It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!
This post may be better suited to a blog, I think, but I've given up on blogging... so it can be a discussion here instead ;D
I’m quite old now, or at least – at the ripe old age of 23 – I’m starting to feel old. I’m sure there are some 50-odd year olds reading this right now, scoffing at the notion of a whipper-snapper like myself feeling old. To you I say this: squint more, as there is no font size big enough for your addled eyes, and please bear with me.
I used to mock my parents for being so dismissive of the music I listened to when I was at school. Their attitude was one of unrelenting cynicism, often forgoing any actual consideration of the artistry involved in favour of a “things were much better in my day” stance on… well… pretty much everything I ever happened to put on. It wasn’t rare at all for my mother to protest albums such as OK Computer (Radiohead) and With Teeth (Nine Inch Nails) by drowning them out with the horrors of Chris Rea and Chris De Burgh (sometimes both at the same time). I used to think it was about the music, that she genuinely believed music was “better” in the 50s than it is now, and I even went so far as to consider that she may be right. Obviously I came to the conclusion that she wasn’t. Any true lover of music would hardly claim that music has become worse over time; even if manufactured pop is the flavour of the times, a bi-product of corporate-controlled artistry, there is still a wealth of truly revolutionary and inspiring music out there for people to discover. With that in mind, I never understood why my mother seemingly hated modern music with such passion, and it has always thoroughly confused me…
My generation happened to get a good deal compared to a lot of others. Where my mother’s generation had to struggle with getting their heads around things like transistor radios, basic sewage systems and abaci, we were the first generation to grow up with computers as personal accessories. We were the baby boomers of the home computer, and by extension the baby boomers of gaming. As if the deal wasn’t sweet enough, some fellow called Al Gore invented the Internet (Tim Burners-who?!). Suddenly the gaming world was connected in a way it had never been before, and being part of a guild or clan quickly become – for many of us – not just a thing we COULD do, but a thing we HAD to do. It was a necessary part of gaming in the 21st-and-a-half century.
For the last decade or so, a fair portion of my time has been spent trying to find a guild or clan on a per game basis. Over that time I’ve had the pleasure (and, sadly, the displeasure) of being part of a whole variety of different guilds and clans, with different social structures and ambitions: from hardcore to casual, PvP to raiding, friendly to… well… not so friendly. I’ve experienced perhaps the entire spectrum that gaming communities have to offer, and I’ve had more than enough chance to refine down a very specific set of criteria that the gaming community I’m looking for right now has to fill.
Any community that doesn’t conform to those expectations is summarily dismissed.
And so I now realise that my mother's reason for disliking my music was quite simple: after many years on this earth, many experiences, she has refined music down to a very specific set of criteria that she likes, and anything that comes outside of that is summarily dismissed. After all, you can’t teach an old… no… I’ll stop there.
And so, with my specific criteria in hand and an ever-increasing cynicism to things that don’t conform to my now-dated world view, the act of finding a community to fit into, to enjoy, becomes increasingly more stressful and time consuming the more time goes on.
Any pointers? Perhaps people could suggest some excellent communities they have been a part of over the years, or maybe detail what they look for in a guild or clan? ;D