Where Have All the Cowboys Gone?

The most ancient and wise Wilhelm Arcturus says a lot of words on the apparent status of the MMO blogging community. He seems to wonder if the golden age of MMO blogging, where the ‘sphere was a thing, is fading or gone. Things used to be so good… then, he says.

Wilhelm references the New Blogger Initiative, and I want to reference my post on the subject as well. A few people got it, but using a cowboy as a metaphor for a veteran blogger of the MMO ‘sphere speaks on many levels.  Maybe Wilhelm got it too since he spoke of not getting worked up at the latest drama rodeo.

Blogging in MMO’s is an endless trail, and the trail is littered with bones of fallen games and comrades. There are also those of us who left, seemingly for another planet of work. The big leagues. I like to think that sometimes they shed a tear for the old and dusty. It feels like the trail used to be a monumental adventure then. The fervor surrounding the Warhammer Online herd is constantly pegged as the high point.

I find that right now my immediate posse is Bhagpuss and Jeromai, mostly because we are traveling along with the Guild Wars 2 herd. Syp sometimes joins us, but mostly he has bigger fish to fry. All the rest, well I read ’em. Sometimes all I have though is the barest of nods towards their passions and laments. I miss a few, but the land is too dry to waste water on tears.

The people of Reddit, well I find that I am quite liking their town. Many of them are like bloggers. Cowboys without a proper horse. Maybe it’s a soapbox with wheels, but in town they have plenty that will stop and listen. The Feedly eye-in-the-sky transmits my full tales to those around the world. It doesn’t give me much in return, but I don’t mind… that’s how I get most of my news on the trail. I doubt I would be checking out Mr. Wilhelm’s thoughts otherwise. Google Plus (or whatever it’s called now) is supposedly a thing too, where perhaps a bunch of cowboys and cowgirls retired to talk around their pool-sized water cooler.

Sometimes we ride together. Sometimes we fight. Sometimes we herd the newest genetically-modified cow-thing, and other times we’re prodding along Ol’ Bessy who is too tough and dry for most. The thing is, our trail is our own. That’s why we continue to blog. That’s why we’ll be riding a long time.

There is no prairie sun. There is no happy ending. There is only the trail. May it take us all.


10 thoughts on “Where Have All the Cowboys Gone?”

  1. Honored to be riding with you. You might see me taking to the side-trails more often as the months wear on but I’m sure there’ll be many times we find ourselves riding side by side again.

    1. So tempted to try for parody lyrics now.
      “You can’t take the ‘sphere from me” doesn’t quite work, although has potential for a cyberspace re-imagining of Firefly haha.

  2. Blogs were one of the main mediums where anyone could offer their thoughts on a game.

    I think the shift has already moved to YouTube (recorded) or Twitch (streaming) – both platforms readily solved the hosting problems. Thinking about this, consuming news via watching the evening TV has always been quicker and easier than reading the newspaper in the morning.

    One could throw in whether there’s deep analysis in either platform vs blogging, or whether it’s just the junk-food of consumption, but there had been plenty of rubbish blog posts as well as insightful YouTube pleas.

    I will personally continue to blog, even if it’s a dying breed, perhaps I just don’t like to hear my own voice.

    1. I see things similar to Jeromai below. It takes mere minutes to read most blog posts. It can take much longer to watch YT video, and a lot of times it feels like the vidblogger is just playing for time.

      Not only that, but let’s say a vidblogger makes one about the latest GW2 update. How many other vidblogs would I want to watch on the exact same update… yes show me that same thing again.

      Now this problem exists in word blogging too, BUT well written blogs key in each paragraph on what they are going to discuss. If I am sick of re-reading about X, I see the next para or two is going to talk about X, and skip it.

      1. Another issue with video is that unlike reading, you are actually hearing someones voice. Many voices I don’t want to hear, and it seems youtube draws a higher percentage of ‘painful to listen to’ types.

        Similar, being funny and failing in text is one thing, trying to be ‘cool’ and ‘funny’ in video is another, and again most on youtube are neither.

  3. “This cowboy song…is all I know…”

    Perhaps we are a dying breed as the new generation passes us by, but hey, I take 5 minutes to read a blog post (maybe 10, if it’s a wall of text like mine) and 20 minutes to watch a Youtube video. Always will be a niche for that.

    And we’re all narcissists who like to read our own words in digital print anyhow. :) What I find most complimentary is that there are -others- who care to read the same thing. Or maybe those are just the spam bots…

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