Everything goes in cycles – the weather, high street fashions, a sporting team’s dominance – but the one I find most is hobbies. My wife likes to count mine and she claims I have at least six that keep me out of trouble. Be it drumming, gaming, miniatures, football or whatever else she tots up, though all float about our house only a proportion can ever truly be my focus. And at the moment it’s fair to say that videogames have dropped somewhere by the wayside for me.
A combination of the barren summer months and sheer lack of imagination and originality in the vast majority of the mainstream releases have left me apathetic with my Xbox, downright contemptuous of my Vita, and once again relegating my PS3 to a premium Blu-ray player. In my disc tray there still sits Witcher 2 from March. When I’m in such a mood, writing about my hobby or the industry is far, far from my mind.
In all honesty, this break has been refreshing. The constant weekly determination to finish games and pump out articles was becoming draining and had taken away from what was once an enjoyable sideline. I guess that once structure and expectations are placed around such things that can always be a worry and the important thing is that we now realise that we were stretching ourselves too thin and that our aims and our resources did not marry. We needto relax.
And so what are we doing to begin this slightly more relaxed phase of the website’s life? Heading to Germany for Gamescom. That’s right, in the first month of our fresh approach as to how we handle 7outof10.co.uk we’re flying half-way across Europe to our first conference with press passes round our necks.
At the very least it should inject the fun back in to the site that we’ve been looking for from a personal point of view and hopefully you’ll see the benefits of that over the coming weeks. We’ll be in the Sony press conference, booked up to see a handful of behind the scenes demos, and trawling the floor for hidden gems at Europe’s biggest videogames get together.
It’s an experience I’m looking forward to, having been many years since I last walked the show floor. Last time it was E3 some nine-years ago and there was a buzz strolling in between the huge booths with their horrendously loud sound systems. I guess the biggest difference this time is that there’ll be more dubstep than in 2003. Wub-wub.
Whatever its musical styling, I think one thing’s for sure: next week will either see me return home a knackered husk of a man wanting a further month or two “off” or I will step off the plane jubilant about the sheer quantity of Streetpasses I snagged and a rekindled enthusiasm for my joypads. If only for the digital hats, I hope it’s the latter.