Doing What We Do

Bhagpuss has a post up alluding to a set of neat little boxes into which you can categorise us blogger-folk into, at least in terms of where the drive to do what we do comes from. The post is a bit of a tease though, as these categories are never dived into. I, for one, was looking forward to hearing my label!

In lieu of Bhagpuss doing it, I’ve decided to jump in and do it myself.

Oh- no, not the list of categories. Sorry. I’m also just going to tease you on that one. But as I read through Bhagpuss’ post, I started to wonder: Do I even know why it is I do what I do any more?

Once upon a time I certainly did. I didn’t realise or discover the reason until this blog — but that reason has served me well in keeping Time to Loot running when every other blogging project before it fell to the wayside from a lack of continued drive or motivation.

…I enjoy the benefits associated with blogging way more than actually putting these posts together. By which I mean — keeping in touch with the community; keeping track of my own history for later perusal; having an outlet to discuss my hobby of gaming… These are the reasons why for me.

Naithin, Time to Loot – I’m Not a Writer (2020)

The very point I was making with that post back then as a whole though, is unlike Bhagpuss who is a self-admitted ‘compulsive writer’, someone who derives their joy (or at least a good part of it!) simply from the act of writing itself. That is… not me. Not generally. Much more likely the case is that I will derive some joy from having written. And even then! Moreso from the reasons outlined there than anything else.

Going back to my question then, about whether I even know any more why it is I keep on going with this… well, I suppose I wondered whether, particularly over the last year or so with all that has happened there, if my ‘motivation’ might have switched from all the lovely reasons I outlined above to just… ‘Well; it’s just what I do now. I do what I do because it’s what I do.’

There are worse habits to have formed, so if this happens to be one — awesome! That’s OK. But I do wonder if it can ever possibly be ‘enough’ should times get hard again.

Keeping in Touch With the Community

One mission’s line-up from the Blogger Community XCOM2 Succession Game. With the exception of one character here (Black Widow), every other character pictured in that line-up is a representation of a community member.

I know for a fact that I’ve pulled back and inward over the last while. It’s not something I’m going to go ahead and beat myself up over — there have been reasons. At the same time though, nor is it something I’m super excited about continuing!

But in some ways, I’m unsure how to reverse the movement. When this occurred for me in the gaming context, it wasn’t something that really ever went backwards. Not entirely, at least. Revisiting Asheron’s Call funnily enough brought some of my old social habits back. I don’t think I ever specifically wrote about that effect, where revisiting an old game anew brought back certain old habits… (Darn, I should have.)

But I know that I comment less. Read less. Run events and participate less. Neither the intention to run a Play Along of the remainder of the ‘To the Moon’ series nor the third Succession Game (tentatively picked as Age of Wonders 4 in the Blaugust Discord) got off the ground.

Perhaps something in there is a place to start. And… even just thinking about this again may have rekindled the spark that has been lying dormant for a while over this part of my motivation. I’m always having the most fun with Blogging when it involves other people, be that bouncing off someone else’s post, to events like these.

So… Anyone up for another Succession Game? xD

Keeping Track of My History

Even though I didn’t explicitly state it in that quote, by this I did typically mean my gaming history. Or at least, my online history. Of late, perhaps that has branched out a little more to big events such as looking to build a new house in a new city!

My memory is shocking.

Seriously, don’t ask me what year anything happened — because chances are exceedingly high, I couldn’t tell you.

Not without some form of external resource. You know- like this.

There are a great many points in my gaming history that I remember fondly. Insofar as I can at least. Things like the various wars and battles in Asheron’s Call. Shadowbane. Even Dark Fall, albeit to a bit of a lesser extent. Guild histories and people once-known, it’s all so easy to fade into the fog of time without having some record of it.

I think for the past while, I haven’t really been servicing this motivation very well. Now- absolutely, part of that is just down to the frequency of posting.

But it’s also the things I have and haven’t been writing about. So perhaps if I was to take any action to bring this motivation back to the fore, it would be to consider the content. Maybe look at more game session story-times. Not exclusively, but more in the mix at least!

Having an Outlet to Discuss My Hobby

Ahh, Elden Ring. I can’t wait for the expansion!

I count myself very fortunate that I have a close friend group that shares the hobby of gaming with me. However, as much as our interests may overlap, it certainly isn’t a perfect match! We’re each individual in our tastes and there are some games that I quite enjoy that would largely make their eyes glaze over (Cities: Skylines, or even the recent Stray Gods).

So I think of the three reasons I listed back in the depths of 2020 — this is the one that has continued to hold its relevance, even if until outlining it like this, I hadn’t really given it much conscious thought.

Although, even within our little corner of the internet — this isn’t ‘perfect’. I’m well aware I exist within what would predominantly be an MMO-focused community without possessing the same passion for the genre that I once did.

It’s also a little galling to be so behind on some of the breakthrough zeitgeist games like Baldur’s Gate 3 as well. A perfect opportunity to be in amongst it while the chatter is relevant and of interest. I couldn’t even really explain to you the rationale in not! Not beyond, ‘Well- I’ve just been more interested in other things’ at the moment.

Which is fine, you should always follow your interests rather than those of the wider world — but at least in this case, it isn’t even like the preference for the other titles is particularly strong or demanding!

No clue what the next game to hit the community zeitgeist might be — but I think I might make more of an effort with that one, as doing so, I reckon, helps in a very real way with feeling more connected with the community as well.

This was posted during Blaugust 2023, the annual blogging event hosted by Belghast. Blaugust is an event aiming to welcome new blogger blood into the fold and revitalise those who’ve been at it a little longer.

The Blaugust Discord is still available to join in, year-round!


Gamer, reader, writer, husband and father of two boys. Former WoW and Gaming blogger, making a return to the fold to share my love of all things looty.

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