Tuesday, January 8, 2013

The closed nature of the conversation

I have been thinking lately about the way we talk about games. Many have said that the gravity of the conversation in the OSR scene have moved to g+, and away from the blogs. Maybe it's kind of telling that Fight On! Magazine is looking to be dead in the water at the same time.

It used to be that you were talking about games on usenet, or mail lists. Then the web revolution happened, and web forums became the place to talk games. Finally we had the blogs and lately, g+.

There's one thing in common with these first techniques, and something which differ strongly with the last one. Getting on usenet and getting in on the good stuff you just needed to look in the gaming groups. The forums and the mail lists needed you to sign up, but most of them were  easy enough to sign up to. You know how blogs work, don't you?

Here's the deal. In order to get in on the juicy conversations on g+, it's not just enough to go to  web page and click around, maybe traversing the universe one link at a time. No, in g+ you have to know the right people. Add them to your circles, and have them add you back. Also, you need to figure out what the heck that guy whose blog you have been following for two years is actually named! It has become much harder to get in.

I don't think this is a good thing.

In order for a community to be vibrant it has to be easy to get in to, and it has to be welcoming. I have been quite involved in these blog conversations we have been having, and I have found it is not as easy any longer to find the conversation. I don't want to be a total Luddite, but I think you see what I'm saying. Is this progress?
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