“You know Talen,” absolutely nobody has ever said, “Why do you call your game reviews the Game Pile?”
Well, I’m glad you asked.
I’ve been playing videogames in some variety since I was four. My earliest memories are of watching my father play Zork and Captain Comic. I’ve watched videogames evolve as an industry, and as an art form. What’s strange to me, then, is thinking about that four year period where I basically played one game.
I played City of Heroes, a single MMO to which I had an intense emotional connection. While I was playing it, I made friends, I lost friends, I refound friends. One of those friends was a very kind boy who sometimes worried that he’d upset me. He tried to do things for me that were nice – and one of the things he did was find my Steam Wishlist.
So from time to time, I’d find he bought me a game. I’d nod, mentally tell myself I’d go play it later, then went back into City of Heroes, with a new story, a new character, a new goal. I didn’t pay any attention to those games, that collection, as it slowly got bigger… and bigger… and bigger.
Then City of Heroes ended.
I sat down one afternoon after that sad end and found myself sifting through my game collection on Steam, realising how large that collection had become. I had literally hundreds of games that had gone unplayed. I had this massive monument from a friend about how much he cared about me.
I wanted to play these games. I wanted to play them, but I wanted to talk about them. I wanted to show that I cared about the gifts. That even the ones I decided, afterwards, I didn’t like them, I’d still dedicated time and effort to. That not a single gift was a small one.
There’s no organisation to it. There’s no plan. It’s a great big pile of games. I plan on playing my way through as much of them as I can. Games are a way we connect with one another, they’re a way to touch on ideas you wouldn’t ordinarily, and that’s what this game pile is about. If it gets me attention and work as a professional games reviewer? That’d be hunky dory – but that’s not what Game Pile is about.