Since 2008, when I first began looking at NPD data and writing summaries, I started to gain interest in sales analysis. Numbers go up, numbers go down. Sometimes there are patterns, and sometimes those patterns make it possible for people to make predictions about what might happen next. It can be a lot of guesswork, and there are times when those predictions don’t verify or when they tend to irritate or anger a set of people.
There was a time when I used to be very critical of analysts like Michael Pachter or Jesse Divnich, but that all changed when I met them for the first time in June of 2011. Since then, I’ve been learning things on the fly. I’ve been steadily writing Armchair Analysis columns and monthly NPD breakdowns for Popzara Press for the last 12 months. I’ve been active on Twitter, making predictions and talking with others about what I think might happen. Some think I’m nuts (which is okay), and some think that I’m not. I’ve had a pretty decent track record over the past two years in terms of predictions and projections, mixing trends with retail experience and various sources of chatter. My interest has grown, but I’ve been too shy to pursue it.
After some discussion with Nate over at Popzara, and after some private deliberation, I’ve decided that analysis is a field that I want to pursue, and I’ll be approaching my coverage at E3 from that perspective. While I’ll be getting as much hands-on experience as I can, my focus will be to see what’s out there and how it will pertain to sales and successes over the coming months. Which games will be the biggest successes? Which ones will be the biggest surprises? How will they affect potential sales of hardware platforms– both old (PS3/360) and new (PS4/new Xbox)? These are the questions that I’m going to want to try to answer.
Of course, there is going to be an enthusiast perspective as well. I’ll be looking forward to meeting with Zen Studios staff to find out what’s on the horizon for pinball. I’m hoping to see what the future holds for the next generation of sports video games, as a fan. I’ll look forward to seeing how Call of Duty: Ghosts is shaping up. And, yes, I’m hoping to see the new hardware platforms close up. While we will know about the PS4 and the new Xbox well before this year’s event, this will be the first time that both will be at the same show and publishers will finally be able to shed some light in terms of what they’re working on. I’m also very curious to see what Nintendo will deliver; I’m confident that they’re going to be much more aggressive at this year’s event.
I’m a numbers guy. I have been for some time, and continue to be fascinated with trends and patterns. Analysis isn’t a field for everyone, but there’s a lot that can be learned from being an observer and understanding how forces both from outside of the industry and from within can affect sales strength on both hardware and software levels. It’s time for me to move on from simply talking about it as a hobby and expand upon it, whether it’s pitching columns to other websites or maybe pursuing a career path in analysis.
I will also continue to contribute video game reviews, as well as work on content here as well as for my Armchair Analysis blog. With school ending, I’ll have more free time to spend on writing and improving that skill. While sales analysis will be my main focus, I will be staying sharp by playing current titles when possible with the added benefit of experience to help determine how I think the game may fare on the whole in terms of sales success.
Indeed, it’s an exciting time. Time to take my own advice and see what happens. Time to step forward.
I’ve been touched by some of the response to the Shooting Straight post that I wrote a few weeks ago.
I wrote it in reaction to the spate of layoffs that we’d seen from IGN at the time, and the layoffs really shook me because that could have been me out there had I found the courage to trust in my talents and go for a paying job in the gaming press. I don’t know how I would’ve handled being suddenly let go, having to scramble to salvage my future, and wondering where to go from there. I think that volatility is something that I’ve always been nervous about. Careers in this business are risky and fleeting as models change. Magazines have been replaced by websites, and paid professionals are now battling against plucky unpaid upstarts for page views and fans.
Had I made the decision to “go pro” at the peak of my writing journey, I probably would’ve done so as a reviewer… and I think that I would have failed in the endeavor. While I enjoy writing reviews very much, I am aware that my review-writing format is very systematic. If you know me, you know what you’re going to get, most likely. Lots of folks hate by-the-numbers reviews, but that’s the way I’ve always written. I’ve become comfortable with that. I’m not sure that I ever really wanted or thought about embracing the challenge of changing things up. The awesome team over at Game Critics (Thank you to Brad, Chi, and Dale!) tried very hard to shake me from that mold when I contributed reviews for them in 2002, but it never stuck. I honestly don’t know that I’m more than an average reviewer with a slightly above-average vocabulary and decades of gaming experience to draw on as my assets… but I enjoy doing it when opportunities arise.
