I’m hoping that laboured pun in the title makes is obvious enough so you all know what I mean, and also then why this post deserves this. Mind you, that’s pretty much given for most of my sporadic posts here so here we go anyway.

A friend that I have massive amounts of respect for, the person that got me into all this and convinced me that this may actually be an idea for a career path, as well as a none too subtle influence on me starting a blog has this weekend left the Games Journalism profession for pastures (or comic books with Marvel) new: Mr Kieron Gillen. I’m certainly not the first, and I’m almost certain I won’t be the last one singing his praises or doing a semi eulogy for him, but I’m going to keep mine brief for the sake of my own ineptness to really add anything more. Also, it’s very late and I’ve picked a stupid time to try and do this when I’ve had all weekend…

His stuff polarized opinion. He made many Internet Enemies, and possibly some real ones. He could rub people up the wrong way and he sure as heck managed to make a scene on more than one occasion. But that’s what made him great. He influenced many of the other games journalists of my generation and took risks that made his writing interesting, fascinating and awesome to read. But beyond that personally – he challenged me. He challenged me to think differently about writing in general, not just video games. Things like his pieces on level design in games without levels. Writing about levels in games that then informed other games. Pieces that looked at games characters as more than just an antagonist and even the self referential slightly too far up it’s own arse crap managed to toe that line of being mainstream while not mainstream within games writing and broaden the scope of it in a similar way that games themselves have become more socially acceptable.

It also helps that he also isn’t a prick in real life. Comics are lucky to have him and of course, he’s still remaining around. (He’s not bloody dead.) It does feel like the end of an era though, he was certainly the first writer I ever properly got to know as more than just a disembodied voice in my head when I read the words on the pages of a mag. So thanks, Kieron, for everything.

The future of games writing is incredibly bright with all the talent around these days he’s leaving behind, and one of those is Mr Simon Parkin, the bast, who summed up exactly why I’m doing this in his latest post far better than I probably can:

Videogames are ridiculous and those who devote their time and energy to writing about them are more ridiculous still. And yet, this is our medium. And what a privilege to examine why games matter, inspite of, and perhaps even because of their ridiculousness. I want to get better at doing that. This is not a stepping stone.

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2 Responses to Salute Alors!

  1. Patrick Rose says:

    Sunday Papers. Without that, I doubt I’d still be writing. It felt like I was just writing a load of bollocks that nobody cared about. Then I got a Sunday Papers link. Then it showed that obviously I wasn’t as shit as I thought I was.

    So he’s helped an awful lot of people. We did a quick toast to him on Saturday after the expo.

  2. The_B says:

    @Patrick Rose – Aye, I’m still annoyed that due to various issues, I was unable to attend the EG Expo this year. 🙁 -It sounded awesome.

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