Rants and Hissy Fits 13 Comments

Why I don’t wanna write about games

1. I’m bored.

I’m not going to say that there’s nothing new to write about in respect to MMOs or games anymore, but I’m not sure I have anything new to contribute. The blog community as a whole has often joked about how in 2117 when we’re all living like Road Warrior there will still be epic battles about monetization plans. It’s sad, but (probably) true.

To add insult to injury, it seems like MMOs have solidly gone in the opposite direction of where I hoped and advocated that they would go. And I mean, hey, that’s fine — apparently I’m a poor oracle of profitability and the desire of players — but at this point I’m solidly into “old lady shouts at clouds” territory.

2. I’m not really playing any MMOs

Black Desert Online is a pretty fun game that brings some unique ideas to the genre, particularly for Western players. I don’t regret spending $30 on it, but I’m also not playing it at the moment. There are just too many games to play, and too little time to play them. My interest in any game lasts about two weeks, and then I’m distracted by the next shiny announcement or hidden gem that’s already in my Steam library. I’m currently playing Witcher 3 and Cities: Skylines, two games that I played for a couple of weeks last year and am now ready to invest another couple of weeks or so.

3. The rampant consumerism of game culture is a bummer

So look, I’m no saint when it comes to spending money. One of my other hobbies is cooking, which means that yes, sometimes I’m that asshole who buys locally-sourced organic seafood that was hand-raised and told repeatedly how special it is during its childhood. I’ve bought just about every middling MMO that’s launched in the last decade. I own an elcor plushie.

But all that being said, I am quite frequently put off by the fervent consumerist zeal of the gaming community. Particularly as a blogger one starts to feel compelled to pre-order and buy into early access, because by the time a game launches it’s already over. Did you buy Overwatch? Did you buy Overwatch shoes? Or t-shirts? Or the deluxe pack with the skins? And soon it will be the summer Steam sale and let’s all get real excited for the opportunity to BUY MORE GAMES.

I’m being pretty critical, so let me stress again that I’ve been the person saying these things, and I probably will be that person again. But I feel like at some point the line blurred between being excited for a good game and being groomed as a rabid “prosumer”. (Oh, how I loathe that term.)

4. There are a lot of jerks in gaming

This is not a new issue, but my tolerance gets lower as time goes on. Even if we don’t discuss the harassment campaigns that continue, albeit more quietly, to this day, and how being a woman with Opinions About Video Games is still a thing that requires a certain amount of bravery and sass to navigate… I’m just too old to play with jerks.

And don’t even get me started about any game-related media that isn’t carefully moderated. Subreddits about any given game are almost always awful, and pretty much the last place a happy player should ever go. Even my Twitter feed, which I have carefully cultivated, has pockets of jerkocity. Still like playing WoW? You’re a sheeple! Don’t like playing WoW? Stop being negative! Have an opinion about things? Not so fast, here’s random people who want to argue about it.

I find myself in a similar position to the one I was in when I quit being serious business in WoW, back in 2011. At the time I was worried about what my self-identity would be if I was no longer a WoW raider and guild leader. Today I caught myself thinking, “But what am I if not an MMO blogger?” That’s a dangerous road to go down, friends.

I am a blogger — I love the format and the length, and I miss it dreadfully during my book-writing adventure. But when I’m done, and I come back, I can’t promise that I’ll still be mostly writing about games.

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13 Comments

  • Reply
    Tyrannodorkus
    May 11, 2016 at 1:05 pm

    I’m sorry to hear you’ve gotten to this point, Liore. I hope I don’t find myself wanting to chuck game writing out the window any time soon (or at all) because how much I like the subject. I do get turned off by the rampant consumerism with early access, game passes, buy-in betas, and tons of microtransactions, but it hasn’t hurt my love of the genre much. Also had my bored times too, but those come and go.
    However I’m not privy to being a lady gamer. I am a guy so I don’t experience all the assholes and jerk wads out that that make it tough to be a vocal woman, no less a woman gamer. I do hope you find that spark in what interests you when you do come back.
    Tyrannodorkus´s last post: Have Others Influenced My Writing

