Heavyshelf strives to be an inspiring community of creativity, artists, and appreciators of video games.
A fusion of many art forms such as illustration, sculpting, writing, animation, music, and programming can be found in the creation of video games to create an entirely new art form with seemingly endless possibilities of expression. This is why Heavyshelf will be exploring, celebrating, and discussing the creativity we find in video games. You can support us here.
I’ve been playing games since the NES. Games like Tecmo Super Bowl, Punchout, and Super Mario would keep me hooked to the tv. It was always the music that would drag me in first. Get a knockout, score a touchdown, and unlock that cutscene with a new celebratory tune. However, it was Gran Turismo on the Playstation where I was gripped by video games to the point of never wanting to let go. Something about the intro music of Gran Turismo, paired with great visual cuts of cars sweeping through the track along with the music, widened my eyes and perked my ears. For its time, Gran Turismo was a game that went into incredible detail to simulate racing. It’s this level of detail that developers, artists, and programmers put into video games that makes me deeply respect the hard work, craft, and creativity of video games.
It’s been a long time since I’ve played the original Gran Turismo and I’ve broadened my tastes in video games to where I can safely say I can find something I can appreciate in almost every type of video game. I could go on and on in great detail about my appreciation for the incredible creativity we find in video games. So much so that I figured that the only way to fit all of what I’d have to say, I would need a website to do it. Thus, Heavyshelf was created.
I’ve been playing some sort of games for a lot of my life. When I was younger I played mostly childish games, but eventually came across a behind-the-times Playstation 2, on which I played many games. It really opened my horizons to the broader world of gaming. My first big break into more mature competitive gaming was with Starcraft 2; I was obsessed and consumed a ton of content. I even went with my father to MLG Dallas multiple times to watch live pro esports. Ever since then I have been a lover of all things esports, and have followed multiple games, including DOTA 2, Starcraft 2, Hearthstone, and most recently, Overwatch. Currently, I continue to play quite a bit of Overwatch, and various games I am catching up on like Deus Ex and Bioshock. The number one thing I enjoy in games is depth of teamplay and strategy, where each match is defined by both your choices, and how you work with your team. This can be frustrating to be sure, but one must learn to channel the salt to become a true master.
My interest in gaming began somewhere around 2002 or 2003, when I was able to finally acquire my much-coveted Game Boy Color and two games: Pokemon Red and Pokemon Silver. I eventually moved onto PC games, where my first real obsession was a MUD named Lusternia, which I still occasionally play to this day. When I got a slightly better laptop, I branched out into other PC games, namely Unreal Tournament GOTY, Age of Empires, and simulation games such as Sim City 2000 and SimCopter. In 2011, I built my first PC and have continued to grow my knowledge and expertise in the field of hardware. Since then, I have spent many hours in games such as Rift, World of Warcraft, Rust, Stardew Valley, and Diablo III. My current love is Overwatch, which you can catch me streaming from time to time. My role here at Heavyshelf is as an editor as well as working in social media.
My experience with video games began when I was perhaps seven or so. It was around that age when I went to a summer camp which allowed the kids to bring their “electronic devices” on Fridays. This initially confused my ignorant little child mind, as I had no clue what kind of “electronic devices” they could be talking about, but then, the first Friday that rolled around, kids started pulling out DS and Game Boys. Little me immediately knew I needed to have one of these magical light boxes for myself, and soon enough I did indeed beg my mother into getting me one. Pretty much as soon as I got my little mitts on that red Game Boy Advance SP, I was hooked. I switched consoles a few times before making the transition to PC at twelve or so and never looking back.
I’ve played I wide scattershot of games over the years; never specializing in any specific genre nor avoiding any when given the chance. My current focus at Heavyshelf, aside from writing regarding specific games for review, is to address and explore common threads and themes I encounter throughout various games. The goal is to help both my audience and myself gain a better understanding of these often underappreciated elements which help make a game great.
Shane Armstrong is a collaborator and gamer from Montreal, Quebec. His love of gaming started when he first picked up a NES at the age of 4, playing Duck Hunt, Super Mario Bros, Toobin’ and the original Top Gun.
