“With great power comes great responsi…..”
“Yeah, I’ma stop you there Spiderman’s Uncle”
“No, wait. This is kind of important. See, with great power comes great resp….”
“Dude, we’ve been through this – not bothered, innit!?”
“Yeah, but you should be ‘bothered’ – this is an important lesson, James”
“La, la, la. I can’t hear you!!”
…….is the conversation I initially had (in my head, obvs) when I was given the honour of being a Judge in the Blogger Blitz Community Event over at Adventure Rules. I then spent a good five minutes shouting “I AM the law” in my best Sylvester Stallone voice, before whipping out an imaginary gun and shooting (also imaginary) people with it. Because I’m a rubbish adult.
Upon reflection though, not only was that immature and churlish, but actually, it was conduct totally unbefitting such a cool and illustrious event. See, not only did Robert Ian Shepherd come up with an ingenious idea, but he’s put in many, many hours of work to make it viable and successful and, moreover, this work has facilitated some genuine community feeling and buzz in this, our very own corner of the t’internetz. That be some really special shiznizz, right there, and I’ve been very excited and privileged to be a part of it. So much so, in fact, that – for perhaps the first time in my life – I’ve generally managed to behave like an adult and take my responsibilities seriously. Yeah, you read that right.
Such has been the success of The Blogger Blitz, I imagine you’ve probably come across it already, but if you haven’t you can find a rundown of the competitors and judges here, and you can find all entries and supplementary pieces in the dedicated Blogger Blitz bit of Adventure Rules. See what I mean about the many, many hours of work!?
As a judge I’ve had the pleasure of reading some genuinely brilliant and inspired entries over the last couple of months, and – because they’ve been so damn good – I’ve had a really hard time trying to determine the winners. That said though, it’s been a lot of fun, and I’ve been thoroughly impressed with the wildly original and quality writing the event has inspired amongst the participants. I’ve seen competitors try to get their Madison Avenue on, try their hand at matchmaking (in possibly the most extreme episode of The Undateables ever), deliver letters with the hound of hell attempting to use them as a chew toy, survive in their competitors universe before playing some decidedly extreme football, and engage in plenty of other shenanigans too. Honestly, it’s been a blast and most Mondays I’ve been given the opportunity to dive into some brilliantly realised and absorbing adventures that’ve more than overridden the general “go fuck yourself-eyness” of a Monday.
And as a judge, whilst it’s been ridonkulously hard choosing winners, I’ve actually really enjoyed the process. Critically assessing and comparing respective entries that exist within a medium I love has fired my synapses in a gloriously unique way, and it’s often felt like a puzzle wrapped in the enigma of a crossover game – and that’s been all different kinds of cool. Sometimes sponsored characters have been ones I’m familiar with, and those entries have often provided me with a greater appreciation of their abilities, approach and universe; other times they’ve been characters I’ve never played as, and that’s opened my eyes to whole new worlds of potential Gaming goodness. Moreover, each and every competitor has shown a depth of knowledge, enthusiasm and love for their chosen character that’s impressive in its own right, but has also made me realise just how much these characters can mean to people. We’ve been referring to “xxxxx’s chosen hero” in judging and whatnot, and it’s an apt description precisely because we’ve seen how these characters have been embraced, not just in the context of the competition, but really how each competitor has had an intimate, emotional relationship with their hero that the competition has merely highlighted in a clever and unique context.
Indeed, these epic smackdowns have been so epic not just because they’ve seen (admittedly kick-ass) characters go up against other (admittedly kick-ass) characters, but also because those characters have been “piloted” by competitors who have, in many cases, developed a bond with their heroes over the years, and – as a judge – I’ve often felt like I’ve been watching competitors guide their heroes in intuitive ways that suggest a level of understanding and affection that’s beyond impressive. All told, it’s left me with a greater understanding and appreciation of what great Gaming characters can mean to people and, even though I’m generally a cynical and emotionally stunted person, that’s given me some genuine feelz.
Like, for realz feelz.
Likewise, the tireless work of my fellow judges (Chris, Geddy, Athena, and Destiny) has proved illuminating too, and I’ve often been spectacularly impressed with their own reasoning and insight, which often (ok, always) surpasses that of my own. I’m not the sharpest spoon in the picnic basket, for sure, but still….. it’s been an educational and enlightening experience being amongst their number. I suspect my elevation to their ranks may’ve been something of an administrative oversight in an otherwise perfectly realised and executed event, but by golly have I benefited from that little snafu. As I said at the outset, my initial reaction to being a judge was somewhat lacking in the whole “adult-ey” department – but host, competitors and judges combined to bring out the best in me. Who’da fucking thunk that, eh!? And on that note, if you’re reading this Mr. Field, in your face – turns out I’m not “completely, irredeemably unteachable” afterall.
Anyhoo, all of that’s to say that I’ve loved my time in the world of The Blogger Blitz, and I shall be really sad to see it end. The final kicks off on Monday, and I fully expect it’ll be the mother of all encounters – and that it’ll stretch my limited brain capacity to the very limit trying to determine the Champion of Champions. As we speak, Lightning Ellen and Sheikah Plate are likely honing their arguments into devastatingly sharp points that’ll stab me right in the brain-ey bits, and that’ll leave me wrestling with an Andre The Giant of a decision. Mixed metaphors aside, that’ll be both a mahoosive joy and a monumental challenge, and it’ll be a fitting end to such a fantastic competition which I’ve loved being a part of.
And that just leaves me to say Good Luck to the competitors and judges (and also to the latter – if I need to, can I copy your working out, please!?) and, finally, a most heartfelt thanks to Adventure Rules – without whom none of the above would’ve been possible.
And finally, finally (just because I’ve always wanted to say it):
LET’S GET READY TO RUUUUUUUUMBLE!!