I’ll never be a sensation!

I always have to be careful that my blog posts don’t come across too negative. Although I am usually a optimist, I have a tendency to be very realistic, and this can often come across as pessimism. As I sit here, blogging, planning radio shows, my next Youtube video and Twitch broadcast – yes I do plan them all – I get the feeling that I was just born far too early for the internet and now, as I age day by day, my opportunity for popularity has long ago set sail and really I shouldn’t be venturing into the world of gaming, Twitch and Youtube…

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I long ago accepted that, in those immortal words of the famous ABBA song, that I was nothing special – in fact…well you know the rest. Although I’m nothing special, I am unique and I do think this is something to be celebrated. The LGBT blog at work, asked me to write a piece on a topic of my choice and I decided to talk about the diversity which exists within the world and how this should be celebrated. The internet world has certainly embraced this diversity, allowing anyone and everyone to record, tweet and broadcast. However, within this acceptance there can also be some determining factors which make me think that I missed the boat when it comes to engaging with the internet society.

  • The average age – I’m old – there comes a time when you really just have to accept things and recently this has been made more apparent to me. I don’t feel old and I never consider myself old, although when broadcasting on Twitch, I’ve had comments about how old I am. There appears to be somewhat of a dilemma when it comes to age and gaming/blogging etc. When I was younger you couldn’t engage with Twitch etc, mainly since it hadn’t been created, but now, when you are younger, you might have the time to broadcast/game but not really the financial backing. When you get older – you often have the cash, but lack the time and, at some points, the motivation. I am very lucky to have some regular viewers on all my channels and for that I am extremely grateful, however, the chances of me becoming an internet sensation or even becoming accepted as a serious blogger/broadcaster is very low. Maybe if I was twenty or even thirty years younger, more handsome and funny then my chances might increase – damn those immortal words of ABBA! (am I allowed to swear on this blog?)

  • Rather Unique – I’ve never actually fitted into a category. Because of this I think that I have come to dislike the allocation of labels. I think these just lead to stereotyping which I also dislike. As you look at people’s interests, there is often some commonality within groups which allows for the formation of sub sets within smaller groups. I don’t seem to fit into any sort of group or subset. It would appear that there was a whole load of interests left on the floor after the majority have been assigned and these were allocated to me. I’m completely happy with my allocation, although it does make it difficult to find people with similar interests to engage with on my channels. The other difficulty is that I am no expert. It is almost like I have been given not only the crumbs of the interests, but also the left overs of the knowledge of these areas. There used to be a series of jokes that we used at school as I was growing up. Things like -“When God was giving out looks, you thought he said books and asked for a horror!”. I used to enjoy making these up for myself and my favourite one, which actually made no sense, was = “When God was giving out brains, you thought he said trains and said you would wait for the next one.” – told you it made no sense! I think, when it comes to knowledge of things, I not only missed the train, I also missed the last coach, the late train probably the whole network! Yes, I could always develop the knowledge, but short of giving up my job in order to find the time – is this plausible?

  • Attracting an audience – Don’t worry, I’m not going to talk about how attractive I am – that would make a very small segment! I think my diverse likes/dislikes makes it difficult to attract an audience to my streams etc. I’ve never really found my niche within a game. Often when people start a game, they immediately go for a certain class/role. I’ve blogged about this before, and still I lack that perfect class for my playing style. When we used to play Advanced Dungeons and Dragons, one saying we used to have was – “if you don’t want to enter the dungeon then become a shop keeper!”. This is very apt for me, and I actually enjoy the idea of running a shop – I suppose there is not much difference between that and a Twitch or YouTube channel. I usually stream Star Wars the Old Republic on Twitch but recently started to create a shop in Shoppe Keepe on Steam. Although some of my viewers return to watch me play – many don’t or even leave when they see my playing the game – the same with Rise of the Tomb Raider. This, I think, is the problem with liking a range of games and being quite unique with my selection. I also tend to like less mainstream games – if you have seen my playing Black Ops you would know why! When relating this to an audience for the channels I think it might be completely impossible to find people who actually enjoy the same things as me and, if they do exist, surely ‘we’ are only around in small numbers.

  • It is only when nearing the end of this blog post that I am beginning to realise that wanting to become an internet sensation is, perhaps, not what this blog post is actually about. Do I really want to be famous and gain all the problems which come with that fame? When ever we start something new, we want to be good at it and achieve some sort of recognition for what we are doing. Often we rely on others for this recognition and, in the internet society, this comes through viewers, comments, ratings and general likes and hits. If these things are not forthcoming, we often judge ourselves and cease the activity. Perseverance is very important in this situation as all of the famous bloggers, gamers and Youtubers will probably tell you they started small and went a long time before gaining the recognition. However, I also think there is another aspect of this which is important for everyone to consider. Maybe recognition and the ‘worth’ of blog posts should not be measured by views etc, but whether we, as the producer of the content, has gained something, however small, from it. I might not have the attributes to be an internet sensation – but I certainly have the attributes to be unique and also enjoy what I do and this, for me, is far more important than being a sensation.

