Bloggy Xmas 11 – Nothing New Under The Sun

So, #bloggyxmas Day 11, it’s just you and me…

…and the score of other bloggers who came before me and said everything good, right, and interesting *I* was about to say. No, really, I was. Except now I can’t and you’ll never know, because they already did and I can’t possibly copy what anyone else said. /ragequit

GRRRRR!

GRRRRR!

Okay, I lied. No /ragequit. Because that’s partly the point of community for me, especially the gaming community but probably, to be honest, any community that’s passionate about whatever it is it’s passionate about — we all share this gestalt mind that pursues the same subjects at the same time and says very similar things. And subjects come around again every so often (in my case, Solo vs. Grouping and Why Dungeons Are Horrible), get hotly debated, and then die back down for six months or a year.

For a while — which coincided with me not blogging a whole lot, so the past 2-3 years or so — I wasn’t so sure, but now I think this is A Good Thing™. I started this blog back in 2008 and for a very short while it was going to be a blog just about Warhammer Online, because that’s what I was involved in when I started it. It’s all the fault of Casualties of War, you see (and they appear to be a casualty of the internet because the forums have either moved or are no more) — a bunch of people I met online and don’t even remember how I met, because that’s the cool thing about gaming: you meet people all the time while playing games and while many of them fall by the wayside, a not-inconsiderable number of them end up sticking as acquaintances, friends, possibly RL friends and sometimes even spouses.

cropped-casualties_2.jpg

Casualties of War – Warhammer Online group shot

I am now RL-friends (and neighbours, as it happens) with people I met in Asheron’s Call almost 15 years ago, not to mention having changed continents in order to get married to one of those met-in-an-MMO people. Back then it was weird, and people kept telling me I was going to meet axe-murderers; it’s not so unusual these days (meeting people online – not meeting axe-murderers). So I probably met someone in Casualties through someone I knew who knew someone who knew someone who was involved. And Casualties was chock-full of blogging types who encouraged the rest of us to try it out, and many of us did, and most of our blogs went from “this will only ever be about Warhammer, I swear!” to “games rock! let’s talk more about games!”, which is entirely predictable given that most gamers are passionate about more than a single game.

I’m not sure where I’m going with this, because I’ve lost the blogging habit these last couple of years and anything other than stream-of-consciousness is hard work. But at some point — and many bloggers have encountered the same thing — I felt as though I’d said most of what I needed to say, that others were saying it much more cogently and with a fresher perspective anyway, and that I was just rehashing stuff nobody would care about. So I stopped writing, and told myself it was because life had become very busy (which it had) and I had many other things to do (which I did) — but when you’re passionate about something, you find time for it no matter what. That guy who never calls you back because he’s ‘too busy’? He didn’t want to call you in the first place. We make time for the things we care about.

Kittens make every post 1000% better. True fact.

Kittens make every post 837% better. True fact.

And I care about gaming, so here I am. I’ve always stated that I blog primarily for myself — and I do, which freed me from caring about how many people clicked this or how many people commented on that (though the stats are kind of fun and the positive attention is freaking awesome, especially when it’s from people I admire). But blogging for myself doesn’t mean I’m not part of a community of other people who blog about games and a whole host more people who read blogs about games. And yes, we’re terribly incestuous. We share ideas, we all post about the same thing pretty much at the same time, we have storms in teacups and get our knickers in a twist and make up and write posts about how awesome the gaming and game-blogging community is. Because it is.

Because despite (or perhaps because of) being an introvert I can connect, whenever I want and to whatever extent I find comfortable, with folks on blogs and all the other social media out there now. We all have different lives, we all have daily triumphs and tragedies and challenges, and although we don’t necessarily talk about them (though I find I share that stuff a bit more nowadays than I used to, and it can be a comfort), we share a bond that somehow makes life a little better. Because we’re passionate about that one thing. It can lower barriers and build bridges between people who otherwise wouldn’t acknowledge each other in the street, for whatever political, religious or cultural reason. It’s not a panacea, but it is A Good Thing. And whether it’s reading blogs or writing them or simply making friends through gaming and Twitter and Facebook and MyLifeHasNoPrivacy.com, we should continue doing it.

Thanks to Syl for running this initiative, which has reminded me why I started this blog in the first place. Alone but not lonely, I game.

Happy holidays.

xmas

 

 

A Very Bloggy Holiday!

Syl over at MMOGypsy has launched a fun holiday initiative which I instantly signed up for. It must have been the Belghast-assisted banner, because I’m not normally much of a joiner, but I (like Syl) grew up in Switzerland and I too remember advent calendars, street-corner hot chestnut vendors (if you don’t burn everything that comes in contact with them you’re doing it wrong), snow, lights, more snow, hot chocolate, and all that western hemisphere Holiday goodness.

bloggyxmasLet’s caveat this right now: sometimes I will say Christmas, sometimes I’ll say Xmas, sometimes I’ll say Holidays, and sometimes I’ll say Great Cthulhu’s Midwinter Brains Extravaganza. Please, please don’t be a dick — just insert the relevant holiday for you and let everyone be happy, m’kay?

Now that that’s out of the way, here’s Syl’s Bloggy Xmas Advent Calendar, which will let you find and enjoy each day’s entries. Apparently so many of us signed up that much of the month offers not one, but two daily entries. That’s how spoiled you’ll be.

