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!


Naithin

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.

2 Comments

Bhagpuss · August 22, 2023 at 9:57 pm

It was intentionally a bit of a tease but I also feel a little wary about putting people in boxes they may not find comfortable. Even though I very definitely wasn’t about to give any named examples, people will always wonder “Is that supposed to be me?”

One thing that’s been very apparent as this part of the blogosphere has expanded (Largely thanks to year after year of Blaugust and the New Blogger Initiative, I believe.) is that quite a few people use blogging for some kind of self-care. It feels a bit awkward to bounce off that for a bit of largely unearned recognition humor but it would be even less convincing if I tried to examine the value of such efforts “objectively”.

In the end I opted to get the response without taking the risk and your post suggests it worked!

The social blogger is very much a thing around here. I think it’s similar to but substantively different from the interactive blogger, who likes to leave comments and write posts that bounce off things other people have posted. You and I both do that but as you describe, you’ve also both organized and participated in what amount to social events – the online equivalent of games night or going out for a meal with friends. I never join in with those, largely because it feels like too much of a commitment.

Even among social bloggers, I think there’s another split between Organizers and Paricipants. I can think of several bloggers who routinely or habitually host events (Blaugust being only the most prominent.) and that seems to be a different behavior than just joining in. Then there are the “always in the kitchen at parties” folks who nominally participate but stand apart and the “faces at the window”, who acknowledge the event but don’t sign up…

And I’d better stop there or I’ll end up writing the post I said I was going to avoid writing, only in your comment section. It would be so easy to do though…

    Naithin · August 23, 2023 at 7:28 pm

    I think more or less people are rather understanding of the proclivity to put things (and people) in boxes on the internet, be it in the name of humour or otherwise.

    Nonetheless, I understand the concerns.

    Got real close to that post formulating here though. ;)

    From as far as you were willing to go — completely agree.

    Even as a participant, the events can be a fair commitment. The Civ VI game ran a year. The XCOM 2 game ran almost two (19 months) and saw a majority drop out, from 7 participants at the start to 3 by the end.

    Now, it’s possible part of that drop out was from people new the game feeling the increased pressure of the difficulty jumping so much between ‘turns’, because, at that point, 6 other missions had happened before it came back to you.

    Also to counterbalance the commitment element, it was a turn/post/play session once every several months. I suppose the big part of it was for how long that might continue.

    The Play Alongs were definitely much shorter in nature, but possibly more intensive in that it was a weekly post interval.

    So I suppose coming back in full circle, back to agreeing that they’re not exactly small things to take into an otherwise busy life.

    My main motivation for them has been that I rarely have more fun with blogging than when it’s with others.

    The best time of my blogging life from a pure joy perspective was working with Hannah/Jaedia waaay back long ago on her book blog.

    I would probably seriously consider hanging up the spurs here (or at least, dramatically reducing the presence) if a good offer to work alongside someone else came along.

    Hm.

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