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.

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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!

ICYMI #1

-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]

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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!

 

A Shameless Self-Promotion (Part 1/2)

Part of the reason for my recent light posting here is my work on another project (don’t worry, I won’t forget about this place). See, I am endlessly passionate about examining entertainment to see why so many people and I think they’re so good! A lot of people say Spider-Man 2 is the best flick for the webslinger, well how come when they tried to top it with Spider-Man 3 it flopped so hard? It’s stuff like that I find interesting, the development and philosophies that went into making the things I love.

My new channel trailer doesn’t explain that too much on a first viewing, but with a handful of views you might see what I mean. It’s called “Forward February” because I’m putting all my efforts into YouTube this upcoming month more than ever. I tried making a successful channel and failed twice actually (once a comedy channel and once a vlog channel). Those videos are gone and now I start fresh.

I plan to upload four videos a month, starting January 29th; yes Forward February starts a little early.

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If you like video games, manga, movies, comics- most geek culture entertainment, then I would be very grateful if you checked out my channel now and in a couple weeks to see what I’m about. I plan to release my main series which will dissect entertainment, I also plan to do update vlogs where I talk about life and tips on creativity, interviews with friends who also like to be creative, and a ASMR type channel where I tell stories.

I tried putting in everything I love doing into one channel.

I thank you humbly just for reading this post, and if you don’t like it or comment on it I fully understand. PlayingWithThoughts will continue to run for a while, until life hands me my next step into writing about games.

If you like PlayingWithThoughts, I think you will like my channel, Dyl’sDesign during this Forward February. Thank you.

2017 Blog Update! (1/5/17)

-Dylan D

Hey blogging brothers and sisters; I know I tried to give an update in my last post but I decided to give myself a whole page dedicated to how 2017 is going to go for me.

First off, my name is Dylan and I love writing about entertainment and emotional themes, sometimes I like to delve into philosophy. Not only would I like to be able to steer someone towards a good purchase or vice versa; I’d like to give people a good reason to appreciate things for a deeper reason.

Do you think Dragon Ball is a show just about some kid running around, screaming and punching things? I’d argue not.

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One day I hope to make a job out of what I love doing. So I guess it’d be like a journalism gig- who knows maybe one day I can start up a big website dedicated to entertaining thought pieces.

Anyway, this blog is like a stepping stone for me, a way to hop into the ring. So here’s what’s up:

Last time I said I would only post on Sundays- I’m not doing that anymore. On average I’d like to write two pieces a week, but I won’t keep myself to a strict schedule due to quality concerns.

Here are the types of posts you can expect from me:

Top 5/10’s

Reviews

Opinion Pieces

Versus

Essays

(Always a chance I add more!)

The first two are obvious but the Opinion Pieces are just going to be posts where I discuss, well- opinions. An example would be ‘Why the gaming industry cares less about fans’

The Versus series will be when I put up two of anythings I believe can be compared, could be  TV shows or video games. I’ll then grade individual aspects they share and explain who I think does it better.

Lastly, Essays will focus on why I personally love something. In Reviews I discuss that topic but also while trying to convince my reader to try the show/game/book I’m reviewing. In Essays I’m not going to try and convince anybody. Do you hate Digimon? Cool, well let me give you an idea of why people I don’t.

Now I gotta be honest with you guys, I’m struggling in one place:

Review scores

Are they arbitrary or are they purposeful? I truly do read the blogs I comment on and I like to believe others are doing the same to my work. Review scores are like bait to just scroll to the bottom and skipping over the whole heart of the article. Is it counter-intuitive to spout heart-filled thoughts on something and then slap a grade on it like it’s a biology test?

Think about it; we may rate one game an 8/10 and another a 10/10 but we may prefer the 8/10 because it’s more colorful and generally fun or because we have fond childhood memories of it.

So here’s what I’m going to do right now:

I’m ditching the idea of a numerical score, but in doing so I’m going to focusing more efforts on the conclusion paragraph so if I have any speedy-readers who want an answer quick, they can just read that. But if I ever feel like my blogs popularity is going downhill, I have no choice but to bring them back.

If you guys have any counter-arguments to my review score idea, I’d love to hear them below in the comments!

PlayingWithThoughts is also a platform for my friends who like writing, so every now and then you may just see an article posted by a friend of mine. My good pal Vinny has been helping me fill up this blog. I think in 2017 it’ll be mostly be me, but don’t forget to check out the author on the top of articles!

Anyway, thank you guys so much for entertaining me, I hope I do the same for you. Get ready for a lot of anime related articles because man have I been binge-watching. I hope you all the best this year!