Thursday, August 09, 2007

Jengajam Plugs

I've been listening to a podcast by a guy who calls himself Jengaship. I met Jengaship at Red vs. Blue. He schooled me in a Biblical debate and I really respect him for that. He's a witty, erudite guy and he's now branched out into a call-in podcast called the Late Nite Jengajam. I can't always liten to it live, but I always catch up on my iPod.

Anyway, Jenga recently sponsored a contest at the Jengajam's website. He wanted witty, articulate comments on his posts. The winner would receive some airtime to plug whatever he or she wanted. I made a comment that was basically nothing but a silly sycophantic rant.

I won.

Which kind of put me in a quandry. I'm not some Internet celebrity with an impressive project in the works like some of Jenga's previous guests or even future guests. I'm just a barely published author who hasn't quit his day job of being a Lutheran pastor. What projects could I plug? It felt like something of a waste.

But then I put my mind to it and I realized that there were a few projects of mine (or in two cases, projects I'm remotely affiliated with) I could plug. The list started to grow and, before long, I realized that I had so much I could plug, I would run over. What to do, what to do?

So I decided to simply plug my blog and leave this entry for whoever decides to come along. Sorry for the long explanation for those who tuned in to the Jengajam, but here are the projects I could have plugged:

1) "Adventures in Dating" -- This is a machinima series produced by a lady named Decorgal. I provide the voice for one of the characters, namely Elijah. It's done in the Sims 2 and, to put it bluntly, Decorgal is a wizard with the Sims. She is. If she weighed the same as a duck, she'd be in trouble. As much as I enjoyed the Strangerhood, this is so much better.

I could try to sum up the series, but Decorgal did that already in this handy dandy video:

So watch the video, then go download the series and keep an eye out for me.

2) My TEW Diaries -- About a year and a half ago, someone introduced me to the Total Extreme Wrestling videogames (the current game is TEW2007). Entirely programmed by one wrestling fan in England, the TEW series puts you in charge of a wrestling promotion. You are the head booker. You hire, you fire, you book the matches, plan out the storylines, and try to bring your promotion to dominate the business.

For copyright reasons, the game isn't released with real world data (but the dedicated TEW community has crafted numerous mods that allow you to control the WWE/F and the rest at various times). Instead, the game is released with data for the Cornellverse, a fictional universe with over a dozen different promotions you can control. To put it bluntly, the C-verse is incredible. The backstory is rich and densely layered and fans can and do get lost in it easily.

What got my attention about this game is the "dynasty" or diary forum. People will tell stories about what's going on in their games.

Needless to say, that piqued my interest.

So I created a diary about a year and a half ago called "SWF - This Means War!" The SWF, or "Supreme Wrestling Federation," is roughly analogous to the modern WWE. I tossed in a few characters of my own and I was able to build something of a following with it.

When TEW2007 was released, I started a new diary called "MWA - This Means War!" It's basically a sequel to the first.

I won't lie to you, the diaries are long (especially the SWF one), but I'm proud of the work I've done in these.

3) The Christian Sci-Fi and Fantasy Blog Tour - I'm a writer who loves sci-fi and fantasy. I've even written a Christian sci-fi trilogy. Problem is, Christian sci-fi and fantasy is kind of a dead genre. There's not a lot out there and what little there is often gets overlooked.

To combat this, some people put together a blog tour. Every month, we blog for three days about a chosen book, magazine, and/or website. The idea is to generate buzz about the genre and raise awareness so there can be more opportunities for writers like me.

Believe it or not, it actually works. One way to gauge this is by checking out Technorati's Popular Books page. This ranks books by how much they're being discussed in the blogosphere (or, at least, the portion of the blogosphere that Technorati tracks).

This past month our blog tour took place immediately after the last Harry Potter book was released. Guess what books dominated the Technorati Popular Books page. That's right. Potter everywhere! But because of our concerted effort, we were able to get our book up to number 12 by the end of the week.

I've been participating in the tour for about a year or so. It's been fun. Here are a few of my favorite posts that I've made:

An interview with author Sharon Hinck -- Part One, Part Two, Part Three

Sin Boldly! - an essay in which I discuss whether or not Christian authors should portray "big sins" in their writings

Fearless Day Three - From our last tour. I hadn't read the book but I did some fast tapdancing on the last day of the tour and I think the results came out all right.

So there you go. This is why I couldn't fit it all into five minutes! Yes, I need to work on brevity. I'm well aware of that.

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