Why this blog?

2 09 2009

I was once told that if you asked ‘why’ five times, you eventually found the root cause. In paraphrasing that advice, I’m going to briefly discuss five different why linked to the opening question. I have no desire to spend a lot of time talking about me, but a flavour of why I’m doing this and what gives me the right to take up server space seems appropriate.

The greatest challenge was putting them in order, as there is no obvious cause and effect, so please treat the following holistically.

So why blog?

I wanted to share my thoughts, opinions, knowledge and experience with as wide an audience that may benefit or at least find something either interesting or entertaining. I considered a simple web-site but at the end of the day, what I would do with it would amount to little more than a blog. In the future a broader web-site may be useful, but for now a blog seems more sensible.

I also thought about a podcast. As much as I love listening to them, they are less accessible than a blog and in my mind’s eye; I see it as a progression from a blog (in addition to rather than a replacement).

And why now?

In the last few months a couple of things happened – and these do have a distinct flow to them. Firstly, my wife commented that I rarely go out socialising any more. The toll of work, family commitments and a variety of other interests (e.g. computer games, the internet and podcasts) conspired to curtail my evening outdoor adventuring to eating and drinking. It’s also fair to say I’ve reached an age where interests from my youth suddenly seem exciting again. Skateboarding is a great example. I have discovered there is a huge market for ‘retro’ skateboarding equipment, like my old Alva deck (but I digress).

At the same time, I have been looking to start, in earnest, my writing career. I have written one (as yet unpublished) novel and was looking for inspiration for my second. I love fantasy books of all genre. My first novel was an urban fantasy and I had two or three outlines ready for a second book. One was a sequel and the other two were also urban in flavour. One was around preternatural creatures in present day England, and the other was about what would fallen angels be doing in today’s society.

I am in danger of going off at a tangent again. The point is that as much as I enjoyed these story ideas, it was a medieval fantasy that my heart wanted to write. And I turned to an old role-playing favourite for inspiration – Warhammer. Having re-bought a couple of the books (I’ll explain ‘re-buying’ later) it occurred to me that a return to role-playing combined an opportunity to get out and socialise with a rekindling of an old love affair.

So I found myself some games to play (I’ll talk about those exploits later) and discovered a whole new range of games. I then encountered something that was not available to me first time around – the RPG presence on the internet. There are an abundance of sites, blogs and podcasts to enjoy.

Just like any subject on the ‘net, the bell distribution curve applies. A few are awful, the majority are OK and a few are awesome. I’ve found my fair share of each category. As a player and GM, I have plenty to say on either facet of the hobby.

Why choose role-playing games?

 This was never a case of, ‘I want to blog, what subject should I choose?’ It was rather, ‘I want to share my enthusiasm, knowledge and research about RPGs with other people. How’s best to spread the word?’ I believe I have a different insight into the gaming industry. I know many of the older games and have fresh eyes when viewing new systems. I haven’t grown between these times and come to take the newer games for granted. I am also someone of eclectic tastes. I don’t just love one system. I love loads of systems. And with a reasonable disposable income, my gaming collection is growing at a rate of knots.

Why should you read it?

I intend to talk about my experience – and for many that ought to resonate with your experiences. I also am an avid researcher, and I will be able to point you in the direction of other sites and podcasts as well as share with you other people’s point of view. I will also review games objectively – pointing out pros and cons of each system. Finally, I intend to spend some time talking about writing your own adventures – both from a purely personal level up to tips for submitting to publishing houses.

And if you still don’t understand why…?

The fifth ‘why’ isn’t a true why, but I wanted a one-liner to let people know why (can you see what I did there?) they should come back. If you want to learn more about role-playing than you currently do, and want to be entertained in the process, bookmark this page. 

I intend to alternate hints/tips/reviews with background material about my role-playing career over the first thirty blogs.  Then I’ll stick to the hobby itself.

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