There are many times a month where I struggle with what to do when it comes to content creation. I am a writer, first and foremost, but these days it takes more than some words to make an impression on others. Writing is a wonderful tool for those who can piece together sentences, but I also think about the way this information is digested by the community. Not necessarily the opinions that adorn websites, but the means in which that information is delivered.
It sounds crazy, but there is an art to writing. Delivering well thought out ideas that are snappy and thought provoking is a skill that anyone who works hard enough can obtain. I have always said that writing is not enough these days and expanding into the podcast and livestream space has been an important aspect in growth. It seems sad to say, but I feel as if written media is starting to diminish. People do not want to read as much as they want to, and because of that we have the famous clickbait headlines accompanied by those who have not read the story at all.
The Jezebel article on why Chun Li is not in the new Mortal Kombat movie trailer is an example of amazing satire that people took way too seriously. Upon reading the first paragraph, the tone and message behind the article was immensely clear. From mocking Martin Scorsese to claiming the movie deserves at least two Oscars, the entire article was fantastic as it pulled on the fragile heartstrings of the naive video game community. Perhaps the real “chef’s kiss” is the edit, where the outlet has since discovered that Chun Li is not in the Mortal Kombat universe.
People went off the deep end and spoke about how gaming journalism is dead because someone did not do their research, which is funny because whoever makes these comments also did not do theirs. Jezebel is a gossip website that is a part of the G/O Media umbrella, and their tagline is “A Supposedly Feminist Website,” which sets the tone. As a part of their position, writers do the work of vetting information and finding answers to their questions, granted not every question can be answered. In this case, anyone can Google search “Chun Li” and discover the answer. The answer “she is in Street Fighter” is sufficient, thus avoid wasting time making an article about something that is so easy to find.
The author of the piece, Shannon Melero, happens to not be on social media (at least not on Twitter), and after seeing the ridiculous amount of outrage about this article, I can see why she chooses to be absent. Some people do not want to read, nor do they want to understand tone, but they love to be outraged. If anything, I can see this article as a competency test for writers everywhere. “Is the piece serious or satire?” would end up breaking many of the folks out there, because their attachment to video games is stronger than their grasp on reality. Oh boy, do I need to greatly digress here.
With the presence of podcasts, YouTube video essays, and live shows that dive deep into the culture of gaming, the written format has not been the same. There is a reason for that as well, as reading can be hard to focus on especially with longer and drawn-out topics. I know I am in constant violation of brevity, but I also find that there is an importance behind words and how they are used to convey specific stances as well as emotions. I am not saying that making a video, podcast, and live streams are all simple in comparison. They are each different in their own way, contain their own challenges, and rely heavily on presentation. I will not dive into how each one is difficult here despite having plenty of experience to speak to all four of these threads. I will say though, choosing just one to focus on never quite seals the deal. At the very least you need to pour every ounce of yourself into the one area just to make that difference and get the recognition you want. I could live-stream every day and that would be almost equal to running an hour-long podcast while also writing. It is a balancing act.
The simple truth is gaming media has changed a lot. No format is truly dead, but people do tend to flock to specific areas that might be more applicable to their lifestyle. I understand that what I do might not fit into your life and that is fine. Some people rather hear affluent speakers, others may want everyone to shut up, we do not get to decide how someone consumes media. What I have been discovering is the bias and high-school cliques that exist within the realm because of how this media is consumed, but the split is merely the outcome and not the cause.
Here comes the ugly truth, these forms of media have created a sense of personal worth in each area. As many content creators tend to get along, there is a layer of self-importance and egotistical ideology that is starting to rise to forefront. To those who happen to think they are slick, I see you. It is incredibly easy to look at social media and discover the pattern, which lies in how people interact with each other. It is simply more than followers these days, engagement happens to be as important. It is not just how many people like your chosen platform, but how they like you. I have seen many people on social media act a specific way that makes me roll my eyes to the back of my head, but I get it.
While some people focus on their stances and specializations within the world of video game content creation, some folks forget that no matter what you are, you have a responsibility to those around you. Whether you like it or not, supporting others and hearing people out while boosting their channel is what helps grow the next generation of creators. It is imperative that you help keep this cycle going and listen to others and boost each other up from the ground, because if no one did that, everything collapses.
I have been in the local comedy realm for a bit to an extent where people have said “Oh, I know that guy” about me. In that area, comedians help each other get the spotlight by putting on shows together and attempting to lift each other’s spirits, and if you are a loner who doesn’t want to talk to others, well, you really aren’t going to make it. Older comedians tend to not understand the newer brand of comedy that has been on the rise for a while, but they are willing to put effort into helping these talented newcomers find a voice within the community because it means something to them, especially when they paved the way for the future.
I know that this could easily be construed me complaining that no one reads my stuff, but rest assured, I am fine with where I am. I am fine with consuming media from all facets of entertainment. I am listening, learning, and paying attention to what people are saying to form my own opinions and find aspects that no one is focusing on. What angers me though, are those who are unwilling to put in the work to help others out and make the focus on them, and they know who they are. If I can see the deliberate means to use others to your own advantage without giving back, everyone else can see it too.
For transparency purposes, I am not calling out anyone, if you are afraid that I am speaking to you directly, then perhaps it is time for you to really think about your position in the space. Some people don’t think they have a responsibility here, but trust me, you do. Those who give back get more in return, and it does require effort and a ton of time just like anything else in life. So, listen to your friend’s podcast, read that dude’s article, and support your people who are sharing positive messages. In these days where we are all feeling insignificant, it is always nice to know there are others around us willing to hear us out.