Xaimi's Nerdy Blurbs: The End is the Beginning- A Year in Review

Monday, December 31, 2018

The End is the Beginning- A Year in Review


Here we are, five days before the end of 2018. I usually do not get all hype about New Year's, making resolutions, or things of that nature because I feel like you should try to do everything that you can as it's not guaranteed that you're going to get more time. Even now, I am dictating the first two paragraphs of this thing into my phone while waiting for a bus because I am worried that I will not actually finish this. I have started two or three pieces since September's chime in, yet none of them are finished or posted.


Why?


I sat on this conflicted egg for a spell. My deduction: the issue was that those are not the ideas I wanted to express at the time. So much has happened in a year that I rather talk about the whole; this has been a long fucking year. My year technically ended in September. Yeah, I know. 365 to 366 days in a calendar year, but allow me to explain. I promise the nerdy content will be sprinkled throughout, but I always want this blog to represent openness.We're going to discuss how we got here --yes we, as my journey led me to many of you-- and where we hope to go. Buckle in and hands up.


Oh! One more thing...imagine you are reading this in Qrow Branwen’s (RWBY) voice-- a swaying rasp. I feel it rather fits the tone.


September 2017

A mischievous kid with the 16-bit cartridge of a game called My Life pressed reset while I was mid-play, only to then rip the damned thing from the machine like a lawn mower rev attempt.


Translation: I found out someone I cared about took my feelings for granted followed by whopper number two: learning four days later that a close friend died.


Prior to the previous jostling revelations, my presence here on NGB (formerly Twilight Yellow Horizon) was fleeting. I decided in February 2017 that I wanted to hunker down with my blog and produce consistent content I could be proud of, but the side quests in this My Life RPG made main quest completion a back drop. Yes, I managed to provide live Twitter coverage of E3 and visit the Entertainment Software Association headquarters, but outside of a full TEKKEN 7 review and my thoughts on the Smithsonian American Art Museum Arcade, writing took a back seat.


October 2017

Fear is not my Master t-shirt for the Tapp Brothers' GFC
I buried one of my best friends, celebrated his life with some of my closest friends, designed a t-shirt for another group of wonderful friends from the Tapp Brothers Get Fit Challenge, then said “fuck it” and moved to the Southwest region of the U.S. for two months. I started an Instagram account to chronicle the journey and taught myself how to use it. Nothing like a crash course in hash tags, branding, and avoiding the dreaded insta-whore title. I wrote during this time too and kept to my self-imposed schedule: at least one writing post per month. Not an easy feat, but I was never one to play the game on Easy Mode; I only get one playthrough to unlock as much content and find all the Easter eggs in My Life, so Hard Mode it is. Looking back, I think I threw myself into creation because that was the remaining outlet I could rely on, but the abrupt move did something for my spirit. New Mexico is a state that embodies a love for art. Most of you know of the place because of Breaking Bad. Others seem to be under the impression that you need a passport to go there…
...yeah, that one still gets to me.

December 2017


The state imprinted on my soul like a baby bird. So you can imagine how I felt when I had to come back. I had moved to a place that had one-of-a-kind collectibles and loot, but my level and gil purse were too low to remain there for long. Hard to grind experience when you do not have the gear to get the job done. I ported back to the East Coast to begin the job hunt anew, but my mind was set on keeping the blog alive. I just needed the means to do it.

April 2018

Anyone with the slightest understanding of “the struggle is real” does not need a play-by-play for a full-time retail position. By mid-April, I was two months (by official company definition) into a position with a well-known powerhouse that had decided to break new ground (see what I did there). The position did not leave excess time for writing, but with Infinity War slated to release in May, I could not miss a movie review opportunity.. 

Something else happened during this brief time span. Some of my teammates were serious creators. I am talking people that put time and effort into their crafts, promoting themselves, expanding their portfolios, because creation was oxygen and they hungered to breathe. Videographers, fitness specialist entrepreneurs, graphic designers, photographers, coders, and writers sandwiched into a team of their creative peers. We wanted to make a living doing what we love, but not making a dime from it did not stop the effort.


