Despite the fact I’ve been pretty shonky of late in terms of output (and quality too, prob’ly), I’ve somehow managed to pick up a couple of community blogging awards which, as always, really mean a lot. It’s always nice to receive validation for what I always think of as my “clumsily stabbed out proto-thoughts” anyway, but when they come from fellow bloggers who I like and respect too, it’s that little bit more appreciated. The current trend seems to be to combine awards into one post – and not wanting to be left out – I’ma go ahead and do the same, so what follows is my Liebster/Sunshine twofer…..


Sunshine Blogger Award



What is the Sunshine Blogger Award?

The Sunshine Blogger Award is given to those who are inspiring and spread sunshine into the lives of other bloggers and readers. It’s a great honour!


Thank whoever nominated your blog

Indulge yourself and answer any questions you feel happy to answer

Spread that radiance to some other awesome blogs to keep the light shining brightly

Use these questions or make up your own to ask your nominees

Tell your nominees that they have been nominated

Put your preferred award logo on display


I was nominated for this by Athena over at Ambigaming. I’ve only recently found ambigaming, but I’ve enjoyed that discovery immensely. Athena’s pieces are a joy to read – well written, witty, and with a clear and visible depth of knowledge about most things Gaming – and given I get to work through the back catalogue now, that’s a lot of joy-to-read still to come. If you’re also a fan of reading joy, head over there asap.


My Answers:


What fictional character would you want to grab coffee (or beverage of choice) with? Why?

Hmmmm. Good question. There are lots of great contenders, but having read The First Law trilogy (by Joe Abercrombie) last year, I’ma say Logen Ninefingers right now. Dude’s an intriguing combination of a big softy and an invincible psychopath, and he’s witty, down to earth, and very, very loyal.

What do you think is the key to being happy?

Yeah, if I definitively knew the answer to that, I’d have written that shit down already, would currently be a bajillionaire, and you’d know me from my regular appearances on Ellen and Oprah. My best guess though would be something to do with realistic expectations, I think. There seems to be a lot of pressure in almost every aspect of life these days, and we’re frequently encouraged to feel that anything less than x [insert unrealistic benchmark in any area of your choosing here] is a “failure”. Having goals is great – and they encourage us to become better at/achieve all manner of things – but when they’re either imposed, ridiculously unlikely, or both, you just end up with a million and one reasons to feel unhappy and unsuccessful.

What story (video game or otherwise) makes you happy any time you play/read/watch/hear it?

There are lots of contenders here too, and there are plenty of games, books and films that I return to when I need a bit of feel-goodishness. The longest standing of those is the film The Princess Bride though, so I’m going to have to say that. Thoroughly deserving of its status as a classic, and positively packed with that ethereal cinematic magic that the 80s perfected, it’s the film that I often watch when I’m sick, or tired, or when I just need a bit of cheering up. Or because, like, it’s Wednesday.

What flavor of ice cream is most like you?

Honestly, whilst I’d love to say something awesome like Cookie Dough, the answer’s probably a lot closer to vanilla. That said, I think vanilla gets unfairly maligned a lot, but if I’m being honest, that’s the answer anyways.


Liebster Award


What is the Liebster Award?

The Liebster Award is a way of recognising bloggers you like, and allows you to direct a little bit of traffic their way. I’ve personally followed the rabbit hole a few times, and some of my favourite blogs are in now in my reader precisely because somebody else linked to them in a post like this.

The Rules:

Thank the person who nominated you and answer the questions they’ve written for you.

Nominate 5-11 blogs and provide new questions to answer.


For nearly a year now, Shelby’s been on my go-to list for Gaming related reads, and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed his take on all manner of Gaming topics over at (the recently revamped) Falcon Game Reviews. For the same amount of time he’s been a mahoosive supporter of this place too, and his involvement, likes and comments have meant a lot to me, and (if I’m being honest) have often meant my pieces aren’t left looking like the blogging equivalent of a tumbleweed-ridden ghost town. We’ve had some great conversations (both here and there) and, along with a handful of other bloggers, he’s definitely a part of what I’d consider to be my “core blogging community”. I also know he’s currently juggling a lot of IRL stuff, yet still somehow manages to find the time to write some really great pieces, so, like, *totes* check them out if you can!


My Answers:


If you could chose any instrument to be an expert at, what would you learn to play?

Definitely the guitar. It’s not the most original answer, for sure, but it’s something I’ve tried (and failed) to learn a few times already. I’ve got hilariously fat and stumpy fingers, so it’s unlikely to ever happen, but I’d love to be able to play it.

Where would you live if it were possible (fictional, real, otherworldly, etc)?

There are a few contenders IRL, but let’s go with fictional(ish) because that’s a lot more fun. Again, there are a few contenders, but I’d have to go with the shared universe of (for example) Assassin’s Creed: Black Flag/Back Sails/etc. Basically anything which would allow me to be a pirate, do pirate-y stuff and just generally get my pirate on. So far in real life, I’ve had exactly zero chances to swashbuckle, and I think I’d be rather good at swashbuckling.

If it were possible, would you dive to the bottom of the ocean to see what you could find?

