There — I think you’ve been warned enough that this is an ego post. Look away! Fly, you fools!
If you’re still reading, I’ll try to keep it brief. (By my own measure. You know, the one where 2500 words isn’t much.)
The MMORPG.com gig is starting to grind my gears a little. For one thing I am so running out of things to write about it’s not funny. For another, most of the time the people who read the column just want to fling poo, usually at me but often just at each other, and while I don’t read them all that often it still makes me want to wash my face and brush my teeth whenever I do. I miss the smart people here and wish I were more motivated to post on my own blog even though there’s no filthy lucre involved for doing so (and yes, I need the filthy lucre these days).
Today, someone made the effort to message me over there to make sure I’d actually read their comment on a recent column. Which essentially boiled down to “You’re okay even if you are totally up your own arse and you never consider anyone else’s point of view!” — which I happen to think is entirely unfair. I’m very likely up my own arse but I am nonetheless always aware of other points of view; I just don’t feel obligated to do more than mention them in passing if they’re not relevant to a column that is actually supposed to be, well, about MY experiences. Okay, player experiences in general, but I’m not doing a standup sketch in the style of Bill Bailey parodying Eddie Izzard doing James Mason (err, sounding like James Mason. You know what I mean.).
My byline or whatever those text blurbs are called: “[snip] discussing topics important to her as a long time player of MMORPGs”. Seems unambiguous to me as far as mandates go.
I’m also a little weirded-out by the responses the columns get. Most of the time something I think will get loads of comments just drops like a
resting parrot dead duck, and stuff I think will evoke maybe a yawning agreement or two over coffee makes a bunch of ageing farts like me come out of the closet and join the Old Fart Gamer Pride March. Once or twice I’ve written something intentionally polemical, though the utter shit-storm over the SW:TOR post took me aback a little — then I read some of the comments and realised that most people were, as usual, commenting on something entirely irrelevant or entirely not under my control (like why the discussion thread was in the News forum), so I stopped reading them and almost immediately felt human again. Early on I wrote something I thought was going to be polemical and it sank like a dead whale shark, which was interesting if not entirely instructive.
Thing is, I don’t really know what’s going to be polemical and I don’t really want to. I’m not particularly cutting-edge and I don’t particularly like to stir shit-storms (debates, sure), so I don’t do it much. And it feels odd to think that I probably ought to be trying to do that more for the column gig, because if there’s one thing polemic and shit-storms do it’s generate hits, which is exactly what the site wants and, um, exactly what they’re paying me for. It’s just not something I like doing or something I’m good at. I’m good at rambling and… uh, rambling. I ramble really well. I could ramble in the Olympics! But polemic — not so much.
So these days I kind of feel like the old lady trying to sell lace doilies in the corner of a leather gear store — not bad for business per se, but a little out of place and all the dominatrixes look at me funny as they walk past browsing the new whips. And I decided to whinge about it here, because empty though it is this is still my place and I can write what I want, when I want.
I’ve been pondering the ethics of whether to leave the comments open on this post, because I see it more as a vent-post than a baby-seal cry for sympathy, but I’ll leave em open anyway. I’m not too proud to accept a pat on the back, though now that I’ve vented I’ve kind of done that for myself already. If you want to say something nice, go ahead. If you want to fling poo, I’ll fling it back, because this is still my place and I can do that if I want. That was my Cartman voice, by the way.