  • Reply
    Belghast
    May 11, 2016 at 1:20 pm

    I get where you are coming from. Today coming back to social media after basically taking a five day holiday, it was a bit off-putting. There are lots of days where I ask myself… “do I really want to be a blogger anymore”? There are so many days I feel like I have nothing of value to say, and end up posting something out of a strange sense of obligation more than actual desire to express myself. I will say… I love reading your posts regardless of what the content. If I am going to follow anyone in any medium for long… it is because I am interested in the person not the activities. You are an awesome person and have been a pretty great friend throughout the years, and that isn’t going to change. I feel like for a long time we used gaming and MMOs in particular as a way of keeping in touch with our friends, and now I have so many non-gaming ways to do that… that the games themselves just aren’t nearly as important.
    Belghast´s last post: Fickle Electron

  • Reply
    Telaan
    May 11, 2016 at 1:33 pm

    If this means that you will be blogging more about clothes, makeup, movies, cooking, and other general life stuff then I am totally on board and will still be here reading your posts!

  • Reply
    Wilhelm Arcturus
    May 11, 2016 at 1:56 pm

    There needs to be a flag or terms of service barrier the indicates that you want to talk about games, examine what you like and do not like, speculate about what might come to pass, relate tales of what you enjoyed, rant about the occasional item, and so on, but are not interesting in becoming involved in anybody’s holy war on a given subject.

    Generally comments on my blog have been about as chill as one could hope for, though I still get some holy warrior who wanders in now and again who will allow no one to speak against the the tenets of their true faith. I can deal with that once in a while, but it has become more of a thing of late and, adding that into my own mild malaise about MMORPGs… I haven’t purchased or played a new one in a long time… and blogging about them is starting to make me feel a bit tired. I want to get to the 10 year mark before I fade… but I have to get through Blaugust to make it there! That means about 83 more blog posts before I can rest, and I can only say so much about Minecraft. That probably means wading into WoW drama… and the WoW arena is especially shrill of late.
    Wilhelm Arcturus´s last post: Elves Unchained in TorilMUD

  • Reply
    Shintar
    May 11, 2016 at 2:12 pm

    But, but… MMOs are the perfect antidote to rampant gamer consumerism! Nothing saves you from having to buy a new shiny every two weeks as effectively as being really invested in a persistent multiplayer game. (Not that I’m arguing with the way you feel. I just had the urge to say that when I saw your points two and three right next to each other.)

    Mostly I’m like: “Aww, Liore!” You gotta do what you gotta do. I’ve generally enjoyed most of your “off-topic” posts, so I don’t think I would stop reading if you stopped talking about games. But I’m still hoping that you won’t.
    Shintar´s last post: KotFE Chapter by Chapter – Chapter 10: Anarchy in Paradise

  • Reply
    bhagpuss
    May 11, 2016 at 3:21 pm

    Gaming, MMO gaming, blogging – they are all hobbies, aren’t they? People take up hobbies, get enthusiastic about them then abandon them all the time. Other people are still as involved and committed to hobbies they took up in childhood when they retire. There’s no right or wrong way to enjoy a hobby.

    In the five years I’ve been blogging and the somewhat longer I’ve been reading blogs I’ve seen many apparently steady, committed bloggers fade away or simply vanish over night. Some come back, most don’t. It’s always sad to see a blog you look forward to reading go dark (it will be a black day indeed if Wilhelm really does hang up his horned helmet for good) but there are always new blogs coming along.

    As for playing the MMOs themselves, I seem to be in a minority when I say that after a decade and a half I enjoy MMOs as much as I ever have, quite possibly more. I really don’t see the doom and gloom that is supposed to be stifling the life out of the genre – to me it seems as strong as ever and the future looks glowing bright with both old favorites and new prospects. But if you don’t share that ongoing excitement then there’s certainly no point trying to manufacture it. By all means write instead about what does interest you. If you lose the MMO readers you’ll surely gain some others instead.

  • Reply
    Wolfyseyez
    May 12, 2016 at 5:02 am

    As a late arrival to your blog, I am saddened, but I also am in no position or have a right to deny you your happiness or comfort. I’ve adored your writing and will continue to do so, regardless of topic, and I hope that topic will electrify and delight you.
    Wolfyseyez´s last post: Overwatch Through Wolfy’s Eyes

  • Reply
    Syl
    May 12, 2016 at 5:26 am

    There’s only so many MMOs you can play, so many guilds you can join or so many MMO posts you can write until it all feels like repetition. I would say that’s pretty normal and most of us who have been blogging 5 or so more years have felt like they’re writing about the same things – and fighting about the same things, too. The fights especially have felt more and more like wasted energy to me, especially because I value relationships over my own (and others) opinions about games. It’s kinda not worth it anymore.

