It’s hard to believe that Zombie Apocalypse is one year old. It feels like it went by quickly but then I look back at my first couple posts and realize a year really has passed.
This site arose from a series of events; though frankly getting me to start a blog where I talk about games wasn’t going to take a lot of convincing. First was the intervention into my heroin-like addiction to World of Warcraft. I had been losing steam with WoW as I had reached level 80 (the highest) and had gotten to the point in the game where advancement required super-serious dedication. Coordinating large dungeons raids wasn’t something I was interested in, especially when it required that I carve out a specific night in my week – an impossibility with my work schedule.
Luckily (sort of) I didn’t have to make the tough decision to quit playing WoW on my own as my PC had a complete meltdown. The nervous-breakdown-inducing trial of trying to save a life-time collection of music and video games opened my eyes: I had spent over a year playing the same game while completely ignoring the wide world of gaming out there. A personal gaming renaissance began and I immediately began consuming everything I could get my hands on; avidly reading various gaming blogs and listening to many podcasts dedicated to the industry.
At around the same time, I attended a party with my girlfriend Liz being held by some of her college friends. It was a lovely affair but as often happens at parties with old friends the topics of conversation were centered on people and past events I didn’t know. Wandering through the kitchen to grab some more food I overheard a group of guys talking about video games and sidled up – finally, a conversation I could contribute to. One of them, being a nice guy, sensed I was feeling left out and directed the conversation my way. Not many people I know are into video games so it was nice to talk to folks who were as passionate about the subject as I am. There I met Joel of Spectacle Rock and TwoFold Secret fame. He mentioned that he writes about video games and that I should check out his site – he later emailed the web address.
That was the real turning point for me. I was reading dozens of video game blogs but the idea of writing about games myself, for some naïve reason, had previously seemed impossible. Surely, only qualified professionals were deemed capable of writing about the serious business of video games. But reading Joel’s (and contributing friends) well-written posts made me realize I could channel my passion for gaming in the same way. I immediately began writing a post about my love for adventure games, my history with the King’s Quest series, and new iterations of that seminal series. I soon emailed Joel about the possibility of publishing the post on Spectacle Rock and even though I was essentially a stranger, he very kindly posted it. From there I couldn’t stop thinking about games I wanted to review and not long after decided to start my own site where I could leave Joel alone and post my own stuff.
Starting Zombie Apocalypse has changed my life in quite a few ways. First, and most obvious, it requires that I write often. I hadn’t written much since being in school so it was a skill I had to relearn. I look back at my first couple months of posts and cringe a bit. I think my writing has improved greatly but still has a ways to go. If nothing else this blog has allowed me to exercise my brain in that fashion. I’ve started carrying a notebook with me so that I can write down ideas for posts or ways to phrase something in a post I’m working on – thoughts tend to come to me in random places. One day I’ll discover a way to take notes in the shower since I seem to come up with the best stuff there and then forget it when I get out.
Another change for me was that I joined the world of social networking in order to promote Zombie Apocalypse – somewhere I had previously steadfastly refused to go. It was silly of me as I now thoroughly enjoy keeping in touch with old friends. Joining Twitter has been fun as it’s the best way to follow gaming news and to find like-minded people who might be interested in my posts. It’s very humbling when someone random on Facebook, someone I’d never think would be interested in gaming, later remarks to me that they liked a post of mine. I’d keep writing posts even if no one was reading them but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t check out the number of hits they get. I’m continuing to look for ways to promote Zombie Apocalypse and get myself out there more.
I’m looking forward to the next year and still have a long list of games I’d like to talk about. One of my main goals going forward is to try and start writing more “thinking-man’s” posts instead of straight game reviews like I’ve mostly been writing. I feel like it’s the next step in my learning-to-write path and generally I find those kinds of posts more fun to read and write anyway. There are weeks where I don’t have time to write posts, play games, or I’m simply not playing any games that are worth writing about. Hopefully by writing some entries where I speak about the world of gaming I can help fill those gaps and make my site a little more well-rounded.
Another goal for me is to try and attend a conference – GDC being my main choice and PAX would be great too. It would be a fun experience, optimistically promote the Zombie Apocalypse name, and give me a chance to see some games in the works.
The main contributing factor in keeping Zombie Apocalypse going is the huge support I get from my girlfriend, Liz. She edits my writing and if you ever find a typo, incorrect grammar, or what I’ve written doesn’t make sense, it’s because I didn’t run it by her. She listens to my constant inane chatter about video games and actually pays attention to what I’m saying (mostly). She’ll even play a game with me every once in a while.
Liz, you’re the best and thank you for putting up with me. Everyone else, thank you for taking the time to read my work and I hope you’ll continue to do so in the next year.