Absolutely. Not least because, as I understand it, finding a new species of something would give me full naming rights, and it’d be like a real-life No Man’s Sky; and I quite like the idea of the biology/oceanographic community having to write theses and papers about the Jamesdixonisthebestestever-ey Fishey McFish Faced Fish.

Would you choose immortality, or invincibility?

Hmm. I’d have to go with immortality, I think. Now that I’m getting on a bit, it’d be quite nice not to have the ever-present burden of mortality hanging over me, with all its associated ‘What have you even achieved?’ pressures and accusations. Plus, I’d quite like to see where this whole Gaming malarkey goes in the distant future….

You find a briefcase with $100,000,000 in it. What’s the first thing you do?

Pretty much every time this kind of thing happens in popular culture, it ends badly, so the wise answer would be ‘walk dafuq away’! I’m not a wise person though, and that’s a lot of money, so – honestly – I think my answer would be ‘see if it’s possible to hide $100,000,000 in my underpants and run away at the same time’!

What is a hero to you?


What is the goofiest thing that you’ve ever done with another person?

I used to work on Summer Camp type whatsits, so I’ve done a lot of embarrassing and/or goofy stuff in the name of entertaining kids over the years. Possibly the goofiest was when a few of us performed a flashdance inspired dance routine, complete with horrific 80s spandex and aerobics gear. The video’s on YouTube somewhere, so it periodically returns to haunt me if friends come across it. Still, the kids liked it, so that’s the main thing though, eh!?


The Nominations:


I don’t have a huge amount of success with nominations for this kind of thing, and of the handful of people who read here, most have already been nominated recently (or have previously been nominated by me) – so that often means I inadvertently become “the dick who kills the chain”. What I’ll do, in the hope of avoiding that rather unfortunate title again, is to give a list of bloggers who I read, and who I think deserve recognition and/or who bring me some much needed sunshine. That way, people can at least check these blogs out, which is the main thing anyways, right!? If you are nominated, and want to join in – brilliant. Pick either award, choose some questions, and off you go.
If not, no worries, I pretty sure this ain’t legally binding or anything. Anyways, my nominations:


Red Metal over at Extra Life Reviews. Red Metal’s pieces are quite something, and I always learn a lot by reading them. Focusing mostly on games of a decidedly “retro” nature, his posts are interesting, extremely well written, and throughly, impressively researched, and it’s obvious a lot of time and effort goes into them. Check Extra Life Reviews out – particularly if you’re a fan of Gaming’s glorious history.

Lewis Packwood over at A Most Agreeable Pastime. The posts at AMAP are definitely worth reading, and they’re always entertaining and humorous. As a general rule, there aren’t enough chuckles in life, so I’m of the opinion you should grab them where you can – which is why I’m a regular reader over there.

I played the game. Another recent find – but definitely another happy one – Iplayedthegame’s pieces are fun, entertaining, and well worth your time. It’s also quite popular, so you often get some interesting conversations in the comments too – so, you know, that’s something of a bonus, right!?

Pine717’s The Maximum Utmost is another one of the places I’ve been following since I started this blogging malarkey, and I’m an avid reader of anything and everything there. The pieces are always insightful, thoughtful and – not being a member of the PC master race myself – I find the pieces on Indie/Steam-ey stuff a great look at a lot of the games I’m missing out on.

The posts over at GameBleed aren’t particularly regular, but they’re always excellently written and highly original when they do land. I’m not ashamed to admit that they put my own ramblings to shame, and I read there as much because of the writing as I do the subject.

United We Game. UWG is a blogging collective, and as such there’s superb value in reading there given the range of topics and interests covered. Each contributor is worth reading anyway, but all together they’re basically knocking it out of the park.

Particlebit is definitely worth checking out of you haven’t already. Covering a great spread of consoles and genres, and with insightful and interesting coverage therein, Particlebit’s another place I’ve been visiting regularly since the very beginning. The meta-type review things he does are also extremely useful if you’re looking for a quick overview of a particular game.

And last but by no means least, you should absolutely throw a follow to Rich Keech over at intermittent gaming. As the name would suggest, his posts are sporadic, but well worth reading anyway. Rich has contributed great pieces here a couple of times, is actually the reason I’m blogging in the first place (but don’t hold that against him, eh!?), and I’ve known the guy since I was 5 years old!


Right, that’s the Nomination process over. Now for the questions. I’ma do a few, so feel free to pick and choose whichever you’d like to answer.


Which uber-popular game or franchise have you not played, and are a bit embarrassed to admit you haven’t played?

If you could play just one Video Game for the rest of your life, which would you choose?

Who’s your favorite Actor (Because, like, Oscar season, innit?)?

Most embarrassing thing that’s ever happened to you?

Best day of you life so far?

Favorite TV programme(s)?

If you could give your 12-year-old-self one piece of advice, what would it be!?

Has a Video Game ever made you cry? If so, which one(s)?

What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever eaten?

Finally, what’s your favorite book?


Aaaaaaaaaaand we’re done. Thanks for reading, and if you’re nominated, good luck!?