It's been a pretty up and down month; I came back from a vacation that I needed a vacation from, and then I was laid off from my job two days ago. I'm taking it as a positive that I'm not as like, mentally out of it as I usually would be, but at the same time, I'm already feeling a bit more tired and mentally out of it.
But we endure.
It's been a while since I've written anything here, and I can't say that I've paid attention to esports a lot in the time since my last issue. However, there's been a couple things I've been working on, or thinking about:
Seeing joinDota announce their close today was pretty sad, mostly because it feels like a canary in the coal mine when it comes to a community in general. Especially with an esport heavily subsidized by a game's developer, it means that when that support stops, there's not going to be much for the community to go back to.
Whether a community doesn't feel it's worth it, or the people running it don't feel like they can justify their time, it means that the overall health of a community is suspect. I've seen a lot of community blogs, sites, meme pages, whatever, still just run on autopilot, and I guess that's better than nothing.
A death - and a death that doesn't feel extraordinary or particularly mourned - says a lot about the state of the ecosystem.
I've been reading a lot of Default Friend lately and something that hit me hard this week was reading the phrasing of "using the Internet as a tool" vs "using the Internet as the self." I think this does a really good job of explaining the difference in spirituality when it comes to creators, players, the audience, companies, etc.
Are people using the game or community as a tool, or are they using it as a way to express themselves? Are they maybe using it as a way of communicating a different identity? Are the people that are using the Internet as a tool aware of that difference in stakes?
Because like, we're seeing the consequences of that ignorance in how parasocial relationships are formed, and the greater change in Internet in culture in general. I've been having conversations with a lot of friends who were "would digitize yourself if you could", but are now looking at things like homesteading or just disappearing into the woods.
I think they realized that the Internet isn't a healthy place to have that expression of self anymore, or the people who are merely using at a tool are the people who are in charge. Why risk that, especially when the next steps of our lives (and how we’re going to get there) are becoming increasingly muddled?
This issue is a bit short, but I felt like I needed to break off some rust. I’m not feeling up to a verbal version at the moment, so patrons won’t be charged anything. If you’re up for helping me during a pretty unexpected period of joblessness, supporting there or here is appreciated.
Bye for now!