My best role would’ve probably been an an analyst, which really requires far more education than I have. I’ve learned a great deal as an observer over the last five years, and I learn more every day. My approach is also a bit different in an analyst role than it is for the folks that inspired me to focus on sales and trends in the first place, like Michael Pachter, Jesse Divnich, Colin Sebastian, Doug Creutz, and others. I try to break down the data for peers, for other video game players, to help them understand the numbers that are out there. I don’t really write for investors or for financial perspective. Matt Matthews over at Gamasutra is probably the person I’d most likely have emulated had I turned professional, but I don’t know that there’s really a market for that in order to make a living.
What I see out there in social media and around gaming press circles is a lot of talent. There are many hard-working writers, community managers, and people in other important roles who are trying to make their mark. It’s really cool to see, honestly. There’s a great support system out there for those who aspire to be professionals. It’s never been easier to get your work published, thanks to a proliferation of smaller independent sites dotting the World Wide Web. Established professionals and freelancers have given advice and support to these up-and-comers, as well. Publishers and PR firms try their best to give as much access as they can to as many who legitimately ask for it. They’ve done this for me, and I will always be grateful for that support and encouragement.
When I said that I was– that I still am– a coward for not having chased my dream, I admit that I have some regrets. It’s sad when you don’t or can’t believe in yourself enough to take that one leap of faith and trust that you’ll land without (too many) broken bones. On the other hand, I’m also very fortunate to still be able to write about video games at the age of nearly 41. I have a couple of platforms that publish my work, and I understand that a few people have even read the thousands of words that I have written. That still motivates me and humbles me at the same time. I may not be the huge success that I wanted to be in my head, but I still have a body of work that I’m very proud of and a wider group of people who take some interest in what I have to say (from time to time, anyway).
I think that I at least partially meet the criteria for being a “success”, even if my writing never equates to being a “real job”. It’s acceptable success, and if that’s the legacy that I leave behind… I can hold my head high.
I know that it’s been awhile since I last posted here, but that’s been due to several factors. School has been pretty tough this semester, and adapting to a three-day school schedule as opposed to two has really interrupted my free time flow. My energy levels have been down, and I’d just been spinning my creative wheels up until very recently.
I’m happy to say that my writing roles outside of Consoleation have begun to increase, and I wanted to take this opportunity to share with you what’s been happening:
For starters, I’m still active on staff with Popzara Press. Aside from monthly sales analysis pieces that I continue to try and piece together from what data I can find, I’m also still writing some reviews for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 titles. I got a chance to put Fist of the North Star: Ken’s Rage 2 through its paces for the PlayStation 3 last month, and I just recently got to cover the initial suite of Star Wars Pinball tables on the PlayStation 3 as well. I’m currently working my way through Tomb Raider, and I’m hoping to get to cover Bioshock Infinite for Popzara later this month.
In addition, I’ve been asked to cover Tiger Woods PGA Tour 14 for GamersHell as a contributor and should be seeing the game soon. It was a pleasant surprise to have the offer extended by Chris, the Managing Editor, and I was happy to accept given my enjoyment of the Tiger Woods series and of sports games in general. The door is open to more contribution opportunities if the initial piece goes well, so I’m looking forward to this opportunity.
Finally, I’m happy to announce that Pinball Alley has a new home: 1 More Castle.
If you haven’t visited this great site, which is dedicated to older video games and platforms, I can’t recommend it enough. I’m honored and privileged to be a part of a talented group of staff and contributors, and I want to thank Eric for reaching out to me and working with me to get this idea realized. As the above video explains, Pinball Alley is a six-part, bi-weekly series of articles that breaks down each of the pinball games for the NES. The first article in the series will be going up on March 12th and will be a breakdown of Nintendo’s Pinball. I’m both nervous and excited to have the piece go live and to see what readers think of it. I haven’t yet decided on the order for the remaining five games, though I’m leaning towards Rollerball.
So… that’s what’s going on. I also have midterms coming this week, so things are turning very busy all around. It’s a very exciting time, and I hope that you’ll be able to take some time to check out my work in a few spots.
I’m just going to shoot straight from the hip: I’m a big ol’ coward.
I’ve been writing about video games in some capacity since 1999. I got my first reviewing “gig” in 2001. I’ve had many stops along the way since then, and I’ve probably had my fair share of opportunities to pursue my “dream job” and write about video games for a living. I’ll never forget being all excited during GamePro chats with Dan Amrich and the rest of the team back in 2000, talking about how I wanted to be a professional and having them cheer me on. I’ll never forget being on the radio every Saturday to talk about video games with friends from Fantasy Realms. I’ll never forget my first review assignment for About.com (Super Bombad Racing… YUCK). I’ll never forget my first review deadline, having to play, complete, and draft a review for SonyWeb for Metal Gear Solid 2. I’ll never forget the many times that I got close to getting to go to E3, and then finally getting that chance twice in 2011 and 2012.
I’ve been as close to being a professional as one can get without actually getting there. I never took that last big step. Why? I was scared. I remain scared, even as my 41st birthday approaches… although the “dream job” scenario has been relegated to flights of fancy now. What if I took that chance, flew out for an interview, and get turned down? Or what if, like we just saw with 1UP and GameSpy, the jobs just disappeared? What would I do? How would I survive? I could never bring myself to take that chance, to believe in myself, because I was– because I am– a coward. I’m not afraid to admit this.
It takes more than pure writing talent to do this kind of thing for a living. In fact, it takes more than pure talent to do this kind of thing consistently, whether you’re a professional or just an enthusiast. I see writers all the time dedicating themselves to wanting to be the next big thing, or wanting to take their skills to the next level, or wanting to prove that they belong to what is one of my favorite fraternities. There are too many of these people to list, and that list grows longer every day as new sites spring up or as new writers decide to jump into the fray and offer their own works and perspectives. I salute all of these people. These are the same kinds of people that motivated me to start writing in the first place, rather than just think that I could. The Amrichs, Eddys, and Reiners that first inspired me have been joined by the Workmans, Futters, Evangelhos, and a chorus of others. They are all dedicated to their craft, and they have helped and inspired others to succeed along with them.
To those who have been displaced from their writing jobs, I offer this: Although it’s of little consolation, you all did something that I never did. You all took big chances and believed in yourselves to get where you are. Your strong work ethic, talent for writing, and passion for this business still remain, and you almost certainly inspired others to follow in your footsteps– to do as you have done. You have my admiration and respect, and I wish nothing but the best for you as you move forward. I thank you for what you have done and hope that you will continue to do it.
As for the rest of you who are writing and may be shaken by recent events, I offer this: Don’t do what I did. Look to those who had the conviction to take risks and put themselves on the line because they believed. Keep writing, keep working, keep sharing. Even if that “dream job” never materializes, if you have passion and motivation, there will always be opportunities for you to share that with an audience of people always thirsting for more knowledge and different perspective. We need voices. We value opinions. We enjoy reading. Try not to let the volatile nature of the gaming press business dissuade you or bring you down.
I look back today on why I never took my shot and admit that it was my own fault. No matter what the dream is, don’t be afraid to take a chance on yourself. It’s better to have tried and failed than to have never tried at all.
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.
2012 has been a tough year for me. It’s the first time since 1991 that I haven’t held a job for an entire year. My self-confidence has been wavering most of the year. I’ve had to sell off a lot of my belongings to make ends meet. Fighting my battles with anxiety and depression this year has largely gone against me, though I’ve managed to crawl to the finish line and see the year end and another one begin.
It’s important to note that 2012 wasn’t all terrible. Turning 40 wasn’t as bad as I feared, though it got tougher after the first few months. After nearly giving up on writing for good, I found an opportunity to get back into the fold and had a decent year of output. I returned to Los Angeles and E3 for the second year in a row, and met up with people that I have great admiration of and respect for… people like Andy Eddy, Dan Ryckert and some members of the Game Informer editorial team, Marcus Beer, Kevin Dent, Dan Hevia, Jesse Divnich, Michael Pachter, members of Zen Studios, and many others. I got to review some good games this year and got to enjoy lots of pinball experiences. I returned to college for the first time in more than 20 years and wound up with a 4.0 GPA in my first semester back.
I think the most important thing, to me, is that I realized some things about myself.
When I was preparing for my 40th birthday, I found out about some videos from a personality known as Pat The NES Punk (Pat Contri). I was really big on the NES at the time, and watching Pat’s video series not only brought smiles to my face but they also began what’s become a personal transformation as 2012 went on. I found myself wanting to focus my time and attention less on today’s video game scene and more on what I found was a growing and close-knit retrogaming community. When a surprise gift of a Nintendo Entertainment System arrived just prior to my birthday, the dominoes began to fall. My mom’s gift to me was to help me build a small collection of NES games to start with, and I slowly built that collection over the remaining 7 months of the year. My retro collection had started to build a month prior with a Super Nintendo Entertainment System that I’d purchased thanks to a great deal from a relative, but the NES really sealed things… and I got a Genesis with birthday money soon after.
