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Real Neat Versatile Blogger Award 2020

Real Neat Versatile Blogger Award 2020

Awards Time

Once again, I am behind on blogging awards. I was tagged by Solarayo of Ace Asunder for the Real Neat Blogger Award, and before I could get to answering it, Naithan of Time to Loot tagged me in his combination Real Neat Blogger/Versatile Blogger award. I am going to tackle all of the questions in this post. As I mentioned in my last award post, I’m not going to bother tagging anybody as most folks have already been tagged for this. If you haven’t, and you would like to complete this, please feel free to grab either of the question sets, or both!

The Rules

I’ve yoinked the rules from Naithin’s post.

  1. Thank the person who tagged you for the award.
  2. Answer the seven questions set out by your nominator.
  3. Tell everyone seven things about yourself—you can spread them between answering the questions!
  4. (Optional) Write another seven questions to ask the people you tag.
  5. (Optional) Tag seven people to carry forward the Real Neat Versatile Blog Award and answer your questions while revealing seven facts about themselves.

I am going to opt out of the optional steps. Thank you both to Solarayo and Naithin for tagging me. I’m looking forward to answering all these questions! The facts are going to be difficult, though. Anyways, let’s get to it!

Solarayo’s Questions

Do you ever listen to video game soundtracks outside of gaming sessions? If so, which ones?

I do on occasion! Typically if I do, it’s the WildStar soundtrack (bless Jeff Kurtenacker). Though I’ve listened to a bit of League music of late which I’m enjoying, even if I will never play the game.

What’s a game that you loved growing up, but find it harder to enjoy now, whether due to a change in tastes or now-outdated mechanics/graphics?


Which game console do you feel has the greatest library of titles to choose from?

I’m honestly not a huge console person because I’m very set in what type of games I like to play. And these games are typically only found on PC, Vita, and possibly Switch.

Name a video game character that has made a positive impact in your life?

Heck if I know, to be perfectly honest. While there’s games I love, and characters I enjoy, I don’t know that I’ve yet found one that has impacted me so profoundly. My measurement for this is my love of Wicked Lady, so there may need to be a grain of salt taken for this question.

If you could sit down to a conversation with any fictional character (book, movie, or game) who would it be and where would this conversation occur?

Again, I’m not quite sure. I’ve been so out of touch with media consumption for so long outside of a few things I’d binge (e.g.: West Wing) in my depression, that I don’t have a clear choice for this question.

If you could travel to any video game location for a hard-earned vacation, where would you go?


Quarantine Question: What’s your go-to movie or tv show?

When in my deepest depression, it was most recently West Wing. As for quarantine, I’ve been trying to make my way through Stargate and Star Wars: Clone Wars.

True Facts

Naithan got creative and delved fairly deep into his facts, but I’m going to just give y’all a sentence or two. No paragraphs from me this time. I know, you’re devastated.

  1. I adore Sailor Moon and caticorns.
  2. I have plans for 33 more tattoos and counting.
  3. My eyebrows are actually a semi-permanent cosmetic tattoo. Due to various health issues, I haven’t had eyebrows (except some sparse hairs on occasion) since I was about 12.
  4. I don’t drink coffee. At all. Ever.
  5. I hate flying. This pretty much sums up why.
  6. I’m allergic to pet dander.
  7. I have three cats and a dog, but if I had it my way, I’d have many more cats. Despite allergies.

Naithan’s Questions

If you were to start another blog, or branch off your current blog into a whole new direction, what would it be about?

I actually have another blog. Technically it’s the website for my adult content, but I also am ramping up some adult blogging over there. I’m looking forward to finally getting through some of my NSFW games and being able to write about them over there and upload any videos to PH.

What mix of mechanics or genres would form your absolute dream game?

I’m not sure how to answer this, as I’ve not thought much about it. As a whole, I very much enjoy otome/dating sims/visual novels as they are, so I’m not sure what would possibly make them better, or what I’d change to create a “dream game”, except maybe adding in Sailor Moon characters.

What thing (game, book, movie, anything) have you experienced recently, thinking it should be right up your alley—only to find it very much was not?

I hate sounding like a broken record, but I’ve only recently begun getting back into media of all sorts after going on antidepressants back in November, and I’ve yet to run into this scenario.

