Category: Site News

In Memoriam: The Fur Babies of Gameluv

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My fiance and I were sitting in the veterinarian’s waiting room filling out paperwork for our cat. He was a stray, and I had no idea what kind of cat he was, let alone his actual date of birth. Still, we had to jot something down on the line.

“When did Super Mario Galaxy 2 come out?” I asked him. He shrugged.

“Uh, 2008? 2009, I think?” He replied.

“No, that doesn’t sound right.” I said as I quickly googled the answer. He looked at me like I was crazy for even thinking about a  video game at a time like this, but it was relevant to me.

“Ah, May 2010. I thought so!” I said and jotted down the date onto the paper.

I adopted my cat, Mocha, around the same time Super Mario Galaxy 2 came out and it’s the only way I was able to remember his date of birth. This may seem like a small, insignificant thing to everyone else but to me it meant something. I was so busy taking care of my new kitten that the release of a game I had been anticipating didn’t seem important. I never did get around to playing it. Mocha proved to be too much of a fun distraction.

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Years later, when it was time to make a logo for the Gameluv sail in the MMORPG Archeage, it seemed like an obvious choice to display our cats. Why wouldn’t we? Our precious pets were an integral part of our lives. They watched us game, they purred on our laps while we held our controllers. They meowed loudly for attention when we didn’t want to be interrupted, because that’s how cats roll. I’m glad that we paid homage to them on that sail, especially now when a few of them have taken the trip over the rainbow bridge.

I didn’t get enough time with my Mocha, he was only seven. That vet trip was his last, and what I thought was a “better safe than sorry” check up turned out to be our worst nightmare. He took the same trip Molly did recently, and I remember how painful it was to watch Shawn and Katy grieve her. She was a good kitty, too. If there is a special place where cats go after death, I really hope that Mocha and Molly can hang out with one another to compare notes on their gaming parents and how they are now immortalized forever in our hearts and on the Gameluv sail.

Rest in peace, fur babies. We’ll miss you.

Also pictured and deceased: The adorable orange kitty in the sail, who belongs to Gameluv’s Shane! Katy recalls its name being Maus. For some reason, I thought it was Tank. Perhaps Shane could let us know which beloved kitty is on the sail, but they also have a spot in our heart.

A look at GameLuv in 2013

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In 2012 WordPress sent out some stats on GameLuv and it inspired me to dig into how the site fared that year. Maybe I shouldn’t have made it an annual tradition because, like myself, 2013 was one of the worst years for the site.

We had a pitiful total of 9,920 views for the whole year (down from 23,000 in 2012) and the lowest since all the way back in 2008. We averaged 27 views a day, most of which came to the home page. For that I’m grateful, it means there are readers out there who check in with GameLuv on a regular basis.

Our top posts haven’t changed much though. Katy’s open plea to Harmonix to make a Kpop version of Dance Central was second most viewed. My pre-release look at Skylanders still draws hits even though I didn’t have many details to go by. Dana’s retrospective on Sega’s arcade shooter, The Ocean Hunter remains a top post once again.

I am happy to see that our Number One post is from 2013. My write up about K-Pop Dance Festival for the Wii had 667 views last year. Also in the top ten is the tidbit I dug out of Sony’s PlayStation 4 FAQ revealing that you can stream PS4 audio wirelessly through the controller into a headset. That is still some bitchin’ news!

I don’t know if it drove people away or not but my automated YouTube posts filled up much of GameLuv in 2013. I’m going to disable the plugin and maybe do a weekly round up with links (and fewer embedded video blocks) this year. As video grows to be the dominant medium on the internet it’s likely that GameLuv’s numbers will continue to drop but I’ll do my best to keep the site alive.

Thank you to everyone who found GameLuv in 2013 and everyone reading this somber post. I really hope to turn things around professionally and personally in 2014!

Sharing the (Game) Luv once again

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WordPress updated and so did their Jetpack plugin and now our posts here should hit Facebook, Twitter, our brand new Google+ page and my old Livejournal with the press of a button. You should probably consider this a test post.

A Look at GameLuv in 2012

Now that my 2012 recap is out of the way let’s take a look at GameLuv. WordPress compiled a fancy page of stats for anyone running their Jetpack plugin revealing that the site had 23,000 views and 69 new posts in 2012. For a site where it’s basically just me posting about Achievements and very obscure games I think that’s pretty good.

The busiest day of the year was Monday, May 7th with 201 views, the majority of which were this post about crazy Bejweled Avatar gear. I can only imagine this is thanks to the Giant Bomb effect. At some point Ryan spotted someone’s Avatar wearing this insanely shiny Bejeweled outfit and it probably sent everyone running to Google and ultimately to GameLuv. I’m glad to be your Top Google Result for weird Avatar clothing!

Our most popular posts continued getting hits in 2012. The post I made about Skylanders just before it exploded onto toy store shelves is now up to nearly 4,800 cumulative views. Dana’s nostalgic post about The Ocean Hunter from July 2010 is nearly at 2,000 views. And for whatever reason my closing thoughts on Metal Gear Solid 4 continue to draw people to the site. Thankfully, the majority of visitors to GameLuv in 2012 landed on the homepage to read whatever the top ten posts were that day.

The only disappointing stat to me is that we only got about 18 comments after you rule out all my replies. I’m no good at starting or maintaining conversations and with people flitting from Twitter to Facebook to a dozen other social sites I guess it’s to be expected. Still, it’d be nice to have a few more back-and-forths with real people to counter all the Russian spam comments I delete.

Seeing almost double the visitors to GameLuv over 2011 makes me feel great. Even though my lofty goals of retiring from a fat GameLuv paycheck have never panned out it really helps keep me going. As Katy and I branch out into YouTube (where the real pennies are at!) you may see more videos posted but I’m sure GameLuv in 2013 will continue to feature dumb Achievements, weird old games and photos of things I bought on clearance. Now that I think about that, 23,000 views sounds miraculous. Thank you all so much for visiting the site!

Happy Fourth of July from Videogame Vacation, GameLuv & Fantavision!

A holiday tradition for me, I’ve played through Fantavision every Fourth of July since I finally picked the game up in 2004. This year I had the capture hardware to share it with you guys and so here’s a 4+ minute video that highlights each of the game’s eight stages set to one of the songs from its soundtrack.

There’s a lot more to see as the retro-future, FMV girl goes on a journey from Earth to visit her friends across the universe (!!) but that’ll have to wait for another video. Happy holiday to everyone, no matter if you’re celebrating Freedom, food, fireworks or just video games. Thanks for watching!