If you could now please turn your attention to the following picture:
This my friends, is a miniature bamboo. Bamboo plants, again if you were not aware, are very hardy specimens.
For a long time, this bamboo was healthy and thriving, and loving life. Then all of a sudden, it just started dying. For no apparent reason. Try as I might, I cannot get it back to life. (Seriously though, if anyone has any ideas please let me know, I love this plant).
This bamboo plant is The 9th Age. Well, no, actually it's just a bamboo plant.
But it's current state is my observation coupled with opinion of where things stand.
Before you turn away, before you starting slamming that keyboard with angry comments, and before you tie me to the back of your undead chariot and drag me through the dirt, please take a moment to continue to read, and understand that this is NOT a rant. This is NOT a venom surge of poison aimed at the community. I just hope that this is the water of life we need.
I spoke recently to a close friend. This (you know who you are) person's thoughts on the gaming community, and wisdom on life, I hold more highly then most (No, I am not about to go build a golden idol of him and bow to it, fuck, what did you think this is, a cult or something?????)
He said something to me along the lines of this:
"T9A in NZ is sitting on the very unpleasant edge of a cliff. It would not take much for it to topple over. May it be growth in the AoS community, or KoW just pulling their socks up a little bit. Either, will be the balance change that would push T9A off into oblivion"Not exactly what he said, but you get the point. And he is right.
We have seen little growth. Maybe a new player into the scene every 2-3 months. And no I am not just talking about in my own little scene. I am talking about the community as a whole. No I am not just talking about attending tournaments (do not get me started on that issue), but from watching not just the interaction online of NZ players, but how many of them decide just to press the goddamn "Join" button on the Facebook Group to be apart of the main social platform for the game in this country.
And guess whose fault it is? No, its not the trolls in the forums spreading their poison. No, it is not the Executive Board who blatantly disagrees with every who puts up a post on the forum with even constructive criticism.
The blame, is yours.
Well, its just as much mine, but today I want to play the blame game.
You stopped watering the plant.
I have watched so much as people in the community put up their hands saying I want to do this. And then never do. Or start to, and just let it fall flat. Or people in the community who have the ability to do things to grow the community, but just chose not to.
Guess what people, wake up. Its not the T9A Exec board's responsibility to come off their high horses and do it. It isn't the job of your club board to do so. Hell its not just the responsibility of the leaders in your gaming community to do so.
If you want to see the game grow, If you want to see more players, new players, then just water that goddamn plant. Take the finger out of the arse and do something.
And yes, I know right now you are probably sitting behind the screen thinking "thank God he isn't talking about me". Well guess what, you are absolutely wrong.
We took it upon ourselves to become part of this community and to play this game (and no, I do not want any "Its just a game, don't take it so seriously" comments, because that's just an excuse for lack of motivation). We don't get something without giving something. That doesn't happen. That is not how life works.
We got a community, and it is our responsibility to continue to put back into that community. It's our obligation. Not just the higher powers role, but everyone's.
You don't just get a plant, put it in a pot, and expect it to live into eternity. You have to give back to it, to feed it and grow it. Unless you got a fake plant, in which case I openly judge you for it.
I can tell you openly and honestly, that if we do not start seeing changing in the motivation of this community, we will wither and die. THIS IS FACT.
I also know for myself in person, I cannot keep carrying the torch when so few others are even willing to raise a hand.
And now comes my favourite excuses: I work. I have a family. I have study.
Okay, sarcasm and shit aside, I actually respect that far more then you are currently thinking I do.
But it doesn't take much........bring out the trumpets please.....
I work 40-50 hours a week for an employer. I own and run a business that takes up another 30-40 hours of my week. I have family and friends too.
But I am still here, running with an ever dying torch, because it is just as much my responsibility as everyone elses, to grow this community.
Now that thought is running through your mind as you angrilly reach for the keyboard to write.."You want to grow the community yet you write such a negative and harsh blogpost about the community we already have, you fucking asshole"....
Yes. And you are right. I am a fucking asshole. And thank God for that. Why? Because someone has to be. Someone has to be willing to say what needs to be said in the interest of progression. Otherwise we may as well just be the T9A Exec Board walking around with blindfolds on and washing our hands clean of it all.
I want to see a continually growing and thriving bamboo plant on my bookcase. And I want to see our community do the same. But I am really, really out of ideas anymore people on how to push you to build this community. I really am. And it's the appalling lackluster of people in the community, that is slowly taking away my love for this community.
Warbanner is in a few weeks, and I cannot wait.
Invitationals are following, should I get there.
I have demos I am working on getting booked in at my local hobby store over the next little while, which will be awesome fun.
And I am still sitting on the fence regarding my application to ETC18 (for other reasons).
There, I even gave you a mini hobby update....I am good at multitasking.
Well guys, if you read all the way through this and didn't get distracted by a shiny tumbleweed passing your window halfway through, I thank you. Regardless of whether it was because you saw reason in my words, or wanted to have the full capability to destroy me from behind a screen, I thankyou.
And I do humbly thank the few in our community who have taken up torches with me to try and drive this, without you, none of what we have accomplished these past two years would have happened, and you have done an amazing job. I truely look forward to working with you in the future, well, that is if you still talk to me after reading this blog post and don't ban me from your dinner table.
I hope, in my own way, I have hit home to at least one person out there. If not, then thankyou to the Internet for giving me a place to leaving writing on the wall that no one pays attention to until it is too late.
And with that,