer when I buy the domain that will be the new name, no big deal.

PlayingWithThought is exactly what it sounds like. Every single day we will take a look at interesting topics within gaming culture, the market, and of course the games themselves. I will analyze games and discuss why they succeed from a design point of view. I will also gush over certain titles, as I’ve come to realize that I write from my heart quite a lot.

So other than the name, what’s different this time around?

1. New Types of Articles

I won’t spoil anything specifically, but I’ve come up with a new series, and actually have the first installment of another type of article I’ve been wanting to do for quite some time. Get ready for some fresh ideas.

2. Branching Out

Part of any good brand is expanding one central idea into a web. Let me get the smaller things out of the way first:

Twitch – I doubt I’ll be using it much, but it’s a staple for any gaming online presence.

Twitter – You’re not reading it wrong, my handle is TurtleRaisins. Why? I’m not sure either. If I can get a small boost in followers I’ll start tweeting some game related goodness.

And onto the bigger one:

YouTube – Okay so quite some time ago I tinkered around with the idea of running a YouTube channel alongside this blog, hence the old Portal video, which I still kind of like. The thing I’ve come to realize about myself though is I don’t have the patience to edit lengthier videos on my aging laptop. I want to keep this channel as a very easy side project.

I have an idea for an unscripted series, but I’d like to hear what you guys want to see down in the comments below.

3. Weekends Off

I obviously love writing about games, but PlayingWithThought was the only thing I was doing every day of the week. Sometimes I need a little break to just relax, or maybe sometimes I need a couple of days to stockpile on blogs for the next week. I hope you guys understand.

4. This Time I Need Something From You Guys

Yes, I will admit I need some help in this endeavor. What do I need?

Honesty and support. That’s it.

If my article is full of boring language, is too long or just plain dumb- let me know. If you liked it and want to see more around the same style or theme- let me know. If you have any friends who would like to read serious pieces on video games- let them know.

Thank you in advance for any and all support.

It’s good to be back everybody. I have one announcement coming up tomorrow and then Monday kick starts blogging again. I hope you guys look forward to what’s coming up. As always, thanks for reading.

The Future of This Blog + A Brief Hiatus

-by Dylan DiBona

I’m not the type of person to stay satisfied for too long after I’ve achieved something, I’m addicted to the sense of progression. True be told, PlayingWithThoughts is a bigger success than I first imagined. I’m not hitting a hundred views a day, but the usual twenty to thirty is absolutely more than appreciated. The daily blogs can’t stop, they keep this page relevant and growing.

But I’m tired.

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I want to do a lot of things in my lifetime and maybe it’s just the over-aspiration of a nineteen year old, but I’d like to write books, for a TV show and the king of all dreams: direct a video game.

I’m working on the first of those items, a book. I promised myself I’d write two-thousand words a day on my fiction novel. I realized that trying to stay inspired for two-thousand words, and then a five-hundred to one thousand word article for this blog, all after working an eight hour shift in Manhattan is tiring.

What is my next step?

I’m not sure if WordPress is the right platform for this, but on top of all those aforementioned goals, I want to be a gaming journalist. I don’t want to just discuss games in the usual “Review” or “Top 10” format, sure I like to do those, but I want to speak about either design or the human connection we have to video games.

I would love to branch out and maybe have a connecting YouTube channel, official social media, and find someway to make a living off of doing what I love. We live in a world where reading online isn’t fun to most people; in a world where most just care about the very same reviews and countdown lists I spoke of before. Pushing this idea into a professional territory is going to be hard and I need time to think.

I want to interview people, I even emailed the developer of Emily is Away for a ten question interview, but was ignored (unsurprisingly, I don’t blame him).

Most importantly, I think I want an actual team here. I started this blog with some very not-dedicated friends of mine and then moved onto a solo venture with daily articles. I’d love to have even one more writer right now, maybe build up a small crew.

As long as I’m here, PlayingWithThoughts will be different from other gaming sites. Everybody knows chocolate with peanut-butter is good, there are a million people making it; I want to make chocolate with honey, a bit sweeter and unorthodox.

Where is this going?

I will be taking a brief hiatus, possibly a little over a week. Don’t worry, I’ll still be writing stuff for when I come back, and tomorrow I will have another edition of “In Case You Missed It”. I just need some time to figure out how to make chocolate with honey.

