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Interesting view on the use of the word 'Community' (geared towards gaming)

I've always been hesitant to call myself a member of any community, if only because invariably, there are members of that community that share views that are different than my own, and calling myself a member paints me with that same brush. There are many views- both good and bad- wrapped up in any conglomeration of people. And when you get to online identities, you have to deal with the fact that you might not be looking at someone's true face.

I play Video and Computer Games but am not a member of that community. I play RPGs and Board Games but am not a member of that community. I'm into Mechanical Keyboards but am not a member of that community. And so on, and so on. Dealing with people on an individual level has always been my go to. Not to make assumptions for the good nor the bad.

This blog post summarizes a lot of thoughts that I'd had more eloquently than I could ever have written them.

#Gaming #TTRPGs #VideoGames #MechanicalKeyboards #Community

On the Uses and Abuses of 'Community'
For a long time, even before the "Zaklash", I was thinking about writing a post about the so-called "OSR Community" and my suspicions about that way of thinking about online groupings. But somebody has pre-empted me and so it seems like a good time to marshal my half-formed thoughts on the matter.

"Community" is a much-abused term in the English language. There are two nefarious ways in which it is used, both of them related.

The first is when somebody uses the word to speak about large groups of people in an abstract, monolithic way which does not remotely reflect the variety of viewpoints within them: thus you will hear people talking about "the Polish community", "communities in North Yorkshire", "the black community", the "trans community", "working-class communities", and so on and what those "communities" are purported to think. (The black community thinks [X], communities in North Yorkshire are opposed to [Y], working-class communities are worried about [Z], and so on: well, okay, which black people, which people in North Yorkshire, which working-class people, and are they all of the same mind?)

The second is when it is used by somebody who is setting him- or herself up as being an authoritative voice for speaking on behalf of a group that he or she belongs to - usually on the basis of nothing other than a trumped-up ego. Thus you will encounter people in the public sphere who like to say that they speak on behalf of the Polish community, the trans community, working-class communities, or whatever, without any sort of legitimate justification for doing so.

You saw both of the abuses of that poor benighted word during the "Zaklash" thing, I am sure. I don't think there's much to be gained from naming names, but if you were following the blogs, reddit and G+ during that time you will I am sure have noticed that the air was thick with hot air about what "our community thinks" (as though an amorphous grouping of tens of thousands of people can "think" any one thing) and also will have observed a large number of people coming out of the woodwork to set themselves up as community spokespeople ("Here I am to tell everybody what we all think").

This is all completely awful and stupid. Let's think about "community" seriously.

Where I live, there is a community. I know my neighbours in the eight or so houses that are within shouting distance. We're not great mates or anything, but we say "hello" to each other, take each other's bins out each Tuesday morning to be collected, and watch out for each other. Ian, an old gent who lives opposite, occasionally pops over to warn us that he's heard about a burglary in the next street over or whatever. Now and again we'll chat about politics - he used to be a local councilor. Another neighbour is a guitarist and sometimes we'll swap CDs (yes, some people still do this!). There's a frail old widow who we all keep an eye on and help with gardening and the like. It's nice: there is what I would call an appropriate, common-sense level of interaction - we know each other, we interact where it would be helpful, but none of use gives a fuck if we happen to share different views and nobody pries. What's even better is that we're all pretty different. There are old people, young families, and middle-aged unmarried couples, all with our varying perspectives on life, and that makes it actually interesting to chat to them. Life is more richly textured having them around.

What are the characteristics of this community? First, we're grouped together by accident. Nobody chose his or her neighbours. We're neighbours because we happen to live near each other. Second, we "commune" in the sense that we help one another when it is needed and are available to each other for those purposes. Third, we do not universally "think" anything or much care what each other thinks, certainly not when it comes to politics. And fourth, we didn't come together for a purpose - we are I suppose what Michael Oakeshott would have called a "civil association", meaning that we share a sense of loyalty to each other and to certain (unwritten) rules of conduct - like not spying on each other and not insulting each other and making sure to say "hello" - but have no specific goal or objective other than rubbing along.

One good thing about real communities like this is that we all actually know who each other is and can interact physically. What this means is that if somebody from outside (a local politician or policeman or whatever) did actually want to find out what we "think", we could get together and ask each other and come up with a consensus view. We're not reliant on bogus spokespersons claiming to know what we think and putting words in our mouths.

Another good thing about real communities like this is that you don't get anonymous outsiders coming and going and claiming to be part of "the community" one second before disappearing, or claiming to be part of "the community" and then trashing its social norms. The community is what it is. You can only join it or leave it with difficulty and with an act of serious commitment.

