Fact is, I didn't play games as much as I had done in the past. Partly, I just didn't have the time or energy. I was incredibly busy with the day job, and... gaming wasn't how I wanted to spend my down time.
I'd not gone off games, but my interest in writing or making content about them was starting to wane. Over 27 years, I can't imagine how many words about games I've written, and I knew I needed to keep my powder dry when it came to gaming-related projects I did choose to do (Retro Gamer being one, Digitiser Live 2.0 being another). Gaming, broadly, was starting to feel like a straightjacket in terms of my creativity.
However, in truth not all of my move away from games content was due to that sense of ennui. There was also an increasing feeling that rarely a day went by on social media where there wasn't some new retro gaming drama unfolding.
Every fandom has its dramas of course - I mean, just look at the state of Star Wars - but because I was Mr Biffo, it seemed that there were those, both publicly and behind the scenes, who wanted to draw me into it. I'd get told gossipy stuff uninvited, or be asked for my opinions on the latest scandal, and I just didn't want any part of it. I didn't like the way some of my acquaintances revelled in it.
There are two sides to every story, and, unless I was party to both, or had some vested interest, I tended to stay out of it. But it kept happening. Countless troll accounts. Horacegate. Hate videos. Copyright claims. Whispers and rumours etc. etc. It was ugly and depressing.
Unfortunately, as many of you will no doubt be aware, it has come to light over the past week that many of the dramas the community has been wrestling with over the past year appear as if the may be the work of just one person.
One person - if true - who otherwise acted as a well-intentioned member of the community, who befriended many while stabbing them in the back, who has secretly sat at the heart of all this, like some sort of Machiavellian, retro gaming, spider.