Friday, September 2, 2011

More Please

When asked what unions want, Samuel Gompers, the pugnacious cigar-roller and leader of the AFL, famously said: “We want more, and when it becomes more, we shall still want more. And we shall never cease to demand more until we have received the results of our labor.”

Before one of you jumps in whining about the third-rail of politics in gaming blogs, the quote in context is the fodder of my day job--it's the “more” I am interested in here.

First of all, a thank you to all who commented yesterday. My mind has been spinning and frankly my replies can't keep up with the fired neurons (you will see a few blogside experiments as a result). This is, in part, a generalized, spin-off reply.

I had one overarching realization pondering over the different strands this morning, part of my problem is that having had more I now want more and realize that I will want even more after that.

As I stated yesterday in the comments, of course, I want more readers for this blog—same goes for the Borderlands or anything else that comes out the rear end of this project—but there has been a growing hunger for another kind of more: a more that seems like less on the surface.

It's the hunkering down over the more of quality rather than the more of quantity. Ever heard of the Slow Food movement? It's a little akin to that, a balking against disposability and in favor of something richer and...well...better tasting.

In other words, it's the quality of my interactions with a number of you out there that I value more than the quantity. No, I am not yammering on about a mutual admiration club for those claiming special snowflake status; we really are all decaying organic matter as my friend Kenny likes to quote. Just a growing awareness of simple, deeper interactions evolving out of the ephemeral space that is our nook of the blogosphere.

The first part of this is pretty simple and straightforward, I have been enjoying longer, off-blog email conversations with readers that develop over weeks and months. The exchanges have been more candid and thoughtful. In fact some of my better posts here have often been sparked out of them. 

Mythmere nails another larger piece of this in his last post when he talks about how the real second wave in old school gaming is “not something that has to do with product-creation...It is a larger sea change, because it is a new set of steps that are being taken toward gaming rather than toward gaming resources.”

My recent experiences with the North Texas RPG Con, our modest South Texas Mini-Con, and the ongoing festival that is ConstantCon reinforce that observation. While some longtime blogs and forums in our corner of the hobby seemed to be plateauing or hitting the ends of their arcs, that other scene is taking on more energy. It's growing and in the case of the Google+ mini-wave rapidly even.

Frankly, the more I get out and experience play with other GMs and players, the more I want of that and the less I want to sitting in front of a glowing screen typing about that. Of course I will still be doing a good deal of that; perhaps it just means that part of my reorientation hovers around coverage and promotion of that arena. (Looking over blog posts of the last month there has already been some movement there now that I think of it.)

At any rate, I promise next post will be a “palate cleanser”; less from the navel and more about good ole gaming content. Until then onwards and upwards, friends.  


  1. You are always welcome to join any of the ConstantCon game I run, I hope to see you in some of the games.

  2. Regarding blogging in general, I always keep in mind a subheadline on a blog I once read:

    Remember, I do this to entertain me, not you.

    In other words, do what makes you happy, not what you think your readers are demanding (unless doing what your readers demand also makes you happy).

  3. Preach it, Desert Scribe. Your first audience always needs to be your own dang self.

  4. @Z
    Appreciate that, I will have to take you up on that sometime.

    Likewise for one of my games.

    @DS and Jeff
    I hear you, brothers.

    You will probably get this having been in a newspaper man yourself, DS. I struggle with letting this be for me first, a legacy of so much training in journalism. And it's worse yet for those of who had to work on the editor side of the desk.

    There they train you to have your first duty be to readers and only to writers as a distant second. You never really enter the equation--at least officially.

    Thanks for the reminder about cutting loose. It's hella fun when you do.

  5. It seems like the OSR blog world is having an existential crisis. I tend to agree, it sounds to me like folks are gaming. It's a good thing. I wouldn't be surprise to see an uptick in blog activity once folks have digested all of this playing.

  6. @James
    Sunrise, sunset. Ok enough Fiddler, but that churn is not necessarily a bad thing. A blog dies, two more take its place.

    Done. When does our MERP Fourth Age start again?

  7. @Desert Scribe 2nd 3rd or whatever your logic.

    Gaming is much better then writing and not gaming. Both the games I play in have crapped out for the last month.

    Need to get my camera working and play some of the G+ games I guess.

    @ckutalik As someone who has a background in areas where you are supposed to stay objective liberry/history I find it refreshing to write in an area where I don't have to take an objective stance, where you can actually fudge with the stats and data.

    Although at the same time I am still so bound in my training that I feel bad making crap up instead of using first hand and secondary sources to back up what I am doing. I have a large stack of guilt sitting in the next room on the area and period I have an interest in writing gaming material in but if I do I just know it will turn into a historical project which is not what I have an interest in now. Maybe at a later point but I'd like to make my first setting before I do all that .....Guess that's a little similar to your feelings of wanting to write for others then before yourself.

  8. I firmly subscribe to a "worse is better" theory of blogging. Blogs are great for showing the pencil marks in the sketch, the rough draft, the errors, so that they can be learned from. Success is, in some sense, shallow. Failure can, of course, be bottomless. Success built on failure has a level of depth all it's own.