The opposite! Have you been convinced to try anything you thought you wouldn’t enjoy, only to discover you very much loved it after all? What was it?

See above answer.

What new thing do you most want to achieve with your blog this year?

I would like to get into an actual posting schedule, and start getting content ready ahead of time. To be fair, I’m trying to work on consistency and pre-planning all around so that I can help myself better weather the more difficult depression days (they still happen, even on meds, though not like they were), especially with the way the world is right now.

What’s on your wishlist that you most want to buy, but for whatever reason you haven’t yet pulled the trigger on purchasing yet?

Right now it’s Volume 3 of Mirka Andolfo’s Unnatural. I haven’t pulled the trigger on purchasing it yet, as I’ve yet to finish Volume 1 (I’ll probably need to restart it), and I haven’t even begun Volume 2 (a birthday present from Manthing last year… he knows me so well!). Maybe I’ll make that the next comic series I’ll read after I catch up on Sunstone (which I still need to purchase Volume 6, which is next on the wishlist). Yes, I know Sunstone is available on either Patreon/Deviantart, but I prefer to read the volumes when they come out.

When this whole lockdown thing is over; and the shops/services currently closed reopen, what is the first thing you’ll visit/do?


This is post 9/31 for Blapril. You can find out more and sign up at Belghast’s original post. You can view those participating on Twitter via the Twitter list I put together. Nogamara of Battlestance has put together an RSS feed of all Blapril participants.
Blogger Recognition Award 2020

Blogger Recognition Award 2020

Awards Time

There’s a few blogging awards (chain letters, essentially) going around the blogosphere right now. I’ve been off my game a bit, so I’m delayed in responding to these, but I figured since it’s the end of getting to know you week that I’d put the time in to finish the ones I’ve been tagged in.

The first one I was tagged in was the Blogger Recognition Award. The lovely Krikket over at Nerd Girl Thoughts tagged me in this one back at the beginning of the month.

The Rules

  1. Thank the person who nominated you and leave a link back to their blog.
  2. Explain your blog’s origin story or its history.
  3. Hand out two or more pieces of advice for new bloggers.
  4. Nominate other bloggers and hook us up with links to their blogs.

Well, I’ve already tagged Krikket, so check! Thank you for tagging me, lovely! Since I’m late to the party on answering, and since there’s another award going around, I’ve decided not to nominate any other bloggers, but offer it as open to any Blapril folks that have yet to participate and would like to use it as a prompt.

Origin Story

Back in February 2010, just before I met my ex-husband, I decided that I wanted to try and blog. In one of the few therapy sessions I’d had free in college, my therapist suggested journaling. And not just personal journaling, but journaling other endeavors. I’ve been a writer since a young age (I still have many of the stories I’ve half-written from that time, and maybe one day I’ll start writing them again and make a Patreon out of it), and it made sense to try the blogging thing. I’d also started trying to do a food blog in 2009 that never went very far, because it never felt like it was something I was passionate about. Though I’m sure my disordered eating had a lot to do with that at the time.

Regardless, writing about my gaming life felt like something that could both help my mental health, and provide an outlet for me to continue writing and being creative. I think it’s mostly succeeded on both fronts!


I’m also supposed to provide one or two snippets of advice for new bloggers. To be honest, I’m mostly adviced out (I’m deeming that a word; adviced). So I’m going to cheat a bit and link back to advice I’ve provided for Blapril. I wish I’d done this one during advice week. Then I wouldn’t be copping out like this.

Real Talk for Blapril – All of the advice that I’ve given in past Blaugust events in one place, along with a new tidbit for Blapril.

Dealing with Depression, Part 1 – Only the top portion of this post, “Some More Blapril Advice” is relevant to advice.

This is post 8/31 for Blapril. You can find out more and sign up at Belghast’s original post. You can view those participating on Twitter via the Twitter list I put together. Nogamara of Battlestance has put together an RSS feed of all Blapril participants.
Creative Blogger Award

Creative Blogger Award

Way back in February, the amazing Pizza Maid nominated me for the Creative Blogger Award. I had a draft post half written once I noticed it in early March (d’oh! I’m so bad at my feed reader sometimes!), but then forgot about it when work ramped up, and here we are!

