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Creativity in 2009

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I've never been a fan of year end wrap-ups and new year "best of" lists, but I can't argue that they're hard to avoid. January 1st simply demands reflection. This is my holiday gift to that day. You're welcome, January 1st.

An absurd number of great games sprang from the bountiful loins of 2009. Street Fighter 4, Modern Warfare 2, Shadow Complex, Machinarium, Guitar Hero: Metallica, I could go on and on. However, during the holidays, it got out of hand. I found it increasingly difficult to decide how to allocate my free time. I may have developed ADD last month, and it outsi

Ratchet and Clank and Dragon Age probably took the lion's share, with all the others getting just enough time to keep them happy. A level here, an achievement there, you know how it goes. I'm sure I'll be coming back to a lot of them.

On the movie front, we saw some real gems, most notably IMHO being The Watchmen, District 9 and Star Trek. I've heard mixed things about Avatar, so I'm not going to add it to the list. Sometimes the hype machine runs rampant spewing praise for movies based solely on their marketing teams ability to get people in the theatres. There may be some of that going on, but having not seen the movie, I can't really have an opinion. Actually, screw it, that never stops people on the Interwebz. I hated it!

The Guild finished up season 3 (and gave us an amazing video), we greadily devoured the wee orts that we got of V which resonated with more than a few people, and Lost had another epic season (or so I'm told, I don't watch it. Don't judge me!). One of the biggest sleepers on the tube IMO was Legend of the Seeker. You don't get a lot of good fantasy TV shows, and you take what you can get, but LotS is good. Damn good if you ask this fantasy-starved viewer. Check it out. And, does anyone still watch Heroes? The Office, 30 Rock, Community (try it, Chevy Chase found his funny), and Parks & Recreation all were amazing, but I'm a sucker for comedies.

Convention season came and went, leaving a trail of ruffled costume parts, swag keychains, lost board game chits, and the faint odor of pizza grease. Comic Con, DEF CON, BlizzCon, and of course, PAX. And lest we forget PAX Thrax, when swine flu took out half of the gaming community in the United States. As always, the con season brought with it the board games we love, with Dominion and Pandemic surging forth as the hot games of the summer. I highly recommend both of them, especially Dominion.

Much of my personal creative outlet in '09 came in the form of coding a flash game that pays tribute to the arcade classic Rampart (but on crack). It's done, apart from a few bugs, but it doesn't look like it's going to see the world in 2009, probably make it's birthday early January 2010. Sorry, lil' game, looks like your birthday presents will be rolled into your Christmas presents.

By the way, say goodbye to getting to shorten the year name. "08" and "09" can stand alone, rolls right off the tongue. However, just saying "ten" doesn't cut it. We'll all be spending precious second fragments trudging through the entire phrase "two thousand and ten." Who the hell has that kind of time?!

Last, and certainly not least, 2009 gave us countless submissions from our amazing J!NX Minions. Discussions, tweakfests, pictures, clay sculptures, get-togethers, everything. You guys resonate a tone that is literally the essence of J!NX. Your contributions are fuel for everyone here at the Fortress. We thrive on your passion, and it feeds our own. I'm speaking for everyone hear when I say thank you for just being that way, and for helping this culture thrive, which is the exact thing that allows us to do what we do for another year. You guys rock.


P.S. Completely off topic, but I've been loving this Tumblr site. Nick Holmes is a funny mofo. Add it to your daily list.