Jean Snow [.net]

Jean Snow is Executive Director of the PechaKucha organization. He also runs the PechaKucha Night series in Tokyo -- please get in touch if you are interested in presenting at a future event. For a more intimate salon-like discussion group, join him at his monthly PauseTalk event. He also organizes PressPause, a series of workshops with the goal of learning to use the Unity engine, and to produce games as a group.

A longtime resident of Tokyo, he lives and breathes design, pop culture, and gaming, sustained by an unhealthy addiction to magazines and frequent visits to his favorites cafes. He has reported on these obsessions for various online/offline publications, including the following: Time, Inside (Australian Design Review), Gizmodo, Gridskipper, Kotaku, 1UP, Tokyo Q, Superfuture, OK Fred, Arthur Frommer's Budget Travel, I.D. (International Design), Metropolis, Azure, MoCo Loco, Kateigaho International Edition, Wired's Game|Life, PingMag, CNNGo, Phaidon, and The Japan Times.

Eighty

Lordy, lordy, look who’s… 80.

The next edition of PauseTalk is just over a week away (happening on Monday, July 7), and not only is it the Vol. 80, but it also marks the 8th anniversary of the series.

(Well, last month would have been the true anniversary, since I started it in June, but you know, close enough.)

You never think that something will have a long life until you get there, to that point where, well, it’s fucking old. 80 events over a span of 8 years is a lot, and although there have of course been some sessions that were better than others, the thing I’m most proud of is the fact that I’ve been doing this consistently for such a long period of time. Also, I’ve met a ton of interesting people during that time, making connections that certainly would have never happened if it weren’t for PauseTalk.

So thank you, PauseTalk, for being in my life all this time.

As I mentioned, PauseTalk Vol. 80 will be held on Monday, July 7, and that’s of course going to take place at Cafe Pause in Ikebukuro. Since there will be no event in August (due to the holidays), this will be the last edition of the summer. The photo included in this post was taken by Jared Braiterman at last month’s Vol. 79.

He’s Got the Oil on His chain, for a Ride in the Rain

It’s rainy season. It’s wet.

And I’ve been doing a piss poor job of doing any kind of writing here. That’s not to say I don’t do any writing — I sure tweet like a motherfucker, and still keep up with my media consumption diary of games I’m playing, and TV/movies I’m watching — but for some reason I haven’t felt any big desire to write posts on this blog.

The blogger is unblogged.

Yes, I did get deflated when the big implosion of all my sites happened a couple of months ago — and even though it looked like I was going to get the data back, that never ended up happening. But it’s something I’ve come to terms with. 

Out with the old, in with the new.

I turned 41 last week, so I guess that really should be “in with the old.” My gift to myself was buying Mario Kart 8 on the day of release (the day before my birthday), which I accompanied with Wind Waker HD, and I then proceeded to spend my entire birthday weekend playing those games.

Add to that a viewing of the LEGO Movie, and I’m not really sure if I turned 41 or 11.

I sure love Wind Waker HD, and I’m pretty sure I can say it’s my favorite gaming experience this year. It’s the 3rd time I play this game, and because of the fantastic HD update, as well as the incredible usefulness of having access to your items and maps on the Wii U controller, it feels so fresh and new. And oh-so beautiful. As I play, I’m just constantly reminded of how much I enjoy Zelda games, and how much I really hope that Nintendo has the guts to create a direct sequel to Wind Waker, in the same style. 

What else is happening? I just had a really great PauseTalk last week — here’s who came — and I’m already looking forward to the next one, Vol. 80, which will be the last one this summer. PressPause keeps on going, although there have been some scheduling hiccups of late — and some health issues on my end that made me miss some — but that’s all part of how these things go. I didn’t think I could do some more episodes of my Codex podcast since I don’t have any hosting anymore — and I’m not in a hurry to get some, since I’m happy to have converted all of my sites to Tumblr — but I think I found a good solution the other day, and it’ll even mean that I’ll record and stream them live. More on that soon, I hope.

Oh, and I was very happy to have been invited again to do the 8-4 PLAY podcast recently, for a third time, which was the E3 prediction episode. I had a lot of fun as always, but I’m realizing that I should probably drink a bit less, because listening to it, it feels like about 75% of my contribution is me laughing at what everyone is saying.

Put the beer down, Jean. Put it down.

E3 starts tomorrow, and I’m pretty excited to see what will come out of it, watching the keynote streams, new trailers, and of course people tweeting what they’re taking in and doing.

Now let’s check the weather widget to see how much rain we’ll be getting tomorrow.

Spoiler: lots.

PressPause Update

PressPause is go.

