Levels of Concern

This applies to gaming as well. It is occasionally helpful to remember that most people just don’t care all that much. In increasing order of “you really don’t represent the average player,” we have people who read the forums, [people who post regularly on the forums, people who read the blogs,] and people who write gaming blogs. (I’m not sure of the ordering of those middle two.) You are odd in Western society if you spend 10+ hours a week pretending to kill pigs as an imaginary elf or orc. You are odd within that minority if you spend additional hours reading commentary on imaginary pig slaughter.

You and your friends are weirder than you think, even after taking into account the fact that you and your friends are weirder than you think.

: Zubon

14 thoughts on “Levels of Concern”

  1. True dat. Perspective can be very helpful in life, work, education and hobby – in individual cases of the above and as they compare to each other and your life.

    Maybe it helps that I have a Psychiatrist as a friend? Nah. He’s weird, too. :P

  2. If spending additional hours reading commentary on imaginary pig slaughter makes you odder, and writing that commentary odder still, how odd does it make you to write meta-commetary about the oddness of reading and writing commentary on imaginary pig slaughter? And then what about me commenting on the meta-commentary?

  3. Weirder than people who build models of ships in glass jars? Weirder than sports fans who neither own the team nor profit from wins and losses? Weirder than poets or musicians or porn stars? Weirder than people who jump out of airplanes or who run marathons that killed the first person who did it?

    You’re going to need to be a bit more specific…

    1. I see the point you’re trying to make there but, in modern American society, yes. You are weirder than those people.

      Maybe not the ship-in-a-jar folks.

  4. The figure that always used to be trotted out was 1:9:90. From the population of a given MMO for every person posting on the official forum there were nine people reading the post and 90 who didn’t even know the game had a forum. From my personal experience within MMOs I think that would be generous. I’ve barely ever met anyone inside a game who’d ever even visited that game’s forum. Most never even visited their own guild’s forum, in the rare cases where the guild actually had one.

    In terms of how “weird” the behavior is to people outside the hobby, it probably depends on your peer group. I work in a large high-street bookshop. Having hobbies involving the creative arts into which you put more time and effort than you do into your job is normative behavior. People I work with know that I game and that I blog about it and it’s largely seen as appropriate, comprehensible behavior.

    What would mark me out as weird among my work colleaugues would be if I claimed to go home from work each evening and sit watching television.

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