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Never Say Disc: New Year's Eve Edition! (NSDNYEE)

In previous New Year’s posts, Never Say Dice has gathered up the courage to do some self-reflection and spend a little time reviewing and making New Year's resolutions. It might be time to check in on how we did with 2022’s propositions, but this year we’ve decided to take things a bit easier on ourselves. We’ve all had a few rough years, and while we encourage you to make your own resolutions, and will still make some ourselves, we think everyone could use a break. Instead of the pomp and circumstance of New Year's resolutions, how about we take a look at a few things we plan to enjoy in the coming year taking the guise of past media, present media and media yet to come. - A

A: Much to my chagrin, Never Say Dice has yet to complete all of the accomplishments I had hoped it would in 2022. I can say, however, that we've made significant progress on those fronts and leave it at that. As far as personal goals, I’m happy to say that I've spent some time playing games with folks, as opposed to only running them myself. While my regular game has gone on hiatus, I’ve been able to talk players into taking turns running sessions and it's been delightful. Likewise, I can say I’ve spent significantly more time playing board games this year. I had set a goal to play three that I hadn’t touched before. While I can’t seem to recall exactly what they were at the moment, I’m fairly certain I’ve met this goal.

As for 2023's media consumption, I suppose I’ll start with “past media.” I hope to, at some point, pick up Bully again, alongside Bugsy. It's not quite the same as pulling off crazy missions sitting next to each other in front of the TV like the old days, but it's nice to play a game at the same time. I’d also like to start catching up on that backlog before Rockstar puts out something else I want to play. As for present media, I’m making my way through Spider-Man: Miles Morales after earning my first platinum game in Marvel's Spider-Man.  It's holiday themed, so now is the time to finish completing it - if I don’t get that done by January, it may have to wait. While I'm looking forward to the new Spider-Man release, I probably won’t grab that for some time. Another thing I'm looking forward to is listening to the latest They Might Be Giants release BOOK. I was fortunate, after several reschedulings, to hear some of it live during their recent Flood tour. While I'm looking forward to many other things, perhaps I will save that for next year, and we'll do a review of our favorite 2023 media.

B: Recently, I've been listening to a playlist I've made from the soundtracks of many of the electronic games I've played over 2022. It's been a good way to look over the past year - each song immediately reminds me of when I was playing that game, what was going on, and (most importantly) how I was feeling. I'm someone who tends to measure time in media: I can usually tell you exactly where and when it was when I first experienced something. (Fellow gaming writer Matthew Colville recently suggested using the term "experience" in regards to artistic works, and it's a perfect fit for how I engage with media.) This is one reason I suggested this idea for a different kind of New Year's post - I'm sure plenty of others are the same way. I don't, however, usually make a plan for the coming year, and I'd to be a little more organized this time around. I'm hoping that the time I've spent building up my profiles on backlog sites will help make this happen where electronic games are concerned. (Feel free to add me as a friend on  HowLongToBeat or Backloggery.) After I've finished a few of the things I've been working through, I'd like to start something a little more narratively-focused - perhaps Sleeping Dogs or the second Dishonored. I've also recently acquired a Dreamcast and a few games, so I'd like to start exploring that platform a little more.

On the print front, I'd like to start the copy of  Console Wars: Sega, Nintentdo, and the Battle that Defined a Generation I received for Christmas. It ended up being a much more substantial books than I was expecting, so I'm looking forward to chewing on it for a whole. I don't want to lose touch with my fiction roots in at time, though, so I'm going to try and return to some of the short story collections I've started over the past few years, which have included the works of Flannery O'Connor, Jorge Luis Borges, and Anton Chekhov. It's hard for me to go very long without a novel, though, and I'm not sure what that's going to be. I'm a firm believer in the right book finding me at the right time and have no idea how I'll be feeling when I'm ready to start. I know I'll be picking up D.H. Lawrence's Women in Love  at some point soon, though, since I read its precursor The Rainbow last year and am hoping to match the amount of time the original readers had to wait between books. Aside from that , I trust the literary universe to provide.

As far as comics, I recently put down the fourth Love and Rockets book, Human Diastrophism. Unlike its predecessors in the series, most of it is a single complex story rather than a series of vignettes, and I had far too much going on to focus on that. When I return to it, I'll treat it as a novel and read it exclusively... hopefully at some point this year. In the meantime, I've been filling the "superhero tribute/deconstruction" hole the recently-ended Tiger & Bunny left in my life by returning to the Astro City series, since episodic single-issue stories are currently more my speed. They've recently been reprinted in large omnibus "Metrobook" editions and I've enjoyed the handful of issues I've read so far. Aside from those two, I've still got some very large shelves laden down with years of graphic novels I've accumulated.

Finally, musically, I've recently started to find myself drawn to the country genre, of both the oldschool and "alt" varieties. I've started to dig into the discography of George Jones, but I'd like to explore some of the some left-leaning "unionist" history as well. With alt-country, I really have no idea where to begin, but I'm excited to learn more. Also, I'd really like to start actually listening to the pile of Melvins albums I've amassed over the past few years. It's not getting any smaller on its own, and they keep putting out records....

As always, if there's anything I find interesting enough to talk about, I'll do it here. Thank you for another year with us, and we hope 2023 brings you both the stories you long to hear and the opportunities to share your own.

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