Daytime Video Gaming

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I want to be an expert. I’ve been thinking abstractly about my career, and have realized that the only way to move forward is to get my name out there, to demonstrate my expertise.

Columns, Homepage Sub, Steve Heisler  •  Nov 29, 2012

Books make people seem like experts. If I wrote a book called, Pick Up That Controller While The Sun Is Out: How Playing Video Games During The Day Increases Productivity, you’d probably take me at my word that playing video games during the day increases productivity.

If you were writing an article about video game-playing during the day, you’d want me as your source. The book might be empty for all you know. Maybe every single other person in the world might play video games during the day. But I wrote the book on the subject. Literally.

I want to be an expert. I’ve been thinking abstractly about my career, and have realized that the only way to move forward is to get my name out there, to demonstrate my expertise. I like writing about comedy, see. I like interviewing comedians and talking about the craft. And books seems like the next logical step, hence the entire existence of this column.

However, there’s another option. “Why don’t you start a website?”

I have asked myself countless times, with countless excuses following. I wouldn’t get to write as much. I don’t understand the business side. What is a website? The list keeps on growing.

Independent publishing takes on all forms. There is something wonderful and tangible about an actual book. But the fluidity of a website is undeniable. It’s also something I can start writing right now and show the results EVEN SOONER. The finished product doesn’t have to be known, even. Maybe it’ll never be done. As terrifying as I think book writing can be, running a website is more daunting.

But it’s an option, so thus begins an epic back-and-forth in my head between what I want to do next. Do I put pen to paper and start on that book, or do I put e-pen to e-paper and get crackin’ on building a brand via the web? Here’s a sampling of my arguments for and against:

* Books are forever, like the Bible, or Snooki’s autobiography.

* Websites are forever, like Geocities.com, or Internet.biz.

* Books teach you things, like finally knowing what stuff white people like via Stuff White People Like.

* Websites teach you things, like finally knowing what stuff white people like via Stuff White People Like.

* Books are neat to look at. There are pictures and words, cover art and vintage bindings.

* Websites are neat to look at. Pinteret, Instagram…boy are we ever lazy.

* Books inspire change, like when Hitler wrote Mein Kampf.

* Websites inspire change, like all those racist posts about Obama’s re-election on Facebook.

* Books take years to write and sell zero copies.

* Websites take seconds to get zero viewers.

* Books can launch the careers of high-minded intellectuals.

* Websites can launch the careers of high-minded Twitter-lectuals.

* Book is a fun word to say. Book. Look! A book!

* Website is a fun word to say. Website. All right! A website!

Truth is, books are becoming digitally distributed, via Kindles and the like. And websites are getting pushed by Urban Outfitters into book form. So really, there doesn’t seem to make much of a difference. Problem solved! Now if you’ll excuse me, this video game isn’t going to beat itself.

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