Welcome to New Mandalore

Instead of rehashing all that I’ve already rehashed multiple times, I’m just going to paste my first post on my now-defunct Tumblr.

I’ve gone through many blogs and domain-names since I started trying to throw together a personal website to cover games and gaming news that interested me. It all started when I began getting super deep into the online gaming-culture scene. Sites like 1-Up, with amazing podcasts (GFW Radio and 1-Up Yours) and the glorious 1-Up Show. Jeff Gerstmann’s blog, that eventually transformed into Giant Bomb. Massively.com and MMORPG.com. These sites and communities around them are what got me interested in jumping into the community and diving into video game journalism.

I started with “iWinButton.com” way back, somewhere along the lines of 2006-2007. I actually remember I had originally planned to make a blog dedicated to Warhammer Online, as that was the MMO I was currently the most hyped for. I scrapped that idea when I realized I couldn’t possibly stick to one MMO, and only one, for a prolonged period of time. I wanted to talk about, and most of all, play other MMOs. “iWinButton.com” shifted towards a general MMO blog, where I mainly covered breaking news and announcements and talked about whatever MMO I was currently hyped about and/or playing. Hell, I even threw in some energy drink reviews, seeing as it comes with the territory. During my time writing posts on iWinButton, I gathered a little following of fellow MMO bloggers (wonder if any of you are somehow still reading this, if you still follow me on twitter). Two of which, who were way more active and involved in the community (obviously), have moved onto writing for Massively.com. A path I would love to follow.

Out of nowhere, I just kind of stopped writing posts. My blog kind of faded into obscurity as I switched domain names and hosts a few times, from various things like “1080-gaming,” “myMMOverdose,” and most recently “jamesandhisgames.” The schism mainly happened because I stopped taking classes (Journalism major) and just couldn’t decide on a focus for my online presence. However, this year a spark reignited my desire to blog, get the wheels turning on taking classes again, and work towards my “dream” career. Although I have only scratched the surface so far (a small attempt at a youtube channel and barely-intermitent updates on my semi-defunct jamesandhisgames.com blog), I plan to seriously push myself to make updates and stay active. Gone is my “all encompassing” gaming and news coverage, as I’m going to focus more on just what I’m playing and why I’m playing it. Gone is my “try to think of a witty and clever brand” logic in buying domain names and “branding” my online persona. I’m just going with an alias I chose in 2006 as my Xbox Live Gamertag, a callback to my favorite and most memorable game of my life so far — Star Wars Galaxies. As I move forward with this blog/tumblr/whatever-it-may-morph-into, I will be refocusing back to MMOs for this new direction. MMOs are where my heart has been ever since I got a taste of them in high school with the likes of Dark Age of Camelot, Shadowbane, Planetside, and most importantly Star Wars Galaxies. The latter plays an important role in my new direction. As I mentioned earlier, my “New Mandalore” alias is actually a reference to my home-city and guild-city in Star Wars Galaxies that was settled on the planet of Dantooine. A shout-out to my favorite MMO yet, and a blog covering MMOs again. So yeah, full-circle, and all that jazz. I won’t straight-up say that I won’t cover any “Non-MMO” games, as some come up here and there that I just have to try (recently: Diablo III and Krater) and may want to write about.

Will I keep this blog on “Tumblr?” I may. I may not. I may switch back to WordPress or I may give SquareSpace another shot, but I wanted to see what all the hipsters were up to on this Tumblr thing. One thing I like about Tumblr so far, is the ease of posting quickly. This will allow me to maybe post a quick thought (akin to a tweet, or something) if I’m on the go, via the android app, or even if I’m on my PC, but just want to make a short post with a game trailer I thought was interesting. We’ll see how it goes.

First on my agenda is the recently launched The Secret World, which is patching as I type this. Stay tuned. I’m excited to cover MMOs again!

So, like I warned in that post, there was a chance that I would just not like Tumblr, or that this “direction” would not work out for me. I was right; Tumblr is just not my bag. The editing tools are clunky and pretty much non-existent (for what I need from them) and the site works more as a proxy for glorified Twitter/Instagram posting rather than actual blogging or news posts. I’ve grown accustomed to WordPress, having used for the last four years or so. It takes a little more user-input and time to make a post, but at the same time it allows for more tools and customization. Long story short: I’m used to WordPress and change sucks.

But, as you can see, I’ve abandoned the “jamesandhisgames” branding and I’m sticking to my “New Mandalore” alias and motif. Without getting to philosophical over an online alias, I feel like “New Mandalore” works two-fold; both as a “username” but also as a destination (with that destination being this blog).

With that said, it may take me a while to settle on WordPress theme and color-scheme, but I’m about to start working on all that after this post goes up. The actual domain name will come, but I need to start getting my s*** together and posting way more frequently before I start worrying about removing the “.wordpress” from the blog’s URL. Content should be the most important thing, but all too often I focus on the aesthetics.

RL Aggro

Haven’t had too much time to jump into any MMOs the last week or so, besides some Lineage 2 here and some World of Warcraft there. I’m still facing the dilemma in WoW where I can’t pick a damn character to stick with even having pretty much one of every class, most above level 30. Lineage 2 is fine and I usually have fun when I find a time to play. I hammer out a quick “kama” and try to find a spot to grind in, but I usually have time constraints and find myself having to log off by the time I get out to a grind spot and start to get in a flow.

My “real life distractions” have just been normal blips like car problems (needing an oil change and new tires badly), school (9 A.M. class doesn’t agree with late night gaming sessions, my usual habit), and monetary issues (needing to work more). Oh, the life of a college student struggling with student bills and keeping a roof over my head and food on the table. But, wait, this has nothing to do with gaming or massively multiplayer online roleplaying!?

Hey, look – I got a haircut.

Coming Soon™ to iWinButton.com


Here are a few things I’ve been tossing around the ol’ noggin for a while – just thought I’d let you, my readers, in on the cutting-room floor.

  1. Video Content – I have a wide variety of ideas here, and is probably the most involved (both financially and time-wise) of my new feature ideas. I’m thinking Vidcasts, Video Reviews/Impressions, and definitely Video Taste-Tests for all the strange energy drinks I try. In addition to putting my mug on camera, I’m looking into capturing game footage and sharing that as well, which is already in the works and is just waiting for me to acquire a larger HDD, so I can work with more footage. I’m still just working out the foundation for all these ideas, but I’m super excited about them.
  2. Podcast? – I’ve been wanting to podcast for a while now, I just have the bad luck of not knowing the right people I guess and not knowing where to start first. I only have 1 friend who would even be equipped to go toe-to-toe with me on the topic of the genre and industry of MMOs, but I haven’t sold him on the idea yet. If anyone else is interested in co-hosting or (even better) is looking for a new co-host or member of their Podcast project, let me know.
  3. ????
  4. Profit

Internet memes aside, no joking around about the first two. I’m constantly trying to hone my craft and figure out the best way possible to reach my readers to not only inform you but entertain as well and keep you coming back. I’m playing more MMOs right now than I ever have and I’m doing it all for you! So many great virtual worlds to explore, so little time. What a drag, right?

If you have any comments or suggestions as to what you would like to see – let me know in the comments!

Stay tuned and as always, thank you for reading.

– James T.