Editor’s note: This is the first in a series of gaming blogs by Times Leader reporter Travis Kellar, 27. The blogs will be published on Saturdays on timesleader.com.
I like to think of myself as a guy of many titles, whether it’s journalist, weightlifter, runner, or even uncle.
I also proudly claim the title of gamer.
I’ve been playing video games for well over 20 years. I started out playing “Sonic the Hedgehog” on Sega Genesis in 1995, and I’ve been hooked ever since.
I was even able to take that passion and put it to practical use with my college thesis — essentially, I wanted to prove that in their own way, video games are an emerging medium of art that can tell engaging and compelling stories.
It was either that or a lyrical analysis of Metallica songs.
As a young journalist at my first newspaper — The Sentinel in Carlisle, Pa. — one of my first entries in a video-game blog I maintained was about the Sandy Hook tragedy, in which a gunman fatally shot 26 people at the elementary school in Newtown, Conn. I later was invited to debate the topic with a psychologist on Fox News.
The thing about video games that has always intrigued me is the sense of wonder they can bring. I’m always interested in games that give me freedom to explore and manipulate the world on my terms.
Some of my favorite games are over 60 hours long and tell stories that would give blockbuster films a run for their money. Others are great examples of satire, or have themes that can be very thought-provoking.
One question I get asked a lot about my profession is how I cope with writing about some of the grittier things that happen. My answer has always been to have outlets outside of work that I’m passionate about. That could mean lifting weights in the gym, going on hikes at a local state park, or even heading to Western Pennsylvania to spend time with family and friends.
One of my favorite activities, however, is brewing a pot of coffee, firing up a video game, and losing track of time.
For the purposes of this blog, I’m going to hone in on big news that comes out throughout the week. I’ll also highlight and preview big releases coming out, and review select blockbuster titles.
Along the way, I’ll publish more personalized blogs about what I’m playing or maybe some profiles about games that have special meaning.
What have I been playing?
A large portion of my summer has been dedicated to “Final Fantasy XIV.”
As with most online games, it’s already a pretty big time sink. Add the recent release of its expansion “Stormblood,” and it has taken up a large portion of my gaming time.
I’ve also managed to carve out time to mess around on “Minecraft” when I can. I’ve been meaning to finish playing “Final Fantasy XV” once the “Stormblood” rush is over.