Saturday, November 14, 2015

Yes we're still alive

Howdy folks, this is blendo75 here with an update as to what's going on.

We've gotten a lot of nice correspondence from our readership that we surely do not deserve on account of our lack of updates and replies, but I do have time to address most of your questions right now.  Hopefully this covers a lot of ground.

Yes, we're all alive here.  Yes, it sucks that there were major life upheavals right as we were finding a groove.  Yes, we're going to get back to it ASAP.

We are a very close group.  We are related.  Chuck and John are brothers.  No we are not on Facebook under any names you see on this page.  We value our privacy so we arent going to say much more.  As for the picture of "us", is it really us.. there's hints to this whole thing all around you and more clues on our twitter (blendo75).

Our experience, both unique and combined, covers a broad spectrum of games both old and new, from systems previous to the C64 and post.. The focus here is Commodore 64 games but they are approached from the perspective of 40 years of gaming, beginning with the Odyssey 2 (with a brief experience with the Odyssey 1 beforehand).  The Commodore 64 is definitely our favorite system and the one with the most impact on us, and certainly not just because of games but for the world that it opened for us with regards to all aspects of computing - BBSs, hacking/phreaking/cracking, etc.

We're all familiar with the 64's capabilities and have played more games for this system than any other platform and that will probably stand until the day we all die.  We absolutely love all of them, even the very rotten ones, as they all have something to teach you about the system and about how C64 games and games in general should be designed.  But more importantly, they all have a bit of magic and mystery to them that is granted to them by the unique hardware capabilities of a system created in 1982 and by the fact that they are usually the vision of one individual or a small team.  The C64 is a system with uniquely crafted hardware that does so much with so little that it very nearly IS magic.  Only the Atari 2600 and Amiga 500 can compare, in our estimation.

Yes we do want to review games for other systems, the aforementioned 2600 and Amiga.  Maybe a modern one once in a while.  But we want the content of the blog to be mostly C64 and we dont have a lot of C64 content at all, yet.
No we do not enjoy hating on games.  Reviewing these C64 games is about more for us than just giving thumbs up or down.  It's about cataloging our experiences with them.  It's about conveying to others, to strangers from all over the world, those experiences.  We'd like to think that our perspective is uniquely our own and is, hopefully, valuable to the Commodore community and to those who also love and want to further understand what makes games fun or not fun, what makes them important or throwaways  What makes them an art form.  Sometimes we do take bad games personally.  Our time is limited and precious, and games that are mediocre and/or that were made to trick you into buying them are stealing that time.

Where do we stand, politics, religion, etc?  We want these reviews to be timeless and therefore try to avoid flavor of the moment analysis and conversation, i.e. no gamergate/sjw stuff.  Having said that, you can trust that we are not jerks and are not unaware of inequality or injustice, if we ever run across a game where it's appropriate to dig into politics, we certainly arent afraid to.  We are old, and to us writing about video games is like writing about any other hobby - though we do love it, it has no more worldly significance than any other hobby.  Playing video games and/or writing about them is a very personal experience that is useful for aligning your brain for use in other more important aspects of life, similar to the effects of reading a novel, playing solitaire or tending to a zen garden.  It could make you a better thinker and activist, for instance, but is itself not activism and the conversations that spring forth from it are probably not as world changing as you may believe.  Not saying they dont have value - but that the sky-high mountains that are made from the molehills of game analysis and the extreme reactions it gets from immature readers is something that we'd like to entirely avoid anyway.

We realize that most of our readers are either exclusively C64 gamers or exclusively 8-bit.  But if you're insterested in modern games, yes, we do play them.  Not as many as we'd like to.  Some recent ones we hold in high esteem are Civ 5, Skyrim, Minecraft, Resident Evil 4, Guitar Hero, Boom Blox, Final Fantasy X / XII / XIII, Luigi's Mansion and Katamari Damacy.