This is appearing somewhat later than my usual end-of-month update, but arguably you’ve already had a face full of my #AGameADayInMay shenanigans, so it’s no biggie, I suspect. My final stats for May, btw, was a whopping 80 games played (most of them solo), of which I only won 33 of them… more reflections about this, shortly.
The SPIRIT of Games & Gamers, or just sheer bloody-minded determination…?
So, no sooner had May finished, I had to turn my attention to getting the next issue of The SPIRIT of Games & Gamers out (aka The SPIRIT #9), given the deadline for issue #9 contributions was 22nd May and as the design & layout editor, it’s my job to put the thing together, ideally by the 10th of the following month (which was yesterday, for those keeping up). Added to this headache, I’m also the stand-in Editor at the moment, because the former Editor (Kendall Johns) suffered a string of health issues from which recovery won’t be quick. Long story short: I was working almost in a double-bubble of isolation for the first week of June, trying to ensure it got finished in time!
To be fair, I was quite pleased to have managed to get the entire issue done and dusted within just 7 days —it was released on Monday 8th June— especially given most of the missing bits were the things I had to write up myself, anyway. And it’s another bloody good issue, imho, but don’t take my word for it, download your own free copy: The SPIRIT #9.
Unfortunately, we have also ‘lost’ a large number of email addresses (the former subscriber list), which is an altogether different headache, and although I’ll spare you the details, if you’re interested in receiving new issues of The SPIRIT going forward, please register your email address using this link: SPIRIT Register.
Having written at length in this blog about the games I played and what I got up to throughout May as part of my #AGameADayInMay challenge, I wrote a short, brief account for The SPIRIT issue #9, talking about my feelings and eventual exasperation at just the thought of getting another game to the table by the time those last 10 days or so came round. I figured it might be worth expanding on that…
Let me say at the outset, that for the majority of May I was working 5-6 nights a week, and playing games each day was actually a fun and enjoyable process, at least for the first few weeks. Unfortunately, as the month went on and some of the bigger, longer games were still on the backburner, I started to get myself worked up into a bit of a flunk: a classic sign of procrastination creep, I suspect, which is particularly annoying given this is an aspect of my character I thought I’d become pretty good at keeping at bay.
It’s not easy to look back now and point the finger at certain games as being the catalyst for this depressive slide: I went from rabid enthusiasm and sanguine joy into a kind of oppressive, languid resignation within the space of about 2-3 weeks. In short, I couldn’t be bothered to set another game up and play it, regardless of which game that might be.
As can be readily discerned just by reading my weekly accounts, the vast majority of games I played proved to be good, positive experiences (arguably, they wouldn’t be in my collection if I didn’t like them), and as previously mentioned some were even revelatory in reminding me of just how much I had enjoyed playing them ‘way back when’. Despite this, I can’t shy away from the mix of boredom and annoyance that also ensued. Actually, boredom is probably the wrong word to use: I wasn’t bored, per se, just perhaps frustrated and feeling run-down by the pressure of wanting to push on and ‘get it done’. Annoying on the other hand, is completely accurate, in all its miserable glory.
In truth, looking back now, this was a horrible thing to experience considering how much I genuinely love playing games (solo or otherwise, but especially with others): the pressure I put myself under to complete this self-imposed challenge was all generated by me and me alone. I’m not sure what’s more scary: the pressure I piled on myself, or trying to come to terms with and confront the realisation that all of a sudden games had become the antithesis of fun for me, albeit for just a few weeks. I’m sure the irony of then having to put a magazine together all about games won’t be lost on any of you.
Is it any wonder I’ve yet to get a single game to the table so far, this month…?