Another Life Update
November 19, 2018

For the last month or so, I have been without regular work. This is a condition that was unexpected, but necessary, and I hope it will persist. That is, I hope it will persist on my terms.

For a year almost to the day, I was working as a cashier at Walmart. That job may have helped pay the rent, but it was detrimental to my health in ways I didn't even realize until finally the stress became too much and I had to quit one morning instead of starting my shift. Within days, several physical symptoms that I had been fighting cleared up or severely diminished, so that now I am feeling much healthier in general (though not without facing some lingering effects related to the stress).

My new plan was to earn a living freelancing, which I have been attempting to do, but that's not quite sufficient by itself. Sometimes there are stretches between freelance work and they produce stress of their own. However, the job market around here is awful. Most jobs are in retail--which I have discovered doesn't really work for me anymore--or hotel service, which I can't do because my wrists and arms are shot. Or they require specialized skills I don't have and can't readily acquire, or physical exertion that is beyond me and my problematic back.

So, what is there to do? As I noted, I will continue freelancing when I can. My debts are diminished somewhat, so that I really only will need to bring in around $700 or $800 a month. Which is more than I usually can earn freelancing, unfortunately, but not a particularly huge amount. So I will supplement freelance income by... buying and selling games?!

Yes, that's the plan. There are a lot of people who earn a living on eBay, buying and selling and trading, and the main thing that has held me back from making a serious effort along those lines in the past has been a lack of time. But now I have more time I can afford, and I have some seed money, sort of. I've bought a few bundles of retro games and I will buy more in the near future. I plan to stick mostly to Nintendo stuff, which I know and love best, and I will build my personal collection of games while hopefully earning a little money on top of it all.

Why am I telling you all of this? Because it will impact which activities I devote the most time to on the site. I have been doing a lot of work in the games database in recent weeks, and I expect that to continue with renewed energy. I'm making sure the Nintendo listings are complete and as accurate as I can make them, and I am adding cover art and hope to add screenshots for a lot of them as well as external review links. The overall idea is to make every game profile page one of the best single resources for that game on the Internet. Even the leading game sites tend to have a lot of profiles with very little information and content of note. So more people should start finding our content-rich pages, and (if we have reviewed the games in question) reading our reviews. This should in turn make it more rewarding to contribute reviews to the site, and lead to additional discussion and excitement around both new and retro games.

Speaking of reviews, I plan to produce a lot of those, as well. You should look forward to (hopefully) seeing coverage from me on a more regular basis headed into 2019, as long as my current arrangement persists. That will mean a lot more Nintendo coverage, which does very well on the site. I hope to continue covering Switch, because Switch reviews seem to start generating significant traffic almost before they even have a chance to go live. And my plan is to also cover older games, including everything from the NES to Game Boy Advance, from the Super Nintendo to the DS.

In the long term, of course, I hope to expand my efforts beyond just Nintendo platforms, as I have in the past. Sony hardware needs and should receive similar attention, but at least during the next year or two, you know where my focus will be. And in the meantime, I hope to continue to provide what support I can for those who have been working tirelessly to improve our coverage of indie PC games, which also are doing very nicely for us. I'm thrilled with the activity we've seen around the site in recent months, and I hope I have finally found a way to spend more of my own time contributing to that activity while not going broke. Only time will tell, and it'll probably do that pretty quickly. For now, my fingers are crossed and I'm hoping for the best...

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hastypixels hastypixels - November 19, 2018 (09:00 PM)
HonestGamers is in the catbird seat, bud! The big review sites aren't trusted - and HG doesn't take any risks in relationships with developers, publishers and PR firms in order to get our content out. We're a little like Loki - we do what we want, and since we ... I really need to lay off the memes.

Anyway, we're in a better position than anyone to give our readers the straight deal on the games they want to read about. We also encourage them to step up and join the party!

Like you, I intend to review more games in 2019. HG is enjoying quite a bit of traffic, even though it doesn't get any buzz. I suspect we're rather a bee in their collective bonnet. They'd much rather have their exclusives, whereas we'd much rather talk trap about the games we play. Oh how I weep for the publishers who don't get their way! (Sarcasm intended.)

So we do what we must to pay the bills and keep our hobbies alive!

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