Adam Niese

Just who is Pixelsocks?

Truth be told, Pixelsocks isn’t a person. It’s a gamertag. It’s a website. It’s an obscure internet story about the tiny struggles for power on message boards. What it isn’t is Adam Niese, the gamer who writes here.

Adam picked up his first video game console midway through the NES era and hasn’t gone without for a single generation since then. He’s sunk a tremendous amount of time into playing, thinking, talking, and writing about something small enough to fit in your pocket and big enough to eat 90 hours of your life away. He thinks that games are art, but, as with most art, most of the medium is unrefined crap. He believes that inside every mediocre 80 hour game is a great 20 hour game struggling to escape, that designers should let gamers play on their own terms, and that it’s still worth getting a handful of people into the same room to do some multiplayer. More than anything, he thinks that simulated living is one of those trivial things that make actually living a little better.

During the leisure time he’s not spending on yet another game, Adam is pursuing a PhD. in psychology at the University of Iowa, which probably explains why everything sounds so academic. He’s researching visual cognition, so he actually knows something about what makes a good human interface, the real difference between challenging and unfair gameplay, and the limits of human performance in a visual medium like games.

Adam is presently living the quiet life in California (which the university doesn’t seem to mind), but would consider adding some hectic deadlines if you’re in need of a game critic. If you’re interested, please consult the contact page. In the meantime, please enjoy the site.

What about KatieGreen?

KatieGreen has more personness than Pixelsocks. It is a gamertag. It isn’t a website. It’s an old nickname derived from a tendancy to wear green hats, have green houselights, and the pressing need to distinguish two best friends both of whom were named “Katie”. In all these forms, it is linked to Katie McKiernan.

Katie has loved video games since about third grade, though originally mostly as a second player or observer, as she didn’t own a console of her own for what seemed like forever. She still looks at games as a social medium today, influenced in no small part by the Super Smash Brothers-enabled transition of her high school friend Adam Niese into a college boyfriend and post-college fiancĂ©. From MMORPGs to single player games, Katie thinks about games in terms of how they bring people together, and how entertaining they are for an audience. She has only played about an hour of Bioshock on her own, for example, but enjoyed every tantalizing moment of it watching Adam play.

Currently addicted to World of Warcraft, Katie has a lot of opportunity to see how gamers socialize using video games. She tries not be be discouraged when /2 disintegrates into political or name-calling madness, hoping that they will all hear Wil Wheaton’s call: “Don’t be a dick.”

Katie is currently a master’s student at San Diego State University, working on an M.S. biology. She also is adding to her portfolio by serving as a bonus games analyst and as the local web-monkey for Pixelsocks.com, learning HTML, CSS, PHP and (stand back) regular expressions in the process.

Stuff We Read

Blogging does not happen in a vacuum; rather, we’re all influenced and informed by our online environment. Here are some of sites that influence us most here at Pixelsocks:

From Pixelsocks:

Twenty Sided

From Katiegreen
MMOG Nation
New York Times
BBC World News