    Generally I’ve come to the personal conclusion, for myself, that it’s important to stop rating your fun or the fun of others; pick what you like and whats fun to you, leave what isn’t fun. Play games for as long or shortly as you want, pay for them the same way. Stop comparing to olden days or looking backward, enjoy the now. Stay away from grand quitting gestures anywhere. The way we perceive things is always also a reflection of our current state of mind; I’ve been down on gaming or blogging or the community but each time I came back from it, I realized they hadn’t actually changed so much but I did. That’s cool, you do what feels right for yourself at any given time. And you will always change – change is good. Just roll with it. :)
    Syl´s last post: Fun and Whimsy in Portal Knights

    • Reply
      Jeromai
      May 12, 2016 at 6:26 pm

      I do think one place our more verbose community can help with is the urge to get into ‘holy war’ game fights.

      When you look at it with a more analytical eye, it’s quite strange that the automatic response of many people and many gamers is to name call or assume “entitlement” or some other diminishing form of rationale for someone expressing a dissimilar opinion.

      Personally, I used to be really bad about this “someone is -wrong- on the internet” sort of affair. Maybe it’s the impending onset of age, as Grampa Bhagpuss has diagnosed ;), but I’ve gotten more mindful about engaging in unproductive shouting matches.

      I still can’t resist a good discussion though. I’m always immensely curious about the underlying thinking and perspective behind the opinion or interpretation. I think those explain far more effectively what and why people like or dislike something.

  • Reply
    Karinshastha
    May 12, 2016 at 9:08 am

    When the brightly-burning fires of passion die down and settle into the slow burn of room-warming coals we can all half-doze in our chairs under a nice blanket with a cup of cocoa at our side.

    Have you watched Twitch for any of the super “hype” games lately? I just don’t have that type of endless, meme-fueled energy any more.

    Make a new blog, keep this one. Identities and gaming interests come and go, but you’ll remain. Write about cooking, write about writing. Watching someone try to herd cats will always be fascinating.
    Karinshastha´s last post: The Opportunity Cost of Smite

  • Reply
    Cycles – Tales of the Aggronaut
    May 15, 2016 at 8:01 am

    […] to his family and faith, and as a result is quitting cold turkey.  Liore has reached a point where she just doesn’t really want to write about games because of a lot of reasons… not the least of which is how toxic gaming has become.  As far […]

  • Reply
    Ocho
    May 16, 2016 at 11:49 am

    I’m with you. I’ve definitely recently fallen out-of-love with MMOs in general. It’s funny because I love them and am starting to dislike them for the same reasons: 1) Other players. They’re both awesome and simultaneously scum. 2) Neverending content. New mission packs and whatnot are always fun to play through but just remind you of the neverending grind associated with them. There is no reaching and end to grind, there will always be more grind.

    Instead now I split my time with games that have story… and sadly, I find myself reaching further and further into gaming’s past to get it. The classics. Back when games use to have gameplay, story, and characters that were more than just their skills and if they’re showing their ass or not.

    I still play MMOs, but it’s now related to MMOs that have story. Namely, STO and TSW. They release new episodes and content all the time in small chunks, enough to grab my attention for a week or two. It’s nice, they both do it very well. I keep looking toward SWTOR, but all their hassle with their model is keeping me from being interested.
    Ocho´s last post: Tales from the Backlog: Champions of Krynn

  • Reply
    Chestnut
    May 17, 2016 at 7:25 am

    As many have already expressed, your writing is what makes you–regardless of what that writing is about! I love your fashion and food posts, and I even used your YNAB post to convince hubby to try it out this summer to get on a tighter budget. I’m here for the person–the whole of Liore–who enjoys horror movies, and giving her friends a hard time because she can (and I love it when you sass Elly and Aro!). Just keep being you and writing what you want, when you want!
    Chestnut´s last post: Welcome to the Hotel Transylvania

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