It’s taken some time, but I guess I am back at it.
A lot has changed since I last shared anything on the site. I’ve become a dad again. A new generation of consoles has entered the market, and the world was turned upside down by a pandemic.
One thing that has only recently changed is my confidence to get back to writing about games. Something that I am sure the legions will be delighted to hear.
The thing is, I always loved being able to wax lyrical about games. I have been lucky to do so professionally as a younger man before the reality of cracking on and finally starting a family settled in.
Not too long ago, when Skyrim was only just made available on your smart speaker, I shared a piece about Xbox and the problem they had with exclusives. It was an entirely fair, albeit unoriginal, observation.
I shared online (as you do) happy with my musings and got a pretty harsh response from one person on Twitter. Now, I harbour no ill-feeling towards that person; in fact, they took my humble blog for a good gaming site, so that was a plus! But damn, did it knock my enthusiasm to get back out there.
This particular reaction was a bit publicly harsh for a simple blog. Still, I respect the hell out of the person to do so, as criticism is the only way to learn and grow.
Unfortunately, this wise outlook wasn’t the case back then and came at a time when my struggles with self-loathing and doubt were pretty severe.
Luckily, my mindset has recovered, and I am in a much better place than before.
Play the Game
Gaming played a massive part in getting me here, so I decided to get back to sharing my thoughts once more, starting with an honest account of my hiatus.
One of the great things about the gaming community is that it can be compassionate and understanding to all; that is when it isn’t flooded with toxic 12-year-olds.
Sure, within the gaming enthusiast network, there are problems with cronyism and exclusivity. But, it can also be a great place to make new friends and maturely discuss our passion for gaming.
And this was my starting point for this piece. I wanted to challenge myself to open up and return to creating content for the site on the correct terms.
As someone constantly referred to as ‘laid back’ or ‘introvert’, I now recognise that I am way too guilty of being a silent participant. But I want to change that with this site, and I want to simply put my thoughts out there, share my passion for games first, and put any self-doubt to one side.
During my hiatus from creating gaming content, my first since I started, I took the time to get lost in games and change my playing habits.
So I stopped blazing through games as I would during a review and started picking up (and dropping) stuff as I saw fit. I got genuinely immersed in worlds again and took comfort in the escapism gaming offered.
Gaming offered me that refuge needed during the ups and downs over the last 18 or so months.
And there’s been a lot I’ve needed to get some space on. Whether it is to tune out my thoughts, get away from the realities of COVID or unwind after a busy day, gaming has been essential.
Of course, it helps when you have some #NewConsoleSwag to aid any gaming escapes. The PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X has been very welcome additions and has further opened up the possibilities of how immersive and accessible gaming can be.
Game Pass has played a massive part in paving a road to some games I wouldn’t have bothered playing, and it is the beauty of the service for me.
I’ve been a pirate, an assassin, a space marine, a superhero and even a samurai during this time. And I’ve loved every second of it. No other medium offers this immersion experience. That kind of escapism is a natural tonic to contemplate, heal, relax and be happy.
Gaming has given me that refuge I needed and has restored that bit of self-belief I had been lacking.
It feels good to be back, and I am ready to talk about games again.