By: Chris Hodges, editor-in-chief
For those that don’t know, The Liebster Awards are a way for bloggers to recognize and spread the word about their peers. I am greatly humbled to be nominated for a Liebster Award by both Nick the Gent over at Deconstructing Video Games and Luke Carter aka Hundstrasse. I’ve been at this for over two and a half years now, and I cherish–and always will–each and every person who takes the time to read, follow, comment on, and share my ramblings about video games (especially those that do so with any sort of regularity). It really helps to make all of the time and effort feel like it’s worth something. To have not just one, but multiple people think of me to give any specific kind of award or recognition to is a really great feeling.
As part of the process for the Liebster Awards, you are tasked to answer 11 questions put forth by your nominator, and then nominate blogs that you would like to award and give them a new set of 11 questions to answer.
First up, my answers to Nick the Gent’s questions (I’m answering his because I found out about his nomination first)…
#1 – Favorite video game – and why?
If I really have to pick just one, I’m going to cheat a little and give my favorite franchise. And that has to be The Legend of Zelda. I always say Mario was my first crush, but Zelda was my first love. The original blew my eight-year-old mind with how huge and epic it felt, and even as I’ve gotten older I still feel that sense of wonder with each new installment. It’s one of the few holdovers from my childhood that can still have that effect on me.
#2 – Star Wars or Star Trek?
Star Trek, no contest. To me, Star Wars is just a series of “good movies” and not much more. But Star Trek is the one that I am actually a fan of as an entity. I prefer my sci-fi to be more grounded in reality and plausibility, and Star Trek feels like a universe that could exist (just far, far in the future). Star Wars is much more fantastical, full of “magic” and ghosts and over-the-top villains. The stories feel very “good vs evil, rescue the damsel, save the day,” whereas Star Trek stories tend to feel more complex than that. Trek just feels deeper, more mature, and more original–and not just remakes of Akira Kurosawa movies set in space.
#3 – James Bond or Jason Bourne
Another one I didn’t have to think twice about. Bond all the way. The Bourne films (haven’t read the books) are fantastic, and he’s a great character. But James Bond is just one of the all-time classic characters, in any medium. I don’t care how cliched it’s become: having a guy who can single-handedly take down an entire criminal organization without ruffling his suit or losing his “cool,” and can still find time to have a martini and bed a beautiful woman in the process…there’s just nothing more entertaining to watch/read. In a world with far too many dark, brooding, mysterious protagonists, it’s nice to get away from all of that and watch a classic Bond movie and just smile for two hours.
#4 – Favorite food?
I honestly don’t think there is any single food that I like more than a good cheeseburger.
#5 – If you could live anywhere, where would it be and why?
Once upon a time, I would’ve listed all kinds of hip, exciting cities in various parts of the world. But honestly, now that I have kids and a family, the specific “where” isn’t really important–home is where ever they are, and I wouldn’t want to be any place else.
#6 – What did you want to be when you grew up?
It changed every few years, but here are all of the ones I can remember: teacher, actor, NBA player (that’s a weird one as I couldn’t care less about sports now), cartoonist, writer, game journalist, video game store owner, and video game designer. Writer is probably the main one from when I was a little older and started to actually take the question more seriously.
#7 – Why did you start blogging?
Tying in with my previous answer, I want to have a career in writing and blogging seems like the obvious first step in that endeavor.
#8 – How did you come up with the name of your blog?
The blog was originally going to be focused specifically on Chicago’s role in video games, past and present. Hence the “Chi” part (which, despite common misconception, is to be pronounced like “shy” and not “ch-eye”). The “scroller” part was meant to both sound like a traditional-type newspaper name, and also when taken together, the whole name was intended to double as a play off of the video game term “side-scroller.” It’s all confusing, especially now that I’ve long-since abandoned the Chicago focus (mostly because the rather snooty Chicago game dev scene couldn’t be less interested in having a blog about them, apparently). But it’s way too late to change it now that I’m pretty established under that name. Now I know how the Goo Goo Dolls and Hoobastank must feel.
#9 – What do you enjoy most about blogging?
Getting to interact with like-minded people, and having something that I wrote inspire reflection and conversation (sometimes quite passionately) among complete strangers. That never, ever gets old and feels deeply satisfying each and every time.
#10 – What is your favorite article that you’ve written? (links please!)
Such a tough question. Maybe instead of picking my overall favorite, I’ll pick one that I felt really proud of that didn’t get nearly the response/clicks that I thought it would. It’s always so disheartening when that happens. To that end, the following article is a good example of that: “Covering the History of Games with Cover Mechanics”
#11 – What is the most important life lesson you’ve learned?
Follow your heart, no matter what. It sounds cliched and simple, but it really is the most important life lesson I’ve learned. And really look within yourself and make sure that you truly are following your heart, because it’s easy to convince yourself that you are and that you’re happy when you actually aren’t. Never mistake “good enough” for true happiness; life is too short to settle for good enough. I guess that’s two different lessons, but they’re related.
And now, here are the blogs/bloggers I’d like to nominate for a Liebster Award (and to answer the 11 questions that follow if they so choose). For the spirit of the award I didn’t nominate blogs that I’ve already seen nominated by others, even if they deserved it.
Karl Weller at Game, Complain, Repeat
Man-in-a-field at Gaming Controllers
Colonel Fancy at Somewhere in the Midst of Nowhere
And here are your questions:
#1 – What is your favorite gaming era, and why? It can either be a specific range of years, a certain console generation, or however you’d like to pinpoint it.
#2 – What “dormant” video game franchise would you most like to see get a new installment?
#3 – Describe your dream video game in ten words or less.
#4 – Gush about one specific favorite pop culture (but not game-related) thing of yours – Band, movie, TV show, author, athlete, comic book character, etc.
#5 – In your ideal scenario, would your blog be your full-time, financially-supportive career, or do you prefer it as a hobby?
#6 – If you could write/could have written for any one game magazine, past or present, which one would it be/have been?
#7 – What is your biggest vice/worst habit/etc (that you’re comfortable discussing)?
#8 – What time of day do you feel most creative?
#9 – If you had to choose one extreme temperature to live in for the rest of your life – hot or cold – which would it be, and how does it compare to where you currently live?
#10 – Name one song, movie, video game, TV show, or book that people who know you well would be very surprised to find out that you love?
#11 – Starting the day you answer this question, you have to make a choice: For the rest of your life, you have to either a) only play new games that come out after this day, or b) only be able to play games that have come out up to this point. There’s no going back once you’ve made your choice. What do you choose?