This got recced to me by someone who knows my predilictions too well, and.... wow. I want to live in this comm. Videogames have been my primary form of emotional connection to fiction since I discovered them at the age of eleven, and the main way in which I expressed and clarified that to myself was through banging out videogame reviews on my electric typewriter (long before I had a PC, and when I didn't know how to use my Amiga's word processor) - at first for small-circulation fanzines, and then, as those fell by the wayside, just for myself, though still in a style heavily influenced by magazine reviews (even including the editorial "we", and the assumption of the existence of a fake magazine team). I learnt a lot about myself and my connections to the games I loved through reviewing them - and crucially, the focus of the review would always be not the gameplay or graphics, but the emotional resonance I had with it. I played, and still do play, videogames for the way they make me feel. Even the worlds and atmospherics of "simplistic" platform games have a way of creeping into my psyche, connecting me to something that feels ancient and vast -- which sounds absurd, nonsensical, but that's just the only way I can parse it. I first discovered emotion and love (I'm diagnosed autistic-spectrum) through FF6; spirituality through Secret of Mana. Probably the thing I've written that explains it best is here; my ten-year-long connection with FF6, and what it meant to me.
I've been in and out of gaming and other communities for the six or so years I've been online, but this place... if its paradigm is really what I think it is, I feel as if I may have found home, as sappy as I'm sure that sounds. I have a good feeling about this, and really hope this'll turn out to be the foundations of a community where we can not only review games but discuss the feelings of immersion, emotion and "part-of-that-world"-ness that they invoke; that we can discuss how it feels to feel like you're symbiotically intertwined with a gameworld. A place where we can empathise with each other when we're thinking, feeling, living as one with a game we're loving.
(As I was typing this, I caught a woman in a long red coat walking into the lab out of the corner of my eye, and parsed her as Lucia from Lunar: Eternal Blue. This statement is testimony to the last, methinks.)
My reviewing skills are probably a bit rusty after several years out of practice, so in order to get myself back into the flow, I plan to re-type up some of my older stuff that's still lying around in paper format and post that, if that works for you. Even between the ages of twelve and sixteen, I was surprisingly articulate, and had a good grasp of the English language.
Also, here're a few more entries from my journal that may be of interest to some of you, regards my various early and current connections to videogames:
http://www.livejournal.com/users/eclective/198350.html (more technicality than emotion, but still)
http://www.livejournal.com/users/eclective/194256.html (my experiences with various platform games)
http://www.livejournal.com/users/eclective/208003.html (where my head's currently at... can we say "When I was alone as one..."?)
The icon cycles through a few of the games I've had the strongest connections to, if you're interested.