 
My initial logo design and M33kzking's interpretation

A discussion with a good friend and teammate led to the following revelation: What had I done to truly promote this blog and bring it to life? Did I have a personal domain name for it? This was a guy that literally worked while working. Ever hear someone discuss a storyboard idea while also managing an accurate inventory account? I have.

I had helped promote A State of Gaming, the news outlet I co-founded with friends, but what about my own project? This led to a complex spiral of questions as I realized that I never gave the blog a full direction. It took a full week of note scribbling and tossing the name out to friends before I landed upon a recognizable gem: Nerdy Girl Blurbs. I would devote this blog to the geek culture that helped sculpt the woman typing these words.



NGB Comic cover by M33kzking
Lunch breaks and hours before work were spent designing the logo. My significant other ultimately made artistic magic based off my own design that stuck, only to run on an emoji output spree. The Facebook and Twitter accounts launched, the domain name was mine, I had a MIYAVI concert to attend and review in May, and I even made time to dive into season one of Overwatch League.

May 2018

May saw me come full circle with a recap post for MIYAVI’s Day 2 World Tour stop in Philadelphia. Felt good to be back in front of a stage taking in the sounds, sights, and melodic high that only live music performances can produce. By sheer chance, this concert laid the foundation for a friendship with a kind, talented musician. Stay classy Seann!




Early Summer 2018

June and July bled into one another as I started
producing more content for the NGB YouTube chan-nel, helped the MAGfest staff with their console and cabinethelped the MAGfest staff with their console and cabinet setups at the 2018 SAAM Arcade, and caught the Overwatch League Grand Finals in Philly at one of the local meet up spots for Philadelphia Fusion fans. You read that right. I drove two and a half hours to Wahoo’s so I could catch the games because what good was it without the competitive spirit of others to share the experience with? Highlight from that evening was watching an inebriated Eagles fan give hearty cheers for Fusion to win. It was team sports fan-ception.

August 2018

Avid fight gamers know what the Evolution Championship Series is. Most dream of attending this sacred matrimony of fighting games and top-tier competition; it’s a four-day event of prestige and monumental pop-offs in Las Vegas, Nevada. I never thought the fates would align so I could attend. I for damned sure did not think I would be able to compete in a tournament for one of my favorite series, Dead or Alive, learn from the likes of Shazzmatazzles, or meet Justin Wong. Yet, nothing could have prepared my inbox for a media badge acceptance letter.

The Nerdy Girl Blurbs blogger managed to qualify for a media badge on the first EVO visit! That random gender-swapped Diego cosplayer you saw running between tournaments, capturing footage at various booths, and interviewing one of the Muse Games developers for Hamsterdam? Guarantee you that was me. If we met and I gave you one of those bright orange business cards, thank you for sitting down with this nerd for a chat and sharing some of your energy and spirit.



EVO 2018 went from August 3rd, to August 5th. My plane touched down back on the East Coast by midnight on the 5th. I was determined to prove my drive for my craft in a professional field, so my hands-on analysis of Hamsterdam was up by the 6th. I thought this was my last gaming event of the year…

September 2018

Boy was I wrong! Sometimes you meet people that leave a resounding impression on you with a drive rivaling your own. They push you to do better and refuse to put up with any bs excuses. Enter Dahberger, stage left chiming in from Harrisburg University. That early April conversation with him is what led to that swift proactive kick in the pants to do more for NGB. “The Past harmonizes…” so of course the next snippet of gaming industry news I get would be from Danny, HU Storm’s videographer and content director. He told me tickets were available for a collegiate esports event called HUEFest, where over twenty university teams would compete in Overwatch and League of Legends. Missing a chance to immerse myself and report on this event meant missing an etching in esports history.


HUEFest


Despite developing a cold on day one, I spent September 21st and 22nd putting those fledgling photography skills to work like my life depended on it. Evenings were spent typing the recap--found here-- and learning Adobe Premiere skills from Dahberger and fellow videographer extraordinaire Mikey “VyroniQ”.
I even had time to practice playing with Hammond before leaving Harrisburg (sorry pick up team for putting you through such suffrage).





HUEFest will not be the last time you hear or see Dahberger, VyroniQ, and I working on something. Keep an eye on 2019, although whispers of the project were last seen flickering on Twitter.

