Sometimes, you just need a break.
Whether that’s a break from your work, your own headspace, or your hobbies, there are points where it can get a little overwhelming. To put it short, that’s pretty much what happened with me, and by extension, the site over the last few months.
We’re all aware of the reasons for a lot of things being “out of the ordinary” over the last year, but there was a bit of a point where it all got too much, and I lost interest in pretty much everything. I’ve not been able to see my friends, I’ve not been able to go to my beloved “church” of Sincil Bank in Lincoln, and I’ve just not had the motivation to get out of bed some mornings. Last time I wrote about my mental health on the site, it was a long time ago, and it was a topic that people occasionally didn’t feel comfortable writing about, or indeed reading. However, it’s something that I believe is important. Jess has written about her experiences recently, and how Death Stranding helped her cope.
I would be lying if I said that everything with the site is where I want it to be. There is frustration with trying to break through into a crowded environment, trying to get our voice heard alongside a deluge of others whenever we have the opportunity to get content out and hit an embargo, but as is often the case, it tends to drown in the flood. The site was built on trying to get honest reviews and coverage out in a timely manner, and sometimes that’s just not possible for a number of reasons, be it our own fault or issues with trying to get things to create content on. However, we continue to do what we can, because we love doing it. I have no journalistic experience, and I honestly don’t know if I’m even doing this whole thing right, but conversations I have with people in the industry on the odd occasion make things feel worth it.
With that being said, the lack of content recently falls on me. I have not been a good editor recently, and in fact I’d go as far to say that I’ve probably not been a great person. My mental health has slipped massively, as has my physical health. This is partly due to the circumstances that “the global problem” has presented, but it’s also due to other factors that I’m trying to address. The problem is that the motivation to pick up a controller, let alone play any games, has been rapidly approaching absolute zero. I removed myself from Social Media for a bit, because it was all just getting too much, and I thought the motivation would come back. But it didn’t. I’ve been sat on a couple of product reviews recently because, well, I’ve just not had the energy to complete. I’ve not opened up Da Vinci Resolve for around 2 months because I’ve not only had no energy, but I’ve also been afraid of failure. What if this video only gets 20 views? It’s something that shouldn’t matter to me in the grand scheme of things, but it does. Just a few months ago, we were hitting close to 1,000 new subscribers per week, and the channel grew by around 30%. Now we’re stagnant again, and that too, is on me.
The important thing that I need to remind myself is that we do this for fun. We run NGB as a hobbyist site that aims to provide an honest voice on games, with a fun take on things. We all have day jobs, and we all have families. Some of us have had recent additions to those families, and they will, now and always, take precedence over whatever content we can create. That’s not to say we don’t love games, because we do. It’s just that sometimes, you have to take a step back.
There will be people that read this who won’t understand. There will be people that watch the accompanying video who don’t get it either. That’s fine. I want to put this out there as a mea culpa. An admission of where we are as a site, and an admission that, while it’s not exactly where I feel we can, or indeed should, be, it’s where we’ve got to springboard from. I hope that if you are reading this, you can relate to feeling that lack of motivation. That lack of passion for things you know you care about deep down, and that malaise that can wash over you during difficult times.
I’ve lived with varying states of anxiety and depression for over a decade at this point. I’m a 35 year old married man with a decent job and a roof over my head, yet there are moments when the darkest of things float by. The thing I’ve taught myself is to not latch on to those things, let them pass and, when you feel ready, come back even stronger.
Where does this put Next Gen Base then?
Well, I’m not going to let my brain destroy something that I inherited from the fantastic work that came before me from my good friend Asim. I’m not going to let it destroy the work that we’ve continued to do from that point, and the work that’s helped forge relationships in the industry that lead to several too many beers and bitching sessions after conventions (remember them?!) There haven’t been many breaks in content that lasted over a month in the past, and I am going to try my utmost to make sure there aren’t many going forward. Whether this piece receives 10 views or 10 thousand, I’ll keep doing them, because I enjoy it. Even when I can’t find the love in sitting down in front of a new release on Game Pass for more than 45 minutes, or even formulating an opinion on some industry changing news, I know that deep down, I love video games.
It’s just that sometimes, you just need a break.