Pizza is someone that I happened to meet thanks to the ever-present #BelEffect, and we kind of hit it off with our shared love of Sailor Moon. She has since introduced me to the rabbit hole that is the world of Otome, and here we are, chatting daily on Twitter about whatever floats our boat. She’s a wonderful person, and if you enjoy RP, anime, otome, and Final Fantasy XIV, she’s a great blogger to follow!!

So, what are the rules? I mean, all of these awards have rules, no?

  • Thank the person who nominated you and include a link to their blog. 
  • Share 5 facts about yourself.
  • Nominate 15 – 20 bloggers and add their links.
  • Notify the bloggers you included. 
  • Keep the rules in your post to make it easy for everyone to know what to do!
I dislike the “nominate double-digit people” thing, so I’m just going to casually nominate five folks at the end of this so this is more of a slow trickle effect rather than a waterfall. I really liked how Pizza answered the facts portion, and I hope to do some of the same, rather than just some random bullet points and calling it a day.

Fact 1: Repeat Recipient

I apparently got the creative blogger award last year, in April. At that time I was nominated by Murf. I find it extremely interesting how things find their way around the internet, and come full circle. I wonder if this nomination is still a go-around of the one I received last year, or when it first started, or if folks have just re-started it up because they could. Regardless, being nominated for these things is fun, and it helps to build community, and I love it.

Fact 2: Blog Move Imminent

So, surprise! This past February, marked six years of intermittent blogging. At some point, I dropped the blog for about a year or two (I can’t find the list of posts per month since starting that I had made…), but picked it up back in earnest in February of 2015 thanks to the ever-present #BelEffect (no, seriously). I had planned to move the blog to a self-hosted WordPress back in February, but finances didn’t quite line up the way I had intended. I was going to use it as a way to clean up my labels and categories and the like. I still plan on doing this, hopefully sometime next month when finances settle a little bit for a few months.

Fact 3: I Hate Moving

I do. Chaide got a new job at a better school, which is awesome, but means we’ll have to move again this summer. I’m so over moving. I hate moving. Not only because of all the packing and unpacking (which sucks) but because it also triggers my anxiety a bunch–all those things that have to be done, and the timelines that need to be followed… Which normally I’m fine with, but the fact that I have to settle into a new place… again… never feels good. It takes me months to feel “at home” after moving, and I was just starting to adjust to the apartment we moved into last summer. Ah well. At least wherever we move to next will be home for at least two years so we can save for a house…

Fact 4: I Really Love Visual Novels and Otome

I’d always been intrigued by Visual Novels, especially after a friend gifted Chaide Analogue: A Hate Story a few years ago. But I’d always heard that they were “casual” and “not actually games” and the like. So I held off from them. It wasn’t until I met Pizza and her friend Sushi, and played Hatoful Boyfriend thanks to Grace that I really decided it was a genre I wanted to explore more in-depth, and that the negative connotations associated with it were a load of crap. Granted, there are eroge and bishojo games that are still something I’m not too keen on pursuing–mainly because they usually lack story and are just fanservice. Maybe one day I’ll explore them a bit more… but I’ll need to get through a large backlog of VNs first!

Fact 5: The #BelEffect Helped Change My Life

Image from Tales of the Aggronaut

No, seriously. I’m not being facetious, or silly, or anything of the like. Things were going really crappily in WildStar at the time. I was the most depressed I had been in my life, and my anxiety was just as bad. I’d started therapy about six months prior, and it was starting to help, but shit hit the fan in my gaming world–which I was using as an escape from the shit going on in my real life. And I just couldn’t handle it anymore. I was contemplating leaving a hobby that I greatly enjoyed, and friends that I cherished because I didn’t know how to reconcile the two to relieve my anxiety and depression.

So I put out a call on Twitter, saying I needed a new home in FFXIV while I figured things out in WildStar. Bel answered that call, inviting me over to play on Cactuar with all of his friends, and I found myself in a circle of amazing people that he’s befriended, and some that Chaide and I have had the pleasure of befriending and hanging out with while we casually game our way through life. Having them as a sounding board and support system has been amazing, and I appreciate them so very much

The Nominations

Folks don’t need to feel pressured into doing this, but it’s something fun to do if they like!

Creative Blogger Award

Creative Blogger Award

So, the amazing Murf at Murf Versus tagged me with the Creative Blogger Award. I’m very honored, because he’s a blogger I admire greatly, and he said some very nice things about my blog that are greatly appreciated, and gave me some warm-fuzzies. Much along the same vein as the Liebster award, I must answer some questions and tag some folks.

