Archive for the ‘zombie site’ Category

Chasing Dreams

Saturday, September 6th, 2014

Regardless how the last few entries to this site have appeared, I don’t usually like to be maudlin. But I wanted to touch on a subject that I’ve talked about before: the aim of this site, and where it goes from here. But that requires a brief history lesson.

I registered the domain name on December 17, 2001 on a lark. I was in the midst of finals in college and we were learning all about web programming languages, scripting languages, databases, and lots of etc. I figured it would be fun to grab a domain name and do some of that for myself. At that time, services like Bust A Name didn’t really exist (or if they did, I didn’t know anything about them), so I drew inspiration from my surroundings, saw that I was wearing threadbare socks that day, found that was available and registered it, put together an old computer in my kitchen running Debian GNU/Linux, downloaded PHP-Nuke, and boom, I had (more or less) had a website.

I didn’t really have much of a goal at first. I just wanted to learn about putting together a website, and I think that I’ve succeeded in that (plus lots of other things). But my goals were ever changing, and I could never fully dedicate myself to a concrete vision for a long enough length of time. I would even spin up a sister site for a while once an idea struck, but intereste tended to fall off for any of them after too long, which left me discouraged. I also tried lots of things with this site, most of which didn’t really pan out. Like that failed attempt at turning this site from a regular ol’ blog way back in ought-three, to doing gamy-style blog-posts-masquerading-as-news, for a few weeks in ’07, right after I finished my short stint in the video game industry.

Image showing an uptick in the numbers of articles written from June through July of 2007

That was a productive two months

Yes, a lot of this material was covered a couple of years ago, so I won’t really be retreading that old ground again, but this site is important to me. It’s one of the first things that I created that I actually stuck with and added to and experimented with and learned from. So, it’s not going to go away any time soon, but I have to seriously look at it and decide what I want to do with it, where I want to go, and if maybe something is holding me back.

At one time I wanted to be come a professional web-guy that talked about video games, technology, and various other techy-related-things, and I have made some half-hearted attempts to crowbar this site into that mold, but that didn’t happen. In fact, very few of the things I’ve done here have even been seen by more than a handful of people (with a couple of exceptions).

So, why does this site struggle to find anything to ‘stick’? I have a few theories, and a lot of data, but I’ve narrowed down a few reasons that might not be the whole reason, but are enough to give me pause:

  1. This site has struggled with its identity for nearly 13 years. I never really had much of a focus for it, and whenever I did think I had a great idea, I shunted it off to another site where it never really gained much traction, and this one suffered from neglect in the meantime.
  2. I don’t market my site enough. When I first registered this site, I would go around to computers on campus and navigate as many computers as I could to, and leave the browsers there. I wouldn’t set it as their home page, but I would try to make it look like someone was browsing the site, lost track of time, and then just left the browser open to something I had written. It didn’t really work very well, but these days I might spend a half a day writing some article or another, and might give out a feeble, “Hey, I wrote something, check it out, I guess” on Twitter… and that’s it.
  3. It’s possible that the things I write here just aren’t that interesting to anyone but me. I don’t really have any hard statistics on how many people I have subscribed via RSS, but I’m pretty sure it’s not many. Any time I post something, I get a brief uptick in views, but little to no feedback. I might get a comment or two from a friend or family member (which is appreciated, mind), but content here doesn’t seem to get traction anywhere, which is concerning. That leads to frustration, which leads to a content drought, which leads to even fewer visits, etc.
  4. I admit it. Crummysocks is embarrassing to say. It was a cute flight of fancy when I was a struggling college student, but now, well, it’s kind of less cute. I don’t really think about it any more, until I am confirming some information over the phone with a real actual person. When they’re verifying my email address I can hear them trying to hold back the, “Crummy Socks? What on earth is that about?” in their voice, and then I’m embarrassed. I don’t even like telling people I know about the name of this site because it sounds kind of dumb any more.

I could go on and on, but I think there’s a lot of good takeaway here. I need to re-envision what it is I want for my website to be. It’s probably time to de-emphasize this site (hey, 13 years is a good run) and put my full effort behind something a little more… respectable, I guess?

Not that this site is going to go away any time soon. You don’t just work on something off and on for thirteen years and then just casually discard it like… something funny… that you casually discard. No, now is the time to focus. To take all of the things I’ve learned from my failures, creating a YouTube series, running a video game marathon, and all of the disparate things that I’ve learned to do, and put them all together to make… something.

Okay, I haven’t actually figured out what that thing is yet. But these weekly updates are to help me shake off some of the writer’s rust (that’s a thing, right), which is definitely a step in the direction that I want to go.

Finishing business

Monday, February 20th, 2012

I’ve written a couple of times about a problem that impacts a select few (i.e. “most”) of us video game aficionados as we get older: too many games, and not enough time to play them all.

