This came up again today, so let me point out what is happening with the difference between game blogging culture and “real writer” culture. Game bloggers are all amateurs that publish things on the side for fun. If they see something awesome, they throw a blog post up about it, talk about why it’s awesome, what their experience is, and then maybe add something to it… and that will often have a direct application to an rpg session. I call that “continuing the conversation.” Meanwhile in the “real writer” set, getting people to do that is like pulling teeth. They can certainly see the value of a Larry Correia book bomb action. I’d like to say that they don’t do anything unless it has a direct, noticeable impact on sales… but they are generally crap at marketing themselves, so it’s not just that. Now, there are exceptions to that… but the ones that come to mind have surprisingly popular blogs or podcasts. I’ve seen people blame this on age, but that’s not the only driving factor here.
Would you like to increase the quality and volume of discussion on a particular topic on the internet?
Well hey, I’ll tell you what to do. Find the people that are active in it, comment on their posts, follow them on social media, signal boost their stuff frequently, buy their stuff, and then leave reviews on their Amazon product pages. One person doing that can create a scene. Ten people doing that can create a movement.
Everything you read today is saturated with nihilism and hopelessness. There’s a reason for that. Garbage storytelling is engineered specifically de-moralize us, to make you feel like nothing you do matters. But I’ll tell you a secret: None of it is true. In fact the opposite is true. Everything you do matters. And a large number of small acts whose only purpose is to energize and raise the morale of people that you admire and that you want to see succeed?
That is a very potent force that should not be underestimated.
I recently pointed out that if you didn’t get to the point where you wanted to walk out of SF&F in the past 40 years… then you’re not normal. Because most people walked when it stopped serving its intended purpose.
Legendary game designer Lewis Pulsipher responded with this:
“Intended purpose”? Whose intention was that? The “good ol stuff” didn’t disappear, it was just much less noticeable even as some people kept writing it.
I have to beg to differ there.
Writers were driven out of the marketplace for ideological reasons. Walk into a Barnes & Noble and it just feels stale. It’s very easy to go in and out without seeing anything of interest. That’s a policy. A brief survey of contemporary film will yield a checklist of things that are simply not done anymore. That checklist “don’ts” is basically a list of requirements when you look at what was typical in the pre-1940s pulps. And the items on the list are what the audience of that incredibly competitive and wide-open marketplace showed up for. Shut them down and they walk. Fiction became post-Christian in the 40s. Publishing became saturated with women and leftists in the 80s. And in this century, it became just another component of the narrative machine.
People are sick to the back teeth with this stuff. It’s past time for a revolution.
A Julia Galef has written a short piece in response to the now-infamous Google Memo. She states that the claim that there are differences between the sexes “seems plausibly true. ” But “not obviously true.”
Now I see that she is going out of her way to be evenhanded and rational here. And yes, it’s quite a contrast to the hysterics of the blue haired androgynous types on Twitter. But think about what kind of deliberate brain damage it would take to make someone pretend that we just might get half a shred of a hint of a notion of what the truth on this is if only we could maybe get some really smart people to look into this and maybe publish a few studies on the topic.
Yes, there a genuine reason why men typically have more of an interest in computer programming than women. The same is true of auto mechanics, historical miniatures wargaming, and football. This is not rocket science. In fact, you have to deny the sum total of biology and observed reality in order to pretend like this is at all hard to articulate, comprehend, and/or demonstrate. The idea that the sexes are functionally interchangeable is ludicrous. It’s a point of dogma, not a scientifically provable claim. Yes, talking about this openly is against peoples’ religion, but that is not normal. Not in any culture that intends to perpetuate itself.
You know this is the case. Everyone behaves as if there are significant, demonstrable differences between the overall interests of the sexes every single day. Here’s just one example of a company who’s business depends on hard, repeatable facts on this area: