Tag: decade in review

My Top Ten Albums from the 2010s

That I’m a big ol’ music weirdo should come as no surprise to anyone who has read some of my previous writing about it. I have tracked just about all of my music listening to last.fm since 2014, both to maintain a record and gather minute statistics about myself.

I turned 16 in 2010, and my 25th birthday was this past November. The latter half of my adolescent identity formation therefore took place during this past decade, and the music I listened to during those years acted as a score, a signpost, a catharsis, a reflection. I’ve come to mark events in my life with the music I was listening to at the time. And having spent my teen years sitting in front of a computer listening to music at pretty much all times, I developed a pretty large collection.

My Top Ten Video Games from the 2010s

Another decade in the book, another opportunity to represent my life in lists and data.

Looking retrospectively, this past decade defined my interest in games. It’s been a hobby of mine since I was a young child — I remember holing up in my mom’s basement, replaying the same minigames over and over in Gus Goes to Cyberopolis. My dad bought me a Gameboy Color for my fifth birthday, and I dedicated at least a decade of my life (regrettably) to the Kingdom Hearts series. But in 2010, I started my first job, and so I finally had some disposable income to spend on my hobbies; I didn’t have to beg for games as birthday or Christmas or whenever presents. And so I played a lot more games in these past ten years. I started to follow industry news beyond new releases. I became more thoughtful about and critical of the industry. And I shifted my hobby into professional inquiry: in 2018, I co-wrote a book chapter about how video games could be used in educational settings, and in 2019, I piloted a camp that empowered kids to create their own video games.

The games industry has shifted a lot in this decade, too. We’ve seen a renaissance of games that put character and narrative at their center, which has long been what I wanted to see out of the medium. Game designers continue to heighten the artistic potential of games, both in photo-realism and artistic expression. Put shortly, video games this decade have been really, really good.