The link above has nothing to do with the post other than being the source of the title, but if you're not familiar with the song that's only one dude signing and playing guitar.
What the post is really about is some navel-gazing that I embarked upon this weekend, that I have now chosen to inflict upon you before I say goodbye. It started where I commented after mistakenly putting words into Zak S.'s mouth on his blog. I pretty much bailed on the discussion once I saw that I was projecting my own feelings onto the author's post and Zak, for his part, seemed more inclined toward semantics than a discussion. Maybe my clear foul-up and having compared his preferred online activity to sniffing stale farts got us off on the wrong foot, never to recover. So things go, I suppose.
Normally I put this sort of thing behind me quickly, not being much for internet-based, nerd-rage fueled debate even if it might look to you that I'm the one picking a fight and even if the fight actually proves to be over something worth the effort. But as I posted my final comment and welcomed the first two players into my living room that evening, there for our Saturday-night game, I couldn't help but shake this nagging feeling that things were off. That while I was maybe barking up the wrong tree in that particular comment thread I was still hinting at a legitimate dissatisfaction and some unfinished business.
Put simply, I suppose I have been suffering from a prolonged sense of loss. I have been missing the energy, enthusiasm and sense of discovery that seemed to permeate the OSR phenomenon, as I once perceived and interacted with it at least, for quite some time now. I see the further winnowing down of those bloggers whose blogs I once cherished into oblivion, inactivity, lack of inspiration, commercialism and/ or persistent cliques as a perhaps inevitable but still sad phase on the life-cycle of any movement as conspicuously narrow and self-referential as ours. Everybody's either becoming a Buster Poindexter or bailing or losing the fire but still slogging on. I know it's a rather subjective state that I describe, and allow that your perspective on it may be completely different... but I'm not the first to notice this or blog about it. Its just now becoming more of a personally held belief.
There are notable exceptions, of course, and I suppose I'll still be checking in on you few from time to time. Also, I'd say I have found a friend or two and at least one satisfying and prolonged online D&D playing experience along with a million little ideas and some fresh perspectives on how I run and construct my own game. I've gained, in sum, both a renewed focus on the aspects of gaming that I previously found to be important as well as a new appreciation or recognition of those that hadn't occurred to me. I'm working on my game now harder than ever, but that means that my focus is largely inward. After months of hardly reading more than a few blogs, resisting mostly the Google+ phenomenon and all but abandoning my own little blog, I can say without much reservation that I'm pretty much finished with discussing RPGs on the web.
So, being at the crossroads now and suspecting I'll have little more, if anything, to add to this modest corner of the modest corner of the web, I just want to thank those of you reading who have written and shared something I've used or that got me thinking on things or even truly inspired me to add something to my game. Most of you I have thanked individually along the way as a good idea got ahold of me, generally through your comments. I had begun and then deleted a long series of individual shout-outs in favor of the more succinct: if your blog shows up in the list on the right then I appreciate something you wrote or did over the course of the past few years. Missing would be some few inactive blogs that helped light the initial fire.
This is not a hissy-fit or anything. I won't shut this thing down and delete it, I'm not angry or resentful. I'm just saying I probably won't have much more to post anymore and I'm no longer going to fool myself into trying. What time I spend online related to RPGs will be here and here, and these will generally lack the broader appeal I had always hoped for with the blog, so I don't expect much interaction there. Take it easy everybody, and good gaming.