The problem, really, is twofold: I, someone who is technically an adult, finally has landed a ‘real job’, and, thus, have real actual money to spend on games pretty much whenever I want to. And those games, as a consequence of a medium that’s maturing, are getting longer and more complex. But, as a consequence of having that ‘real job’ and ‘responsibilities’, I just don’t have the time that I used to have to dedicate myself to them.

As a result, I’ve been playing games less and less, and writing about them even less than that (hello down there, blog entries from 2010!)

I guess that means that I’m burned out. That I’ve said everything that I need to say, played everything I need to play, and need to move on to the next stage of my life, right?

Uh, well, no.

No, it would be really easy for me to throw my hands up, give up, and slowly lose whatever gaming and blogging mojo I have left. To reminisce about the days when I would get excited about a new release, or find a hidden gem in the clearance bin, or the times when I used to blog about silly things only tangentially related to video games.

But I’m not going to do that.

Instead, I’m going to make time. I’m going to make time to do the things I like to do. Starting with that pile of games that I bought because they looked interesting and because I would get to them ‘some day’. To do that, I’ve started up a channel over at where I can share my progress with the world.

And that should give me plenty of fodder to keep this little slice of the Internet going for a while longer.

Geez, given the sheer amount of blogs whose last post is some variation of, “I’m not dead”, you’d think I’d have enough sense to not make one here.

Pressure’s on!

Video Game Awards 2010 Reactions Entry

Saturday, December 11th, 2010

The Spike TV Video Game Awards are just hours away. Stay tuned to this space for my up-to-the-minute commentary on the proceedings.

7:07 PM CST Whew! a few minutes late to the show, so I missed the opening number. Shame. But I do see Neil Patrick Harris bombing in front on the audience and announcing one of the GOTY nominees, COD:BLOPS

REMINDER: Refresh this page frequently to get updates.

7:08 PM CST Another Arkham Asylum promo

7:09 PM CST This looks like Sam Fisher infiltrating the Batman universe

7:11 PM CST I have to admit the set looks pretty rad this year

7:12 PM CST Bioware gets the nod for Studio of the Year, kind of going for the big awards early, eh?

7:13 PM CST Dane Cook? Seriously? Were they looking for someone less funny than NPH?

7:14 PM CST Oh dear Lord, Dane Cook is absolutely bombing out there. No laughs at all.

7:15 PM CST Who is Chris Hemsworth?

7:18 PM CST this seems like a long commercial break with no real video game commercials. Do they not realize who is watching this thing?

7:20 PM CST Lots of robed folks entering the stage. Looks like an Undertaker intro. Oh, it’s Tom Howard.

7:21 PM CST Bethesda’s new game is… A new Elder Scrolls game, Skyrim. Very nice trailer

7:22 PM CST NPH trying some puns on some game titles. They’re all pretty awful.

7:23 PM CST Mortal Kombat isn’t dead yet?

7:25 PM CST Kratos in Mortal Kombat? No.

7:26 PM CST 90210, eh? People watch that show?

7:27 PM CST A game about a guy with a hammer? Are we getting a Hammerin’ Harry remake? No? Thor? Psh, whatever.

7:28 PM CST Thor looks a lot like that Castlevania game from earlier this year.

7:29 PM CST These jokes are falling flat for everyone

7:29 PM CST Best action game? Looks like the Wii finally getting some notification. Too bad they won’t win anything unless it’s “Best Wii game”

7:30 PM CST Assassin’s Creed wins. Shocker. These Ubisoft guys are French, which is why they sound like they’re tired and drunk.

7:31 PM CST Strongest character, Master Chief, Samus (pronounced “Same Iss” for some reason), and then Mario. Not sure how that worked out.

7:31 PM CST Army rangers, eh? Guess they’re big sponsors for this year’s event.

7:34 PM CST Denise Richards? Sounds like she’s haltingly reading from cue cards. Yuck.

7:35 PM CST My Chemical Romance with the first bathroom break musical number.

7:39 PM CST Nick Swardson. Yeah. No.

7:40 PM CST Mass Effect 2? Yeah, I bought that, need to start it, and then finish it.

7:42 PM CST Mass Effect was expensive? I think he meant ‘expansive’

7:43 PM CST Sounds like Alistair from Dragon Age, but this isn’t Dragon Age.

7:44 PM CST Mass Effect 3? Already? Even Holiday 2011 seems soon.

7:45 PM CST You know, I like video games and everything, but I’m not buying a car that’s a ‘special video game’ edition, no matter what the game is.

7:48 PM CST The “It’s Always Sunny” cast. Whooppee. I’m guessing that this is some kind of schtick. Not the funny kind.

7:50 PM CST COD:BlOpS getting the shout for best shooter. Props to my buddies at Treyarch.

7:51 PM CST Olivia Munn is not NPH.

7:51 PM CST Does this show have writers, or are they getting these jokes from Laffy Taffy wrappers?