If you guys are interested in maybe helping me by giving me some interview practice, or if you’re even curious about writing for this blog, let me know in the comments below and I’ll try my best to reply! As always, thanks for reading. See you soon.

THANK YOU: 100 Follower Celebration (Vote!)

-by Dylan DiBona

I’ve been really waiting for this moment to say it, but thank you.

Thank you my readers and friends for becoming the audience to my voice. Thank you for making me feel like I can do something right; in-depth discussions of video games. Thank you for inspiring me to keep coming back daily to write up new topics. Thank you for disagreeing with me and sparking up conversations within the comments. Thank you for being you, and as always, thanks for reading.

To get more specific, I’d like to thank my top six comment posters:

  1. iplayedthegame – 40 comments total
  2. Geddy – 36 comments total
  3. Mr. Panda – 24 comments total
  4. Karandi – 23 comments total
  5. The Otaku Judge – 21 comments total
  6. Athena Ambi Gaming – 21 comments total

You wonderful people keep coming back almost daily and it warms my heart. Thank you so much. I apologize if you are seeking a conversation in the comments and I don’t reply, I am going to try harder to respond to every comment.

Big Stats:

Best Views in One Day: May 23rd with 67 views

Best Views in One Month: May 2017 with 716 views

Most Viewed Article: Tied between “How Do Video Games Become Our Favorites” and “Is There a Point to 100% Completion in Games?”

Overall Page Views: 2,013

Total Number of Articles: 91

These stats along with your comments keep me going. They remind me that positive progress is being made.

You Vote For My Next Couple of Articles!

I really want to give what my readers want. Next week, on Monday June 5th and Tuesday June 6th, I will be writing whatever you guys vote for out of these five topics. I will provide a good reason as to why each topic should be extra interesting. Everybody gets two votes since only a duo will be chosen. Comment with the corresponding letters:

A. Five Best Zelda Games – The Legend of Zelda is my all time favorite franchise in any medium, I don’t rank these games lightly.

B. The Elder Scrolls Oblivion *VS* Skyrim – Being a big fan of The Elder Scrolls, I’ve been meaning to discuss these two games and compare them for quite some time.

C. The Importance of Immersion – I’ve been wanting to write a pro-video games book in the future. In it I would discussion why gaming does immersion so well, and this article could be a prototype.

D. Five Best Gaming Communities – Despite common beliefs, gaming can be quite the communal activity. Here I would discuss the series I believe to have the best fan-bases, ones I’m proud to be a part of.

E. Why I Want to be a Gaming Journalist – My more dedicated readers may know that this blog is ideally a stepping stone to one of my dream jobs, running my own gaming website full interesting thought provoking articles which will show gaming through a new lens. This is why I want to do that.

Once again, thank you so much! Even if you’ve only seen one article of mine, thank you. If you read all or most of them, thank you immensely. I hope this doesn’t sound conceited, but which article of mine did you like the best, let me know down below and I’ll try my best to reply. As always, thanks for reading

My New Review Scale

-by Dylan DiBona

Hey friends, I just wanted to take today to discuss a pretty big update to PlayingWithThoughts. If you look at the About section of my blog, you’ll see that I’m aiming to steer gaming journalism into a new territory. Part of this in my eyes is avoiding the traditional review scale of 0-10.

In my mind I typically do give a game or any entertainment a numerical score, but that’s because it’s easy. I want my articles and my reviews to be about the words themselves. However, I understand a readers desire for a review scale, it helps them see a categorically determined stamp of quality. So I’m going to be officially establishing (I’ve only been demoing this idea recently) a new review scale which should satisfy you and I both. I will let the words do the talking, in order from worst to best:

Miserable (0) – A true waste of time and energy. Not even laughably bad. So terrible you may cry.

Agonizing – Garbage. No redeeming aspects whatsoever.

Horrid – Definitively bad. The design of this game is painful to experience.

Nonsensical – The type of game that’s so poorly made you may want to pick it up when it’s on sale so you and your friends can have something to laugh at.

Shoddy – Nothing special. You can start to see where the developers made a few mistakes.

