Welcome to a special week-long New Year’s celebration dedicated to YOU! This week, I’m sharing a year of my favorite blog posts written by the WordPress community in order to recognize your contributions to the wonderful blogosphere that we are all part of. If you missed Day 1, be sure to check it out (Day 1 contains a more thorough explanation of this festive special)! You can also check out days 2, 3, and 4 for more of these amazing blog posts.
Today, we’re taking a look at blogs from August and September. Keep an eye out for more posts throughout the week. I hope that you enjoy reading these as much as I did!
1. Retro gaming enthusiasts will love Red Metal’s review of the NES Where’s Waldo game released in 1990. I didn’t know that such a game existed. Red Metal does a great job of discussing the many areas where the seemingly promising game falls short, and touches on some interesting surprises. (If you like what you see on Extra Life, I recommend also giving Red Metal’s reviews of Gone Home and Breath of Fire II a read.)
2. I’ve referred to The Well-Red Mage several times in the first four days of this New Year’s Special, and now I’m going to share my favorite Well-Red blog post. The Well-Red Mage always does a great job of writing thoughtful videogame reviews that offer thorough analysis of games, and delve into successes and failures in game mechanics, accessibility, visuals, and other elements that people look for in games. The blog isn’t limited to review content, however, which is where fun posts such as Links to the Past in Breath of the Wild come in. I love this piece because it explores a number of Easter eggs from BotW that serve as nods to previous Zelda titles. (If you enjoy this one, be sure to check out Stepping on Dreams: Remembering the Humanity Behind Game Development, another shining star from the 2017 Well-Red lineup )
3. The number of reported hate crimes and, by extension, general acts of hate have been increasing over the past few years. Recognizing this, it is important to know how to respond when you witness an act of hate, and 500pages‘ Steve Tanner offers a thoughtful post exploring this in A Primer on Responding to Hate in Your Backyard. (If you enjoy Steve’s piece and want to read another thoughtful post supporting diversity, check out Katie Simon’s The Refugee Orchestra Project and the Music of Inclusion).
1. Sharing personal experiences is important, and really helps us make connections with the people around us. For her contribution to the September OWLS blog tour, LitaKino of Lita Kino Anime Corner shares Nothing Changes You | “Treasure” Owls September Tour exploring just that. Her post includes an interview with mental health advocate Amanda Wilson, talking about her experiences living with PTSD. After the interview, Lita shares a personal story of the roll that Autism Spectrum Disorder has played in her own mental health. (I also recommend reading LitaKino’s There’s One, There… Over There).
2. I’m always on the lookout for new pop culture with LGBTQ+ themes and characters. One delightful compilation of reading recommendations that I found this year comes from Let’s Talk Anime, who shares LGBT+ Representation in Comics. The post discusses three webcomics, offering a heartfelt synopsis, details about the author/s, and details about why author Zboudrie recommends it. Zboudrie’s post also discusses personal experience with becoming part of the LGBTQ+ community.
3. Videogames offer so much to education that many educators haven’t fully explored yet. As a result, the educational potential of games is largely left out of conversations about the benefits and drawbacks of gaming. Tabitha of The Gaming Teacher regularly explores this potential in her studies as well as in her blog posts. One of my favorites of her 2017 lineup is one in which she shares her Map Appreciation when it comes to gaming. Her post delves into “locked” map mechanics, waypoints, and the intrigue of unknown symbols, all of which are mechanics that gamers must become literate with in order to find a game map useful. (If you like what you see at The Gaming Teacher, I also recommend Stardew Valley Revisited and Let’s Talk About Water).
4. Admittedly, I did allow myself to cheat a little bit this month after I managed to narrow down the incredible selection to just four posts. If you like posts that overthink and overanalyze videogame mechanics (especially on purpose), you’ll love Insert Memory Card’s Video Game Clinic #2: Nathan Drake Gets Shot, which analyzes the likelihood of Nathan Drake actually surviving injuries sustained in Uncharted 2: Among Thieves as observed by a medical professional. (Author Scott Eastick also does a fantastic job in Let’s Celebrate Snow Levels – When Games Get Frosty)
Do you have a favorite blog that you’ve written or read from August or September? I invite you to share it in the comments! I’m always excited to read new posts.
And as always, if you have a literary device you want to know more about, or a game, comic, show, or movie that you want to see make an appearance on the blog, leave a shout-out in the comments!