Sadly, this last post on Hyboria will have to be postponed as I am off to the memorial service for a compadre, Carlos Guerra, one of San Antonio's most uppity of citizens.
Guerra was an “old school” advocacy journalist. Before being edged into an early retirement, he wrote the only column that made our local daily worth picking up. Tough and edgy he often spoke truth to power.
But for all that troublemaking, he was also always a rigorous and ethical journalist. He checked and rechecked facts, quotes, and names before filing. If he skewered the corrupt dealing of city politicos with a local hotel chain he had done his homework eleven times over—and he sought out, considered, and printed the views of those he took to task. He took this approach forward with him into his recent alternative media site, NewsTaco.
Tooling around the small niche of the blogosphere dedicated to older edition D&D and other rpgs today I kept thinking there is a lot here in common with what some call the citizen media, grassroots media outlets mostly run by amateurs (gifted or not). It explodes at times with creativity and I truly dig many an informal conversation.
But frankly there is also a lot of crap too: speculation trumping actual research; bandwagon mentality over measured reviews with rigorous standards; secondary commentary over firsthand reporting or interviewing; anonymous “satirical” sniping over actual debate; inflated ego posturing over creative inventing (or even re-inventing); etc.
Truly tiresome dreck for a space in our lives dedicated to the sweet joy of fantasy gaming escape, no?
Frankly, we need a lot more Guerra cowbell over here in the outer reaches. I'm not a Pollyanna. I know “we can't just all get along.” There is a place for passionate disagreement and boundless exploration, but hell let's step up our game as media providers (albeit small and niche ones).
Apologies in advance for the editorializing. I will step off the soapbox and promise to go back tomorrow when the black cloud passes to the more fun work of playing around with all the whirly bits of our hobby. In fact, I look forward to some sweet, sword-swingin' (virtual of course) escape tonight at our Skype game. Let's get some game on.