This is Not Goodbye. It’s See You Later
This is a tough one to write up… Back in my Play is going on hiatus.
If you don’t follow me on social media or listen to The FitCast, you may not know that most of my time and energy the last two months has been put into opening up my own strength and conditioning facility. With this massive investment of time and money I can’t give Back in my Play the attention it deserves. After much time and thought, I have made the difficult decision to put the show on hiatus for the time being. My hope is that I can get the gym off the ground, running smoothly, and then come back to Back in my Play with a limited schedule and continue doing it for years to come.
Few things have been as much fun, or brought me as much joy as playing through old games and then jumping on Skype with some of my favorite people in the world to discuss them. That’s what Back in my Play has been since Episode 0. Friends hanging out and talking about their memories and current opinions on retro video games.
Not Just About Games. It’s Been About People.
So many new friendships spawned from Back in my Play. It began with the wonderful Josh Hillyer and his charming, yet sometimes groan inducing sayings to start the show 🙂 Josh understood the concept of Back in my Play from our first phone call. His passion and positivity was contagious every time we chatted (OK…maybe not for Milon’s Secret Castle…).
It continued with CJ, Greg (who may have the record for most appearances) and Phil from the Player One Podcast, which I have listened to since back in 2007. I even had the opportunity to be a guest on their show and drop a few #LarrabeeLocks from time to time.
Internationally, I met the crew at 8-4 Play when I personally delivered Mark MacDonald a WiiU the day after release in the US. From then on out, every trip back to Tokyo included an anticipated meet up of pasta or an 8-4 Play recording to discuss retro games and always surprisingly to me, fitness and nutrition. Recently we recorded two of my favorite episodes. Zelda II with Mark, John Ricciardi and Shane Bettenhausen and an episode looking back at the XBOX launch with Mark and Crispin Boyer. I can’t even explain how much I enjoyed these recordings.
Up in Toronto I was able to spend a few days with indie game developers Jason Canam and Benjamin Rivers. It’s going to sound redundant but those guys have an incredible passion for video games and have a level of giddy nostalgia equal to mine. One of my favorite projects was the Toronto Indie Game Dev doc we shot last September. Now, a year later Ben is working on his next game and Jason and the team at Household Games is readying “Way of the Passive Fist” for release (just show at PAX West).
I got to build relationships with some of my favorite people in the world of game development like Mike Mike and Ryan Payton. People I had followed for years before Back in my Play began and who believed in the spirit of Back in my Play. Some of my favorite chats have been with those guys. Never too busy to come on the show to talk about games old and new. And shout out to Steve Lin, now at Discord, who is always packing a copy of Tetris Battle Gaiden and a MVS copy of Windjammers in his bag. Steve along with Frank Cifauldi and Mike Mika are doing amazing work to preserve the history of video games, please support them. All just great people.
Peter Brown of GameSpot not only was an incredible guest on the show and a champion of what Back in my Play represented, he was also an major supporter when I was flirting with the idea of getting into the games industry. He provided guidance and time on the phone helping me through the processes. In some parallel world I am living in San Francisco working at GameSpot and producing a series called “GameSpot Teaches Tactics” with Peter… Or a series on upkeep of PVMs….
Kurt Kalata was someone I followed for years on HG101 and Retronauts. I don’t think I know anyone that works as hard and is as dedicated to writing about retro games as Kurt. His HG101 presents books are some of my favorite and I will continue to support and buy everything he produces. It’s just not a Konami episode with out Kurt on.
Then there are guests like Blake J, Harris, author of “Console Wars.” He immediately said yes when some random guys asked to interview him. Loved our chats. Josh even ran into him at a video game store on a NYC trip! Very excited to see what comes next from Blake.
Mohammed Taher and Alex Aniel of Brave Wave were some of the most generous with their time and knowledge. Back to those trips to Tokyo, one of my favorite nights was out drinking lemon sours with Mohammed, talking about the soon to be first release in the Brave Wave Generations Series. That night I also got to meet Greg Tavares (who also eventually guested on the show), developer of one of my favorite games of all time “M.C. Kids.”
I know there are others I am missing and not giving proper credit too, but this post is already making me get too emotional. Just know I thank you for everything.
Then there is you, the listener. The show wouldn’t exist without your support. Thank you for downloading and sharing the show the last 4+ years. Even more so to those that made donations or were Patreon supporters. Towards the end, as things got busier and busier, those Patreons kept the show alive. There have been few things more special in my life than the audience of Back in my Play. The tweets, emails, etc have meant the world to me. Thank you!
See you Later
Again, if I were a betting man, I would keep that RSS feed in your podcast app. You never know when it will be time to jump back into Mike Mika’s Time Machine or when I will have the need to play through some Thunder Force III, Mega Man 9, The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask or Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III: The Manhattan Project. I will keep Skype open and ready to call up some of the amazing people mentioned in this post and talk about our memories and history with some of the best games ever made.