If you’re curious to find out how last week’s first session went, I wrote a short rundown over at the PressPause site. As you’ll see, our first meeting was about getting to know each other, and coming up with the game ideas that we’ll be working on in teams over the course of “Season 1,” which we expects to last 10 sessions or so. 

I came up with the “Roguelike Combini” idea, and am pretty excited that it’ll be the project I’ll be working on, along with my awesome team.

Also, I’ve created a sister site, PressPause Codex, where the group will be able to share links that relate to Unity, as well as things that were discussed at the sessions (which is why you currently see links to a Wikipedia entry about roguelikes and the trailer for Goat Simulator). It’s just an easy way to keep track of useful references as we experience all of this together.

If you’re just finding out about this now and are interested in taking part, I’m afraid it’s probably too late now to join in — but don’t worry, I fully expect us to do a “Season 2.”

What Up With That?

Let’s get to some updates.

Since all of my sites died this past weekend — see previous post — I’d like to post something here that offers up a few updates on everything. I do hope to have versions of some of these sites up again in the near future, but it’s going to take time — and I’m still not sure if I’m going to stick to Tumblr, or go back to hosting.

First up is The Magaziner, a site I launched around 5 years ago, that gave me outlet for my magazine obsessions. The site hasn’t been particularly active over the past year or so — mostly just sticking to “new releases” posts and the odd news item — and in fact a week ago I had posted a message saying that I was putting the site “back on the shelf” for now, meaning on an indefinite hiatus, until I could figure out what to with it.

I guess this whole situation really did put a final nail in that coffin.

For PauseTalk, I was already planning on skipping April, because I’m going to be out-of-town when the edition should have been held (first Monday of the month). Since the first Monday of May falls during Golden Week, I think I’ll do Vol. 78 during the last week of April, but will update you all in a week or two. The next site I want to get online — at least in a limited manner — is the PauseTalk one, since I do think that all of those participants lists are useful for many. You can also always get updates through Facebook and Twitter.

My Codex podcast was yet again on a bit of a break (the last episode was released in December), and I’m really not sure what to do with that. I do still want to do them, but since the feed for it was something I did manually and that I hosted, if I do decide to stick with Tumblr for my sites, I’m not sure how I’ll be able to continue to share it through iTunes (which I think is important for a podcast).

Thankfully, PressPause was unaffected by any of this, since I created the main site on Tumblr, and I use Google Groups for the newsletter that keeps all members informed, as well as for the forum where we will share info about the sessions and have discussions. Our first session is happening tomorrow (Thursday, April 3), and I’m incredibly excited about it.

So there you go, that’s where things are at. I have received some good news as it seems that I am going to recover all of the data for all of my sites — thanks to the amazing person behind Kaizen Garden, who I can’t say enough good things about.

Oh, and on Friday I’m heading to Okinawa for the first time ever, on Iriomote Island to be more precise. The plan is for a weekend of trekking, sea exploration, and kayaking. Can’t wait.

Jean Snow [.net] Is Dead

JeanSnow.net just died on me.

To my absolute shock, the hosting company I’ve been using for 10 years, TextDrive, suddenly shut down — they apparently made it public at the start of March that they were closing down on March 14, but they never sent out any notices. It’s looking like I will not be able to get the data back (there is a slight chance, but I’m not counting on it), and the last full local backup I did was in August of 2011. This affects my personal blog, which I’ve been doing for about 13-14 years — it’s that blog that led to me starting a writing career, before I got involved with PechaKucha — as well as my other sites (PauseTalk, The Magaziner, and Codex). 

All gone.

Is it my fault for not doing regular backups of all this stuff? Partly. But this situation angers me to no end — how they could do this without sending any notice so I could go in and make sure I downloaded all my data is beyond me (and yes, I have checked my spam folder extensively). 

Unfuckingbelievable.

Checking the Internet Archive Wayback Machine, luckily it did do a grab of my main site on March 18, and so I’ll at least be able to recover all of the posts I had written — PauseTalk was grabbed on March 5, and The Magaziner in January, so I’ve lost a few posts for that site.

I’ve quickly put up this Tumblr site, as I start to recover from all this madness, and hopefully I’ll manage to migrate all of my content here — as much as they say not to trust big companies (like Tumblr, or Yahoo for that matter) at least you can expect to get an early — and very public — warning before anything gets shutdown, with time to export everything. 

But yeah, this really fucking sucks. It’s not what I wanted to deal with on a relaxing Sunday afternoon-turning-into-evening. For a while, before I found those 2011 backups, I thought I had suddenly lost my entire blogging history.

It felt like I had lost a limb.