Road to Recovery
It’s been a long and painful six days.
Apparently there was truth to what I had been told on my 40th birthday about the body breaking down and showing signs of age. Of course, these things had to wait until now to show up. First, I’d been dealing with some numbness in my right arm over the past 2-3 weeks, which is due to arthritis. I found out that arthritis runs strongly on both sides of my family. Then, on January 6th, I was rushed to the emergency room and diagnosed with a 3.5 millimeter kidney stone, which took a couple of days to pass and has wreaked havoc with my lower body. I didn’t eat for three days, and couldn’t keep anything in for five days.
As of today, January 13th, I’m still recovering from passing the stone. The wicked pain has been gone for a a couple of days, but I’m still fairly uncomfortable and not sleeping too well. All things considered, though, after what I went through a week ago, I’m in a better condition than I was.
I apologize for not being able to update over the past week. I’m hoping that I’ll be able to update a couple of times this coming week, which is my last before the next semester of school begins. I certainly have things to write about, including some new additions to my collection and some personal thoughts on December 2012 NPD results. I will be submitting a column to Popzara Press with more NPD detail in the next couple of days, too. I haven’t yet decided what my long-term course of action will be, in terms of analysis work.
I do appreciate the kind and thoughtful words that some of you have passed on either via comments or on Twitter. It really comes down to enjoying what I do. Perhaps I’m a bit thin-skinned when it comes to trolls, but again… after five years in this line of work, with no real future professional prospects, I’m at a point where I wonder if it’s worth the effort. It’s hard to do this kind of writing “for fun”, because it can be perceived as nonsense without some sort of credentialing or legitimate experience. When I was fortunate enough to have access to actual NPD data for a time, there was some legitimacy to what I was doing. I wasn’t fudging numbers, scrambling for leaks, and having to trust ranges and extrapolations like I do now. Prefacing discussion with “According to anonymous sources” and “Based on what I’ve heard” makes analysis a challenge. To me, proper analysis is based on raw data and trends. Otherwise, it’s a game of speculation and guesswork, with gut instinct guiding the way and a rather large margin of error.
The other thing to consider is that sales analysis is no longer a niche of the gaming press. Monthly sales data is broken down by other journalists now, and there’s a lot of chatter and noise in the field. My voice has gone from being fairly unique and pointed to becoming another in the cacophony of people who all think they know what’s going on. I have no expertise; I’ve relied on my retail background, my years of gaming experience and seeing trends first-hand for generations, and gut instinct. As much as I’ve wanted to be up there with the Pachters, Divniches, Sebastions, and Matthewses of the analysis arena… I’m not there. With so many others talking about analysis and data, I’ve lost much of my competitive edge.
I’ll be thinking on this some more over the next week or so. I’ll still be writing in some way, and Consoleation is going to see a fair amount of attention this year… provided my health doesn’t continue to deteriorate. I do have to consider how much school will affect my availability, once I settle back into a regular routine; this semester looks to be twice as difficult as the last, and it’s top priority as I continue to work towards my degree. The questions revolve more around what kinds of material that I’ll be working on and where I want to go with it.
I’m looking forward to getting back into the swing of things this week. It’s good to be back.