This certainly isn’t the first blog I’ve made, and I’ve gotten the question over and over again – why do I love blogs so much? Why do I feel the need to start one for every hobby or passing interest that I have? It’s actually a pretty easy question for me to answer.
I love writing, yet I struggle with creativity and coming up with the right things to say or talk about. So, when I have a topic that I’m excited about or interested in, writing about it is one of the first things I want to do. I enjoy writing long form about what I’m thinking of, because I think it helps me process my thoughts. It helps me organize my experiences and have a record of them for referencing later. I find it a fun way of keeping up with my interest, because even if I only have one regular reader – I still feel an obligation to continue producing content for them to read.
This is why I get frustrated when I see a post like this by Tobold. Tobold is a “veteran blogger” who has been around the MMO space and been involved in more internet arguments than probably any other blogger. Whether he wanted to or not, he inspired many people to start a blog of their own where they can talk about what they want. Yet somehow, he’s forgetting that other people might want a piece of the enjoyment he receives from maintaining a popular blog.
With the genre itself stagnating, what is there to write about on a new MMO blog which hasn’t been written about hundreds of times on other MMO blogs over the last decade? Does anybody really still want to read about the adventures of your Jedi consular, or Charr warrior?
The thing is, Tobold writes about tabletop games now. I guarantee there are just as many blogs about D&D adventures as MMOs, yet because it’s a new territory for him, Tobold feels the need to belittle the usefulness of MMO blogging entirely. However, I find his new content boring so I don’t really read it anymore. That’s not an insult on him, it’s just that his blog no longer is about a topic that I enjoy reading about. That doesn’t make his blog any less useful to pen & paper gamers who might be excited about that kind of topic. The other funny thing, is that not every MMO-related post that Tobold himself has written over the last many years has been original. Some of it is the same old rehashed crap. That doesn’t lessen his enjoyment of blogging, I am sure.
There are many great reasons to start a blog now. One is that you create your own little community of friends online to talk to about topics you enjoy. Another is that you get to think critically about the medium of games and express your thoughts in a somewhat permanent fashion. You can share screenshots and funny tidbits or longwinded theorycrafting or whimsical play session recaps. There is a reader out there for every blog.
So Tobold, just because you have moved on and have said all you want to say about blogging…does not mean there is nothing left to be said. As an employee of the game industry, I can tell you that things are constantly evolving and changing, and game design isn’t something that reaches a certain point and then stops. There is so much left to be said, so perhaps you should be supporting this Newbie Blogger Initiative so that someone new has a chance to say it.
All of these reasons are why I start a blog. It would be great to have readers, sure. But mostly – I write for myself. I find it enjoyable to type words about something that makes me happy and excited.