Rants tag

Rants, ruminations, and rambling remarks from my mad, muddled, meandering mind.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

A Sense of Community

In April of 2012, Justin Olivetti, aka Syp of Bio Break and MassivelyOP fame, contacted me hoping that I would support a new initiative to help inspire (mostly) MMO gamers to take up blogging as a hobby. The idea was to create a welcoming environment for people to "dip their toes in the water" with a ready-made audience, advice, and encouragement. I, of course, was not the only "veteran" blogger Syp contacted, and we had a great first run. Some of the folks from the class of 2012 are still going strong, having posted within the past week. They're even contributing advice of their own to NBI2015.

I've enjoyed "getting to know" quite few of the bloggers from the various iterations of NBI, as they've shared not only their love of gaming, but a bit of themselves and their lives. Their personal struggles. Their personal triumphs. As Belghast has pointed out, people often become regular readers because they come to care about the blogger as a person. I firmly believe that best readers of blogs are also bloggers themselves. That is, your biggest fans will likely be posting a bit of themselves somewhere in their own corner of the internet. And that's how a community is formed.

Jeromai of Why I Game posted this link about trolls in the commentary on my recent post. The key, I think, is to counter the desires of the troll. Do not engage them on their turf (a major reason I did not directly link) or your own (that's what moderation is for). Put another way, you would not permit that sort of behavior in your house, and your blog is your house on the internet. Nor would you frequent the residence of another if you were being treated that way. John Scalzi also posted this week about not engaging bullies, online or otherwise. The inventor of the "Mallet of Loving Correction" has plenty of experience dealing with trolls. Which is to say, he doesn't.

Apparently, from its inception, NBI has been the target of trolls claiming that it was part of some conspiracy of political correctness. I think one need look no further than the current stewards of the Initiative to know that is not the case. However, the NBI is, rightfully, an inclusive place, where people of all stripes and political persuasions can come together and discuss their mutual enthusiasm for games. The only real requirement is that we have respect for one another as people. Because gamers are not one monolithic race, gender, orientation or creed; and neither are the subset that choose blog about it.
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  1. Good and constructive things tend to attract opposition... which only speaks to the strength of that which is good. In this case, the NBI.

    The way I see it, the NBI doesn't have anything to prove to anyone. Its positive fruits (a strong and connected community of bloggers) broadcasts louder than what nay-sayers post. I know I personally wouldn't still be blogging if I hadn't met the great folks from the NBI last year. So it's been a hugely positive experience for me!

    Being a part of a community is a wonderful feeling. I find the MMO bloggers to be very welcoming and inclusive. Those who feel they can't be a part of it, or have convinced themselves they don't want to be, will speak negativity, and even make up reasons to be negative... due to the true negativity within themselves, not within the community they target.

    I'm really sorry they feel that way, but I'm not letting that stop me from celebrating what the NBI stands for me. Writers supporting writers. Bloggers giving other bloggers inspiration. That's an invaluable gift only this community can give.

  2. That 2012 run was such a special group. I am a bit biased though. My blog didn't last, but my blogging spirit has flourished since getting my start then. It has been an absolute blast every year since. I love this community and I wholeheartedly support a 100% open door policy to anyone looking to join it as long as they remain respectful to others.

    Awesome post, sir!

  3. I read a post last week some time -- quite possibly the one you're referring to here -- and I just shook my head. I will never understand how supporting other people and sharing tips and tricks can equate to some kind of political agenda. I personally hold some... unconventional thoughts on the first topic that was chosen (and only haven't written about it because I was WAAAAAY too late to the party!) and I wholly believe that the NBI community would still be respectful and treat me fairly. Sometimes people just see what they want to see, I guess.

    Thank you for all your efforts with NBI :)

    1. I don't know why I didn't see this comment before. Perhaps you should go ahead and post about it. And thanks for stopping by. :)