From The Armchair: 2017 Achievements Unlocked!

What ho, chums!

As the dying embers of 2017 fall into the grate and 2018 roars into life, now is a good time to reflect on the achievements of the past year. And not just the Xbox ones, although there have been quite a few of those. (Yet having said that, it’s mostly been trophies this year as the PS4 has replaced the Xbox in my affections… but I digress.)

We relaunched AMAP back in June with a new cast of writers, and I’ve been overjoyed at the excellent articles that have spewed forth. Particular props go to Baron Ritchenbaum Fochtenstein, Professor GreilMercs and Map Schwartzburg for their profuse and wonderful output. And it was fantastic to see the return of Sir Gaulian after his sabbatical – welcome back, Gaulie old chum. We’ve managed to put up several articles every week, which has been amazing – and hopefully we’ll be able to increase the output even more in 2018.

I’ve also been proud of the writing I’ve done for mainstream game sites in 2017. I wrote my first articles for GamesRadar+ and PCGamesN this year, as well as contributing some more features for Kotaku UK and Eurogamer. My favourite was probably the feature I did on an independent game store near my home in North-East England – it was wonderful to meet Chris at Console Connections and hear his enthusiasm for video games. Here’s the full list of the articles I’ve written this year:

Why Does Everyone Hate GAME? (Kotaku UK)

10 of the Best Original Xbox Games to Play on Your Xbox One (Kotaku UK)

How long have video game stores actually got left (and can they save themselves)?(GamesRadar+)

Microtransactions and loot boxes in video games – are they pure greed or a modern necessity? (GamesRadar+)

Your Amiga games are likely dying (Eurogamer)

A day in the life of an independent video game store (Eurogamer)

Studying the Thargoids: the intrepid players facing Elite Dangerous’s greatest threat (PCGamesN)

How Elite Dangerous players saved a player stuck beyond the edge of the galaxy (PCGamesN)

I’d really love to do some long-form articles like this for AMAP, but they take a huge amount of time in terms of interviews and research, so they’re not something I can really justify doing for free. But if we can raise some money through donations or some other mechanism, I’d love to do proper, meaty features for AMAP – it’s something I’m definitely looking into for 2018.

One slight disappointment this year was that the Year of Zelda went a bit off the rails. I hoped to play through all the Zelda games I’d missed before getting Breath of the Wild at the end of the year – but 2017 is over and I still haven’t got a Switch, and I only managed to finish one of the games on my list before becoming irredeemably sidetracked. Ah well, there’s always next year.

Happy New Year, everyone!