The other good thing about real communities like this is that you can engage in corrective behaviour to a certain extent. Got a noisy neighbour? You can have a chat with the neighbour on the other side, go and see the offender, and ask him to get back in line. If he does, no hard feelings. If he doesn't, he gets shunned until he does. You don't want to idealise this, of course. If a gang of crack dealers moved into a house nearby and started running all-night parties, an external force like the police would have to get involved. Similarly, one spouse might be physically abusing the other behind closed doors, unbeknownst to the rest of us. But to a significant extent the community is self-managing in a humane and forgiving way; somebody does something to push the tolerance of the rest of the group, and they get politely, gently brought back into compliance with the social norms.

Online "communities" lack most of these features and shouldn't be mistaken for the real thing. In particular, they shouldn't be seen as a substitute for being part of a real-world physical community - the kind of thing that makes your life richer through exposure to people from different age groups, backgrounds and walks of life, and which gives you a sense of having something useful to contribute (even if it's just taking the old widow's dog for a walk).

Even more importantly, they shouldn't be seen as having the consensual characteristics of the relatively small, physical, closed community that exists in a street or village square or whatever. No one person or even group of people can speak for an online community because nobody knows who is in that "community" or what they all think, and there is no way to accurately find out. I can ask my neighbours what they think and represent the diversity of their views to an outsider if required to do so. I cannot do the same for readers of this blog and I most certainly cannot do so for the so-called "community" surrounding the OSR. And if I ever do appear to be trying to do this, you are well within my rights to tell me to go fuck myself, because nobody appointed me to do it.
In community, diversity is a strength. Members of a community are not all like minded. It would be boring if they were! ;) Game Jams

So, has started up its own discussion with the G+ diaspora that's started boards everywhere. And I've used it before, but really only for computer games, though I've dipped my foot into the ttrpg waters there before. I never had the time for a programming game jam, but am thinking of signing up for one.

Anyone have any experience with them? I never realized that there were so many and that they were so frequent!

#TTRPGs #GameDesign
#TTRPGs #GameDesign ttrpgs gamedesign

From the bits I've picked up, the culture at itch seems to be "pay what you can, even if it's free", as opposed to "pay what you want, otherwise it's free". So for small games, that's a pretty good model.

The game jam set up gives you a marketing tag and fellow creators who will get excited about your work and hype it, so it's maybe like communal marketing? However, I don't know what the long tail looks like.

@Andrew Ragland The model is going to change whether folks in your position want it to or not, so what you should be thinking about is how to adapt and grow. I hope that you will be able to do that and succeed, because while I respect you I would never hold back from something like this simply because it might be a threat to your business.

I wouldn't expect you to. The trick here is to not be a buggy whip maker insisting that the business model be protected as people switch from horse-drawn carriages to steam and electric cars (petrol came later), but instead be a saddlemaker who switches to making mail bags for railroad delivery of the post (to use a real-world Victorian example).


How to avoid getting into fights, and how to disagree

With the influx of people from G+ into the Fediverse, as more exchange of ideas occur, it is inevitable that there will be disagreements with those that have counterviews. These are some tools that may be of use when such a thing occurs. As they were shared with me on another platform, I present them for consideration.

Very concise and to the point:
How to Criticize with Kindness: Philosopher Daniel Dennett on the Four Steps to Arguing Intelligently
More discussion of tools:
How to disagree with people online

How to avoid getting into unnecessary online fights

#Conflict #Discussion #Argument #SocialMedia
#Conflict #Discussion #Argument #SocialMedia argument conflict discussion socialmedia

On a more serious note:

It's pretty hard keeping personal sentiments out of debates. Yet necessary to as much a degree, as we can muster and certainly a good thing for any discussion worth to be called one.

Thank you for posting this, @Chuck Dee!

Which thread were you looking for?


Apple Isn't Paying Artists Who Perform at Its Stores

To be fair, the artists agreed to the terms. But the fact that Apple couldn't come up off some of that cash, and didn't even give merchandise that would at least compensate them fairly in terms of value sort of rankles.

#Music #Art #Compensation #Apple
#Music #Art #Compensation #Apple apple art compensation music
meh, meh la bleh


Australian Lawmaker Is Egged After Comments Blaming New Zealand Attack On Immigration

A 17-year-old smashed an egg on the head of the controversial Australian senator who made comments blaming the mass shooting in New Zealand on Muslim immigration.

#news #npr #publicradio #usa
posted by pod_feeder_v2


Two Gaming Communities on Friendica

[email protected]

[email protected]

On Diaspora* it's a bit dicey, and people are experimenting to see how they federate, but if you join, you can definitely see the posts and I just tested and comments seem to federate back and forth.

