Wisdom, Gaming, and Venturing Out

A while ago, I stumbled across a blog that was having a “Charming and Open” blogging collaboration. I was intrigued, and so left a question for one Robert Ian Shepard of Adventure Rules, and received a question in return. Little did I know that this blogging collab would turn into a wonderful blogging relationship, full of adventure, competition, and great thoughts on gaming culture!

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Although usually much more civilized than this!

Imagine my delight when I found out Ian was hosting another Charming and Open event, exchanging honest answers for honest answers from any blogger that wanted to pick his talented mind! In exchange for my question that Ian has promised to answer (and will be linked here when it goes live), Ian posed the following to me:

“I would be interested in hearing how you got your start. What inspired you to create AmbiGaming Corner and begin your blogging adventure?”

I’ve alluded to this beginning before, but I think I’ll expand more on the story this time around. It’s not always the happiest of tales, but I think it’s a good example of how nice things can come out of not-so-nice things so here we go!

Beginnings

Honestly, I started this site without much planning. Actually, no. That’s not true. I started this site without much planning compared to how I plan out other projects of mine. Usually, I approach something new with a solid idea of what I’m doing, how I’m going to do it, and have about seven steps planned out before I even start out.

Image result for dance steps

Not this time. I had something to say about storytelling in games and choices and mulled over the idea of posting them on the internet for about eight weeks. Like, if I wasn’t writing my thesis, I was thinking about the pros and cons of starting a little video game blog for eight weeks. It was a little obsessive, I know, but that’s how things go sometimes when I’m thinking of starting something new.

The most honest reason I have for actually deciding to post these thoughts on the internet was a little more complicated than “I started a music therapy blog and this one at the same time because why not?” I started this particular blog because… well I was pretty depressed at the time, and feeling disillusioned about my profession, and, I realize now, looking for something completely different to do with myself in the vain hope that a break from music therapy things might make me feel better. I had no job, no degree, and one giant headache.

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This all happened a long time ago, as you can tell from the pictures.

So, dammit, I was going to write about video games. I was going to be nerdy and over-analyze stories and write in friendly, accessible prose about psychology and other “scary” topics and how they relate to games. I was going to fangirl about games I love, and no one was going to read it anyway so what would it really matter?

Ghost of Blogging Past

Well, no one was going to read it, but that didn’t mean I wasn’t going to do the thing the right way. So I set about researching blog hosting sites, and figuring out a name for the site. After playing with various plays on “Gaming Therapist” and “GameRx” I eventually came to playing with the words “ambidextrous” and “gaming.” AmbiGaming came from a desire to look at the two different “worlds” with equal skill: the virtual world of video games and the physical world of, well, the plane of existence gamers usually live in.

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Suddenly the hands/globe combination makes sense!

At first, it was great. Ignorance is indeed bliss, and I bumbled around writing about choices, storytelling, and how Loghain is actually a hero. I tried (and failed) to do what amounted to a weekly wrap-up post, but had no idea what I was doing and eventually dropped it. Then my thesis took a turn and I had to step back my posting schedule to only once a week.

Ghost of Blogging Present

Even with this lessened posting schedule, it felt like I was off to the races. People started subscribing and commenting, and I began to feel really good about writing, even though I was still concerned I would run out of things to talk about. Which is silly, because I always have something to say.

I began to really establish how I wrote certain posts, like my “Interesting Case of…” articles, and how to go about writing short, snappy posts for Mondays. I found things that worked, found things that didn’t, and had to constantly adapt to feedback I got. This was an experience unlike anything else, and I ate up everything I was learning.

Image result for i freaking love homework

I went through a now-defunct Creators program through NowLoading, and implemented what I was taught there. I entertained the idea of trying to make a go of this professionally. Of course, once that idea was in my head I decided to treat this like it was a job, and I have to say that I do spend numerous hours a day working on this site, either drafting posts, doing research, scouring the interwebs for new information to talk about, or, um, you know, playing games so I can actually talk about them, too. Honestly I’m not sure how long that’ll last, as I’m single so I don’t have to balance a significant other and children with a job and a blog, but for now, I’m enjoying it.

Ghost of Blogging Yet To Come

I wrote about this a bit in my anniversary post, but I realize that the goals I set were kind of vague (except the YouTube one, which I’m pretty sure isn’t going to happen). I wondered why. Usually, I’m pretty clear with my goals and enjoy putting my head down and pushing forward until I achieve them or conclude that the goal is not one I can achieve right then and move on to something else. I don’t really do “vague,” in that regard.

