On the Sixth Day of Blogmas…

Merry Blogmas!

We are back with our chorus of bloggers, singing our own version of “12 Days of Christmas.” Instead of leaping lords and turtle doves, we’ll be giving you 364 great gaming and blogging gifts. Check out our previous days, too, if you’re just joining us!

Thanks to OverthinkerY, LightningEllen, The Gaming DiariesShoot the Rookie, and Later Levels for striking the harp and joining the chorus!

Image result for christmas music

And now, without further ado…

(To the tune of “12 Days of Christmas”):

On the sixth day of Blogmas, the gamers said to me:

Share seven favorite posts! (8 beloved characters9 games to play, 10 reasons you’d play, 11 games you love, and don’t forget to link to gaming memories!)

  1. Red Metal’s Spec Ops: The Line review makes this list because after hearing such rave reviews about the game, I played it, only to be a little disappointed. I was new to blogging and felt very out-of-place having this opinion, but after reading Red Metal’s review I not only felt better about a game that I had felt missed a few marks, but also a little more confident about stating opinions that might go against the grain, even as a new blogger.
  2. Lost to the Aether’s Lagging Behind on the Ladies series is a really wonderful and in-depth look at an issue rather close to my heart, and Aether handles it with facts and objectivity not often found around the subject. I highly recommend reading the entire series (the first post is linked) if you have any interest the state of gender representation in games.
  3. I made a note of Chris’s post on OverThinkerY about the actual role that players have in a game world, because I read it on my phone and didn’t have time to comment. But if you’re looking for some reality-bending ideas of who You actually are as The Gamer, at least when it comes to your game creations, have a look.
  4. I loved reading about all of the real-life lessons that a person can learn from a video game, thanks to Digital Life Lessons from Later Levels. I still have my cardboard box ready.
    snake in a box
  5. Everyone loves a good GOTY post, and LightningEllen brings her own style to her top 15 gaming experiences of this year. I know I certainly appreciated numbers 6 through 1…
  6. We’re already on number six and I think I’m going to be a little selfish, here. I really liked my second post for this year’s Blogger Blitz, even if I’m still scratching my head at how my personification of Marjolaine went awry. At any rate, there’s something about Marjolaine keeping Bowser around to manipulate him, only to be forced to watch a rom-com by a sugar-snouted Bowser, that I still chuckle thinking about.
  7. And this one comes in because I had a lot of fun writing it at the time… Metal Gear games, computer overlords, and reality… Not quite this post about Chrono Trigger, but talking about whether machines and technology are/will be our downfall was certainly a fun one – albeit a little frightening – to write.

Seven lovely posts, but what are your thoughts? What makes a post memorable for you? Do you have one that sticks out in your mind? Let me know in the comments (and drop a link if you’d like!).

Thanks for stopping by, and I’ll see you soon!

Do you like what you’ve read? Become a revered Aegis of AmbiGaming and show your support for small creators and for video games as a serious, viable, and relevant medium!


  1. As I said in the past, the positive reception of Spec Ops: The Line can be chalked up to confirmation bias. Independent critics so wanted to take the modern military shooter down a peg or two that they latched onto the first video game narrative that reflected their viewpoints back at them, not caring that the example they chose was markedly worse than most straight examples (I gave Ghosts a lower score due to its unfortunate implications, but I would honestly rather play through that again because at least it’s competently made).

    In any case, I’m glad I was able to inspire you in some way.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re right, and I still agree. It was a real case of ‘the emperor has no clothes,” I think. I haven’t played many military shooters so I don’t have much to go by, but I can certainly see some people wanting to take them down a peg… At the very least, it did make me at least a little more open to wanting to see what a well-developed military shooter might be like.

      Thank you again. It really did mean a lot.


      1. Yahtzee Croshaw and Bob Chipman considered it one of the greatest games of that console generation despite the former criticizing the cover-based shooter genre for being dry and overdone and the latter vehemently opposing the modern military shooter at every turn. In both cases they actively chose an inferior product for the sake of getting their viewpoints across, which is one of the biggest mistakes a critic can make (that and disrespecting your audience).

        Indeed, I think the other reason why Spec Ops: The Line is such a big hit with independent critics is because it ties into that “Gamers are trash” narrative journalists love to push. If that’s the case, I can say Spec Ops had a pretty negative impact on the critical circle given that it basically said “disrespecting your audience is okay if they don’t agree with you”.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Yeah, I feel that if you take the game on its own merits, it’s just a game with very flawed gameplay and an ambitious plot with interesting ideas but a lot of issues in execution. As Athena said, a disappointing game, but it doesn’t go beyond it. But the narrative around it. The developers and journalists telling you “Look at all this crap going on here. This is you. You like this. And you should feel bad because you’re a bad person because this is you.” That made it personal. And that made the game’s execution issues burn even more. And the fact that you could turn a lot of the developer’s statements right back against them, well. I’m glad that the game exists, and that it brought enough attention to head up a bit of a shift in the way games tell stories, but I really wish more people would turn a more critical eye to this one, because discussion about the game would benefit from a more rounded perspective.

          Liked by 2 people

          1. I do somewhat appreciate Spec Ops for attempting a brand of storytelling tailor made for the medium, but to say there were execution issues would be a grand understatement. And you’re right about being able to turn this narrative against the developers; by the narrative’s own logic, the developers are the real monsters for not programming a happy ending. Funny how the narrative clams up in that respect, isn’t it? Then again, considering that co-director Cory Davis claimed that “the game mechanics were raped to make [the multiplayer mode] happen” he and his team really don’t have any real claim to the moral high ground at all (not to mention it speaks poorly of his negotiation skills), making the judgments ring hollow.

            I myself I think Spec Ops would benefit from a more rounded perspective, and I don’t think the prominent independent critics at the time were in the headspace to offer one; many of them, including the ones I mentioned, had (and still have) a dogmatic approach to their craft, which shuts down any meaningful discourse before it had a chance to begin. Then again, if the film journalists’ gross overreaction to when Lady Bird received its first negative review was any indication, it’s not a problem endemic to gaming culture.

            Liked by 2 people

  2. Thank you for the shout-out! 2018 turned into my Year of the BioWare Binge. I wonder who I should blame that on… 😛

    Loved both of your Blogger Blitz entries. You write an awesome Marjolaine… so true to her character I wanted to Snow Punch her as much as I did while playing the Leliana’s Song DLC, haha. Also, Bowser says hi! Bwahahaha 😈

    Liked by 1 person

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