Friday, June 18, 2010

Are Old School Gaming Blogs Dying Out?

Some recent forum and blog posts have asked if the interest in blogging about old school gaming is dying out. They cite the explosion of blog activity 1-2 years ago, and the current problem of crickets chirping on their "Blogs I'm Following" lists. Explanations advanced for this problem include that interest in old school roleplaying is dying out or maybe that the old standby bloggers are focusing on gaming instead of blogging.

Well, I just want to say that I have no idea what these people are talking about. I make an effort to keep up with newer blogs and my "Blogs I'm Following" list is packed with great new posts every day. I think the main problem is that some folks aren't keeping up with things, while the scene is moving ahead and natural turnover is occurring.

Yes, many of the older and/or established blogs I've always looked forward to reading have significantly slowed or gone quiet (eg. Sham's Grog n' Blog, sword +1, Eiglophian Press, Sickly Purple Death Ray, Vaults of Nagoh, Mandragora/Thool, Rust Monster Ate My Sword, How to Start a Revolution in 21 Days or Less, etc.) I think this is natural - most people's interests will evolve, or real life kicks in and takes priority.

However, even though many great blogs have gone quiet, another crop of bloggers has been churning out excellent material, including From the Sorcerer's Skull, A Paladin in Citadel, Telecanter's Receding Rules, The Mule Abides, Tales From the Flaming Faggot, Land of NOD, Grand Tapestry, Planet Algol, Joethelwayer, Swords Against the Outer Dark, etc., etc. The list goes on and on - just look at the blogroll to the right. If anything, there's TOO MUCH going on right now and it's hard to keep up. That's not even mentioning the spectacular sustained output of the highest visibility blogs like Jeff's Gameblog and Grognardia.

And the most beautiful thing about the old school gaming blogosphere right now? It's refreshingly free of the posturing and drama that have plagued it in the past. A lot of the energy is being focused on creative endeavors, not rehash and cross-blog-referencing.

My analysis of the situation? Things are better than ever. Natural turnover, new faces, new ideas, more sophisticated posts, larger numbers of followers across all blogs... I'm dealing with overload right now, not crickets chirping.

Check out this old school gaming blog list compiled by the the excellent Ancient Vaults and Eldritch Secrets blog. You could spend days reading through all of these!