Nobody does words any more: ask newspapers with dwindling circulations, forced to move online. Books don’t have a smell, you recharge them. Except, you and I both know the future isn’t all shiny suits and electronic everything. Streamers may believe they have the future of Gaming sewn up, but actually there’s an awful lot of words out here they miss, remarkably overlooking vast swathes of potentially fertile source material.
Part of my remit in the months following my return from the States was to expand my mind and outlook on ‘fringe’ sources of game information. That means walking into places that I find quite intimidating as an over-forty, including Reddit, SnapChat and Tumblr. I decided on Reddit first because of the particular relevance it has to my main gaming focus at present, and this week I presented myself with a challenge. Work out how to use Reddit properly. By that I don’t mean bend it to my will as a marketing tool, because if you walk into anywhere with the plan that’s what you’ll do, your arse is going to be handed to you on a plate. More importantly, it actually goes against what Reddit is best at, which is giving people a chance to talk first before they make a point.
I never actually realised the significance of the platform until this week, that actually this form of discussion is just as important for the people using the place as the same topics would be anywhere else. It’s no less relevant because all the people I know don’t use it, and actually the insight is something I’m being foolish to actively ignore. Yes, it has it’s downsides and areas of pure evil, but actually so does Twitter, or Facebook or indeed anywhere else where people can congregate socially without leaving their keyboard. Somewhere in the last year or so I’ve forgotten about what sharing actually means in Social media terms. You do actually have to hand over a part of yourself, like it or not.
That means this week I started posting about a subject I feel I know a lot about. I think I can cope with Reddit now, understanding the processes involved (10/1 ratio of participation to self promotion.) Mostly, I now am forced to admit I went into the exercise on previous occasions completely the wrong way, and therefore only have myself to blame as a result. This is not a place where normal rules apply and actually, I’m perfectly fine with this. In fact, I feel no need to share right now, and am happy to just sit and listen. I’ve probably learnt more in the last five days in terms of what makes people still play the game I’m writing about than I have in the last three months elsewhere.
Every day really is a School Day.