Even though E3 was a very exciting and unforgettable event in June, I kept feeling myself drawn back to my older stuff. I pulled my collection of NES manuals out and sorted them, sharing pictures online occasionally. I began talking more and more about my collection and older games, pointing out memories and what used to be. I wrote a lot about it here and used Twitter to share my enthusiasm quite a bit.
I was realizing that I could still have a passion for writing or sharing content. I was just changing my focus. It was probably overdue, since I’d been spending way too much time on Twitter and here on Consoleation complaining about everything that I disliked about modern console gaming. I could have been spending that energy on more positive things and maybe making a bit of a name for myself… maybe not to the extent that Pat Contri has worked so hard to get to, (or any of the personalities from Retroware TV, which has become one of my go-to websites this year) but instead just present myself as a knowledgeable, passionate, and decent writer. That’s where the decision for my top 2013 resolution comes in.
I’m likely never going to make a living as a writer, but writing for me has never been about the money. It’s been about sharing my knowledge and experience, networking with like-minded people, and maybe being in the same conversation as some of those who worked hard to become professionals. When I met the people I mentioned at E3 and they knew who I was… it made for a humbling and special experience. It was a dream scenario for a guy who’s played games for most of his life and who has been given the opportunity to write a few things to know that his work and words have been read by people that he looks up to and has been inspired by.
Despite all of my personal trials and tribulations, I have a lot to be grateful for when I look back on 2012 in its waning hours. I’m grateful to my family for keeping me afloat despite having zero income and for supporting me in my quest for a college degree. I’m grateful to Nathan at Popzara Press for affording me the opportunity to contribute work as an aspiring analyst, going on gut instinct and retail experience rather than professional experience and a business degree. I’m also grateful to Nathan (and to Chris Mitchell) for getting me out to Los Angeles and into E3 this year, making a dream come true yet again. I’m grateful to all of the people who took the time to meet and talk to me while I was at the show and strengthening my belief in myself. I’m grateful to all of my followers and readers on social media who sifted through all of my complaining and railing this past year, offering their support, insight, and conversation.
Finally, I owe all of you who have taken the time to read Consoleation at any point this past year a debt of thanks. 2012 was this blog’s best year ever, with 8,100 page views and 600 unique visitors. Consoleation is on the cusp of breaking 24,000 page views in its lifetime, which is a big deal to me. When I started it back in 2008, I didn’t know what direction it would go in and basically used it as a supplement to my writing work elsewhere… but now it’s an independent entity and I’m humbled that a blog from a relative unknown could see nearly 25,000 page views. That is thanks to you, and it means more than any words could possibly express.
As I ring in 2013, there will be changes, as I alluded to with my 2013 resolutions. I’m looking forward to my new direction.
I wish you and yours the very best in 2013: success, health, and all good things. I hope that you enjoy closing the door on 2012 and opening a new one for 2013.
I hope that everyone had a great holiday and that you got gifts that you were hoping for. I do have some things coming, but most of my gifts this year were largely practical. I’ll be getting food thanks to a Wal-Mart gift card and might be able to get a game or two with a gift card to the local shopping mall here. The Nintendo 64 will have to wait, which is okay given that I have quite the gaggle of consoles already. My power strip in my bedroom looks like a docking station with all of the plugs and wires.
Here are the items coming:
- High Speed (NES): YES. I’m finally completing my NES pinball game collection. I’m looking forward to playing this over my semester break and seeing what kind of scores that I can pull off. It’s been awhile since I’ve played.
- Dragon’s Revenge (Genesis): Yes, another pinball game. I picked this one over Dragon’s Fury (the Genesis port of Devil’s Crush) because it’s a new table and the visuals are a little cleaner. Dragon’s Fury is still on my wish list, though. Soon.
- Gex 2: Enter The Gecko (PlayStation): I have the first and third games digitally downloaded on my PS3, so this was the missing piece. I love the Gex games for their humor, and the second and third games are underrated platformers.
