PERSONAL DIARY (July 2020): Do We Need To Have A Conversation?

The wrong time to be a spendthrift?

Following my boycott of new games last year (to which I applied myself rather well, I thought), 2020 hasn’t seen me maintain quite the same sense of frugality, unfortunately… I’m not proud, by any means, but I’m still going to try and shift the blame onto COVID-19 instead of facing up to reality: I’m missing my regular gaming groups, and spending money to make myself feel better. Guilty as charged.

Given I’m clearly struggling with the lack of social gatherings that 2020 has forced upon us all, most of the new games I have bought this year include a solo or solitaire play option, something I’m beginning to see as an essential and massive factor in a lot of my purchase decisions. The irony, however, is that playing games solo still holds limited appeal for many gamers, and at time of writing I’ve yet to break most of these new titles out for anything more than a good gander and a quick rules refresh. Crazy thinking? Perhaps.

Whether I’m suffering some weird and prolonged withdrawal symptoms from my solo marathon back in May (which you can read more about by typing “#AGameADayInMay” in the Search box), or it’s just an aspect of my current psyche, I don’t know; either way, solo modes are not helping me get these games played. Not yet. I have got as far as punching them all out, at least. Baby steps…

Having triumphantly cleared the table t’other day, in preparation for whatever special joy and magical experience that next box may bring (when I finally inch it open and ready myself for a good solo session), I instead chose to take a photo with the intent of posting it here. Behold. Not just a shelf of shame, but an entire table full…

A full spread of nearly 20 games, none of which has yet been played.

Make what you will of my choices, but yup, you guessed it, I am going to leave them there and annoy myself with this eye-watering image until I get the gumption to start cracking the whip and moving ahead…

“Can you dig it?” I said, “CAN YOU DIG IT?”

One of the things I have found myself doing more of recently, is watching select YouTube channels, and I even caught a few of those ‘livestream’ thingamajigs: something I’d previously believed was just mythical, silly nonsense spouted by content creators to increase their views. Perspective: I work a lot and keep myself busy when I’m not, so catching livestreams is a wee bit like trying to find a needle in a haystack with a pair of chopsticks; an eating implement I don’t know how to use in case you were unsure of the full magnitude of that particular metaphor… 🙂

But I digress… Go watch this video from The Broken Meeple: – start it from the 37-minute mark, and listen to the trials, tribulations, and verbal exchange between Jeremy Howard and Luke Hector…

Luke is a nice, down-to-earth guy and has worked hard to grow his channel: it usually makes for good listening and recently hit 10K subscribers. Well done, Luke. Jeremy Howard is a national treasure for solo gamers worldwide, and for gamers in general, frankly: I really DIG this guy, too, and he’s kind of awesome. Moreover, Jeremy and Luke both hit the nail on the head when they discuss the importance of regular comments and feedback for content creators: it essentially boils down to a ‘conversation’ between creator and observer. This is the holy grail for every creator, even those (like moi) who convince themselves they don’t really care for this stuff: I tell myself it’s not important, because I am not Battle Cat or Panthro, to use Jeremy’s own metaphor. I am writing this for me, right? Pffft. Who am I kiddin’?

I have plenty of personal reasons why I would never try and do a podcast or a video channel, but “writing a crappy blog” I am well up for, ego being something I’ve never been short of… 😉

Conversations (verbal or via social media, email, etc), whether for good or ill, are all about agreeing and disagreeing; there’s often a back-and-forth, to-and-fro, hither and thither element to every exchange, and they should, ideally, be conducted with civility. Alas, conversations can become heated, too, and often boil down to exchanging and sharing opinions, which rather handily is something else I have in abundance. Opinions, that is.

My point? I believe opinions matter. Making a difference by sharing yours with content creators can be a huge boon, even if you don’t agree with everything they’re throwing at you. By providing feedback, leaving a comment, or even just clicking on one of those thumb-up or thumb-down icons, you are reassuring them there’s somebody out there with an opinion, a reaction, to their efforts. This, in turn, is a fundamental part of the force and energy driving them. Trust me on this: if you can spare the time to read, listen to, or watch somebody else’s content, sparing the time to also provide them with a reaction is time well spent. Put bluntly, it feeds their ego and makes a difference.

Opinions count. Be polite, and use them responsibly.

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