Image result for suspicious meme

Honestly, I don’t know what the next step is. I don’t know how to expand this site any more, being a one-woman show with a just-about-full-time job and other responsibilities outside of games.

And that’s okay.

What I do know is that I have some exciting ideas planned for the new year that I mentioned before and will be talking more about in the coming weeks. Maybe this site’s Patreon will never be able to support me. Maybe There will only ever be a handful (perhaps a large handful!) of people who check in here. But playing video games and writing about them still makes me happy, and if tuning in every so often makes you happy, too, then I’m content.

Wishing you health and happiness in the new year, and looking forward to seeing you in 2018!
~ Athena

What’s next? You can like, subscribe, and support if you like what you’ve seen!

– Support us on Patreon, become a revered Aegis of AmbiGaming, and access extra content!

– Say hello on FacebookTwitter, and even Google+!
– Check out our Let’s Plays if you’re really adventurous!

12 comments

  1. It’s interesting to see that there are some parallels in our stories. Perhaps it is inevitable that all of us doing this will at some point entertain thoughts of doing it professionally, haha. Thanks for participating in the event, it was cool to hear how you got your start!
    I’ve really enjoyed reading your blog since we met and I think your blend of psychological knowledge and gaming lore is a fascinating one. I look forward to seeing more from you in 2018 and for more exciting collaborations in the future!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I think you’re right. I mean, wouldn’t it be great to turn a hobby into a job? I know people say it’s not that glamorous and whatnot, but still. Thank you for the great question!

      I’ve quite enjoyed your blog, as well! I’m glad we found each others’ blogs, as sappy as that may sound. I’m looking forward to 2018 and seeing what’s in store for the whole WordPress crew! 🙂 And yes, definitely collaborations should occur during that time haha

      Liked by 2 people

      1. As someone who has actually done the whole “turn your hobby into a job” thing — I worked as a member of the professional games press for several years — I can say with some confidence that… well, don’t do that. At least not in a way that means you have to sacrifice your freedom and unique style.

        I had particularly bad experiences, unfortunately, and I’m sure those won’t happen to everyone, but I can say with a strong degree of certainty that doing what I do now — gaming and writing about gaming as my primary hobby, which a few people are kind enough to flip me a few dollars on Patreon for each month — is much more fun than doing it as a full-time job for someone else, beholden to their “rules” and “vision” and whatever.

        I just wish I had a bit more free time to do more of it. So I could… uh… turn it into a jo– WAITAMINUTE

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Hey! Thanks for your comment and your insight!! I’ve heard that about the industry, often, and that’s really a shame. But I guess with so many people with those aspirations, a company doesn’t have to treat their workers well. I suppose I’ll have to keep hoping for a few really rich, really generous patrons… haha

          WAITAMINUTE….. haha but yeah. I do appreciate you sharing your experience, and I hope you find that extra bit of free time! 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

  2. The globed hands image is so clever! 🙂 Blogging is different for everyone, I think. I started blogging on Gamespot in High School to escape my small problems, and now I’m an cranky adult and have my own website blog thing. I have met so many great people by doing this, and that’s why I keep doing it.

    Anyway, I’m so glad you started AmbiGaming! Your website is definitely one of my favourite blogs to read. And thanks to you, I’m a Dragon Age addict now! I hope you continue having fun writing here, and I’m super-excited to read all the new content you have planned. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ha! Thanks. You’re right that everyone has a reason to be here and blogging. That’s cool that you started one way back in high school!

      You flatter me. Although I can’t say I’m displeased that I’ve brought you over to the Dragon Age side…. haha

      Here’s to 2018!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. And that’s ok. I like that. That’s absolutely how I feel. Write because you enjoy it. Create because it fulfills you. It’s too time-consuming to do it if it doesn’t feed back into you. Blogging should be about you and what you’re into. You won’t be producing quality if you’re not feeling it.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Reblogged this on Adventure Rules and commented:
    Many of you who follow Adventure Rules likely know Athena of the gaming blog AmbiGaming. She’s a regular in community events here and a great inspiration to me as a blogger. You ever wonder how she got her start? Well thanks to Adventure Rules Remastered and the December 2017 Charming and Open event, you can read all about it! Go check out her origin story and give her a follow if you haven’t already!

    Like

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