- Dawn of Mana (PlayStation 2): I’m taking a chance on this game, but since I liked Legend of Mana (unlike many other people), I’m willing to give this game a try. I’m aware that it’s flawed, but I do have a soft side for games like this one.
I also did manage to get a couple of new Pinball Arcade tables for iOS: Twilight Zone and Star Trek: The Next Generation. I can’t wait to play these on the big screen in early 2013. They’re that good. Really.
I’m certainly grateful for what I got this year.
I’ve been putting lots of thought into 2013 after posting my last entry. I’m trying to get any negativity out of my system before January 1st, and am seeing myself focusing largely on retrogaming moving forward. While it’s been a fun tour of duty in the analysis field, I think that I’ve gone as far as I can go with it. I don’t think that there’s a whole lot of interest from readers at large in that field of writing and research, and it’s generally served as a focal point for personal attacks and dismissal of my work. I may stay on at Popzara to write monthly NPD pieces, but that’s still something I’m considering. I’ve covered that beat pretty regularly since 2008, and haven’t really made many professional moves forward while doing so. I’m left to consider if it’s worth the effort.
On the plus side, I do plan to be more active here in 2013. Unfortunately, my new laptop has to go in for service and won’t be back until mid-January, so new videos won’t be up for awhile… but features like Retail Reviews, WedNESdays, NES Manuals, PlayStation 2sDays, and others will be a bit more common here and on Twitter. I will post pieces relating to modern gaming in terms of Retail Reviews and some impressions pieces for games on the PlayStation 3 and/or Xbox 360, but the more negative opinion pieces are going to be much more limited. I’ll be working on biting my tongue a lot more this year rather than speaking out loud and instead focusing that energy elsewhere.
I’ve recently begun using Pinterest to post some gaming-related pictures on. Since the Instagram debacle, it seemed like a good time to start using this service. I also share quite a few images via Twitter, if you follow me there. I share a lot of images of NES game manuals, as well as still images of games displayed on my GxTV and other related photos of my collection and library.
With a new year comes new beginnings. I think that I’ve finally found my niche, where negativity is limited, community is tight, and knowledge and experience are fun to share. It’s time to share more of what makes me happiest and cut back on what makes me not so happy. I know that griping and being angry are what tends to attract traffic, but the success of Consoleation isn’t measured so much by hits as it is the legacy that I build for myself as a writer, as an aging fan of video games, and hopefully as someone who will leave his mark as an individual who really does consider video games to be a huge part of his life. I hope that you’ll join me on that journey. It’ll be fun for me, and I sincerely hope that it’ll be enjoyable for you as well.
We’re coming to the end of another year, and it’s been a mix of good and bad for me.
On the good side, I’ve been slowly building my library of older video games and consoles. I’ve added a Nintendo Entertainment System (as a birthday gift), a Super Nintendo Entertainment System (bought from an awesome relative), a SEGA Genesis, and a Nintendo Gamecube (given as a gift). My PlayStation 2 games library eclipsed the 300-game mark this year, thanks to some awesome deals from GameStop. It’s been fantastic getting to enjoy these games and systems once again, and it’s managed to keep me distracted when life hasn’t been going well. I also got to go to cover E3 this year, thanks to Popzara Press, and it was an honor to cover the event. Finally, I returned to college for the first time since 1991 this year– and, if I can do well on my final exams over the next couple of weeks, I could get straight As.
Unfortunately, 2012 has also been very challenging. It’s the first year that I had absolutely zero income since 1991, when I was in school last. It’s made for a very difficult period in my life, where even the very basics of life aren’t always guaranteed. I’ve had to sell off some belongings and go without a lot of things. The transition from living in Arizona to living back here in Massachusetts has not been a smooth one, and it’s been humbling overall. Video games and writing, along with my educational responsibilities now, have been what’s kept me from losing myself this past year… and my family has been instrumental in helping me to survive during this period of time.
As I look forward to the new year, I’m hoping to find a way to continue to pursue building my retrogaming library. Taking a suggestion from a few friends, I put together an Amazon wish list and updated it for the holidays. This was much easier for family when they asked what I might be hoping for under my tree later this month, although I’m honestly happy to just have a roof over my head. If there was a big thing or target that I have for 2013, it would be adding a Nintendo 64 to my library. I recently wrote about why the platform has been on my mind of late, in fact. I know that N64 carts are getting harder and harder to come across, but it’s really the one significant platform that I don’t have currently. Aside from that, there are a few games that I have my eyes on, like High Speed for the NES, Axelay for the SNES, and a few other titles.
