One year since I quit being an videogames magazine editor
I quit my magazine (Pelaaja) in August 2011 after having been it’s Editor in Chief and Creative Director since 2002. I was and still am an entrepreneur, but for over a year I have not been part of the daily grind.
I’ve never had so much fun outside of work in my life as I have this year.
I have never had a real personal life outside of work until now.
I never really hung out with people.
I never knew I could have other things keeping me busy than video games.
I never knew how much life outside of work could give to me.
This past year when I’ve gone to video games events like E3, DICE and GDC, people have come up to say to me that I look slimmer, younger, not so incredibly stressed and annoyed all the time. Same things my mother says to me – now I can apparently be talked to as I’m not so curt and annoyed all the time. I have felt it too. I’m still often very melancholy and emotional, but I feel that for the first time in 15 years or maybe ever…I’m alive. That I have arrived.
I do miss my old work, but it’s …I dont think I can explain what it was like to carry not only the magazine but the company on my back and I dare say that because most people at Pelaaja would agree. I loved the pressure and responsibility in a way because it made me feel important. It made me feel that I had something worth living for, I had something that made it ok for me to exist. The circumstances why I left I explained in one of my first blog posts, in Finnish though, but 2010 can go fuck it self. Time heals some wounds though. Scars stay, but you can move on to some extent. So from being three weeks way of moving to work at Naughty Dog to things collapsing and leaving my mag and doing other things…the journey is the interesting part.
The important thing is that when it comes to my past work I do not regret it, absolutely not.
I would not change a thing.
I got to be part of something incredible and the work gave me so much and so many incredible experiences and friends. I know I’ve been incredibly lucky.
I absolutely think the 9 years I spent on Pelaaja were some of the best times ever, but it came with a serious cost for many of us at the magazine and company. I dont see any other way of doing the work but having given it my all (along with others) and did my best, but it drained me completely.
I know I will never be able to put in the kind of hours, effort and work mentality I did for so many years. I do not have that left in me. I know that. I try not to feel bad about that. I felt unstoppable for many years. Not anymore.
I believe in few things but one thing I do believe is that one cannot have everything in life. That I’m sure of.
You dont need everything.
For me, I think being able go develop a normal relationship seems like it’s not going to work out for me. I have also become okay with that, finally, after having spent so long dreaming about it. I think I wont ever be content. I have go and do something to prove myself to other people soon again. For a long time I wished, I was regular or normal, whatever the fuck that is..but deep inside I knew and I know I would hate being regular. I want to be different. Fuck normalcy.
I feel that if you get everything, your hunger will stop.
At the end of the day, I wake up most days and remind myself what it was like for me in school the early days. I got picked on and I got my ass kicked because of my foreign background. I was terrified of going to school.
That didn’t last too long, but then people laughed at me for being into video games. “When are you gonna stop that shit ?”.
My school counselor / psychology teacher told me on our graduation cruise that “you wont mount up to anything” to me and my friend.
I will never forget that.
Maybe it was reverse-psychology, but that’s giving her too much credit.
Vincent Hanna said it well in the movie Heat:
“I gotta hold on to my angst. I preserve it because I need it. It keeps me sharp, on the edge, where I gotta be.”
That is how I feel. That is why I keep the the angst and pain because it’s what gives me strength. It keeps me sharp, on the edge, where I gotta be.
I just remind myself of that when I feel down and remember that every day I have to prove myself. So in that way, I turned that negativity into positivity, but I’m also never content with what I’ve done and have achieved.
So, never stop wanting to do stuff, experiencing new things and going out there and trying to get what you want, what makes you happy.
(…and hey, I work on daily basis on next-gen consoles, so things are pretty good :))