Take Five: A Few Post-E3 Wrap-Up Questions
I had a few questions after my most recent Shooting Straight entry, and I wanted to take a few words to address them.
Is the Armchair Analyst gone?
Aside from the monthly pieces that I’ll continue to do for Popzara for now, yes. It was an enjoyable experience and I learned quite a bit from it, but after kind of spinning my wheels in place over the last couple of years and with NPD information becoming so nebulous and difficult to find, it’s extremely difficult to do a decent job of analysis. I took a stab at wanting to move forward with analysis work during E3 and learned that a college degree is required, which is something that isn’t a lock for me. Enthusiasm and intuition can only get a person so far in this day and age– education is a key component that I lack. I’ll still talk about sales trends and sales numbers on Twitter from time to time, but that’s probably as far as it will go.
Are you still going to be writing?
I’m taking a bit of downtime currently after running the E3 gauntlet and the NPD data release that followed just after I returned home. I’m still active in my role at Popzara and will continue to take on review assignments as they’re given to me. Nathan and Chris have been awesome throughout my tenure so far, sending me assignments when they’re available. We’re also in a pretty quiet period post-E3, so there hasn’t been a lot to cover in terms of review work. I hope that things will pick up later in August and beyond.
I’ve still been giving some thought to submitting work to RetrowareTV, which has an excellent team of contributors and staffers. Unfortunately, most of the content there is of the video variety… and I don’t have much experience or equipment with which to do a lot in that area. My experience is with the written word, which is a bit antiquated these days. I also have to think of a series of columns to put together, and there are several options that I’m considering. This is very much an in-process kind of thing. I had initially considered submitting the Super Star Fox Weekend piece to RetrowareTV, but thought it better to post here and share with all of you rather than a piece out of nowhere over there.
What impressed you the most at E3?
Hyperkin‘s RetroN 5, easily. While emulators on laptops, PCs, and even some other video game platforms exist, the RetroN 5 allows me to play games that I own (not ROMs) using the controllers that I have, while affording some cool features from emulators and video upscaling. Being able to play carts from so many different platforms still fuels my interest in building a library of games, but having certain features like save states allows me to enjoy games with silly-length passwords without having to write those codes down or take pictures and enter the codes later. The upscaling looked pretty good, too– certainly better than playing those games on an HDTV with RCA inputs in standard definition. Be sure to check out my full impressions piece over at Popzara, if you haven’t already.
What were some of your favorite E3 experiences?
I really can’t put into words how much of an honor it was to meet so many people that I respect and admire again this year. Getting to meet Mike Futter and Andrew Reiner from Game Informer was a thrill. Getting to talk to Jesse Divnich, Michael Pachter, Liam Callahan (from NPD), and Jim Reilly (from EEDAR) was special because of their direct links to a field that I’ve followed for so many years. I got to spend a few good minutes with Aubrey Norris from Deep Silver (who has done an AMAZING job there), I got to chat with Marcus Beer again this year (and remembered to take my tie off this time), and I met some other fantastic and hard-working writers like Robert Workman and Dan Hevia once again. I sat two computers down from Angry Joe in the press room, and I got to listen in on a cool pinball conversation between a Farsight Studios employee and none other than Pat “The NES Punk” Contri.
It’s always been a goal of mine to be a peer to talent like that, and I’ve been fortunate enough to be able to say that I’ve been there. It’s always flattering and humbling when these fine people recognize me or know who I am. Those will always be my favorite E3 experiences– from this year and from the two years prior.
So… what now?
I really don’t have specific plans, honestly. I’m enjoying my downtime, playing both retro and more recent games. I’m still pretty active on Twitter and Instagram in terms of social media, too. I’m not going away or anything; I’m just writing and contributing more on my own terms now while I figure out what direction I want to go in. I guess you can call it a “period of transition”.
That’s wraps up the post-E3 questions. Thanks for reading!