Riddlethos went through some tough times in 2010. It’s tough to follow up the first year of anything, and websites, ‘twould appear, are no different. But, despite the glaring lack of structure and consistency that plagued much of Riddlethos’ sophomore year, one thing held true: every few weeks or so – give or take – I’d write a HLL, and Ethos would write a Scatter Storming. Lameish came on the scene later in the year to provide marginally more structure, but up to that point, those two features were pretty much it – and thus, we honor them.
This issue has a few points of significance: first off, it’s the first Scatter Storming Ethan wrote after my tragic but inevitable departure from Toronto, so the words are permeated with a sort of dejected sadness that can only be born from a lack of Riddles in one’s life.
Second, and perhaps more importantly (though not to my ego) this was the first scatter storming to feature the now-familiar “magazine-style” cover design. Y’know, with the cheesy headlines and the cute little barcode on the bottom left corner. Good stuff, really. We’re used to it now but when he first rolled it out, I was rather impressed.
Anyway, it’s a solid Scatter Storming. Ethos has the ability to talk about games and the gaming lifestyle in a very casual and relateable way, as is evidenced by his God of War II blurb. He then proceeds to whine about his lack of games, only to realize that he has a hefty backlog that he could be working on. To avoid sounding like a spoiled asshole, he quickly offers his readers a non-pizza.
Only to take it away a paragraph later.
Heh. More sleepy rambling from Ethos. One of the things that Ethos is best at is “fake funny.” In Scatter Storming #31, he’s too tired to come up with any actual comedy. So what does he do? He comes up with fake comedy. Like swapping out the first letter of a word with another letter. Is it funny? No. Is it hilarious? Yes. Oh yeah, and this issue also introduced the infamous memetoks. A bunch of memes focused on me, using a picture of myself that I used to like. I used to like it a lot, actually. I thought it made me look beautiful and pensive and intelligent. NO LONGER.
This one’s kinda scary. Ethos tells us all to go “eat a fuck.” That’s scary. And that’s why I chose it. Not because of that single line, but because the entire issue is just… angry. Angry and miserable and vindictive. It’s not a side of Ethos we see very often, and I won’t lie: I soaked it up like a dried-out sponge. I feed off the misery of others. It’s not often I get to feast on the misery of Ethan Pipher. Let me tell you, it’s some of the best misery this side of the black market.
And this one made the list because it’s just a damn good issue. It’s the longest Scatter Storming ever written for the site, making it clear that Mr. Pipher was possessed of some notable inspiration at the time. And, in a first for the series it features more than one cover. In fact, my friends, it features no less than three.
Ethos really does have a remarkable ability to make his writing both entertaining and accessible. I’m not sure where else I could read a story about someone trying to buy a game and be so entertained. Scatter Storming may not be a showcase for “professional” gaming journalism, but it’s the sort of thing that Average Joe Gamer can read and go “hey, I totally get that.” It’s something that I’m not quite so good at, since I’m frankly not great at relating to people.
Oh yeah, and this issue also has a total comedic win in the form of an exclusive review for my city of MURFREESBORO. If you missed that one, you definitely need to give it a second look.
A nice, even number to award the first place position of 2010. It was also a rather easy pick. Ethan wrote many good Scatter Stormings in 2010, but he only wrote one standup comedy show review. And it is, by far, the greatest standup comedy show review you will ever read. In a way, Ethan sort of lucked out by seeing that thing, because it’s not often that somebody is given the opportunity to review… something like that. Actually, we all lucked out. Me, you, and everybody else who read the thing. You haven’t read the thing? Then read it. Right now.
18 days into the month of January, and I’ve finally posted something of substance. Like we repeatedly said, the Best Riddlethos awards are going to happen. Even if they span over the entire month of January.