Taking A Step Back

Hey there folks. Daniel here, with a bit of slightly sombre news. After a few weeks of deliberation, I've decided to take a step back from this space and cut down on my Giant Bomb blogging activity.

I have a few reasons for reaching this decision. First and foremost, I'm getting old, folks. Ten years ago, when this site first launched, I was eighteen, between the end of my part-time job and the start of my university course. I had bucket-loads of free time, with no major commitments or responsibilities outside of my own education. Now, I'm twenty-eight. I work full-time hours in a stressful job. I have a family - parents, grandparents, sisters, nieces and nephews - who have their own health and social problems, who I feel the need to support in ways that I couldn't before. I have a wonderful girlfriend whose family I'm now just as much a part of as my own. I captain a local darts team. I play in and pseudo-manage a band. All of these commitments and responsibilities eat up time in ways I never had to worry about ten, or even five years ago, and it makes it harder to justify spending what little remaining time I do have typing up scattered thoughts on the video games that I've been playing recently.

On a less personal level, I've come to realise that Giant Bomb is not an appropriate platform for the content I wish to produce. This is in no way intended as criticism of Giant Bomb itself. I love this site. I love its staff, who work tirelessly to create what I (and many others) believe to be the most entertaining games-based video content on the whole internet. But Giant Bomb has, and I think always will have, an identity crisis. When it launched back in the summer of 2008, it was a site trying to be all things to all people - it was a Wiki, a news outlet, an entertainment channel, a community forum, an Achievement tracker, an FAQ and guide repository, all rolled into one ambitious, hulking beast of a website.

As time has passed, the site has become more focused in the kind of content it seeks to deliver - predominantly Quick Looks, casual live-streams, and pseudo-Let's Plays. Consequently, all the things outside of that focus have been hugely neglected, but (with the exception of the Achievement tracker) never completely excised. God of War, one of the biggest video game releases of this year, has a total of six lines of text on its Wiki page. A more recent PS4 exclusive, Marvel's Spider-Man, is totally empty. Forum activity is through the floor, with (as of the time of writing) only twenty-nine threads showing any comments in the last twenty-four hours. Guides are still an active feature on the site, for some reason, but I genuinely can't recall seeing one being highlighted or even worked on in the last five years.

And blogs, once the centre of a beautifully networked community experience, have been rendered almost invisible by a combination of profile redesigns, broken notification systems, and the general downplaying of cultivating a community in favour of highlighting the personalities of the staff. With a couple of notable exceptions, such as the peerless productivity of @mento and the insightful writings of @gamer_152, most of the bloggers I used to follow here have either cut down their output drastically, or simply moved on altogether. As I said, none of this is meant with any ill will. I don't blame Giant Bomb for identifying and subsequently carving out its place in the world of video game coverage. If anything, I blame myself for spending so long willing this website to be something that it was never going to be.

To those of you who were enjoying the Keyblade Chronicles and awaiting the next instalment, I apologise for not following the concept through to its true potential. It has done wonders for my productivity, getting me to write an average of around 8,000 words per week. But as much as I enjoyed writing what I did of that series, I couldn't shake the niggling voice at the back of my head, telling me that my energy would be much better spent on other, less frivolous creative pursuits. I have an unfinished novel that I need to pick back up, and lyrical ideas that I need to develop into full-blown songs. Both of those feel like worthier outlets for my creativity right now than a weekly blog series about a games franchise I haven't felt properly invested in for over a decade.

I'm not saying I'll never blog here again. Like I said at the start, this is a step back, not a departure. If the mood takes me one day in the future, I'm not ruling out the possibility of sitting down at the keyboard and bashing out a few paragraphs on what I've been playing recently. Nor am I saying goodbye to the site as a whole. I still love playing, watching and reading about video games. I still love the content that Jeff, Brad, Vinny, Dan, Alex, Ben, Abby, Jason, Jan, Rorie and the rest of the GB crew create. I'm still going to watch the videos, lurk on the forums, and read the blogs still being written by the people I've grown attached to over the last decade. But for now, that's all I'll be doing. As a final point, I'd like to thank each and every one of you who has engaged with my writing over the last ten years. Your input is what's kept me going this long, and is ultimately what will see me over the line with whatever creative project I shift my focus towards next.

Take care folks, and I'll see you around.

Daniel

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Currently playing - The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D (3DS)

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