A Lesser Known History Lesson


This post was originally written for the weekly Community Writing Challenge on GameInformer.com

The Community Writing Challenge for this week is centered around history in video games. For my contribution, I want to discuss Valiant Hearts: The Great War, a game that goes above and beyond the competition. Where most war games focus on tense shootouts and rewarding players for headshots and high kill counts, Valiant Hearts breaks the mold to actually discuss the historical aspects of war and focus on the individual lives affected by it. Continue reading

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The Future of Sight-In Games

Hello!

My name is Zack and I’m the writer here at Sight-In Games.
I created this blog as a fun way for me to write about my biggest passion: video games. While I’ve primarily been writing reviews, I’ve also done the occasional news article and think piece. Unfortunately, my upload schedule has been anything but consistent.

I want to grow this blog into something I can be a little more proud of. Something where the work better reflects my passion and where I can more consistently create content for you, the reader.

Trust me, I know that there’s still a lot I need to work on. I feel like my writing has stagnated, resulting in all of my work feeling similar to each other. I’ve lately found myself falling into a writing rut. I seem to just repeat the same types of sentences over and over and over and over and over and (okay, you get the picture) over and over and over and over and (can I stop now, please?) over and over. This is going to be one of the biggest things I work on. I’m going to improve my writing and make it more captivating and entertaining. You deserve better written content and I know I can do better than what I have been lately.

So, I’ve decided to change up a few things around here.
For starters, I’m going to be creating daily content on this little corner of the internet. This is partially to share more of my crazy thoughts with all of you, but it’s mostly because I want to challenge myself. What would it look like if I managed to write and publish something every day for a year? Would my writing get better? Would I be able to reach more people? Would I find a bigger source of pride and enjoyment from this blog? I’ve marked my calendar and set notification across my devices, so now I have no excuses.

Secondly, I want to know and work with other bloggers.
I want to create a community, meaning I want to promote other bloggers, collaborate, and have fun while doing it. If you’re working on a piece and looking for a place to publish it, I would love to help you polish it and post it here. Of course, you’ll receive full credit and I’ll link to your personal blog, Twitter, YouTube, or whatever platform you choose to use. I want to grow my blog, but I also want to help you with yours. Likewise, I’m more than willing to write for your blog as well.

Last, but certainly not least, I want to start a podcast.
This is probably going to take me a little longer to start, since I’m going to need to get some recording equipment first. I think it would be fun to just talk with other game enthusiasts about our favorite hobby. I have no idea when, where, or how I would do this, but it’s definitely on my mind.

In closing, thank you. Even if you’ve just read my stuff and never commented, I appreciate that you’ve taken the time to read what I’ve written. It means so much to me.

And while I still have your attention, I am going to ask something of you.
Simply leave a comment below telling me what type of content you’d like to see on Sight-In Games. Is there a specific topic you want me to discuss, a game you want me to review, or anything in that nature? Please, let me know.

Thank you for your time. I hope you’re looking forward to the future of Sight-In Games as much as I am.

– Zack Burrows

Rise of the Tomb Raider: Blood Ties / Lara’s Nightmare (DLC Review)

In what’s likely to be a more divisive addition for Rise of the Tomb Raider, Blood Ties is an exploration focused journey through Croft Manor. When Lara’s pompous uncle threatens to take the Manor for himself, she’s tasked with hunting down her father’s will and proving that she’s the rightful owner. Continue reading

How I Made Friends In A Digital Space

Image result for friends online

I’ve always had a hard time making friends.
I’m quiet, socially awkward, and more than a little bit on the nerdy side. I play video games, watch a lot of movies, and still fantasize about becoming a Jedi Knight. While there have been exceptions, I don’t typically have many friends.

This is largely due to what it was like growing up. I was homeschooled, living in a religious home, and moving every couple years. While I didn’t mind being homeschooled (for the most part), not being able to interact with other kids my age every day was hard. Sure, I would play with the kids in our apartment complex, or in whichever neighborhood we found ourselves living in next, but I didn’t have a core group of friends to grow with.

