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The SNES Classic has nothing to do with the contents of this post. I just needed an image to start things off.

I suppose I should begin with the fact that I got blind-sided this year with an e-mail from a reader I have never met before. They had asked me a few questions based on my thoughts in Idol Fantasy and similar discussions on Japan and Otaku culture.

It blind-sided me because I assume the only people that read this are personal friends or maybe – maybe – some folks from GamersWithJobs. Otherwise I figure this is mostly self-indulgent. Reading the analytics I’m driven to assume only bots check this thing out. Were it not for the (albeit small) number of downloads I’d assume no one is listening to the podcast, either.
Even small numbers can be intimidating, though.

I’ve wanted to treat this more like a blog blog for a while now, but I’ve never had the energy to go ahead and redesign it to reflect what it is. It maintains a design philosophy I attempted when I wanted to have the basics of a “real gaming website”. I think I’m finally going to rebuild. I want to focus foremost on RamblePak and GamersWithJobs for a while, and as such will dedicate more time to coding the blog rather than trying to figure out content to place here.

Of course, I’ve said something of this variant each year, and each year it hasn’t gotten done. I’d like to promise that 2018 will be different, but I’m evidently the sort of jerk that tries to make New Years resolutions he is bound to fail. This year, however, I’m feeling a bit more invigorated due to my time at MAGFest.

I already shared some of that experience, and I in fact may not quite be finished sharing. However, one thing made clear is the depression I’ve been suffering for a few months now… in fact, perhaps even a few years now. While I do feel as if my move back to New Jersey helped give me a brief respite from the doldrums, I swiftly fell back into the void of existential misery. I’d even argue I fell deeper than ever before, and have spent an awful lot of time wondering why I should even bother trying to do anything.

It wasn’t just a fear of being insignificant with nothing of value to say. It was almost an acknowledgment. Every time I began writing something I’d ask myself what the point was, only to begin jabbing at keys in order to shush the voices and put something down.

I can’t say that my observations are particularly valuable. I have no clue if I have truly insightful thoughts on games to folks or if I’m just another jack-ass trying to make too much out of his escapism. However, I do a disservice to anyone that has read my words, listened to my podcast, or watched my videos and thought “I like this guy’s content”. I may not be able to quantify my own work, but I can understand that complete strangers think there’s something there.

I’ll be repeating a tired old fight not just against my self-esteem, but my willpower as well. Without exercise it becomes easier to fall into depression and lethargy. With lethargy comes bad eating habits and more depression. Years of this has led to health issues that I should have been working to prevent a long time ago. Trying to be more productive, exercise more, and eat better all at the same time – while trying to avoid any and all indicators of a negative mood swing – is going to be quite a trial and it is one I’ve never successfully passed before.
It’s not impossible.

In truth, though, I can only focus so much on games for a productive purpose versus games for escapism and pleasure. While my brain is never “off”, there is certainly the desire to just sit down and play a game because I’m enjoying it rather than playing a game so I can take notes or use the footage in a future video. The longer I go without a video, the more I feel guilty when I’m not playing games specifically for a video. This then clashes with my desire to play games for criticism and writing as a whole.

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Look forward to my write-up expressing this critically lauded game as “alright”.

Do you know how many games I completed last year? Far more than I wrote about, I can tell you that much. Some of the games I played I had nothing to say, some of them I wrote about too early, and others I just never got around to writing about. Yet I still insisted on playing all of Horizon: Zero Dawn because it was time for GamersWithJob’s Game of the Year post and God dammit I needed to finish it so I could move on to What Remains of Edith Finch and Planet of the Apes: The Last Frontier.

The desire to play the latest and most hyped is a bad habit developed in the older days. Hype itself is like a contagion that can latch onto anyone, but the absolute obsession with it as a writer is bound to hold anyone back. At this stage I’ve accepted I’m not a marketable writer. Not in mainstream terms, at least. Moreso, I’ve realized through RamblePak64 that my writing strengths lie in what I take note of when playing a game again.

This year I’d rather focus on playing what I have and only purchasing the games I’m absolutely certain interest me. Horizon: Zero Dawn lost out to both the Nintendo Switch and Nier: Automata, but I bought it on sale because of the accolades and then played it in a rather rushed manner that delayed video capture in order to play what everyone else found to be Game of the Year worthy. What, would you say, have I absorbed from such an experience?

So my journey of 2018 is to dig deep and discover my writing. Or perhaps my voice. Or maybe better worded as my criticism.

Coinciding with that is my continued venture into capturing game footage. Late last year I came up with the notion of recording footage for a variety of video ideas rather than doing just one at a time, and… it’s a partial failure. I think using Extra Life as an excuse to capture footage for 24 hours rather than stream was a relative success, but unfortunately it was all for a project I decided not to pursue. Now I’ve got some footage for Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE, some footage for The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, some footage of Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice, some footage for a whole smattering of games, and an awful lot of footage of various Metroid titles for a video I’m only just now figuring out my thesis for.

My goal is to have a video up by February, but I’m uncertain which one it will be. I might make it a very brief video on the opening dungeon in Breath of Fire, or I might begin a quick playthrough of Titanfall 2 to use that. Or perhaps I’ll just push onward with Metroid Prime: Echoes.

Regardless, I have made myself one vow of 2018: if I fail to make four or more videos for RamblePak64 in 2018, I will give up on the endeavor and download a tool such as GameMaker Studio. I’ve used RamblePak as an excuse as to why I cannot stretch my hobbies too thin, yet I only updated it twice in 2016 and twice in 2017.

It’s about time I make it an actual hobby, don’t you think?


 

New Review

I'm Playing:

Fire Emblem Warriors Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle Mario and Luigi Superstar Saga Children of Zodiarcs Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age