I’m Comin’ Home

Feels like it was just yesterday.

E3 2010. In may ways, it was a monumental occasion. I was one of the first people in North America to put their hands on the then unreleased Nintendo 3DS handheld. I experienced an evolution in how a Zelda game would be played with The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword. I put in some work against other players in Marvel vs Capcom 3. I endured Two Worlds II before the public got hold of it….which wasn’t necessarily a plus. I even took the reigns as a Jedi in a 20 minute tryout of Star Wars: The Old Republic.

But most importantly, E3 2010 fulfilled a lifelong dream of mine – attend and cover an E3 event.
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Ever since I was in high school, games journalism was something I felt incredibly passionate about. I wrote a “next generation” console breakdown for my high school paper that went over my thought and feeling on the Sony PlayStation, Sega Saturn and the then titled Ultra 64. In 1999 and 2000 I wrote reviews for an IGN affiliated website called GameSages (and then formerly codes.ign.com), which was the largest online video game code database. From there I wrote off and on, though I hadn’t returned to a set platform until 2009, when I worked with a friend of mine on a website co-founded by one of the fighting game genres greatest – Justin Wong. Called Chocolate Lemon, we talked video game culture, review and so on. I even completed a monumental project called 365//365, which was one video game review every day for the entire year, an accomplishment that I am still incredibly proud of. I even helped do some editing and did a collaboration with an IGN/LG sponsored series of 3DTV’s and gaming.

It was from hard work, dedication and having a viable platform to share my work on, with a like-minded staff, that I was given the opportunity to go to E3 in 2010. By far, the entire trip to Los Angeles and the event its self remains the most cherished time of my life. While I was able to attend the show, that did not stop me from working my ass off while others partied it up at all the E3 after parties. I sat in my hotels lobby, clacking away and putting thoughts to “paper” on over a dozen previews that were completed by the time I took my flight back home the next Sunday evening. I didn’t stop after E3 was over; I kept at it, improving in every facet of my writing as I could, with the next goal being to attend the next years E3.

But when it came time to apply, I was denied.

It was a pretty devastating blow, but nonetheless my passion knew no pause, and I kept at it, with the hopes that maybe 2012 would be the year. Unfortunately, it was not. Each year would come and go and each year I would be rejected. E3 seemed to have become a lot more strict in regards to who they handed out badges to. It seemed as if passion was not a factor; arbitrary figures like website ranking and traffic superseded what I felt was more important – passion, a connection with your audience and depth of knowledge. It irked me seeing comedy/parody YouTube content creators get ahead of me and be able to experience the show year in and year out, while I sat on the sidelines, wondering if coach would ever look my direction and put me back into the game. That’s not discrediting others work, that’s just me wondering how my hard work didn’t pay off for years after my first and only trip to E3.

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Around 2014 or so, I had a number of bad misfortunes that hit my life. They did not relent until very recently. I won’t get much further into what had been happening in my life; things are better now, and that’s what’s important to me. During this time, I was almost bereft of my passion to write. Chocolate Lemon had slowly drifted away and shut down, which disappoints me as the only way I can access most of my old work is through archive.org, however restrictions still apply in accessing most of my work.

Within this malaise of troubles and such, I read that E3 was going to open its doors to the general public for the first time, allowing the sale of a limited number of tickets to the event. At that time, things had started to slow down with my life; there was a sense that everything was about to turn around. So I tempted fate and went ahead and planned on purchasing tickets.

What I didn’t realize was I would quickly forget about this, staying up later than I had anticipated and waking up a half hour late. I said screw it though, and went ahead and tried to see if I could procure tickets to the 2017 E3 event. I went to the website and waited over an hour in queue to get a chance at purchasing tickets. The whole time I had been kicking myself, upset that I had let such an important event slip away; an hour on queue a half hour tickets went on sale seemed like it’d be impossible to get them.

But fate would be on my side that day.

I was able to purchase tickets, however it said my payment was “pending” for a while. No confirmation email would hit my inboxl, no matter how many times I hammered the “resend confirmation” button. It wasn’t until two hours later that I would get the news….

I will be returning to Los Angeles in June.

The road I traveled to get to where I am today is one paved in a literal blood, sweat and tears. My passion for writing had been lost for the longest time, and I had hoped that maybe being afforded the opportunity to return back to where I felt like I excelled as a writer and a professional, that I would have that passion resurrected. While it wasn’t immediate, the once faint glow that was nearly extinguished, has burned anew. Receiving the confirmation was probably the best news I had gotten since my previous confirmation in 2010. A lot has transpired between then and now; I’ve lost a lot over the last five years or so. This came at probably the best time possible, as it’s coinciding with positive major life changes that have been a long time coming.

I regrettably have no real platform to share my love, passion and experiences with right now outside my Galarian Gaming blog. I will put things on my own personal site here with the hopes that I can extend my reach far enough to help share my love with others. I may find other gaming sites with user blogging and try to work from there. All I know is that there’s two things I want to say loud and proud:

I’m back, and I’m going to continue to try and make my life’s passion into a sustaining future for myself.

I’ll try and get some random gaming pieces written up before E3 lands, and then I will do what I did in 2010 – attend the show, have the time of my life, and produce content that would make anyone proud to have hosted on their site. If you happen to be reading this and would like to see/know more about me, please feel free to email me at galarianvaloran@gmail.com and we can see where things will go from there.

To say that I cannot wait for June would be a massive understatement, and I am so very proud to be back doing what I love with all my heart.


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