(Yes this is my yearly Doom Saying Post)
Deleted my G+ when they shut down notifications, but that had been dying for a while for me.
Tried the OSR Discord, kind of a 'Greetings Fellow Kids' situation.
Facebook is pfft.
Twitter - NO.
Instagram is for minis.
Am in a handful of less-visited Discords where not much happens (exactly how I like it).
So there is silence. Which I both like, and is slightly discomforting. I genuinely have no fucking idea what is going on with the 'scene' or if there is even still a 'scene', sometimes this is a relief and sometimes it perturbs me somewhat.
I feel old and essentially out of place in a way I haven't before. Seems like the Zaklash combined with the death of G+ really does mark a new age of sorts. Like most historical moments, this is a culmination of slowly-growing historical trends reaching a kind of tipping point, not that different from the moment before but crossing some kind of line where you can reasonably say 'yes, this is a new thing now'.
The age of Wizards in towers is over, or at least, in permanent decline. (Wizards in towers kind of half-like being in decline though, so it might remain that way for a looong time).
But the twin gods of loneliness and capital have formed a Kaiju for the new age and its has risen from the deeps and is roaming loose.
What is a Community?
The community is integrated, and has rules, the rules are for everyone's benefit. It is emphatically not just a group of random people who happen to share an interest in something, its this other thing, you can buy a T-Shirt for it.
I've been looking at pictures of the crowds for stuff like Critical Role and its derivatives and yes, that looks like a 'community' (and holy fuck there are a lot of people). DCC definitely has a community. LotFP almost doesn't. Possibly more people may or may not play LotFP, but, even though they have T-Shirts, they are not a community, they are just a group of individuals, you can't see them together in a crowd in facebook photos, if you asked them to chant something it would take a while for them to work out what and it might get bleeped out. The Gauntlet is definitely a community. RPG.NET is a community, even though they don't have a T-Shirt.
Deep in my heart I am an alienated man who sees a community as a group that I will fail to fit into and that will silently judge me and freeze me out when I can't match its gestures and noises. Then slowly and invisibly turn on my and destroy me. That is why for me, freedom from community is more important than right *to* community.
And I am probably the worst community actor in whas is/was the OSR, silent, irregular, unsupportive, carping, diffident and not willing to make friends.
And I have a dark mind so I'm curious about the paradoxes.
A thing about communities is that they repeat again and again and again that they are open to everyone, its really important that they be open to everyone, and that everyone feel safe. But in effect, the views, gestures, behaviours and usually politics for getting in and staying in are, while often intuitive and unstated, really fucking precise.
So these things which are 'for everyone' are actually prefect filters catching a really specific band of people.
Which - nothing necessarily corrupt about that. Every group on earth is for a particular range of people, that's why its a group, and not just 'humanity', but the unrecognised conflict in narrow groups of cognitively, socially and political similar people strongly maintaining Universal values is interesting.
And I'm interested in the interaction between groups and capital. Sometimes it seems like human groups are like these schools of little fish that like to hang out, and that capital is a big shark hunting them, and if too many of them hang out in too big a school, they are going to get Capitalised. So they scurry away and disperse.
But it also seems like Capital often aids people in making connections, like it wants and doesn't want people to be friends, it has this schizophrenic relationship with society where integrated groups can make money, provide markets, do marketing, even create product, but it also makes people less lonely and capital really needs people to be a little more lonely so they buy more. So there is this continuous push-pull situation with that.
And the extent to which we have adopted the values of Capital as our values without realising - "support marginalised creator buy buying their stuff". What if you wanted to support them without buying their stuff? It almost doesn't make sense as a statement. Without deeper connections the money relationship becomes the dominant, maybe only relationship.