Ronald McDonald is having an existential crisis. Not normally the sort of thing you expect from someone whose writing repertoire mainly consists of discussing which hand he uses when masturbating, but the man sat, and thought, and sat some more, and thought some more, and decided that games and the web and all that just kind of bit.
He’s right in that we’ve reached a breakthrough point in our ability to coalesce as a community and discuss down to minutae what is important to us. Take this site for example. It gets about 5 to 7 thousand visitors a day. More when I mention sex and/or counselors, less when I get all wordy and shit and decide to tell people how to design their games.
I do think there’s enough interesting things going on to justify a daily updated web site of news and commentary on the online roleplaying game scene (hey, you’re soaking in it!); but there are slow days and fast days, like anywhere else. We’ve hit a slow time, I think.
Asheron’s Call hit, and it wasn’t much different from Everquest and UO when they launched (with the possible exception that, unlike both EQ and UO, it actually ran somewhat correctly the first day). The UO dev team is soliciting information on how to fix the game. The EQ dev team is finally starting to figure out their game may be broken. The UO2 dev team is cowering in a corner and praying people forget all that crap TwisTer posted about Meerlings and Jukas. Stuff like that.
If this site has any guiding philosophy, it’s pretty much borrowed from Seanbaby – let’s all get together and laugh at the stupid people. I mean, we’re talking about grown men and women obsessing over what level their Shadowknight Troll is. The only logical response is laughter. It’s pretty funky that a community has grown up around all this, and you’re a part of it, by virtue of reading these words. Doesn’t matter how many times you wash your hands afterwards, either.
So are our mutual obsessions, you the reader and I the writer, are they born of futility or of longing? I would like to think the latter; that in the disconnected society at large in which we reside, where I just spent FOUR FUCKING HOURS in a meeting room with people I don’t happen to like very much discussing the results of our Birkman Personality Profiles (I know this will probably be a shock to all of you, but I pegged pretty low in Empathy), that the mere act of belonging to a community is in itself an enriching achievement, no matter how whacked it is.
I think the Net is a preview of how we will deal with our environment globally in the years to come — too much information rushing past us, and we sort of grab randomly, childishly, at the odd bits and pieces of stuff that zoom by, and if we ever happen to actually see anyone else in that massive stream of stuff, it means more than you’d ordinarily think.