Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Blog changes

I'm not having all that much fun blogging any more. Just like Larísa in her not-quite-farewell post I'm feeling stretched thin, and can't help but what the heck I'm doing this for. I created this blog to speak my mind and to discuss with like-minded people on how better MMORPGs could be made. Unfortunately the like-minded people are getting fewer and fewer. Instead the discussion is dominated by people who one way or another derive their self-worth from their leetness in some video game, and who need to constantly express their disdain for everybody else in order to keep that up. Why would I even want to talk with somebody whose biggest achievement in life is his gearscore in WoW, or his ability to gank other players in some PvP game? I have nothing in common with that sort of players, except for the bad luck of having frequently to share the same virtual worlds with them.

Post #3387, in the 8th year of this blog, and I not only know how people are going to react to anything I write, I could even write all those comments myself, correctly attributing names to attitudes. Some troll on this blog is actually already amusing himself doing exactly that, writing fake comments with fake identities, which are only slight parodies of the real ones. Not only are the comments predictable, they are also most of the time unwilling to actually discuss anything. People peddle their same old convictions and pseudo-religious unthinking support for "their" games. New ideas are quickly dismissed as "my favorite game doesn't do that, so it can't possibly work", or used for yet another diatribe against all those other "moron" players.

Successful blogging is hard work, much harder than successfully playing a game. It not only involves high levels of various *real* skills (writing skills, creativity, etc.), but also a lot of self-discipline to keep up a steady schedule; in my case about 10 blog posts per week on average. If I weigh that against the benefits I get out of blogging, I have to admit that the benefits aren't much: A couple of hundred friendly "keep up the good work" comments and mails, somewhat drowned in a larger number of negative comments, due to the fact that people are more likely to respond to something they disagree with. A small handful of free games. A few donations (in the last 3 months I got 3 donations for a grand total of $25). My net contribution to global GDP is probably negative, seeing how most of you read this at work. And if any of my writings ever influenced the design of any MMORPG, the lawyers must have told the devs to keep mum about that; but it is more likely that blogs simply don't influence game design at all.

Therefore I have decided to stretch myself less thin, and abandon the daily posting schedule. I'll play more and blog less, just writing whenever I really feel the urge to say something. I'm deliberately targeting a lower number of visitors and readers, in the hope of a less popular blog attracting less trolls (and goblins). I'll also read less blogs, kicking the eternally negative and disrespectful ones out of my feed reader. Peace of mind is worth more than being popular on the internet.

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