State of the Gaming….IMHO
As I am sure many of you have noticed by now, my channel/this web site has not had an update or new video in quite some time. I felt it necessary, to explain what is going on. /begin rant
I started this endeavor as a web site at first and then it morphed into a YouTube channel. It was a lot of work but I enjoyed it. I liked talking about games, giving you my opinions or insights into a game, or in general, spreading the love. I really loved this hobby at the beginning. That opinion has changed over the passed several months and hopefully it’s just a phase.
The fall of 2016 was a rough time for me. Work, family and personal pressures and issues distracted me from gaming. In fact, other than playing the occasional game with my kids, I attended no game nights and therefore by extension no contact with other gamers. A fair amount of solo gaming was done and only when time allowed, which really wasn’t that often. Now this is all me, to be sure but there were also some outside factors that have contributed to my current assessment of the board gaming hobby.
1.) I have become disillusioned by the hobby. It started with my admiration of a particular reviewer who essentially became “too big for their own britches.” Great writing, wonderful insights, just all around fantastic content — but disconnected from their fans, their readers, their admirers. You can’t be on a public platform and not expect to reply to emails, answer questions and the like. This person did that and still does that. I found it to be rude and unprofessional and it really annoyed me, which leads me to the second issue: elitism.
2.) I feel that the hobby initially was far more open and inviting. If I were entering the hobby today, I would find a much larger sense of elitism than before. I understand that some gamers have a love of heavy Euros and dislike anything on the lighter side or perhaps a family-style game. Then there are others who would rather play Zombie dice all day rather than try Castles of Burgundy because they think it looks too complicated. I get that. I was there once. You like what you like. I believe that today there are more people than ever who look down their noses at any gamer who doesn’t fall into their appreciation for the games they like. Much of this I think is due to the explosion of board gaming that has transpired over the past 4 or 5 years. Also, the proliferation of blogs, and to a much larger extent You Tube channels, has created an environment of if you’re not in “our” club than you are just a muggle. This leads me to:
3.) Being on such a public platform if you have a web site or a YT channel, offers you the opportunity to state your opinion beyond that of board games. That is their choice to do that and although I usually don’t have an issue with that, there are times when such proclamations are inappropriate, unrelated, or just plain aggressive tactics against those who may or may not feel different than you. Most recently, I was attacked by an individual in the industry who accused me of being misogynistic because I thought there wasn’t enough women in board gaming; that it was my fault that there weren’t more because of my gender! That all I wanted to do was sleep with them. I was livid and thoroughly offended. I am not going to bore you with any more details other than what I have just stated but suffice it to say that I no longer follow, watch, or read any more of this person’s content.
4.) And that brings us finally to content. Now, my content is nothing stellar, I understand that. But my subscription list is filled with tons of content creators who were and are creating content for content’s sake. Much of it is, quite frankly, garbage. There’s quality of the channel, and by that I mean, quality of the video — the aesthetic and then there’s quality of the content itself. Much of the video quality is just bad. Mine was never outstanding either but a lot of what I see online is unwatchable, out of focus, shaky, bad audio — just poor production value. I can often times overlook that if the content is good. I think it used to be good but now, not so much. One channel, pumps out 50+ videos a week and much of it is just junk. Patreon, Indiegogo and Kickstarter campaigns have become the norm for many to be placed in a situation where now they are obligated to create content since you have “paid” for them to do so. I personally believe that those individuals have “lost their way” in the reason they create that content — the love of games.
Many other creators are reviewing games long before they hit the market; that cult of the new which feeds into the elitism. I won’t do that. I don’t review games I won’t or don’t like. I won’t waste my time with that. Admittedly, another part of that reason is trying to find my place in a sea of creators. Differentiating yourself from others is difficult when they are so many of “us” all doing the same thing. Perhaps I am being a hypocrite but, it’s difficult to justify the time and energy put into creating content for a YouTube channel when you have less than 600 subscribers, many of which perhaps have all but forgotten you exist and then there are others who create long winded, dark, and crappy content with over 10,000 subscribers. I understand that content creates subs. It’s a bit of a vicious circle. This is all sounds like I’m jealous or envious or bitter. Maybe. I’m man enough to admit that. But it is no less frustrating. It’s frustrating to know that their entitlement and elitist behavior is sanctioned by their very constituents. And that is ultimately my biggest issue: “don’t bite the hand that feeds you.”
I hope that all of this is just a phase. I am attending more game nights and playing more games. For now, however, I am still taking a break from creating content.