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About The Sandbox

Hello, folks. This used to be an ‘about me’ page but I felt that was a little too self-serving and full of stuff that, honestly, most people couldn’t care less about so I decided to turn this page into a more generic “about the site” page. Of course, without many people actually asking questions or contributing much of anything, I will try to give a little sampling until that happens and I can do this the way I’d like.

Why pick a name like The Laymen’s Gamer?

I needed a persona that fit my gaming mantra perfectly and concisely; this seemed to be the best fit out of all the ones that I was going over at the time. I don’t see myself as a standout character, really; just a guy who plays games, knows what he enjoys, and likes to share what he enjoys: a true layman, to me. I don’t think I represent the greater body nor do I care to; I represent myself and myself only.

Why pick a name like The Sandbox for your blog?

First off, I know it’s on WordPress but I don’t like to think of this as a blog – rather, I think of it as an independently written gaming website. When I was writing for Gaming Precision earlier this year, I noticed one difference and one difference only between then and now: the perception of the platform I was writing on.  The Sandbox is seen as a personal blog and Gaming Precision is seen as an accredited site and yet the platform – WordPress – is the same and the main difference is that GP has its own domain and around four or five more people write for it.

With that being said, The Sandbox was a name picked out with a genre of gaming in mind: if I’m going to be a guy that doesn’t hold back and really reports on what he wants, I am going to need to have a name for my website that properly fits the kind of “do what you want” platform – what better a genre to pick out than the sandbox genre? It seemed more than fitting, to me.

Seems like you’ve got a chip on your shoulder. What gives?

You could say that. I broke into gaming journalism late last year and got myself into Gaming Precision, my first real gig, shortly after. It was all a very quick process and I was very anxious to get myself out there and started right away. I really should have thought twice, though, because it would seem that I got in way over my head; while I have all kind of experience in writing, I don’t have the same kind of experience writing for a particular audience. Throw on top the factors that kept me from being able to write as often as I wanted, the way that I wanted, and my ideas and strategies were being stifled at just about every corner with seniority being respected a lot more than skill; well, let’s just say that while it was a mostly positive experience, I didn’t take well to not being able to flourish given the circumstances.

Once I broke out on my own, I got a lot of flack for writing this way using a “personal blog” which, to some people, means that I need to get a domain and a staff in order to become “accredited” and gain the respect and chances that I would like to have in order to get myself out there. Even on reddit I seem to be getting some snipes regarding the fact that this is considered a “personal blog.” I find it rather unfair that “personal blogs” or “blogspam” get a bad rap though that’s how a lot of gaming journalists get their start, building a reputation from blogging. How is a guy supposed to get a reputation if you keep holding him down because he’s not making the dough to paint up the website all pretty and buy the best domain money has to offer? I don’t have the money to pay a staff, manage a website, or pay for any of the customizations I want and somehow I need to be held down for it?

Yeah, I’ve got a chip on my shoulder.

I just want to be given a chance based on the merit of my material. That’s another thing – there’s a lot of people out there who would criticize without actually saying anything of worth or saying anything that serves as proper or constructive judgment. I can’t count how many times, on N4G, someone reported my article because of something that was literally standing in their face, telling them they were wrong: they said to put the title of the website in the description when it was in the title, the description, and, literally, all over the place.

I’ve learned that, sometimes, there’s just no pleasing some people and there’s a lot of those people among who I’m writing for and who would judge me.

Are you always so ranty?

Quite. If you read more than five of my articles you find that I take a stance against the entitled and the complainers quite often. You will also see me weighing a lot more into equations, especially when reviewing games, than some others would. I just make a habit of carrying on when some others would be more concise – that’s especially true when I’m carrying on about something I don’t like or feel otherwise strongly about, as you can tell from the answer above.

So, what exactly is it that you do here?

You’re probably wondering what to expect when you’re browsing this slice of the internet as a new viewer – the honest answer is, at the moment, that I’m not sure, either. As this is a relatively new gig for me, I find that I’m putting together pieces of what I’d like this to be every day. Right now, I write features and regular articles based on video games and the gaming industry; as you’ve probably gathered from the answers above, my aim is to simply share my thoughts and enjoyment with the world around me. It’s a pretty simple gig but I write with passion and, at times, I write at length; with my standards, that can get pretty hectic. This is why I’m still putting things together; as I’m not really getting paid for what I do, here, I need to work around my current working and personal life in order to do what I do here and that, in and of itself, is still coming together, so… it’s all in flux.

What’s the plan, then?

That depends on everything I just talked about in the last answer but I have a good idea how I’d like things to play out, once wedding planning is done:

- Every day will have a Game of the Day and News of the Day post: Nothing special to write home about, just something simple to write and rant on about a topic of the moment that I have something to say about. This could be in the form of an article, a small blurb on my Twitter or Facebook page, it really depends on how at length I want to share and write about it.

- Every Monday will have a Game Music post: Music is another one of my passions so it only feels right to write about both of them brought together. I will post a blurb about a particular piece of music in gaming and then post a Youtube embed of either a remix/rendition I’ve done of the piece or the official piece itself.

- Every Wednesday will have a retro article titled “NES Day”: Some guys write about their gaming memories in a “Flashback Friday” or “Throwback Thursday” fashion that’s kind of being beat to shit on Twitter so I decided to take my own spin on that and make a retro feature every week on Wednesday. I’ll primarily focus on NES and SNES games but I will venture off the beaten path and hit up any Nintendo retro title if I feel like it.

Every Friday will feature a Preview article: Games that are coming up, hardware that’s peeking over the horizon, games I’m simply anticipating for no other reason than the fact that I want them… Yes, I will be doing regular previews.

- Every Tuesday and Thursday will play host to a Quickie Review: Games that I don’t feel like doing a full review for will get my slimmed down version of a review two days a week.

- Either Saturday or Sunday will hold a Week in Review article: In this article, I would look back on the week that’s passed and then look on to the week to come. Not sure about this one.

- Features will be one a week: First Impressions, Reviews, Game Theories, Franchise Spotlight. More to come as they’re thought up, really. Would like to do collaboration articles, too.

- Blog posts will be posted whenever I feel like it: I really won’t make it a regular thing. It’s not something that should be, I’ll fire off as it comes to me, I guess.

Of course, this is due to change. I’m still formulating this but we shall see how this schedule holds up. It hasn’t started yet, I need to get things sorted. I’m hoping to have this schedule started, at the very least, come 2014.

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