Meh – Misguided enough to the point where it was almost a good game. Perhaps some post-launch updates could make it better.

Decent – Not so bad! A game definitely worth getting on sale though.

Fine – Some genuinely good design is here and is worth noting. Certainly not perfect.

Appreciable – A good game worth getting at full price. The developers knew what they were doing.

Astounding – A game everybody should try out at least once, despite your tastes. It’s so great it deserves to be remembered for years to come.

Masterful (10) – The closest a man made product can come to perfection. A game that provides everything it should and more. Defines a genre and even a generation.

So at the end of my reviews you’ll see a single sentence like this:

Pac-Man is an appreciable game.

These words will serve as my final grade.


So there you have it, I hope this scale makes my reviews more understandable! Is this something you guys would enjoy? Let me know down below and I’ll try my best to reply!


-by Dylan DiBona

Today’s Saturday and I’ll be honest, I’m a little busy to be writing a full article today. I don’t want to leave you guys empty-handed though.

Truth is, I have some posts I think are good that people may have missed, so I’ll drop five links to some of those posts. I’ll be back with Gaming Question Sunday tomorrow!

GameCube Retrospective

Persona 5 Review [No Spoilers]

Breath of the Wild DLC Theory

Is There a Point to 100% Completing Games?

Fahrenheit 451 Review [Book]


Thanks guys! Have a great Saturday.

New Blog Schedule! (3/26/17)

-by Dylan DiBona

Hey guys! Been a while since my last update here. So, little life update; I’ve decided what I want to do as a career: gaming journalism. There’s a few reasons I want to pursue this path. The most obvious being that I love video games, and I love writing about them. But on the more serious note, I’ve noticed a lot of disdain towards journalism as of lately, especially gaming journalism. People will go as far as saying it’s a joke, stating that journalists ditch facts for more click-bait like articles.

I’m not doing that.

I also don’t want to come off as every other games journalist out there who describes AAA games as “epic” or “awesome” and gives them 9/10’s! I want to you bigger, better and stronger vocabulary. I won’t let numerical scores determine a games worth in my reviews, I’ll let the words do the talking.

I want to write stuff for the intelligent and information-hungry consumers I know that are out there.

So in order to take my first step towards my dream, I’m going to write an article every single day. I tried doing that this past week, but yesterday I screwed up.

So what can you expect? One again let’s get the obvious out the way: Reviews, Top X Lists, VS. Those will be slightly more rare from now on.

Some new stuff I’ll be focusing on are what I like to call topic pieces, for a lack of a better term. Topic pieces will be taking one aspect of a game or the gaming industry and try to stir up conversation. I tried this with my Mega Man post and Video Game Season post.

On Fridays I’m going to do News Collection sort of post where I take the most interesting gaming news and compile it, no opinions will be in those posts; I need experience writing from factual point of views, without opinions. Now, I’m saying interesting because if something like “Mass Effect Trilogy Remastered Announced” happens, everyone’s going to know about it, so why put it in (unless it was a slow news week)? Again, this is for the intelligent and conversation loving player. I want the comments of my blogs to spark conversation, I will start this by replying to comments more.

Thanks everybody so much! Have a great Sunday!

Would Any of My Readers be Interested in… (2/18/17 Update)

Some samples of my writings and short stories?

What’s up guys. As you know, PlayingWithThoughts has become a place on the internet where I can talk about the things I love in a way I love doing it- writing!

But you see, my love for writing exceeds my love for writing about video games. Ever since I’ve been a kid I’ve had story ideas I thought were “cool”, but I usually quit them for a lot of reasons. Maybe I could finally finish an idea if some people who aren’t close family and friends read them? Maybe it could be like a “Short Story Sunday” type thing?

If you’re not interested and want more video game and anime stuff, don’t be afraid to let me know. Thanks for any and all input!

A Shameless Self Promotion (Part 2/2)

So if you saw my original self promotion post, I’m trying to simaltaneously do what I’m doing here on PlayingWithThoughts in both print and video form. Remember that Axiom Verge article I wrote on the concept of originality? Well I made a full video on the topic comparing it to another indie game, Titan Souls.

If you interested in things like design or philosophy, I think you’ll like my new series “Dyl’sDesign”. Here’s the first episode:

Thanks for checking it out!