The rules entail the following:

  • Nominate 15-20 blogs and notify them via their social media/blogs. 
  • Thank and post the link of the person who nominated you. 
  • Share 5 facts about yourself to your readers. 
  • Pass on the rules.

Much like Murf and his nominator Kelly, I won’t be able to tag 15 people. I’m also on the same page as Murf, and feel that being a tad more selective means a tad bit more to get tagged for it. But first, let me share some random facts about myself.

  1. My favorite band is Nightwish. I have religiously purchased every single album, and have seen them twice live. (It would have been three times, but they had to sadly cancel the show because their gear ended up on a different plane than them.) I even have a framed-and-signed poster from the Anette-era. I also fangirl profusely when I meet other Nightwish fans.
  2. Being a natural Ginger, I have lots of freckles, but mainly on my shoulders and arms (due to a second-degree sunburn in high school at a rock concert). I absolutely adore my freckles, and wish I had more. In fact, I even have favorite freckles. One is on my right eyelid, and the other is on my pointer finger.
  3. I love tattoos. I currently have two, and have many more planned out in honor of family members. My first tattoo was a Celtic-inspired dragon on my lower-back on the left-hand side. My second tattoo I got in honor of my maternal-grandfather after he passed away. It is the nickname I called him with a purple heart next to his name (he was a Purple Heart recipient in WWII) on the back on my neck on the left.
  4. Speaking of tattoos of folks’ names–I don’t ever want to get a tattoo of someone’s name on me while they are alive. I feel that it jinxes things. I also believe that names are a very powerful thing in a person’s life, and shouldn’t be put anywhere unless the person themselves does it.
  5. My mother is in town in just under two weeks (12 days, but who’s counting?). The last time I saw her (or any of my family for that matter) was when Chaide and I married in July 2013. The next time I’ll see any of my family will be for Christmas–almost 2 1/2 years since I saw them last.
As for my nominations… (Apologies if you’ve already been tagged, it’s been busy since Murf nominated me and I’m still catching up on blogs.)

  1. The Godmother of ALT:ernative Chat: Now, while I no longer play WoW, nor do I plan on it in the near future, I like to keep up with what’s going on, and how folks are feeling about it. Back when I played WoW, I always felt like Godmother had a unique way of sharing the news and how she felt about it, and I’ve come to appreciate that–regardless of whether I still play the game or not. Besides, who else can claim that they’ve been passionately writing about the game they love for as long as she has!
  2. Belghast of Tales of the Aggronaut: First of all, the obligatory #BelEffect must be made. Honestly, the first time I read Bel, I looked up to him (and still do) as someone I wanted to emulate and decided to get back into blogging. He posts every single day, and always has something meaningful and interesting to write about.
  3. Braxwolf of Gaming Conversations: Brax first found his way into my feed thanks to the #BelEffect, and I’ve been loving all of his posts and podcasts since. I look up to him as an individual that finds time for his hobby, and his family. I particularly love his podcast, Beyond Bossfights, especially the short segments at the beginning where he interviews his children on what they’re playing, and why they enjoy it. I only hope to be able to be as wonderful a gaming parent when Chaide and I start our Brood.
  4. Scott of Ramblings of a MMO Gamer Guy: Another blogger that found their way into my feed via the #BelEffect, Scott has a unique mix of gaming thoughts and his own artwork thrown together into a wonderful mix. His artwork is amazing, and he’s starting a new bit where he’s creating line art for adults (and kids) to color. Scott is a very interesting individual, who always takes time to chat with folks, and make them feel a part of the blogging community.
While there are a great many bloggers out there that are creative, these are the four that have influenced me most as I’ve delved back into the blogging world. Thank you for all the inspiration as bloggers.
Liebster Award 2015

Liebster Award 2015

Towards the end of last week, I was nominated by both Aywren and Iron Weakness to participate in the Liebster Award. A nasty cold/fever knocked me out this weekend, so I am just getting to it now.
As with Aywren, this is the first time I’ve heard of this, and I am honored to be able to participate in the large chain of bloggers participating in this. 
So there’s a few different ways to go about this award, as I have researched, but I am going to go the same route as Aywren–state 11 random facts about myself, then answer the questions posed to me by my nominators, create my own list of eleven questions, then try to nominate five other bloggers to participate. The only issue with this last bit, is that most of the blogs I follow have been nominated–so I’m going to try very hard to include folks that haven’t been nominated, which means I might end up picking a podcast folk or two.
So, without further ado, let’s begin!