Going to church every week helped, but living spaces weren’t the only thing we constantly moved from. I can recall attending at least five different churches in my lifetime. Some we left due to issues with their leadership, some from the way they did services, and others I’m not even sure of. These weren’t exactly the type of decision making conversations a parent has with a child. Similar to being homeschooled, moving around from one church to another made it hard to make friends. Just when I would meet a cool kid who shared my love for Pokemon, we were off to our next destination.

Things got a little easier as I got older, but I still found myself wishing we’d stay in one place for longer than two or three years. We eventually wound up at one church where we stayed for quite some time, and I finally found a good group of friends. Kids like me who played video games, watched movies, and had horribly inappropriate conversations when parents weren’t around. Never has the phrase “that’s what she said” been spoken more times in a church than by my group of friends and I.

Unfortunately, not everything lasts forever, and we ended up leaving that church too. However, this time things were different. I won’t get into the details, but our only options were to shut up or leave. We left.

Immediately after leaving, I started to notice things weren’t like they normally were after we left a church. My friends stopped answering phone calls, they didn’t want to hang out, and they would turn the other way if they saw my family and I in public. It turned out that our leaving came as a surprise to a lot of people, with gossip and speculation following shortly after. Things were spoken about both myself and my family that weren’t true, and everyone seemed to buy into it. All I had wanted in life was a close group of friends, so when I finally had it, only to lose them, it was devastating.

I slowly started pulling away from everyone, my family included. This was also when I started to struggle with stress, anxiety, and depression. I was angry at my parents for leaving the place where all of my friends were, I was angry at my friends for the way they were treating me, and I was angry at the concept of God I had in my head.

Over the next year, things just kept getting worse. I started cutting my wrists and legs, and as things got further, I even attempted to take my own life. This was life at its lowest for me. Thankfully, I got better. I had the right people enter my life at the right moment and help me overcome the problems and pain I was dealing with. It has been a long journey, but I’ve safely come out on the other side.

Because of how things played out with that last church, I’ve had an extremely hard time opening up to most people and making long lasting friendships. There’s been a few exceptions, but nowadays I typically keep my circle of friends small. However, that’s starting to change.

Over the past couple years, I’ve taken my love of video games and fused it with my passion for writing. I’ve been blogging for some time now and it has been one of the greatest sources of enjoyment I’ve ever experienced. While I have plenty of room to improve, I find that writing that satisfies me in a weird way that nothing else has been able to. Being able to take what I love and discuss it with people around the world is incredible, but the best part has been the friends I’ve made while doing so.

Starting with the blogs on IGN, I’ve met some of the coolest like minded people in the world. People who make me laugh, encourage me, and share the same interests and hobbies. People who I don’t have to be worried about being myself around. People who accept me for me.

I now run a Google Plus community that’s 60 people strong. Checking in every day with these people I’ve spent a long time getting to know is wonderful. Talking about video games is primarily what we do, but we also discuss everything from music, television, and life in general. We also tease each other relentlessly (in a well mannered fashion), which is always fun as well.

For the first time in, well, forever…I feel like I have a real home with my friends. I love them all to death, and their constant kindness and acceptance towards me means more to me than I have words for.

While most people just think the internet is for research, memes, or porn (I see you perverts out there), I’ve come to know it as one of the best tools to form great friendships with.

To the friends I’ve made online, thank you for the past couple years. You’ve helped me and meant more to me than you’ll ever know. Here’s to the future.

– Zack Burrows

Transition

Hello, dear blog followers!

I’m going to be transitioning a few reviews from my old blog to this one, so prepare for a review a day until they’re all on here!

My reviews for…

Far Cry: Primal
Gone Home
LEGO Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Ratchet & Clank
Shutshimi: Seriously Swole
Tales from the Borderlands
Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End

…will all be making their debut on Sight-In Games over the next week! Be on the lookout!

– Zack Burrows