I’m sitting here at 4AM, after knocking out some shipments with a few to-do list items still staring at me from the white board. It’s exhausting, and probably unsustainable. But it’s good. Shipments mean that commerce is happening.
Progress is ever-forward! We’ve staved off obscurity and/or imminent demise for at least another week. I’m acutely aware of how damned lucky we were to survive the past few years.
I remind myself often, usually at the expense of my mental health-
“Suck it up- at least you still have a business to run.”
Things are hard. Expenses are absurd. Taxes, fees, arbitrary decisions from governments, whims of the public and emergency maintenance. Each week is more money out than money in. The need for rad, new product fighting with the need to maintain a retail space. It’s absolute, thundering chaos. It’s absurdly expensive. And I’m tired.
But I don’t mention all of this because it’s a problem. I live for this chaos. Thrive in it. I enjoy feeling like I’m in an emotional freefall. I signed up for this gig.
No- I mention it because you’ll notice in all of the word vomit, there was no mention of gaming. And that kind of sucks.
The truth is, I haven’t been able to enjoy a gaming in years. It had become a chore. At the lowest point, it was an escapist distraction from the fires of civilization collapsing in real time outside of our doors. And worst of all for me- it was my job.
I haven’t felt the magic in years- the spark of seeing a new sweeping vista, exploring a magical land, hearing a sting of dynamic music as I became immersed in a digital environment. It was all static, computer noises and ‘play this because people expect you to talk about it at the shop. You wouldn't want spoilers, right?’
It’s easy to lose appreciation for the things you love when you treat them as a commodity. When they’re quantified by their value to the next collector. It becomes calculation and commerce, your brain melting at all hours of the night. You scheme, plan, write unsettlingly hilarious social media content that plays to an audience of one and try to create new ways to justify your terrible decision to run a business that fate spent the past few years trying to kill.
They say the best jokes have a grain of truth in them. I’ve been exhausted from overwork and the stress of my brain racing every night has created a reliable (and sometimes dangerously comfortable) pattern of insomnia and sleeplessness.
Normally it’s a ‘get back to work’ kind of feeling. But for once, it’s an unexpected source of serotonin.
And, you know, since you’re going to be wide awake anyway, well…
it’d be silly not to play SOMETHING.
Especially before someone spoils it for you.
And it’s kind of amazing. It’s magical.
You’re a kid again, traversing an unknown land, discovering something new- your imagination is running wild at the infinite possibil-
And oh shit it’s 7AM. You forgot to sleep.
If your local game store is opening late because the goobers there got so distracted by gaming that they forgot to sleep, then it’s really stupid. But least you know they love what you love, too.
Thanks for the opportunity to bring a little joy. And for the patience and understanding that 'just a few more minutes' is something I haven't said since I was a kid. And it's nice to be back. I'm going to go hop on for a few minutes and pla- I mean I'm going to go to bed.
Be safe, y'all. Never lose sight of your passions or your hobbies.
All the love.
- Alex // RGC