#Gaming #Tabletoprpg #TTRPG #Gamers #boardgames

@Chuck Dee I'm sub'ed to a couple, but I haven't given Nomadic Identity a try yet. I just don't see why they might conflict.

@Nathan V - I think it's a function of whether the instance supports nomadic identity or not. If it does, it won't federate correctly other than over the protocol HubZilla uses.

As the maintainer of @Board Games Forum thanks for the plug! I've been trying to send out an "open forum" post every now and then, since the majority of the subscribers aren't on Friendica (and therefore can't post) but I'm still settling into the new job, and most of my day is spent pair programming, so it's hard to sneak in a visit to the site. ;-)

@Trevor Schadt I haven't successfully posted from Diaspora, but comments on posts seem to federate. I'd love if you could post from Diaspora, but commenting and receiving posts is better than nothing I suppose.

@Chuck Dee I've run some tests with a couple of different users for a couple of different forums (including another one that I created) and it looks like posting to a F'ca forum from a D* account just isn't a thing.

@Trevor Schadt - Unfortunately, I think you're right.

The cast of Avengers: Infinity War recreate the Brady Bunch theme...Marvel style.

YouTube: Avengers: Infinity War Cast Sings "The Marvel Bunch" (The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon)


Friendica Directory

This is really COOL! It'll help you find some of those G+ pals who have dispersed widely in recent days. Thanks to @Doc Edward Morbius and @Shelenn Ayres!


Saving of public Google+ content at the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine by the Archive Team has begun

TL;DR: Most public Google+ content should live on at the Internet Archive thanks to a fanatical bunch of volunteers, and you can help.

Rather more at the link 😃

#GooglePlus #GPlusExodus #GPlusRefugees #PlexodusReddit #InternetArchive #WaybackMachine #ArchiveTeam #GoogleMinus

I... don't have words.

Man's second wife murders the third wife with the help of the first wife's daughter and boyfriend. : nottheonion



Cognitive Dissonance indeed

Some things... you just don't want to examine too closely. But... wow. #DragonballZ #Anime


Unvaccinated Boy, 6, Spent 57 Days In The Hospital With Tetanus

It was Oregon's first pediatric case in more than 30 years. "It was difficult to take care of him, to watch him suffer," says Judith Guzman-Cottrill, an infectious-disease specialist.

#news #npr #publicradio #usa
posted by pod_feeder_v2

#AntiVaxers #Medicine


About three-quarters (74%) of Americans have read a book in the past 12 months in any format

I just can't fathom not reading a book in a whole year. But apparently 1 in 4 Americans disagree with that sentiment.
Nearly one-in-five Americans now listen to audiobooks

Pew Research Center: Print books still much more popular than e-books, audiobooks (Andrew Perrin)

#Reading #Books

In print, my reading is mostly role-playing games and development type books. My novels are all e-books these days. I love doing the Goodreads reading challenge, to track my reading through the year, with a target of at least 2 novels a month. I just can't imagine not reading.

Reading is a luxury. It implies time and attention that is hard to get in modern life. That other quarter may have read enough news articles or tip guides for their games or whatnot to equal several books. (I read over 150 unique books last year, ("unique" meaning not a re-read) and all my partner had to say was I was slowing down... but it does mean time away from my computer, the phone, television, whatnot. Might be why I'm so ignorant of pop culture. [grin])

@MT Fierce - I don't view reading as a luxury. It's definitely something that I have to do for my job, which would imply that it's a necessity for me. There are several other professions where it's the same. And even otherwise, there's time and attention that you can prioritize from other activities (TV, Movies, etc) that can be applied to the activity. It's a matter of what you view to be important.

thank you, youtube suggestion algorithm.



I shouldn't be surprised by now...

... but somehow I am.
Colorado cops detain black man at gunpoint for picking up trash: ‘This is my house — I live here’

Loud sigh.

"We look forward to Tim Apple’s productive conversations with Jeff Amazon, Marillyn Lockheed, and Marc Salesforce on future policy initiatives."

#tech #funny


#rpg #rpggames


10 Day Video Game Challenge - Day 5/10


The 10 Day Video Game Challenge. Every day, post an image from a video game that has impacted you without a single explanation. #10dayVideoGameChallenge #videogames

Day 5/10

My next step in programming- learning game design. I was going to enter a competition and win, but my dreams were dashed when my bookbag with my only copy was stolen. It was later dashed again when I actually got a job in the industry, and couldn't wait to get out.