He has since enjoyed countless games on numerous platforms, though he has a particular penchant for Table-top games. He also enjoys single-player, story-driven experiences and RPGs, fighting games, as well as, perhaps oddly enough, racing games.
Favourite titles of his include: Tie Fighter 95, Jade Empire, Need For Speed: Most Wanted, Resident Evil 4, TESV: Skyrim, Warhammer: Vermintide 2 and Carmageddon 2: Carpocalypse Now.
I was born in 1992, and I was neck deep with my father in flight sims on the PC (Chuck Yeager’s Air Combat Aces of the Pacific, and X-Wing, TIE-Fighter, etc), Warcraft, and Mortal Kombat on Sega Genesis, Myst and Riven, and a plethora of LucasArts and Star Wars PC games.
We followed the Nintendo scene after Sega Genesis ran its course and went all in on the Nintendo 64 and Nintendo Gamecube subsequently, and then moving on to Xbox, Xbox 360 and then Xbox 1 and PS4. In 2018, I built my very own PC for the first time since 2008, when the specs for PC gaming outran the budget that was available to me for a PC.
When I was younger, I found that adventure games with a strong story have a strong affinity with me. The most compelling games I found were those with a strong story or good characters and character development. Followed closely are games that require technique and skill to be competitive, in which I found fighting, racing, and arena shooter games to get me leaning forward in my seat wanting to be the best! Even if that means just in my group of friends.
The most influential games for me would have to be the Halo, X-Wing/TIE-Fighter, Star Wars: Battlefront and Rogue Squadron, Witcher, Uncharted, and Tomb Raider, and Forza games, and SoulCalibur and Mortal Kombat series.
My job here is to deliver entertaining content while delivering in-depth discussion of new games and games that have had time to mature in my column, Late to the Party.
I was born in 1997, and when I was about 5 my older brother wanted someone to play video games with, so he started having me play them. I fell in love with them as a whole and have played them almost every day since then. We only had Nintendo devices growing up, although both of us moved onto PC eventually. Popular games typically found on the Xbox and PlayStation consoles never really caught my interest. I found simple games where you click on heads to shoot people (which is what most FPS games like Call of Duty, Battlefield, and Fallout boiled down to) to be incredibly boring. Yearly releases of games that had essentially nothing new except one small gimmick disgusted me, even as far back as 2010. Games with innovative gameplay and niche designs held my interest much stronger, which were much more prevalent on Steam and Nintendo. Despite all the disagreement and ridicule I got for hating most AAA titles while loving small indie games, I continued to love gaming and indie games especially. In my eyes, indie developers really know how to make something amazing with the little resources they have. They are creative, funny, innovative, and most of all, they are willing if not required to take risks to have their games succeed. My job here at Heavyshelf is to make sure they get the attention and criticism they deserve.
I was approximately 6 years old when I was first introduced into video games on the Nintendo 64 at a friends house. A year later I had my own, and have been playing games ever since. My path through then was Nintendo 64, Xbox and Xbox 360 before joining the PC masterrace. I prefer a variety of games, from first person shooters, to turn-based strategy games.
Recently, I have become disgusted by the greedy practices of the AAA gaming industry, in particular excessive microtransactions and day one DLC. There are still a few AAA Games that I enjoy, such as Civilization 5 and Titanfall 2, but I am much more leery now of AAA games than indie games. Along with AAA game developers, I have taken serious issue with game journalists attacking the community they serve, calling everyone who has issues with a game “toxic” when the game has serious flaws just because the game pushes the right ideological agenda. My job here at Heavyshelf is to praise developers who take risks and succeed in developing a product worth your time, and at the same time offering criticism to help the execution of the developers vision be better in the future, allowing a game that is a flop to one day become great. Along with doing my best to give unbiased, unobjective reviews, but most importantly listening to the community so I can work in your best interest to the best of my ability.
We’re also blessed to have a passionate team of contributors at hand to produce the excellent content you enjoy here. Fancy joining the team? We may be hiring right now so check on the community forum for announcements!