Stepping Back

Today’s announcement is one that I’ve been trying to fight off. The scarcity of new reviews lately has been impossible to ignore, and it was my hope to bounce back into a regular schedule at some point. At the beginning of the pandemic, there was this assumption among many that being trapped at home would make it easier for folks to work and create. For me, being with my kids 24/7 started to eat into my own time in a big way, and that was followed by my day job ramping up and bleeding into my off hours. The last straw was school starting back with distance learning, which has shaken out to about 90 minutes of class instruction and hours of my wife and I filling in the gaps.

It pains me to do it, but I’m stepping back from reviews for now. There’s simply no time left in my days anymore, and what free time I do get goes to far less stressful activities than maintaining a review schedule. You may notice I’m not stepping back from streaming, and that’s just as much a choice made for my mental health as the reviews are. Streaming has proven to be the panacea I need while being isolated at home, while reviews, as much as I love writing them, are still stressful to keep up with. I know this must be disappointing for everyone who’s here because of my written work, but I know myself better than anyone, and I know that it’ll only hurt me if I keep pushing myself under these conditions.

So what actually happens now? For one thing, I’m not quitting reviews entirely. There probably will still be reviews, but they’ll be very sporadic. I have opinions I want to share, and I don’t want this website to die off completely. With that in mind, here are the three big changes resulting from this decision:

  • There will be no review schedule. If I manage to get a review done at any point, I’ll post it, but there may be weeks or months with no new reviews. I still plan on doing the Weeklong Deals since they’re much less work to produce, but they’re moving to Tuesdays so I have more time to get them done (and they may expand in scope to include Midweeks and unreviewed games, too).
  • No more Reader’s Choice selections. I love letting the community pick games for me to focus on, but I can’t commit to reviewing any particular game in any particular time frame now. I’ll still work on reviewing our two remaining Reader’s Choice games, World of Final Fantasy and Troubleshooter, but I can’t say when those will be ready.
  • Our Patreon will be overhauled to reflect our current direction, and there’ll be no more Patron Picks. It started as a way to support reviews, and I added rewards in the form of Patron Picks to give it some parity with our Twitch subscriptions. A lot has changed since then, and with reviews on the backburner, I want to make sure Patrons understand what they’re supporting. The current list of Patron Picks will be honored eventually, but just like Reader’s Choice, I can’t commit to specific reviews anymore.

I fully intend for this to be a temporary adjustment, of course. I have to believe that the pandemic will end eventually, and when life regains some semblance of normality, I should be able to return to at least a modest review schedule. But we all know how quickly things can change in any setting, so for now those hopes are just that, hopes. More than anything, I want to apologize to those who have relied on, supported, or simply enjoyed my reviews for so long. This isn’t a guilt thing, I know that this is a necessary step for me and that no one is going to be outraged. But I am sorry that I can’t continue reviewing games right now… sorry that I can’t provide that entertainment and, perhaps, comfort in these trying times.

As always, thank you so much for being here and spending the time to read all this stuff I write. There will be less of it, but hopefully not for too long.

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