I was just perusing my pile of fanmail the other day, and amongst the usual lot (love letters rinsed with passion-infused teardrops, sizeable donations from eligible female benefactors and other material from British brides vowing to divorce their husbands in pursuit of my charms) appeared a Lovely Blog Award nomination from one of my fellow… blogger-ers. I maintain a facade of amiable relations with all my blogger chums, but always keep a Machiavellian distance so that I may one day overthrow them all. I almost overlooked the nomination entirely: anything with a love heart on the envelope I assume is just another heartfelt or lubriciously written attempt to woo me. Anyway, my PR rep says I have to ‘give the public what they want’ so I shall comply with the feeble social conventions of the ‘WordPress community’.
Joking aside… I am very thankful that I’ve been getting some nominations in the past months, I would be lying if I said I write solely for some exercise in writing. The community aspect of WordPress is something that I’ve come to find purpose in, the exchanging of opinions regarding a medium that is constantly, currently changing, it adds more meaning to my own and any other peoples’ writing on this site. It’s also incredibly humbling to know that my writing is being enjoyed! I would have never thought I’d be nominated for anything (despite maybe a polite invitation to close my site from the creator of WordPress himself due to overly-toxic content) when I started this site 2 years ago.
I was nominated by I Played The Game!, a jolly fine chap whose content is something I try and keep up with as best as possible. He’s a regular commenter on many of the posts I read and that’s a testament to how much he tries to put into this community. He’s a teacher, a husband and a father, and being myself the son of two currently employed teachers I know how much dedication it must take to maintain not only a fervency for gaming but also an online journal of gaming experience on top of these priorities. If you haven’t already (and I’m sure some of you reading this will already be familiar with him!) go send some online love.
Anyhoo, the legislation!
- Write an article accepting the award.
- Thank the person you nominated you and put a link to their blog.
- Tell the reader seven facts about yourself.
- Nominate other blogs for the award.
- Let them know that you nominated them.
- Post the rules to let your followers know how it works.
Time to pretend I’m interesting…
Fact 1: I’m A Gunner
I used to be completely oblivious to chatter about that ubiquitous sport, you know, kicky-ball or whatever it’s called. Pes-sphere. Pedibus-oval. Football!!! That’s it. Anyway, living in England, football is treated closer to a religion than a pastime. Once fealty is sewed into the hearts of British boys and girls, their team is their totem, with posters and calendars and iPhone backgrounds acting as their personal effigies. It sounds kind of culty, and it probably is from an outside perspective, but from personal experience there is nothing much more gratifying than, with keen intensity, seeing a perfectly-placed ball be fired from those luscious laces into the back of an enemy net in a match that might come to bring your team, your heroes, to glory. I was rather late to the party. I knew nothing about football until the turn of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. It was watching those matches that started a transitional period in my life. I remember I chose Arsenal because I live quite close to North London, but also because I was positively hypnotised watching Mesut Ozil glide across his pitch, owning it entirely, pulling up his team to glory against the likes of Messi.
Fact 2: But Not An England Supporter…
Despite living in Britain, I have never reflected on my sense of personal identity at any one point in my life and have then realised that I feel terribly British. I just don’t, and I never have. I hold dual citizenship (I’ll get onto that later) and even on the side of my family that would give me my utterly boring British surname (as opposed to my mother’s maiden name, an Italian 3-syllable-er which I much favour), I am then the descendant of one Welsh and one English grandparent. I have no faith in blind patriotism based off of where we are born, a decision that eludes us, and we can see the horribly racist repercussions of Trump’s brand of chauvinism happening around us.
My mother is Italian-American, of two Italian parents, and I’ve always thought myself more Italian than I am anything else. I look Italian and I certainly eat Italian. This is only part of what drew me to the Azzurri, however. Apart from my other vaguely patriotic choices when it comes to a national football team (USA, England and Wales) being consistently boring, I was drawn to the Azzurri for their hunger to win, their passion that seeps through the television screen during the matches that genuinely nourishes my soul. Seeing the boys in blue take victory over Belgium and Spain in this year’s EUROs competition had me screaming like a madman in front of my TV.
Fact 3: I’m A Big Ol’ Yank
I hold dual American and British citizenship. I don’t feel terribly American or British but I do cross the Atlantic every two years to visit family and revisit the land of my lifeblood. It’s a country that I have great respect for, as it took in my Great-Grandfather from Italy in a time where his own land would have had him drafted to fight for fascist ideals.
However, we now see a great country on the verge of betraying the values I respect it for. The prospect of a Trump presidency grows slimmer by the hour but we cannot let this fact undermine the glaring problem: he has been allowed to come this far already. It is certainly not impossible that Trump would become president, and if he does, I will pay the fee to renounce my citizenship. I cannot be a part of a country that enables the suicide of democracy. Even if Trump, and this is most likely, fails to become president or resigns his candidature, there has already been enough evidence to suggest that Trump is the symptom of an insidious and pressing disease that dwells across the USA.
Fact 4: I’m Studying For A-Levels
In England you have two main qualifications which universities consider during application: GCSEs (General Certificate of Secondary Education) and A-levels (Advanced Levels). I’m in the last year of Secondary School and I’m studying Religion, English Literature and Drama. I’m coming to enjoy my time at school more as I am encouraged to put forth independent ideas and research into my examinations. There is more room for personal identity in your work during A-Levels, as opposed to GCSEs where much of the examination is regurgitation of information rather than application of ideas.
Fact 5: I Want To Go Into Games
I don’t know if you know this, but I love video games. Visiting universities recently as application time comes closer, I visited York University with intentions of looking solely at the English department (as I was, then, a hopeful English student). I was lucky that, with some vague and unwitting curiosity, I decided to pop into the Interactive Media department as the name alone intrigued me. I knew nothing about the department and thought only that the course would concern film or web design.
That was a day that changed me. I was met with student-created examples of Unity Engine-based games, and I was flooded with examples of course-electives that looked like a list I could have curated. I had extensive chats with members of staff about the perception of games in the media, about the nature of expression across interactive and non-interactive mediums and other such topics that I thought impossible to have in my previously myopic perception of a University environment, which no doubt owed to the austere educational environment of my current private school.
I don’t know how else to describe it, but it didn’t feel just as though the course was right for me, that it fitted me, but rather that it could have been made for me. It did not solely align with me, but it communicated with me. I dearly mean what I am saying.
It was not only the prospect that I could learn how to make and write about games as an interactive medium that excited me, it is that this course could be a bridge to a now very possible career. Previously, I had always told people with vague motivation that I had intentions of going into journalism. That is what I said, but what I wanted to say was games journalism. I have always looked up to the intellectual games critics, Danskin, Franklin, Satch, and having seen them manage to support themselves with crowdfunding platforms I was not swayed by the notion of financial difficulty as long as I was good enough. I try, even in my current amateur state, to be as good as I can be, to be committed of my own volition and to not seem professional but feel professional all the while. Having now seen York’s Interactive Media course, I am wholly determined to pursue a career in games be it on the creative or the critical side. I will spend all the energy I can muster trying to qualify myself for York’s option. Expect to see a couple reviews of some gaming literature on this site because of this.
Fact 6: I’m A Fan Of The Theatre
If you’re a regular reader of mine, you’ll know that I’m a big consumer. I love all kinds of media, and theatre is one of them. Often I’ll go to London with my A-Level set (the Drama Queens, as we are called) to see a show, any show, to treat ourselves to the unparalleled realism of exhibition that other media simply do not possess. That is what will always keep theatre alive. Having said this, I hate musicals because then I am bombarded with the pitch-perfect sonorous notes of those who have been gifted with fantastic lungs, something I have always been wanting of despite that little bit of Welsh blood in me.
Fact 7: “Love Is The Answer!”
In 2008 Rik Mayall, one of the funniest men to have ever walked this Earth, gave a moving and impassioned speech at Exeter University when he was awarded an honorary doctorate. He lists his five precepts of a fulfilling life, and his ultimate one is simply “love is the answer”. I try not to appropriate other peoples’ words in order to express my own opinions much, but I believe that there is no other way in which my overall view of existence can be expressed. It is not simply to follow love and avoid pain blindly, but to recognise mistakes and other detriments to well-being and to learn from them. This fact will no doubt seem schmaltzy to some but I thought it worth mentioning if this post is to be in any way personal. It is the LOVEly blog award, after all.
Thanks again to Rob for the nomination, means a lot and I’ve been trying to be less impersonal in my content so this was a nice opportunity 🙂
Feel free to abstain from the nomination and there’s no time pressure either, I know I took a while :p