Wednesday, July 17, 2013

The End of MMO Blogging?

Always fond of navel-gazing, the blogosphere has been discussing why there are so few new MMO bloggers these days. I see a lot of calls to make a better community. However, I don't really see why new bloggers need so much hand-holding. The previous generation managed just fine without artificial "communities", just by linking and writing steadily.

Here's my theory:

The current generation of bloggers grew up and moved on to more important things. The next generation which should have replaced them is functionally illiterate.

I am exaggerating for comedic effect. But I do think that there is a difference between the previous generation (late 20s, 30s) and younger people. A generational gap between people who came to the internet after elementary school, and those who have grown up with the internet. Young people seem to have real problems with long form writing.

I don't know why this is. Perhaps it was the experience of actually writing material out by hand. Or perhaps that before the internet, one had to read books, so there was an assumption that written material should be longer than 140 characters.

To look at it another way, the teenage experience of my generation's internet was Livejournal, where people composed long angsty screeds. The current teenage experience is a picture with a caption that is marginally funny.

That's my theory. MMO blogging is dying because the young players--who should be the new bloggers--simply don't write content of moderate length anymore.


  1. In defense of the young people who aren't blogging, there is a difference between they "simply don't write content of moderate length anymore" and that they CAN'T write content of moderate length anymore.

  2. I think you also need to take into account the fact that there are a lot of people vlogging about MMOs, and that vlogging in general is something which is much bigger with the younger generation, and which, unlike blogging, shows no signs of slowing down; there are more people starting new vlogs on youtube every day.

    Video is also a format which lends itself well to talking about games, given the ability to talk over frapsed or live-streamed gaming. Probably a large part of why there are fewer new bloggers is because vlogging comes more naturally to the younger generation of gamers.

  3. Well, there could also be the problem where they have to spend a lot of time at work writing large amounts of documentation. I know that as my writing time at the job has increased, my output has dwindled....

  4. I remain unconvinced the literati would hold this troll post up as an example of writing of high calibre.

  5. Somewhere Russian novelists are rolling over in their graves at blogging being equated with "long form writing."

    This is clearly good news. Can you imagine what they write? /shudder

  6. Saying that they're "functionally illiterate" does kind of sound like an old person shouting "get off my lawn" :)

    I think Vespers is right - the younger generation is much more into vlogging than blogging. I don't think it's something we can berate them for, it's just how things go - technology is changing. Perhaps we need to change with it :)

  7. @Christian, the line between "can't" and "don't" is fuzzy. Writing is like a muscle. If it is not exercised, it atrophies. If a generation does not write regularly, it is a lot closer to the "can't write" side than is comfortable.

    @Electrolux, it's not really about quality. That was the point of Livejournal. 99% of everything posted to Livejournal was terrible. Heck, most of my writing is pretty terrible. It's about the act of writing, choosing to write, even if it is of poor quality.

    @Hagu, On the other hand, no one writes an entire novel in a day. I've probably written a novel's worth of material in the last few years. I think that a regular blogger's total output would compare favourably to a novelist.

  8. The folks who'd be blogging today are instead livecasting their gaming sessions or making YouTube videos. There's an enormous amount of detailed video content out there, something us oldsters absolutely couldn't do a few years ago.