If you're finding lately that people are giving you a hard time for your interest in role-playing games, or if you worry about how socially leprous they are, or whether or not you feel free to comment about them in the public space where you work or play, then you should have a close look at this:
This is a screenshot from a pro-anorexia website, in which people with eating disorders join together to share tips, give support and discuss their day-to-day activities in order to jointly pursue the practice of remaining true to their disorder. Please take note, this is not for people who want to stop being anorexic. This is for people who love it, who don't want to stop doing it, and who want to talk to others about that. The general discussions forum on the website that I took the above image from lists 821,176 replies at the time of this writing. 3 replies came in over the time it took to write this paragraph.
What must be recognized is how this differs powerfully from the liberal sensibilities message that permeates the society, which rails that people must not take part in any sort of destructive activity, including self-destructive. These people do not care. They do not care about your opinion nor mine regarding activities they embrace.
I wish I could find an online group of role-players who were that dedicated about their passion.
Because I'm not a journalist, but a blogger, and I have no institution to which I must genuflect in order to write this post, I don't have to now provide a packaged sort of phrase about the morality of the above. I have been a journalist. I may again be a journalist, if a job ever materialized again for me in this paper-dead culture. But I don't consider myself a journalist right now, and thank you, I don't want to be one. That is because, partly for reasons I gave last Wednesday, journalism is a corrupt, institutionalized information-delivery system whose cracks have begun to show.
I do not know about the reader, but recently I have begun to notice how mythological the depiction of journalism is of late. Here I am thinking of journalists as they appear in shows like Kevin Spacey's House of Cards or Antoine Fuqua's collapsed vehicle Boss ... in which journalists are still depicted as though this were the 1970s All the President's Men and not the modern ridiculousness of the New York Times, the lately corrupt and dead News of the World, or television's Fox News or CNN, where speculation and idiocy have replaced investigative journalism. No one, anywhere, has the budget or the time or even the inclination for investigative journalism, which is more than evident in the total lack of useful foreign news that can be gotten from a North American vendor (I am including the Canadian press and media in this). It is terribly convenient for drama to still imagine an editor who can throw on a coat and rush out to talk to a source, but it is silly in the extreme. No one does this any more, and anyone who tried would quickly be fired.
I include Aaron Sorkin here with his completely out-of-date The Newsroom, which is a sometimes painful so-called political drama show where everyone ACTS like the world still works like it did in 1965, while simultaneously LAMENTING that the world does not work like it did in 1965. It is a bizarre mix of cognitive dissonance, both of the writer and anyone who is apparently funding the show, to an audience clearly out of touch with the internet - but then, I said yesterday that television hates the internet.
Because I am not a journalist, I don't have to justify any of the above except to say, 'my opinion.' The only value my opinion has is that it strikes a chord with people, who presumably are nodding their heads as they read along. I am, therefore, preaching to the choir ... but there are worse places to preach.
One thing that the media really, really hates is the 'bubble.' That is, the one you live in, where you only read the things that interest you, or that you agree with. This is bad for you, very bad. Mostly because it means you won't be listening to the advertising that funds the media, because the very WORST thing about the bubble is that you're not interested in buying things you don't like, either. Basically, the media can't reach you, they can't preach to you, they can't program you and they can't put a bug in your ear to waste your money on their products.
This is bad for them, very bad.
It does mean, however, that you'll spend your morning, or your evening, floating around a lot of free content on the net that has been written today about D&D and other things that fascinate you, instead of watching a lot of bad programming and reading a lot of bad journalism that doesn't fascinate you. Oh, the bad, bad bubble.
When someone tells you that something is bad for you, the first thing you should wonder is what are they selling?