We’re changing things up. Switching focus. Reinventing ourselves. But first, I owe anyone reading my explanation and apologies.
Failure is inevitable but necessary in the grand scheme of running a business. I learned a long time ago that it’s OK to fail, as long as you learn something from your failure. I didn’t ever want to admit that I’d failed at anything because I’ve done it a lot, to be honest. This time, I have failed not only myself but my audience. I’ve potentially let down a lot of people by neglecting this space for as long as I have; I created WeKnowGames.com back in 2011 with the intention of showcasing my writing to find a job in the industry, but I now see that isn’t really what I want to do with this space anymore. I should have been focusing on informing and entertaining instead of looking to forward my own ambitions.
I let down the people that wanted to contribute by not answering emails in a timely manner or getting them properly set up on the site to contribute content, or even editing their articles and getting them ready for the front page.
I want anyone reading this to understand that I am not looking for pity, nor am I looking to cop out. But I do need to share some personal and intimate details for you to at least understand where I’m coming from.
Back in 2014, I was involved in a bicycling accident that left me with a concussion. I lost my job as a direct result of my injury, and along with the injury came a condition known as Post-Concussion Syndrome. For almost a year, I endured a malady of symptoms including severe migraines, a sensitivity to light and sound, insomnia and fatigue to list a few. The concussion also brought about a severe bout of depression, amplified my latent anxiety and led to my being diagnosed with Panic Disorder, all of which I still deal with on a day-to-day basis. Last June, I was admitted to the hospital for atrial fibrillation as well, and earlier this year that condition returned and I was hospitalized again. I am slowly receiving treatment for my heart condition and my mental illness, and am currently working towards losing more weight and getting healthy, both physically and mentally.
A few years back, WeKnowGames ran a 48-hour marathon to raise funds for the Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital in Grand Rapids, MI. The stream was cut short due to a mental breakdown on my part. My actions put a strain on the small community I’d built up to that point, as well as a few of my personal relationships with friends involved. I need to publicly apologize for my actions and reassure everyone involved and that made a donation that your time and funds were not in vain; we raised a little less than $300 and those funds went straight to the hospital. To Michael, Paul, Travis, Daniel and Ian – the gentlemen that helped setup and helped make it all happen – I’m deeply sorry for the things I said and did during my seemingly psychotic fit. You are my friends and I appreciate each and every one of you more than you can imagine.
Again; I’m not asking for pity, simply understanding. These things have made my anxiety spiral out of control at times, and some days it’s hard to function as a human being, let alone run a gaming and entertainment website alone. Being unable to rise above these things is, to me, a personal failure.
WeKnowGames has been, up to this point, a professional failure. Good things have come from our organization, including the over $1,000 raised and donated to the children’s hospital in GR, but that doesn’t make this website a success. I have neglected the small community we’ve amassed and THAT is my failure.
But failure is not all negative. A lot can be learned from failure, and only if you don’t apply that knowledge to your future endeavors is a failure TRULY a failure. Instead, I’m growing from these mistakes and making things better from here on out.
WeKnowGames is not dead. Will you still see insightful and well-written articles about the games industry from time to time? Yes. But you will also see more content including Let’s Play videos, video reviews, short films and documentaries, interviews and more. A lot of this content will be hosted on YouTube, on a variety of channels connected to the WeKnowGames brand. The first of these channels is called “How Do I Game?!”; a show featuring the WeKnowGames crew playing video games and making commentary over our gameplay. Yes, we know there’s a lot of Let’s Play channels on YouTube, and we’re not sure if we can do anything differently, but we’re going to try. Plus, we have a lot of fun making these videos, so we’re going to continue producing them.
We also plan on finding streamers and other content creators from the midwest and sponsoring their content by sharing their content and utilizing social media to grow their channels in the interest of community building. We will also offer instruction in editing, as well as support in setting up streams and gear for optimal content quality.
I want to stand behind my original vision of WeKnowGames: opinions matter and your experiences as a gamer with a particular game have just as much merit as the game and it’s content. I want to build a positive community centered around our collective love of gaming. Our world has so much negativity, and I’d like to showcase the positive side of gamers by supporting each other and reaching out to the community at large.
For now, there won’t be much in the way of articles until I can find more voices than my own. How Do I Game?! updates daily, with the exception of Sundays for editing purposes; you’ll see a new link on the main page every day when the video hits the web. In a few months, you may start to see parts of a documentary I’m working on hit the site. Until then, if you’re interesting in contributing your voice to our cause, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you for taking the time out of your day to read this, and we hope you’ll stick around long enough to see what we have in-store.
– Brandon Carlson