Monday, December 13, 2010

Dreams can come true! And then....

After I graduated from college in 2005, I spent some (but perhaps not enough) time trying to figure out what I really wanted to do with my life. One of the goals that I came up with was writing game reviews for The A.V. Club. I was a long-time reader, liked their voice, and they covered all kinds of media except games. A few months or perhaps just weeks later, I was delighted and unhappy that they introduced a game review section. Delighted because, well, that's what I wanted, and unhappy because it wasn't me.

I should note at this point that I had no connection to the AV Club at that point other than being a reader, and I had no particular reason to expect that I should have been involved. I had no clip collection, I wasn't emailing anyone, making connections, or anything. I was entirely aware of this, but still somewhat disappointed.

A few years later, I was in Chicago with a part-time job when they posted the need for a part-time intern. I jumped on that, and suddenly had the connections that I'd been missing . I didn't utilize them all at once, as I got distracted by my college closing, but a few years later I started doing a bit more writing, had a decent portfolio, called in those connections, and I got my staff box with a few TV reviews. I asked into a few new things, got invited to join, and today, my dream came true: my review of the new Golden Sun: Dark Dawn is live on the site.

Now, as cool as this is, and I do smile when I think about it, it kind of shows the limits of realistic dreaming. I'm still a freelancer. This will help my finances, of course, and will certainly help my portfolio, but (and I hope this isn't a trade secret), the AV Club freelancers would have to work pretty damn hard and do a lot of writing to make a living. It's one down, and God knows how many to go.

I'm sure my slightly younger self would have realized this and wanted to follow this dream anyway. It's just that my current self recognizes this far more as a starting point for bigger and better things, and much less as the realization of a life goal. Onwards and upwards, I suppose.


Anonymous said...

Congrats, take a minute to enjoy it. Not something most people ever get to do (a dream).

Harbour Master said...

Honestly, congratulations. Everyone has these little mini-goals inside - things which sometimes are difficult to articulate and express - but nothing can take away those moments when you achieve them.

These are milestones as part of your overall arc, but I don't want to hear any spoilers about what happens next.

KOS MOS said...

I thought your review of DARK DAWN was pretty good. I really enjoyed the first two GS and I especially liked the music and story. I also found it interesting that the second one was so much less linear than the first.

Might I reccomend though, that, tempting though it may be, you refrain from mentioning any part of a game's ending in a review? You mentioned that DD has a "cliffhanger." Granted, this isn't a very big spoiler as you're not describing anything specific to the ending, but it's still a fairly key revelation. For all I knew, the entire GS series would have just been a trilogy, with all the questions unanswered from LOST AGE (Sheba's origins, Alex's fate, etc....) finally resolved. Now I know that this is not necessarily so.

Having said that, it doesn't actually bother me and I doubt I'm ever going to get a chance to play this game anyway. It took 6+ years to make a sequel and by now I've lost interest.

By the way, does DD make good use of the DS's touch-screen controls?

rowan said...

Thanks all.

KOS-MOS, the points that Raging Bear made in the comments are essentially correct - I didn't refer to the scope of the cliffhanger in any way, only that they may have been setting up a sequel. It could be that the end of the game is only halfway through the story, like the original Golden Sun. Or it could be like one of those comic books that has the characters celebrating a job well done, then someone walks in and says "hey, I have a new quest for you!" in the last panel. Or anything in-between.

Moreover, it's directly relevant to two other main points in the review: the exposition of the first part of the game is explicitly useless, and also that it set up a cliffhanger in order to be like its predecessor (that one was more implicit).

wsn said...


Jonathan said...

Very cool. Congrats.

rowan said...

KOS MOS - forgot to mention the touchscreen controls. They're there, and they're usable. I still preferred the old-fashion buttons, but the touch-screen wasn't too far behind, and was in fact preferable for some of the puzzle-solving.

sophomorecritic said...

That's a good point.....recently, I applied to the AV Club myself and had my hopes go way up and way down at the promise of being a tv club reviewer. I applied to review Raising Hope with Todd vdW.

I hadn't been reading the AV Club as long as some people, buit I just randomly got in touch with Todd vdW.

I thought the money I'd make on reviewing would have made me set financially. I thought it had to because the page views were so off-the-charts.

It's inspired me to try to make a living off writing and I've been making small strides towards that.

I've gotten to know you a little since applying for the AV Club and it's interesting to know that you still have a ways to go too. It's like that feeling I got in 12th grade when I learned that the "popular kids" growing up had their problems too. It made the world feel a little smaller