Chestnut’s Random Facts

  • I am a (natural) redhead in real life, so pretty much all of my toons have red hair. At least my mains, anyway.
  • I am a mother to four fur babies–three cats and a dog.
  • I work in the field of corporate education, and I feel very lucky to have a job in my career-of-choice.
  • My favorite animals are Dragons, and I have a very set view on what Dragons are and aren’t. Sometimes to the detriment of my enjoyment in various games.
  • I’ve been classifying myself as a nerd and geek since late elementary school (when I understood what the terms meant).
  • I am terrified of spiders, tarantulas, daddy long-legs, scorpions, and horseshoe crabs.
  • I can handle most gory stuff in media unless it has to deal with female reproduction (people stealing eggs, or that scene in Prometheus) or eyes–shows that have murders or gore pertaining to these make me want to cry.
  • I’m that weird person that hates coffee. I’ll tolerate it when I get a coffee kiss from my husband, Chaide, but I won’t touch the stuff myself.
  • I’m also not a fan of chocolate. I enjoy chocolate, don’t get me wrong, but it’s not something I crave constantly. I have other desserts of choice if I am craving a dessert (Such as fruit tart–OMG!).
  • I always try to believe the best in people, even if it means I get hurt really easily when the llamas come out of the woodwork.
  • It was very hard to come up with eleven random facts about myself, and took me just over an hour to do so. (Yeah, so I’m being lazy on the last one.)

Aywren’s Questions

1. If money and time was no object, what would you be doing right now?

I would be home, gaming, creating to-do lists, updating my blog, writing, RPing, crafting (in real life and in-game), watching TV, cooking, and reading…
2. What was the name of your first blog?
This is my first blog, and it has retained its name since its creation. Yep, stuck with this thing for about four and a half years. On and off, of course, until recently when I got back into it full force and for me instead of an audience.
3. Are you a morning or night person?
I’m actually not quite sure anymore, based on when I get up for work in the morning. I always used to consider myself a night person, but I’m up so early, I might consider myself a morning person. Honestly, though, it doesn’t really matter, because I’m the type of person that’ll sleep whenever.
4. If you could live in any period of history, when would it be?
This is a tough one. I might have to say the future. I have hope that one day people won’t see such things as age, gender, race, religion, weight, social class, etc. and that we’ll all treat each other decently like human beings.
5. When did you first play video games, and what was the first game you remember playing?
I would play games on the computer when I was young. Some of my earliest memories are watching my dad play Myst. I was so into it, but he never let me play it. The first game I started playing was Lego Island after it was released, because my parents purchased it for my younger brother. I played it way more than he ever did, though.
6. Name a gift you will never forget.
My favorite cat Oberon was a gift from a friend for our wedding. He was given to us because our first cat walked out on us and never returned, and we were heartbroken. Oberon is my baby. He’ll sleep on me in the middle of the night, and come over and headbutt me and put his paws on my leg when he wants attention.
7. If you had to describe yourself in three words, what would they be?
Pretty. Freaking. Awesome.
8. Tank, heals, DPS, support, or crowd control?
This is a tough one, because I love to excel at everything in a game. Call it a completionist or achievement-oriented personality, but I don’t see myself as playing my best if I can’t do any and all of it (eventually).
9. If you could meet any historical figure, who would you choose and why?
Any historical figure? I’m honestly not sure. While I enjoy history (and, admittedly, historical fiction), I feel that meeting someone from history I admire would ruin my view on who they are.
10. What is one item in a MMO inventory that you should probably throw away, but never will?
I clean out my bags pretty frequently, but, pretty clothes. I like the idea of pretty outfits in games, even if I’m not the best at “costuming” or “cosplaying” or “transmogriphying” other genres/characters.
11. Do you have a “main” character that you roll consistently in MMOs?
Chestnut the Tank. In every single game since I met my (now) husband, we’ve always rolled up mains named Chestnut and Chaide. I’m always a tank class, and he’s always a healer class. It’s what we enjoy doing the most.

