I grew up reading video games magazines. I would spend hours on end reading the legendary Amiga Power or the more sober PC Gamer (and occasionally CVG) and dreaming that one day I would become a games journalist. For the longest time my journalistic pipe dreams lay dormant within the dark recesses of my brain. That is until I dipped into the internet back in 1997. My first endeavor was to make my own website. It consisted of a series of articles on random fictitious interest. Among other things I can remember the Clean Elbow Club – an organisation with the sole purpose of promoting clean elbows the world over and a mini series on how to take care of your Mighty Viking Hamster (a particularly rare and dangerous rodent). I also had a section dedicated to gaming and another one which dealt with reviewing music albums (got to crudely review albums by Radiohead, Modest Mouse and the Super Furry Animals if memory serves) . I did not do it for any particular reason other than the joy of writing and learning about creating my own website. I did zero promotion for the site and have no idea if anyone ever visited it since a) I never looked at any statistics and b) had no way for visitors to leave feedback or contact me.
Eventually that project was abandoned although I retained the desire to write. Web logging (or blogging) became a popular thing and websites which let you concentrate purely on the content became widespread. There followed a series of weak attempts to create my own blogs – none of which were related to gaming. They were traditional ‘dear diary’ type blogs, chronicling what was going through in my life, my innermost thoughts, reflections on life and death etc. Needless to say all of them were short lived. The longest running one had all of 4 posts. It was a sad affair.
When I read about the Newbie Blogger Initiative over at Syp’s Biobreak gaming blog about a year ago I was in a very different place. I was regularly reading gaming blogs and listening to gaming podcasts. It was a time when I was fairly disenchanted with mainstream gaming journalism feeling it was becoming too jaded, cynical and corporate like. Funnily enough Facebook was doing a good enough job of scratching my writing itch. Whenever I had something
funny witty stupid to say I would update my status with a few lines of text. The system worked well for me and appealed to my ADD quite nicely. However the NBI struck a chord with me. For one it opened my eyes to the wider blogosphere. It dawned on me that most of these bloggers were not gaming journalists by profession. They were regular people with regular jobs who just like games (mostly MMOs) and writing about said games. Also, since this was the NBI, many of them had just started out. The cherry on the cake was that Syp was doing his utmost to help out the new bloggers by rallying the veterans who duly provided the newcomers with support and exposure. It was enough to make me give this blogging business one last attempt.
The Newbie Blogger Initiative is happening again! The peeps from Contains Moderate Peril and Doone from T.R. Red Skies have taken it upon themselves to re-ignite the NBI flame this year. Whether you already curate your gaming blog or are interested in starting one then there is something for you to do over at the Newbie Blogger Initiative website.