7:52 PM CST Yay, boners!

7:52 PM CST Is it normal to want to punch NPH in the mouth at all times?

7:53 PM CST Resistance 3, probably another game I’ll never play. Sorry, guys.

7:54 PM CST Nearly halfway home and we’ve seen what, one title that’s not PS3/XBox 360?

7:55 PM CST I really don’t want to see any more Dane Cook Photoshopped into pictures with video game characters.

8:01 PM CST Nick Swardson sucks. I know I’m not the first to say that.

8:02 PM CST Hades and Kratos? I guess they’re “live via satellite”?

8:04 PM CST God of War 3 looks pretty good, but since I don’t have a Playstation, I probably won’t be playing it.

8:06 PM CST Best performance by a human male? “That’s what she said!” Yep, that fell as flat as… something funny that’s flat.

8:07 PM CST My problem with this category is that they pretty much only recognize established movie/television actors and not professional voice-over guys.

8:09 PM CST Whoops, first missed bleep of the night. But that accurately describes this skit.

8:10 PM CST Tony Hawk? He looks tired and stoned.

8:11 PM CST Prototype 2, eh? Could be good.

8:12 PM CST A look at the hottest mobile games? Uh a tiny video in the middle of the screen for two seconds. Yeah, good use of that airtime, Verizon.

8:17 PM CST Angry Birds Live? Ugh, this could be funny, but it’s pretty stupid.

8:18 PM CST Yeah, all video games are about violence and child abuse, right?

8:19 PM CST Another missed bleep, or “sh*t” is an acceptable word on Spike.

8:20 PM CST Best Indie game? And no clips from them? Lame.

8:20 PM CST Limbo wins. I guess that’s good, but I don’t see anything about the game, so I dunno.

8:21 PM CST Deadliest Warrior the game? This looks pretty awful. Kind of like the show.

8:22 PM CST “Jengis Khan?” The board game guy?

8:23 PM CST Portal was pretty good, but Portal 2 is the most anticipated game of the year? Yeah, Okay

8:24 PM CST Yeah, that promo tells me absolutely nothing.

8:25 PM CST Ah, yeah, a terrible song about characters that died in games. With fictional causes of death. Blech.

8:25 PM CST And now for the awards that weren’t important enough to make it to television

Best driving game: Need For Speed Hot Pursuit
Best Adapted Video Game: Scott Pilgrim vs. The World
Most Anticipated Game: Portal 2 (Duh, we just saw that)
Best RPG: Mass Effect 2
Best Music Game: Rock Band 3
Best Soundtrack: DJ Hero 2

I’d hate to interrupt these ridiculously unfunny sketches at an awards show by giving out awards during it.

8:31 PM CST Red Dead Redemption won Best Original Score and Something else (the Michael Chickless mumbled it). Good thing we’re wasting time with another song instead of giving out awards. We have a lot to go (including another My Chemical Romance song), and only 29 minutes to go.

8:36 PM CST Ooh, a Top Gear America promo. This show is taking a nose dive. Oh, it’s tangentially related to Forza 4. Still dumb.

8:37 PM CST It looks like we’ve seen the same previews for the same games a few years in a row.

8:42 PM CST A TMZ crossover. And mentioning Kratos again, and Assassin’s Creed and Halo. There were more than three games released this year, right?

8:44 PM CST And more Halo stuff.

8:45 PM CST Why are we waxing about Halo: Reach?

8:46 PM CST Does this violinist have a name? She did a pretty good job.

8:47 PM CST These backstage interviews really serve no purpose.

8:48 PM CST More porn titles? No.

8:48 PM CST Another World Premiere of… SSX? What does a helicopter have to do with SSX again?

8:49 PM CST What the…? Are they trying to make SSX look like some kind of snowboarding / extreme climbing / Medal of Honor hybrid?

8:54 PM CST More Dane Cook. This is last appearance. Thankfully.

8:55 PM CST More love for COD:BlOps. Good for them

8:55 PM CST We’re running out of time. This is going to get real quick.

8:56 PM CST I can honestly say I haven’t really been anticipating Uncharted 3, since I haven’t played 1 or 2.

8:58 PM CST Red Dead Redemption got Game of the Year? Really? And a few more awards (best original score, best DLC, and something else that the announcer mumbled)

9:00 PM CST Lots of awards going to get lost due to time constraints, I’ll have to check out the site later. And no second musical number. Yep, good thing we wasted all that time on the pointless piano songs and idiotic sketches. The show ends rather abruptly. The crowd looks utterly baffled.

Best dressed assassin, Assassin’s Creed
Biggest Badass: Kratos

And the rest get cut off because of time constraints.

This show is in some ways better and worse than last year. It’s like the industry is trying to put on heirs of being a serious industry, but sneaking in bathroom humor, poop jokes and sexual innuendo, just brings the show down to a ridiculously lowbrow level.