Iron Weakness’ Questions

1. How did you get started blogging?

I’m going to be shameless, and rip a bit from my about page. This blog started as a way to become more social and overcome my social anxieties by joining the WoW blogging community. Since its conception, it has become more of a general area for me to discuss what I’ve been playing, and my thoughts on various geeky things.
2. What ability or skillset do you most admire in others but personally lack?
The ability to forgive and forget. I try my hardest daily to forgive folks for the wrongs they do to myself and to others–whether it be general rudeness, or full on drama-llama shit-storm. And some folks have the gift to shrug it off and move along and forgive. I’m one to take it personally, hold onto it, and mull for a very long time. I feel like I’m getting better at forgiving others and moving on with my life, but it has take a lot of time and practice. And it’s never easy.
3. You’re a long forgotten celebrity from the 80s looking to make a comeback. Which reality show do you make an appearance on and why?
Quite possibly The Tester, because it’s about video gaming, and I would hope folks would understand that anyone and everyone can enjoy (and work in) gaming by my participation.
4. What’s the origin of your blogging name?
My blogging name first started out as Essence (even though I’d rolled up my first Chestnut toon at that point), because that’s what my gamertag on XB was (or it’s similar, at least). It has since migrated to Chestnut, because that’s how I’ve been known online while gaming for over five years, now.
5. Which blogger would you like to meet in real life and why?
There’s a lot of bloggers I’d love to meet in real life, and I hope to do so one day, but at this moment in time, I’d very much like to meet Belghast, as he’s been a pretty awesome person that’s made me feel more confident in being myself and blogging the way I want to. So, thanks, Bel, for being awesomesauce-tacular.
6. What is the most important thing you’ve learned from blogging?
Fab question! The most important thing I’ve learned is that I need to write for myself. Yeah, it’s nice to have hits, and have folks read what I write and comment on it, but most of all, I need to write for myself, and be social as a part of the community for myself. Doing it for myself makes it something enjoyable, and not a chore, nor something where I feel like I’m being social as an ends-to-a-means.
7. What work of fiction would you like to see made into an MMO virtual world that hasn’t been done already?
Oh, this is a tough one. My favorite author, Jennifer Fallon, has some fabulous works and series that link together in the same universe (Hythrun Chronicles) that would be absolutely interesting to explore. However, it would need to contain all of the political drama the novels do to feel real to the environment. There’s magic users and normal humans, and it’d be a very neat dichotomy to try to make everyone on equal footing.
8. What role of the holy trinity of tank/dps/healer fits your personality most?
Along the lines of Aywren’s question, I would have to say I’m a fluid mix of all three. I like to be a leader and tank/heal folks. But I’m also one willing to step back and let other people take the spotlight. Some days it’s nice to be a faceless DPS, and other days I like holding people’s lives in my hands.
9. If you could have one superpower, what would it be and why?
I’ve never been good at these questions, because there’s so many super powers that’re epic. I think I might like to control fire or water, though. Something elemental-based. Though telekinesis would be cool, too. Maybe pyrokinesis?
10. If you could cut and paste your favorite games into one mega-ultra-super MMO, what would it look like?
I haven’t really played enough games to feel like I could cut and paste certain aspects into a super-ulta-epic MMO. I can tell you, that my favorite MMOs have included things such as: a challenging crafting system, a player-driven market where things actually sell, mini-pets, mounts to collect, achievements, housing (though I’m not the best at house design), and great social tools within the game.
11. If you were to start up a video game company, what would you name it?
Man, the tough questions! This is something I’d have to take the time to think about. Coming up with a blog title took me weeks when I first created this, so I can’t imagine how long it’d take me to try to come up with a name for a company of any sort.

My Questions

  1. What prompted you to first start your blog/site?
  2. What is your favorite season? Why?
  3. Do you have a favorite zone from a game? What is it? Which game?
  4. What is your dream career?
  5. Name three bands or singers that would be in your dream concert lineup.
  6. How did you choose your blogging name?
  7. Which blogger/podcaster would you like to meet in real life and why?
  8. What is your favorite game?
  9. If you could change one thing in your life, would you? What and why?
  10. Do you see yourself still enjoying gaming when you hit 100 years old?
  11. Tabletop, PC, or Console?

My Nominations

I will be nominating the following folks: