A blog in the sun

Let me start by wishing everyone who has nominated Later Levels for an award a big thank you. I’ve had the pleasure of meeting some very lovely and talented people over the past year. The WordPress community is great to be a part of and there’s a place here for everybody.

Usually when an award is received, I like to show my gratitude by focusing on one of the questions posed by the nominator and create an entire post around it dedicated to them. But every now and again, I prefer to mix it up a little bit by answering all of the challenges set – and as Calum from Read This Stance has been so sweet in putting Later Levels forward for Sunshine Blogger, that’s what I’m going to do today.

Hold on to your controllers, it’s going to be a bumpy ride…

1. If you had to play one game for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Horizon Zero Dawn, video game, woman, warrior, Aloy, mountains, sky, photo mode, clouds

Funnily enough, this was a question also asked by Strange Girl Gaming as part of her own Sunshine Blogger award so these guys clearly have good taste. I answered it in a post last week and I can honestly say it’s one of the hardest conundrums I’ve faced: how on earth can you narrow it down to just one video game when there’s so much variety? I managed to reduce the list to two and couldn’t decide between them, and neither are the title you’re probably thinking I’d choose.

2. If you had to kill off one of your favourite video game characters, who would it be and why?

This is tough because I’m not sure I have any favourite characters, although there are plenty who have taught me something new and inspired me to become a better person (the subject of a post written for Joey from AlunaRL back in January) I think I’m going to have the same answer for this challenge as for number ten below: mainly because he’s already dead and therefore gives me a nice way to avoid the question (wink wink).

3. What do you find the most rewarding aspect of blogging to be?

It’s hard to narrow down just one answer to this question! Firstly, blogging gives me a creative outlet completely different to my IT job where every day in the office is about processes, data and logic. Secondly, it’s satisfying when you realise your writing is gradually improving and you become more confident to put your thoughts into words. And thirdly, it’s the bloggers around you; this leads me on nicely to the next challenge…

4. What is your proudest achievement in blogging?

Rezzed, SpecialEffect, Ben, Kim, Pete

I can honestly say it’s the people I’ve had the pleasure of meeting and the friends I’ve made. If you told me five years ago that most of my real-life friends would now be individuals I started talking to because of blogging, I’m not sure I’d have believed you! It has brought me into contact with people I may not have otherwise had the chance to get to know, and it’s lovely hanging out with them in real-life and playing a few video games.

5. What is your favourite genre of game?

To regular Later Levels visitors, I guess it’s obvious: I’m a sucker for a good adventure, particularly a point-and-click. The Secret of Monkey Island was the first game I ever played for myself and the genre has stuck with me since. I love the classics (take a look at this post for a few recommendations) and am even partial to a spot of pixel-hunting, inventory-combining, illogical-puzzle-solving and conversation-tree-navigation.

6. If you could set up an office to blog from anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?

Birmingham in the UK. Not the most exotic of answers but the city has a certain vibe which makes this Essex girl love being there. The NEC is home to EGX and Insomnia, plus the Birmingham edition of Comic Con, so I wouldn’t have to travel too far to access some great events. Plus there’s Cadbury World around the corner for whenever I needed a chocolate fix; and plenty of great restaurants in the city centre so I wouldn’t go hungry.

7. What’s the worst movie you’ve ever seen?

I don’t tend to watch a lot of films – it’s weird how I struggle to sit still during an entire movie but can do so easily for several hours on end when I’m playing a video game. But if I had to choose one, I’d probably go for the time that my other-half made me watch Sharknado because he knew it was bad and cruelly wanted to see my reaction. Or the year when my stepson wanted us to watch Rango with him every weekend.

8. What is the best band or artist you’ve seen perform live?

A few years ago, I went with a festival with friends and we managed to push our way to the stage while Aerosmith were playing. And damn, has Steven Tyler got charisma – the way he commanded the audience was amazing. Alternatively, Tony Hadley from Spandau Ballet appeared at an 80s weekend we went to recently and he’s still got it; his voice sounds exactly the same as it does on the radio, and he seems like a really down-to-earth guy.

9. If you could have a sidekick companion from any game, who would you choose and why?

Murray from the Monkey Island series is one skull who’s got his s**t together and is going places, and we could learn a few life lessons from him. He may have had his skeletal-body blown to pieces but did he let that stop him? No. He turned it into the opportunity he’d been waiting for: to become a demonic overlord and conquer the land of the living. Despite his reduced state, he still considers himself an object of pure evil showing that sometimes all you need is a positive mental attitude.

10. Who is the most misunderstood enemy or boss in gaming?

Following on from the answer above, I’d have to say LeChuck from the Monkey Island series too. Everything he did was out of love and for a woman who didn’t return his feelings; and this brought about his untimely (initial) demise, when he wanted to find ‘the secret’ in order to prove to Elaine just how much he adored her. In fact, this subject would make for a great post… so let’s stop writing there and save it for next time.

11. Nintendo or Sega?

When we were kids, I had a Game Boy while my brother had a Game Gear so we were on opposite sides of the argument. I spent hours playing Tetris, Looney Toons and Caesars Palace (weirdly); but I’d also steal his handheld so I could play Outrun and Castle of Illusion. Back then I would have given you an answer of ‘both’, but as an adult I’d have to say ‘neither’ because I’m not a big fan of the games produced the developers right now.

And on that shocking cliff-hanger, we’ll bring this post to a close! Thank you to Calum from Read This Stance again for the award nomination and choosing some really good questions of me to ponder over. The one I’d like to hear most about from others is number ten: which boss do you think is the most misunderstood in gaming?

5 thoughts on “A blog in the sun

  1. I think Bowser is the most misunderstood boss in gaming. He’s a great dad and never quits, no matter how badly he fails. I’m willing to overlook the constant kidnapping of princesses… his heart is in the right place at least, haha.

    Congrats on the award!


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