2011 was going to be a big year for me, when it came to writing about video games. It was the year that I was going to contribute to a website again and become a better and more consistent writer, hoping that my work may be read by lots of people and maybe– just maybe– translate to a foot in the door somewhere so that I had hope of doing this at least semi-professionally. I was also shooting for 2011 to be the year that I finally got the chance to go to Los Angeles and attend what is the biggest event of the year for the video gaming industry: the Electronics Entertainment Expo.
Having moved from Massachusetts to Arizona back in late 2009, travel expenses were going to be less of an issue. I knew that I could get the time off of work. I had even managed to squirrel some money away. The credentials that I needed were going to be taken care of as I was (and still am) contributing to Gaming Nexus as well as maintaining this blog. Everything was coming together… but then this was also the year that the ESA began restricting access to the event. Even though I’ve been writing for years, I didn’t have the traffic to meet ESA demands… and the dream was dead. I had pretty much resigned myself to the notion that I would once again be writing about the show from home.
In the middle of last month, I had read that Kmart Gamer was accepting blogger submissions for a chance to win a trip with their team to go and cover E3 for them. Several of my Twitter followers turned me on to the event, and I thought about it. I had been following Kmart Gamer on Twitter for some time and had been checking out their site, which was different from most other retail portals. It wasn’t just about sales promotions; there were thought-provoking topics and I felt a genuine interest in games coming from the team. I didn’t know if I really stood a chance, though. There are lots of deserving and talented writers out there and I’ve never really “competed” with peers before.
On March 14th, I submitted my entry with this blog post. I received some praise from other entrants, but really didn’t think that I’d have a chance.
I am struggling with putting into words how important this is to me. I’m aware that there’s a lot of work ahead of me, and I welcome the opportunity. All that I’ve ever really wanted is the chance to prove myself on the big stage, and E3 is the biggest stage of them all when it comes to the video game industry. I’ll be posting updates to Twitter from the show floor and will be writing some special blog entries for Kmart Gamer while there, and I’ll be hoping that my cell phone doesn’t die in the process. I’ll be posting some content here, as well, so expect to see special stuff just for you.
Now that it’s official, I’m putting the call out there for things that you’d like to see covered by me at the show. I won’t be at the press events (as I don’t arrive until Tuesday), but I will be on the show floor Tuesday afternoon (June 7th), most of Wednesday (June 8th), and part of Thursday (June 9th). The Kmart Gamer team is working to put together some appointments for me (and my two blogger colleagues, Amy Tucker and Stephen Haberman), but I’ll be looking to cover some other things, as well. Feel free to comment here or drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org with your ideas. I can’t guarantee that I’ll get to them all, but going in with some solid coverage suggestions will help me map out some strategy.
I want to thank the staff at Kmart Gamer for not only giving me this rare opportunity, but also for considering my writing and ability worthy of such an opportunity. I also want to thank all of you out there on the World Wide Web. You’ve all been supportive and encouraging, even when my confidence was fading and I was about ready to just give it all up. Consoleation recently passed the 10,000 hit marker, and that’s a big deal to me. Lastly, I want to thank my family and friends for their encouragement, support, and understanding. It’s not always easy to understand that I enjoying playing and writing about video games, as I have for so many years, but they all understand how important and special that this is to me. To all of you, from the bottom of my heart: I cannot thank you nearly enough.
The dream is alive, and my self-confidence is renewed. The time for excuses, unfortunate circumstances, and “what if” scenarios is behind me. I am looking forward to sharing the experience with the two other very talented writers who were also selected. I’m going to celebrate a bit and try to come down off of this amazing feeling over the weekend, as I ring in my 39th birthday.
After that… it’s time to start preparing for one event that will change my life forever.