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In March of last year, I completed the winter term with a piece about agricultural rhetoric in farming simulation games. I also developed a shortened visual synopsis of that paper, but never colored it or posted it anywhere. This space seemed like the appropriate venue to finally share it.


- Vannnotes






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Link from the Legend of Zelda sits on top of an 8-bit statue of himself while Navi flies around him.
An illustration of Link and Navi I drew in 2016.

Stage 1 - So why do I want to blog in 2022?


I’ve spent the last few weeks obsessed with the idea of what one can possibly blog about in 2022. Amongst my friend group, Hans Peter Heisler, Maddi Gonzalez, and I have all been talking about what it would look like to resurrect some form of personal blog.


It led me to reflect on the great Tumblrs of the past and the beautiful sketchblogs that were part of my regular internet consumption. Some were just images, punctuated by a few scattered notes, while others were nothing but perilously long screeds. In comparison to my current timelines, even the toxicity of Golden Age Tumblr was exciting. Now toxicity on the internet is boring and everyday, demonstrating nothing of significance. Maybe by going back to a simplistic form I can ignore all the contemporary atrocities of the internet like BitCoin, blockchain, NFTs, and how Comic Book Resources is nothing but a hollow shell made of calcified clickbait instead of the website I once knew.


Stage 2 - Why do I specifically want to blog about video games in 2022?


Cynically if I keep this blog up I can justify writing a Nintendo Switch OLED off my 2022 taxes as a business expense. Yet also as my life seems more and more uncertain, I wish to return to a comforting form and a comforting subject.


I’m not an expert on video games by any means. My knowledge of history, programming, and industry trends is slim. But video games are the art form of our age. In the same way writers and artists examined film, stage, TV, paintings, and the culture in the past, so must we as artists today be attuned to contemporary video games to stay relevant. A story about Metal Gear is in Best American Short Stories 2021 for God’s sake. If Gertrude Stein and Pablo Picasso wrote extended letters about their favorite Krazy Kat strips, then it seems more than appropriate to write this ongoing letter about my favorite games.


Selfishly, I’ve also invested so much academic research into video games over the last few years that it has started to feel almost wasteful to not synthesize it. I've also had no regular outlet to muse upon playing Undertale well after the phenomenon. There was no personal venue for the comic I drew about Stardew Valley. To get insular amongst my friends, I’ve also wanted a dedicated space to wax poetic about all the great video game commentary my friends have done. Along the way I may diverge and talk about other art forms: films, books, graphic novels, paintings…whatever.


Since I’m waiting to buy a new console until my birthday (I sold my Nintendo Switch to go to Comic Con in 2018) I’m going to spend a couple weeks reflecting on game theory and mobile games, which have made up my recent gaming history. When I do get a new Switch, I’m hoping to document the experience of jumping into using a console again.


As I conclude my MFA, work on more graphic novel projects, and face new challenges at my day job, I’m looking forward to being in this small community with you, as writer and reader. Know that I write these words in ink before typing them on my computer. They start as a love letter before being digitized and I hope that comes through as you’re reading whether it's simultaneous to release or in the future.


All my best to you,


Vannotes

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