2020: The year that happened

Through parts of 2019, as the year 2020 continued to approach, I liked the sharing the following GIF taken from a stage introduction in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles IV: Turtles in Time:


In part it was because there is inherent humor in the fact there would be no way the ’90s vision of 2020 would come into fruition with neon highways and turbo-speed hoverboards. However, the other half of it was in the ambition of trying to see optimism in the future. It might seem cliché to get ramped up about goals and personal growth at the turn of the year, but I was extremely hopeful that 2020 would present some new opportunities to help me grow what I do online.

Of course, anybody reading this knows the reality is that 2020 turned into a colossal sh*tshow for people all around the world.

The year 2020 was a year I planned to double down on live event and arcade location media. It started off normal enough with an event dedicated to NBA Jam, the annual C2E2 event in Chicago and an event that let me get my only taste so far of the very promising StepManiaX dancing game cabinet. I was even making considerations to beef up my camera equipment and moving my mobile phone plan to unlimited data for more remote streaming opportunities.

Rolling into March, I had secured a ticket to Michigan Masters – a nearby fighting game event that had been shaping up to be very community-focused in the vein of events like Combo Breaker. I was going to take a chance on attending this event, marking the first time I had ever attended something like this.

However, as COVID-19 started its spread around the United States, Michigan Masters was unfortunately canceled, one of the first events I saw in the domino effect of virtually any public gathering closing its doors for 2020. I’m very pleased the situation allowed the fine people who ran Michigan Masters to work out of its venue contract. While the organizers have opted to stop running the event altogether, the situation could have definitely panned out worse for them.

Living through the pandemic was obviously very problematic for my goal of roaming to locations around the Midwest and sharing games and happenings with everyone online. Most days this year brought people more questions than answers. In May I arranged to privately visit Level 419 as the arcade owner weighed his options going forward, but that was unfortunately the last time I’ve been able to get my hands on an arcade game proper.

Overall, I have no right to complain about my situation. Through the nature of my job, I’ve been able to keep working this entire time. I now have to believe my very sudden illness right after New Year’s 2020 could very well have been COVID, but, since that time, myself and my family have all been healthy. The kids not having school for more than six months created a few scheduling challenges, but, through the year, we have largely been safe and well.

Still, I’ve seen locally and online, a number of people who have struggles to endure as a result of the hand 2020 has dealt everyone. I’ve tried my best to help where I could – continuing making Twitter posts/videos about weird games and donating to charities – so I hope I was able to make a difference for someone somewhere as we start to see the light at the end of the tunnel for the pandemic.

What 2020 has meant for GemuBaka, though, is a lull in content as the demands of my workplace increased. Things are clearing up as we enter the holidays, so I hope to make some lost ground in the next few weeks. It’s been well over 14 months since I’ve last done a Twitch stream, but there have been uploads here and there that I hope to catch up on here. Videos have been my fallback for content creation over the past six years, as my job revolves around print media, and it is more motivating to work on something in my free time that doesn’t echo what I do in the office.

My mission to archive my game discoveries is something that hasn’t changed, though. I keep this website going for my own personal journaling, as, while I post a lot of content to Twitter, I fully realize that content will someday disappear into the ether once people no longer see money in social media. I’m really pleased with my full breakdowns of games such as Vicious Circle and Dark Presence that you won’t be able to find anywhere else. It is my hope to be able to continue delivering content in that vein so people can see information on games that can’t be found anywhere else online.

Hopefully we can return to enjoy games in person together as soon as possible. Until then, I wish for everyone to stay as safe as possible! Here’s hoping that 2021 more reflects what I was hoping for with the neon highways and hoverboards, and people can leave behind the hardships of 2020 as we get more chances to do what we love most.

Categories: GemuBaka Random


Arcade enthusiast and game collector. Affiliate Twitch retro streamer and games archive writer at Gemubaka (http://gemubaka.com). For business only: gemubaka at gmail


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  1. | The soft return to live streamingGemuBaka - October 21, 2022

    […] be placed before these hobbies, and I decided I needed to take a break in the October of 2019. Unfortunately, a lot happened in 2020, and this just snowballed into a complete hiatus as my workplace became more demanding, and I […]

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