A New Direction: Side Stories

It’s been a fun few months with Jon and myself sharing our own thoughts on classic games and their impact on us growing up. From clunkers like Robocop to a week of beat ’em ups or adoring our first Final Fantasy games. When we originally set out to A Wink to the Past we had the aim of it being a community project. The warm fuzzies we put to digital paper made their way to you in hopes of inspiring your own memories to bubble up. Some of the conversations we’ve had spawned from those have been great. With the latest focus on the Legend of Zelda and all the guests we had we realized this was more of what we wanted to do. While we both love sharing our own tales of yesteryear, it went to a whole new level when we were hearing from you all how games impacted you. Either right time right place, or just by being a constant in your life throughout. It’s great to be reminded there’s more going on with people when they play than just zombing out in front of the ‘tube.

Going forward we’ve now been subtitled for phase 2 of this project. I’d like to welcome you to AWttP: Side Stories

So what’s it all mean? No more Chris or Jon? No more retro lookbacks? No more goofy bits of how games turned us to rampant delinquency? Not quite.

Today we’re putting out a call to anyone that wants to put their thoughts out there in a communal tome of video game memories. If you’ve had an interest in writing but have never done it before it’s a great place and an open floor for you here. If you want some coaching and enjoy what you’ve read at AWttP previously we’d be more than willing to proof what you wrote or help structure it. The key thing is we want to hear from you around this water cooler we call the internet.

Kind of like this, except it’s you and me instead of giant robot warriors.

Why Side Stories? I’m a firm believer that games are something you do while other things are going on in your life or in your head. Whether subconscious or on the surface I’m sure you’re sorting stuff out while you go into hour 3 of your game session. Figuring out your weekend plans, remembering the first time you played a game in that series, matches with friends online and goofing off, or binging on an RPG to escape life’s complications. They’ve brought you joy, solace, laughter, or introspective among other experiences. You’ve had odd revelations through games (“Did you know Sephiroth is are the revelations creator’s will in Kabbalah?! Dude, they totally named him in reference to that!”), or a simple thought about how Bimmy and Jimmy would have made for better hero names and you redubbed every other character in the game “__immy” to follow suit. The games we’re all playing are cool, but we really enjoy the magic of what’s going on while you play… the Side Stories you organically created that accompany the game.

As with all user-generated content the risk we run here is the strength of this will come from people willing to share. So if you have something and want to bring it over we’d love to have you. Multiple pieces are cool too. Only real guidelines we have are at least 300 words, a few words about yourself, and keep it personal. We’re not looking for retro game reviews as much as we’re looking for retrospectives as to why those games are lodged into your brain. This also means we’re looking to scale back how often we post so we can sustain a consistent schedule. Likely to be about one post a week is what we’re looking to do. So if you or someone you know wants to share with the world in this communal camp fire of video game adoration, to bring to the table their Side Stories about what’s going on within them while mashing those buttons to save the princess, send an e-mail to PunkrawkBbob@gmail.com or hit me up on Twitter at @PunkrawkBbob and we’ll work something out.

In the meantime, Jon and I will continue writing to fill in the gaps when we don’t have guest writers. We thank you all for your support and look forward to spending more time reading and talking about how games keep making a lasting impression on all of us.