October 2018

The Nerdy Girl donned her Spider-Gwen persona for New York Comic Con and met two of her online friends in person for the first time! Starfire and the Winter Soldier put up with my awestruck shenanigans for almost nine hours. Meeting Joe Benitez, an artist I have looked up to for over twenty years, Brian Michael Bendis, and Humberto Ramos was an out of body experience. If I did not have pictures to prove it, I would doubt that it happened at all.


In a stroke of luck, Square Enix brought a demo build for Kingdom Hearts III (KH III) to NYCC and only 100 tickets were given each day of the event to play the game. Starfire helped me record KH III gameplay for my YouTube channel and that first video gathered over 100 views in twenty-four hours.

November 2018

The NEC 2019 tourney was out of financial reach this year, but I managed to pull off one more big esports event. The Washington, D.C. Last Chance Qualifier of Redbull Conquest.

Wow.

What can I say about the last stop of the 2018 Redbull Conquest that is not summed up by this:




That was the TEKKEN 7 Conquest final bout between Jimmy J Tran and Equinox’s Joey Fury. A trained eye can see a collective “pop off” as pro commentators lose their shit with the audience comprised of spectators, finalists, organizers, sponsors, pro players and pool play competitors.

Near the end of October, yours truly looked over the competition brackets and yet again saw herself saying: “Fuck it, why not?” I signed up for the TEKKEN 7 LCQ. I started playing TEKKEN with the fifth installment in arcades circa 2006. My ex-consort owned TEKKEN 4 and played Dark Resurrection on PSP too. So, I started playing more often around then and found a main: Lili. Most of my match experiences were casuals, so the Redbull Qualifier was my first pro bout in the series I guess.


Shit, it really was (actual epiphany happening right now).

Samantha "Persia" Hancock playing some casuals early on Day 2 of RB LCQ

Doors opened at 10am, but last chance qualifiers did not start until noon. The early bird competitors and spectators had a splendid opportunity; if you saw an open seat at a console, you could sit down to play as long as you had your own controller or fight stick. I spent an hour messaging friends and hyperventilating about anxiousness and performance concerns. Big hugs to all of you that sent encouraging words that day. I went 2-2 and my final loss was to TCOL | Sourpiggy, but I had a blast. Besides, Piggy ended up in the Top 8 for TEKKEN 7, so I think that was an honorable loss, right?

What Happens Now?

Looking through this manuscript, there’s more here than I expected. The kid pulled My Life, out of the machine, yet I feel as if I was given a chance to continue with a New Game Plus, albeit with memories missing. I once logged several hours of Monster Hunter Portable 2 with friends (one of those fellow hunters being my late friend), only for my save file to corrupt due to a forced reset during a save. When I booted MHP2 again, I only lost part of the file. Rage brimmed because of the time lost, but at least I had memories of the time spent playing and acquired knowledge to improve my game play.

The past year shares a similar feeling with that experience. Despite a full-time job for most of the year, losing a friend, awkward living arrangements, and a DMV cost of living that would make Grumpy Cat cry, somehow we arrived here. There are more Twitch streams to come, additional social media channels to manage, but for now, I am happy to say I spent over a year writing. Writing for you, for nerd culture, and most of all, for myself.

It all started with an NES controller, a lost plumber, and frequent library visits. Thank you, Happy New Year and as always,
Until Later Guys,

^~^ Xaimi





If you’re still reading, take a moment to give the following creators, gamers, and industry professionals some love. These are only a handful of names that inspired me in one way or another this year.

Pete Boyle: Have-A-Word
Danny “Dahberger” Berger: twitch.tv/dahberger
Mikey “VyroniQ” Weekes:VyroniQ Vlogs
Paul “Rabies” Santoro: Twitter @RabiesCasting
Ariel “Shazzmatazzles” LaPerche: twitch.tv/shazzmatazzles
Kristin Mai Art: @maitwelfth
Joe Benitez: @eljoebenitez
Wendy Fritscher: Twitter @purrsneakitty
Cameron Bagus: Twitter @CameroniCmeroni
M33kzking: @M33kzking
Cecilia D’Anastasio: Twitter @cecianasta
Samantha “Persia” Hancock : Twitter @Persia_xo Twitter @MarvelLives

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