I’ve also recently begun posting video blogs up on YouTube, and am looking forward to doing more of these in 2013. I’ll be talking about whatever topics come to mind, though NPD sales analysis and retrogaming will be two of the more common themes. I’m also hoping to do some more podcasting in 2013 as well, as the shows that I was invited to do were a blast to participate in. In addition, I will be continuing to work with Popzara Press to contribute reviews and monthly NPD sales analysis pieces. Working with Nate and his team has been a great experience, offering the kind of latitude and flexibility that allows me to be successful. I’m looking forward to maintaining and growing my social media footprint in 2013, and I feel that my writing and videos will help me reach that goal.
Something that I’m going to try to do in 2013 is to try and dial down my negativity when it comes to modern gaming and my feelings about it. I think that I’ve made my point about where I stand and the difference in direction that modern gaming is taking versus my own path. There will still be days when I’ll have some negative things to say, but I think the focus needs to be on what I like or what makes me happiest. I’ll also be continuing my focus on interpreting sales trends and data, as that’s really been my niche over the last year.
Consoleation passed 23,000 page views this year. I’ve always maintained this blog as a labor of love, and as a platform to share my thoughts in a way that social media simply doesn’t lend itself to doing. I can post 140-character blasts from my brain, but Consoleation has always been that vehicle to expand upon my thoughts, share my experiences in a more in-depth fashion, and hopefully generate some reaction or interaction. 2013 will mark the 5-year anniversary of Consoleation, and that’s a pretty significant milestone. Thanks to all of you who have visited– and hopefully will continue to visit– my little piece of the World Wide Web. You’ve made it more than worthwhile, and that means a lot to me.
I wish all of you and yours the happiest and safest of holiday seasons. May you all get something nice to open– retro, modern, or otherwise.
Before I go, here’s the video that I shot this morning– the first in a series I’m calling “Monday Memories”, which will focus on retrogaming experiences and library additions:
I’ve had difficulty believing that I’m a decent writer.
A lot of it has to do with the fact that I’m not used to compliments. I’m not sure how to accept them sometimes. I’m always grateful that someone would take the time to tell me that they enjoyed what I wrote, or to even remotely compare me to others whom I hold in high regard personally. I’ve been mentioned in the same discussion as Michael Pachter a few times. I’ve been told by other writers or analysts whom I respect and admire that they’ve taken time out of their busy schedules to read pieces that I’ve written. These things are the ultimate compliments to me, and I value them very much.
I think I’m realizing now, with a website taking a chance on me and sending me to E3 this year, that I’ve failed to recognize what these people have been trying to tell me. I feel weird admitting that maybe I am as good as some have said, or that I do have the talent needed to possibly make something of myself in a role that I was all but ready to give up on not too long ago. I guess that I’ve always believed that keeping compliments at bay kept me grounded as a person. Not totally buying into compliments made me work harder and made me become a better writer.
I think, to quote a popular internet meme, that I’ve been “doing it wrong.”
This trip, as unexpected as it is, has everything to do with Popzara Press– and I’m very grateful for the hoops that Nathan and Chris have jumped through to get me to Los Angeles– but it may also have something to do with the idea that I might have earned this kind of trust and opportunity. This is, perhaps, what other colleagues and writers have been trying to tell me for a long time. It’s time to believe that I might be good enough to be an accomplished writer or analyst.
It’s time, to put it bluntly, to believe in myself.
I have a chance now to set things in motion for the future. I have a chance to start building my own network of contacts and take some initiative instead of relying on others. I have a chance to show that I can work under pressure. I have a chance to generate my own unique content. These are things that I’ve been told publicly and in confidence that I can do, but I never genuinely believed it until just recently.
In the past month, I’ve accomplished a lot. I’ve been sourced as an analyst. I’ve participated in my first podcast. I’ve had eight Armchair Analysis pieces published. I’ve covered five earnings calls. That’s all in addition to securing my spot in college for the fall. It’s all because I finally stopped just listening and added belief to that action… and this has been perhaps the most important transition of my life so far.
So, to all of you who have ever taken the time to compliment me in my life, my writing, or anything else… It’s my turn to not only thank you for those compliments, but also to prove you right.