There’s a clicky image linky thing over on the sidebar, too:

BloggyXmas2Oh yeah, and I’m up on the 11th, along with Contains Moderate Peril.

 

July 2012 Foofery

So, I did some long-overdue pruning of the blogroll. I removed whatever blogs had been officially shut down or were showing entirely in Sanskrit, updated whatever blogs had moved elsewhere, kept a few for nostalgia’s sake, added a couple.

If you should be on there and aren’t, it’s because I’m an elitist cliqueish bitch. Post or mail me and I’ll boot up Nice Ysh 2.0 and (re)add you.

And now a cute animal picture to fill out the required space. Nice Ysh 2.0 must be online.

(EDIT – did I mention I added a TSW Links page? Well, I did. Suggestions for additions welcome.)

Oh, my ego

I probably shouldn’t be posting about this because it’s from the super-seekrit beta forums for TSW (or are they super-seekrit now the NDA is down?), but I’ll take the risk. Also, I want those of you with better memories to correct me if needed.

Someone used the term “content locust” in a thread title and post, and while I’m not sure I actually coined the damn thing (probably not), I do use it relatively often. It was stupidly chuffing to see it mentioned, regardless of the attendant flameage and, you know, actual content of that thread – and regardless of the fact that nobody will ever know or care who did coin it (assuming it doesn’t die the usual internet-term death within the next 6 months).

Except me. I’ll know. Whether I actually coined it or not, I can probably claim co-founder status and in a weird way that’s really satisfying.

I do have an ego, and sometimes it likes to pat itself on the back (yes, my ego has a back. Stop splitting hairs.) – mostly by sharing it with strangers on a blog. We now return you to your regular programming.

The Secret World NDA lifted

Yes, I’m behind the times. As some of you already know I lost my dad last week, so even TSW is taking a back seat right now.

Nonetheless:

As of today, Closed Beta testers are no longer bound by the non-disclosure agreement. This means that testers may now speak freely about their experiences in the current and future versions of the Closed Beta. Sharing of screenshots and gameplay videos of the current and future versions of the Closed Beta is also allowed.

I’m not in the mood for a long review, but I will say:

- I preordered

- I’m enjoying it, despite far less time to play than I would have liked, RL issues, and hardware issues

- I was even considering going for the lifetime sub but Green Armadillo (one of my blogosphere’s resident cynics and smartypants) reminded me that games are going Free to play faster than you can say “vanishing player-base” these days, so I’m still thinking about that one. Still… part of me wants to do it, not just because you get some fun goodies but also because I’d like to show support for Funcom and for this game in particular.

- I think the game is boss. Not everyone will. In my case however I suspect it will entertain me for quite a while.

- A somewhat more thorough Impressions post may follow, or not, depending on how RL stuff goes. We’re not allowed to talk about previous versions  and I haven’t yet experienced the post-NDA beta, so it also depends on whether I get a chance to play in the post-NDA world before launch.

Short, not sweet

Supposed to refer to this post, but I guess it could refer to me too. I slay me.

1. Hot summer is hot. Where can I find a place that’s 70 degrees (20C) all year round?

On the bright side, it’s so dry here in New Mexico that hot here isn’t nearly as hot as, er, hot in humid places. I should probably work on that sentence a bit more.

2. Bad health sucks. It insinuates tendrils in all parts of your life and makes just about everything more difficult.

I’m not whining (much), just observing. My sympathies to anyone else who’s going through chronic health issues.

3. Work is harder when you’re sick.

Especially if you have a lot of it and feel sick most of the time. Oh, woe is me.

4. Only a month to go to TSW launch if it’s on time. /Snoopydance

I really really want to say more but I can’t so I won’t. I swear, work and health be damned, I’m taking a week off right around July 3rd.

 

Lack of courtesy or proper assertiveness?

Over the weekend I got a snarky letter from an organization I won’t name, objecting to the use of an image they claim to own. Not here – elsewhere. Draw your own conclusions since I don’t post in that many places on the Intertubes.

Now, I don’t know if it’s even legit, but from what I’ve heard about the organisations and societies relating to this oh-so-seminal author of oh-so-seminal fantasy who shall also remain coyly nameless, it’s that many of them have sticks up their ass and an overblown impression of their own importance to literature, fantasy and the universe in general.

Don’t get me wrong – if the pic was used without permission, apology shall be profferred and retribution made. At least, I’m pretty sure it will. Since I had nothing to do with the selection and/or use of said image, I’ve kicked the demanding email upstairs as is only proper.

I dunno what’s rubbing me the wrong way. Protecting one’s intellectual property is everyone’s right and I would probably exercise mine if people ripped my stuff off with no attribution. But I’m not sure I would go wading in quoting lawyers and legalese and using a generally high-handed tone.

Then again, I’m also patiently waiting for payment on work invoices that have 45-day payment terms (pretty damn generous considering I deliver my work before I even get to invoice for it), long after the 45 days are gone. I’m going to have to do something about that because not being able to pay my rent or organise my trip abroad properly is probably more important than being ever-so nice and understanding of my clients. I need more American in my British makeup, I suspect.

Maybe I need to get some snark of my own when it comes to defending my output, whether it’s attribution or payment.