    Do you have aspirations to be famous or a sensation? Do you sometimes feel you are heading in the wrong direction? Have you got any tips or support that you can give us smaller fish in the blogging arena? Then let us know in the comments below or via twitter and/or Facebook.

    You can keep up to date with my content by following me on Twitch, Twitter and Facebook. If you are interested in joining or playing Minecraft, then you can join the server and website here. Of course any subscribers to my YouTube channel are always appreciated.

    2 comments for “Let Me In! – Simon’s Cat – YouTube

    1. February 19, 2017 at 2:00 pm

      Would be cool to play an one off, one of the dungeon crawls you made! Maybe the 8 level one!!!

    2. March 21, 2017 at 12:05 am

      I miss those early days so much. The current state of rpg’s , the rpg xubculture if you like, doesn’t feel like it did back then. I can’t quite put my finger on it.

      I was introduced to Advanced D&D 1st Edition, by my sisters boyfriend (the BEST boyfriend of the many she had IMHO..), who showed me S3 Expedition to the Barrier Peaks module after discovering I enjoyed computer based adventure games, I was hooked immediately and it wasn’t too long before I was hanging around the local game shop, Games Gallery, from which I was invited to join in a game run by the assistant manager, who was to become my long and good friend Steve, who was coincidentally, the reason I got to work at the local branch of Games Workshop for a time. Working there, in those days, before it became a Warhammer only shop, was amazing. It was the proverbial kid in the sweet shop!. Staff discount made it even sweeter – 50% off GW’s own products, and 25% off everything else. We also ran a great rpg club, with about 60-80 members at its peak.
      I was always the GM for my main group as no one else had the time it took to prepare a game properly, though after a few changes to the group, and people from the club popping up, I eventually got to play. Games by a company called Fantasy Games Unlimited (FGU) were very popular in all of my groups. FGU sold games such as Bushido, Aftermath,Space Opera, Chivalry & Sorcery, Freedom Fighters, and Bunnies & Burrows, but there were many many more games, by many different companies, covering all sorts of genres – and I still have them all. Many were, as was the style back then, table and chart and rule HEAVY. We loved that. Comparing themto the current crop of “rules lite” systems, I would certainly go back to the old games instead. We played these games sometimes 5 days a week, as for a time we were all unemployed. It was all we did.
      I often spent days creating scenarios, making maps, creating player characters as well as npc’s. I found it quite therapeutic, as is miniature painting – thousands of the little buggers packed away testify to the time I spent doing it. My “toy soldiers” as my brother in law calls them…
      I used to get quite attached to my favourite characters, and whilst one or two died over the decades, most did not.
      For almost all of my characters I would go overboard by most people’s standards. I like to have an image for my characters, whether a photo or artwork. Sometimes I will see an image and that is the base for the whole character, built around the image.
      I always believed as a player, that giving the GM a detailed background, list of goals, motivations, friends, contacts and enemies, will help the GM bring my character into the game more, by using some of what I have given him in the game. As a GM I like to see what players come up with for their characters, and will often use it in the game. It involves the player more, makes the game more personal if part of the game is suddenly about them, and it can help the players become more invested in their characters.
      For myself, I would often map out the characters home, create a family tree, siblings, etc.
      For our Star Trek RPG (by FASA Corp), I created the whole crew of a 500+ personnel star ship… All as detailed player characters. Unnecessary and a bit OTT I know, but it helped bring every department on the ship alive, every member of the landing party was a person not simply a red shirt.

      I am often bemused whilst watching streams when I see the gm of a streamed game pull some “new” idea out of his box of tricks, and the players are like “wow!”, “that’s original”, “I would never have thought of doing it that way!”, knowing we did it 30-40 years ago.

      The games my most recent group and I played/ran, were very detailed games with a lot of depth. Quite dark games too, mature themed, and often very emotional and intense. Having played with the same people for nigh on 20 years, you create a bond, a closeness and familiarity that allows you to communicate in a way you couldn’t, with people you don’t know very well.
      I have been brought to tears several times in recent years during the last (decade long) game we played ,as some scenes were simply too emotional or powerful, overwhelming (GM was a bastard – but an EXCELLENT GM).

      Sadly the group folded, but the GM offered to keep the game going for just me, which he did for a few years, which to be honest I really needed, as it helped me through a bad depression at that time).
      Over the years I have experienced a lot of things because of rpg’s, and made some great friends, too. I have a lot to be grateful for, regarding rpg’s. I was discussing with my brother in law, my collection of rpg’s and miniatures. When he realised how much they are worth, (some regularly sell for £100’s!) he always tells me to sell sell sell. He doesn’t grasp what they mean to me .
      Yet I won’t. Part of me hopes and prays that I will get a local group together (even some of the old group!) and start using them again. But aside from that, as my memory fails, little by little each year, these boxes and books and miniatures on the shelves are my constant reminders of happy and sad and exciting moments, and great fun, and more importantly, great friends.

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