Year 6 of this blog came to a close in one of those long dry spells. I’ve come to think of that entire year as a kind of early sabbatical, at least from the Oath, but it looks like that’s drawing out into an entire lazy weekend of years. I’m not going to attempt the annual summary post, because it would be extra-difficult this time around: so much of my gaming in 2012 went undocumented here that I would have to be working mainly from memory.
And, realizing this, I definitely want to get out of this slump, of playing games without writing about them. One of the inspirations for starting this blog in the first place was Adam Cadre’s rationale for his book and movie write-ups: “posting about these things assures that I’ll actually think about them”. I don’t just want to think, I want a record of my thoughts that I can look back on. Through a combination of business and laziness, I’ve been cheating myself out of that. I said that the original Oath was a failure due to interfering with clearing old games off the Stack, but that was never really the primary purpose of the blog. It was pretty good at getting me to post.
That said, what next? I have two posts I’d like to write right off: one on Antichamber, which I purchased and played to completion this weekend, and one on how I spent most of my leisure hours in the month of January instead of playing games (and why this is relevant to a gaming blog). After that, I want to finish doing the alphabet. I’m up to D now, which means I could try to finish Deus Ex, but given my previous sluggishness at getting into it, I’m actually kind of inclined to pick something fresh off the Stack (and I think I know what). Now, although it wasn’t part of the original plan, I have so far been doing two games for each letter: one that I have on physical media, which gets the full one-post-per-day treatment, and one that I don’t, which gets one post only. I may bend that further — I don’t want to limit myself to one post if I’m inclined to make more than one — but it’s a pattern I’m willing to follow further. I might even extend it to include a work of IF as a third game per letter. I haven’t really been touching IF on this blog lately outside of the annual Comp, and that isn’t where the really interesting stuff has been happening lately.
At any rate, the distinction between stuff I own on physical media and stuff I only have as downloads is one that I’d like to formally acknowledge in the new Oath. It fits with the aim of playing older games: in my stack, the games on physical media are the older ones, because I basically don’t buy games on physical media any more. Which also has the consequence that the physical sub-stack isn’t growing, and is thus in theory completable. So, from now on, these games are the ones that really count, as far as my self-imposed rules go. You know what doesn’t count? Bundles. Humble Indie Bundle, Indie Royale, Bundle in a Box: as far as I’m concerned, if it’s on a pay-what-you-want basis, it has the same status as all the free stuff on Newgrounds. This decision alone cuts the size of the Stack by about a third. I’ll be updating the Oath to reflect this new understanding shortly, and then start abiding by it again.