Friday, November 8, 2019

The Old Man's Game

I'm beginning to think that blogging is an old man's game.

Yeah, there's probably some that disagree, and I may well be wrong. Certainly I've read plenty of blogs from "young whippersnappers" that are far more polished, commercialized, and frequented (by readers) than my own. But I'm not really talking about the "industry" of making money off the internet's social sharing platforms. Hell, it may be that I'm only targeting my own niche part of the blog-o-sphere (i.e. the "blog about the tabletop RPG" niche) with my expression...and maybe only with regard to the way I (personally) use my blog. Which is for the following:

- Sharing my thoughts, musings, and reflections on the subject matter at hand (and personal experiences that somehow/somewhat relate).
- Recording those same thoughts, musings, and reflections for my own edification and possible transformation (or, at least, later reflection).

However, while anyone (young or old) could blog for those same reasons, the older you are, the more experience you're going to have to draw from...which is quite necessary to sustain a blog over the long haul (at least, as far as as sustaining blogs that will hold my interest). Sure there are exceptions to this but in general older is better.

Probably I'm just an opinionated jerk, but the things that delight and inspire younger folks often fail to amuse me. But then, youngsters' blogs tend to be short-lived anyway: what kind of 20 year old spends a decade blogging about a game or hobby they've only engaged in for a handful of years?

Sorry...I suppose I'm having "one of those mornings" that middle aged dudes have (from time to time). Tell you what: I'm going to step away from the laptop for a bit and see if I can come back with  something, if not completely constructive, at least worth a discussion (or heated argument). Something to mull over while waiting for the weekend's festivities to begin.



  1. Anything that involves writing or reading seems to be outside the realm of interests of the kids I know.
    There are definitely exceptions, but the kids I know who feel they need/want to speak to the world tend to do it with videos... or very short quips they can toss out through their phones.

    1. @ Knob:

      There ARE kids who want more, that's for sure. And there are middle aged dudes (and dudettes) who want less...less reading, less thinking, less anything that doesn't apply to their immediate needs and desires for easy entertainment.

      I don't think it's today's 20-somethings that were the impetus for the hundreds of TV channels that grace my cable box.

    2. Oh, when I referenced 'kids' I was thinking 12 and 13 yr olds I know from school.
      Some of them make Youtube videos, but otherwise is just chats between friends.

  2. Fr. Freeman has a rule concerning his blog: only write about things that you know. It's a good rule. Far too many blogs simply comment on things they like or don't like, which is very different from presenting things one knows. I highly recommend his blog, if you are interested. (

  3. It's not that I don't have more to say about the game or other topics, it's just that I'm trying to only publish a post when I have something definitive to show, a houserule, or analysis, or map or something. I think any opinions I might spout off the top of my head have already been said in a more eloquent manner on someone else's blog(like yours or alexis's). Though my opinions tend to differ drastically from my peers because I've been literally playing the game my whole life and I started with BECMI, when most people my age started with 3e.

    When I started my blog I did intend to post more about history and cartographic topics in addition to RPG stuff. Maybe I should post more about history or philosophy books I'm reading or cartographic news and/or techniques.

    1. @ Lance:

      Your blog is one example of why this post may be complete trash. You *do* bring an interesting perspective to the table, because of your different experience and the way you have enhanced it by sharing your father's perspective and experience, and the impact his gaming had on you and your own development as a gamer.

      Plus cartography is my own Achilles Heel (I was just going to write about this last week) would be very difficult for ME to do what YOU do.
      : )

  4. I'm in my twenties, but D&D's been with me for most of my life - I learned about it around age 7, obsessed over the books until I finally found a group to play with at age 12: these were grognards in their 50s and 60s. I sticked around for about five years with them, then had to move for studies and tried to share what I had learned with them as finding other players my age proved difficult. Fact is though, not only did I play for more than a decade, but with the game being a part of my life so early on, it's been formative and is still being an essential part of how I build my own identity and experiences through life.
    I'm not big on modern social media - I don't own a smartphone, I actually use my computer the old way (no frigging apps or whatever), I only ever played old-school games so I'm probably one of the few young people out there who did not have to "go back" to B/X or OD&D to figure out it was great, and so on.

    And I love blogs like yours - not fancy popular younguns, but the old guard that keeps a very particular kind of experience of the game aloft by sharing thoughts, memories and perspective. Reminds me of the people who taught me the game and helped me grow as a an individual, as I was a troubled child and would probably not be there today if not for meeting them and sharing this passion together.

    I'll be waiting for your triumphant return once the grumpy weariness passes. Take care!

    1. @ WizLiz:

      Thank you for the kind words. Not sure if the "grumpy weariness" will ever does seem to deepen as I get older. But my mood definitely exhibits cycles.

      There are definitely exceptions to what I've written in my post (even assuming there's truth in it), both in terms of interests and life experiences. 7+ billion people in the world, how could there not be?

      I would guess, though, that with (hopefully) many scores of years stretching out before you, you will have a multitude of new life experiences that will deepen and enhance your perspective...both on gaming and life. How could you not? Just living, we have a chance to learn something new on a daily basis, and the ability (as humans) to integrate those things into our psyches, growing and transforming.

      I am glad you enjoy reading my blog, and I am glad that you enjoy older (better, IMO) versions of D&D. Hopefully, you'll give yourself the permission to not hold yourself to the life (and perspective) of a grognard-y curmudgeon for the next 20 years. Plenty of time to do that after you hit age 50.
      ; )

    2. Embrace your age. It is more wonderful than you can guess at.

  5. I decided to set up my blog for the exact same two reasons you mention. Recording your thoughts and later reflecting on them can be helpful, amongst others, in better organising your mind. I'd argue though that there are quite a few variables for one to steadily maintain a blog (age being one of them, as it offers you plenty of experience to share, like you say).

    The folk you refer to might lack real interest or passion, or may blog for a profit (of any type), as has been the trend for online activity in the 2010s. Or their subject matter is well-defined and finite. I believe this behaviour is universal between all ages.

    1. @ zontox:

      Yeah, the more I think about it, the less I like my whole hypothesis.