X-ing out of 2018

As 2018 comes to a close in the coming weeks I’m hopeful that you all had a great year and are looking forward to what 2019 has for us. 2018 was a fantastic year for gaming, as the Xbox One X continued to show its potential via essentially every major multi-platform release that came out, in addition the exclusives like Forza Horizon 4. I know I speak for all Xbox fans that have experienced the X when I say I am continually floored by what this system can do, and even as someone who was hyped up for the release, it still surprised me how big of a jump it was from the 2013 Xbox One launch. Red Dead Redemption 2, the year’s biggest game, went on to show all that there’s a justifiable jump no matter what you put the console up against.

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For me personally, as of this past summer, I have never felt so content. It has felt like a huge weight off of my shoulders – which now makes the time spent gaming even more enjoyable overall. Things have never been horrible, as my previous articles detailed, but I’ve always lived a simpler life, focusing on the few hobbies and passions I enjoy. Since I was 16, the same age I got my Xbox, I’ve worked some not-so-fun jobs for some not-so-great pay – even after college – and to finally find a place a few months ago that is respectful, appreciative, and provides exactly what I need has been nothing short of extraordinary for me.

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Back in late 2014/early 2015, when I started this journey of interacting with all of you on Twitter, it felt good to meet so many like-minded people who were as passionate as me when it came to Xbox and its many franchises. Most reading this likely already know how much the last few E3 events meant to me (as did the many before that which I watched from home). It has been an honor to meet fellow fans, along with members of the Xbox team that treat us all like family.

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Those encounters all made a huge impact on my life, and almost every day I think about how all of that eventually brought me to where I am today – a place that is about as close to a dream come true I could hope for on a daily basis. Earlier this year I had written about wanting a new era for myself and how I saw one arriving for Xbox as well, and it is happening.

Life is still life, and nothing is perfect, but I feel lucky now – a feeling I only first had a few years ago when I was on my way to the Galen Center for the first Xbox briefing I would attend – that legendary 2015 one. I came back from that trip with a confidence and goal to make my daily life more like that experience, where everything is just…better. Now, after all these years, and definitely some interesting, stressful events and periods of time, I feel like it has been accomplished.

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To make things even better, this has all occurred against the backdrop of the Xbox brand having an undeniable resurgence in many areas. The power advantage is back, Xbox Game Pass is an innovative game-changer for the industry with a never-seen-before value proposition, and there is a serious financial backing for some of the best studios in the world to make the next iterations of many of our favorite games (in addition to games we have no idea about yet!). For me in particular, Halo has always been my biggest love since 2001 and to see Halo: Infinite initially teased this past June was truly special, and there’s so much more to see in the coming years when considering that looming giant of a game.

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Past years also had a lot of great moments and things to look forward to, but I honestly feel like we are in the brightest, best times – and the future is looking even better. These feelings are what I wanted to share as 2018 comes to a close, and I hope you all are as thrilled and excited as I am about what’s going on and about what’s yet to come.

If you are in a place in life where things are getting you down or hampering the enjoyment of your former/current favorite hobbies, such as gaming, fight for yourself and fight to make things better. You deserve it, even if your situation has beat you down into resigning that you do not. It might be more stressful for a bit to fight for a better future, but it will be worth it. For me personally it was always a great comfort to know that my Xbox and my favorite games were there during the bad times, and they always gave me something in the future to look forward to and smile about.

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I hope you all have a wonderful last month of 2018, and an even better 2019!

Thank you for reading,
 – Rob

Twitter: @ReclaimerRob

Instagram: @reclaimerrob

Gamertag: Reclaimer Rob

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