Newbie Blogger Initiative 2016 - The Importance of Blogging
It's a curious thing that in real life, I've always tried to position myself outside of hierarchies and pecking orders. I went into IT during the middle nineties as a way of bypassing office politics and the usual bullshit associated with the work and "climbing the greasy pole". At that time working with technology was still swathed in a mystique and was to a degree outside of established preconceptions. These days I tend to avoid affiliations with monolithic entities and broadly avoid the tribalism that is rife in contemporary western culture. Don't get me wrong, I'm saying I’m some sort of unique free thinker or radical lone wolf. I just tend to run parallel to the pack rather than directly with it. This approach suits me best.
Yet despite my aspirations to remain independent, I still find myself part of a wider gaming community. My ongoing association with the Newbie Blogger Initiative seems to validate this, regardless to my protestations to the contrary. Despite my cynical, non-team playing, I'll do it my way attitude, I do feel strongly, dare I say passionately about blogging and the like. We live in extraordinary times where we have free access to cutting edge communication tools. I was raised during the seventies and if you wanted to write and share any sort of material, these facilities where gated behind specific professional careers paths. Expressing your thoughts and finding an audience is far easier by comparison these days.
Publishing a blog post can now be done quickly and easily, at any time or place. Potentially the world is your Oyster. Furthermore, despite attempted interference by governments and big business, these tools still remain publicly available and have proven instrumental in facilitating change. Okay, let's have a reality check at this point. As a games and movie blogger I am not claiming the ability to alter the course of human history. However I can communicate and engage with likeminded fans from all over the world. I can share information as well as learn from others. I can make new friends and gain a greater understanding of the things that I love. All of this can be done from the comfort of my executive chair. This is possibly one of the greatest examples of human altruism that I can think of. It is also demonstrates a degree of political power. Don't be surprised if certain parties and institutions try to take it away from us in the years to come.
Moving away from such lofty concepts, I think it is fair to say that it is a human imperative to share and exchange ideas. I think this is why so many of us are drawn toward writing and feel compelled to express ourselves. It's why I write and why I seek out others who do so. I like to know what people are thinking and feeling, especially about the things that I like. It doesn't matter if their views are different from mine, I still find their perspective of interest. So this is why someone as jaded and sceptical as myself still sees great virtue and merit in blogging per se.
I think it's important that people take advantage of the democratisation of communication. I think that a lot of the traditional mediums for providing information have lost their way of late, or have simply become too commercial. The public is definitely a lot more cynical about them these days. Gamers for example are more likely to trust and respect the opinions of their peers, rather than those who work in the gaming press. Sure there's a lot of white noise out there and not every fan site is of outstanding merit but do they all need to be? There is an honesty to most fan generated endeavours. Although they sometimes do have an axe to grind it is seldom driven by money.
So you've probably guessed by now that I do consider blogging, podcasting, live streaming to be important. I think that the communities that arise around such practises are of value. They do far more good than ill. Furthermore, there is another aspect that is of equal importance to some of the loftier notions I have mentioned. Getting involved and being part of something outside of your own life can be fun. Be it leaving a comment on a well written post, uploading a video of a successful raid, or just enjoying a joke about a shared experience; these thing bring us pleasure. This is the proverbial glue that binds us together and keeps us from setting about each other with Mattocks. It's what makes us human and helps keeps us sane. Well most of us. So why pass up an opportunity to make a social activity such a gaming, even more social?