Brackish Waters

how my gaming and life coalesce.

Keeping it real

Brenden over at Another Here has a new article up about podfading and how it upsets him to see any podcast or blog drop off in activity and die out.  What I found really interesting was Brent’s comment about Tobold, a veteran to the blog community.

Everyone knows their work, but do you feel like you know Tobold? Even after 1000 posts, he is still a disembodied (silent)voice in the blogosphere and readers have no idea of what he is all about, as a person. If he started podcasting, that would change overnight.

I’ve only been reading Tobold’s blog for about 6 months and while I understand his point of views on a lot of things and find him to be a really great writer and full of opinion, I really don’t know him.  Should I expect more?

While I have been somewhat open about myself here and some of my personal life, I really haven’t divulged much.  “About Me” pages sometimes have a bit about the person and why they have this section of the Internet reserved for themselves but more often then not they are just a spot for people to lay out the justification for the site and a quick reference about what people can expect if they decide to come back.

I think the reason I haven’t dropped a post about myself is because I think it would possibly do more harm than good.  Maybe by taking a moment here to write down some of the key points that I believe are a real part of me, those that visit here may find some affinity to my musings and also my goals.

Feel free to jump ahead to the disgusting quote of the month.

I’m not a developer or a code monkey.  I don’t have a job in the industry or in a field even remotely connected to gaming.  At times I wish I did but I think I like my life at the moment.  I play games almost every night and waste atleast 2 hours a day at work reading and writing about them.  On top of that, I’m being considered for a promotion this month and that is the only thing that has kept me from posting/reading as much as I would like.  Its like a scene from Office Space with the exception that the fax machine loves me and I’m in the process courting the rest of theTyler Durden terminals at the company.  One can do a lot with an overabundance of printers and outdated scanners, if one was so inclined.

I admire a lot of people but the person that stands out as of late is J.K.Rowling. Anyone who can encourage that many children to read is an inspiration to me.  I would love to be able to create something as powerful as that someday but I think my lack of education may hamper that prospect.  I only did small stints in college and graduated from a high school that had a larger ratio of animals to students.

I left school after I met my wife and the two of us decided to move to a more “rural” location in Maine.  We didn’t get as far into the woods as I had originally intended us to go because there are just some things I can not live without, Internet being one of them.  I’m lucky enough that I pay for a house (banks like deeds) that isn’t sucking the life out of me every month and somehow manages to keep me warm and dry.  I’m still hoping that some old loon back in the 1900’s left a cash box in the wall or floors but I don’t have the energy to look for it.

Random Stuff:

  • I hate having to feed my body every night but I love eating good food.  We have the longer lasting lightbulb, can we work on the longer lasting sirloin now?
  • I like small cars but I hate maintaining anything about the automobile.
  • I hate flying but I see no way getting around this as I plan on going to my first game conference in 2008, still have no clue which one.
  • I only look at the pictures in manuals.
  • I haven’t read as many books as I should have yet I live within a half a mile of a library and my bus stop in high school was the first library in the nation.  Go figure.
  • I’m a good father but would make a really bad godfather. (not like the movie)
  • I found religion once.  I was told it wasn’t a real religion so now I’m lost again I guess.
  • I love playing board games but I am the worst loser ever.
  • I spend, at a minimum, 1 hour every night lying in bed before I fall asleep.
  • I roll my own cigarettes and continue to smoke even though I know its bad for me.
  • I don’t like being drunk but I love Baileys in coffee or hot chocolate on a winter morning.
  • If I won anything more than$50,000 dollars I would leave my job tomorrow.
  • If I won anything less than $50,000 dollars I would have a kick ass contest on this blog.
  • …. and I would subscribe to VirginWorlds.
  • If I won a dollar, I would by a Twix and eat them both.
  • If I could play any game right now it would probably be Call of Duty 4.  I need a better video card apparently.  (Damn you Shader 3.0!)

And now for this month’s Disgusting Quote:
“Well when I get to Hell I’m going to miggs the Devil.”
“No way man, you’d end up in the Pit of Miggs’n!”

I told you it was disgusting.
I love my office.

November 28, 2007 - Posted by | Blog-o-sphere, RL

13 Comments »

  1. Great post. Personally, I don’t see blogs as any less “personal” than podcasts, but I can see that some might like putting a voice to what they’re reading. Funny thing is, I always confuse the guests on SUWT but when you were on a while back, I could keep track because of what I’d pegged as your Boston accent–I guess Maine is close enough.

    I like the sense of community talking about games and listening and reading about games on blogs provides, but I wouldn’t go so far as to say “I know” any of the bloggers I read weekly–or even many of my in game friends. I mean, I like them, but I don’t “know them” in any conventional sense. For all I know they could have curtains made out of human hair. One of the things I like about gaming is it’s a forum that’s pretty much free of politics or religion or any of the other shit that makes people go at one another’s throats.

    It might sound cliche but I’ve been in guilds with religious nuts, lefties, right wingers, gay people, retirees, high school kids, whatever–and I’m not saying MMOs are some great magic place for people to come together and dance like its Woodstock–but it is a neat venue where all sorts can share a bit of common ground–even if we’re grown ass people pretending we’re dwarves and elves.

    Well damn, I guess it is cool to get a little insight into the people behind the blog posts and podcasts. Not necessary, but good.

    P.S. I saw a commercial the other night for some flavored Bailey’s I think they release primarily around holiday time. Mint and caramel if I remember correctly. Not quite the sort of booze for putting hair on one’s chest, but since I’m way past the age where I give a crap what other people think, I’ll probably have to indulge myself if I come across a bottle this year.

    Comment by Lucifrank | November 29, 2007 | Reply

  2. Hot chocolate + peppermint schnapps + vanilla vodka = warm cozy goodness in a mug.

    Good post, by the way, and don’t sell yourself short. You’re a talented writer.

    My theory is Tobold is not one person, but a team of writers. How can one person produce so much content? ;)

    Comment by Link | November 29, 2007 | Reply

  3. As a blogger I like to share maybe more infomation about myself than I would normally to strangers. Tobold gets alot of readers because he writes to a set topic that the masses like to read about. He shares little about himself because he doesn’t need to but Tobold is unique in game blogging.

    I know that if a post by Tobold looks uninteresting to me after a quick scan, I am safe to ignore it safe in the knowledge that there will be no revelations about him on a personal level. He just doesn’t do it.

    I don’t think Tobold is more than one person but I do think he spends a good percentage of his working day blogging, where the rest of us would be ‘working’.

    Comment by dmosbon | November 29, 2007 | Reply

  4. ” I would love to be able to create something as powerful as that someday but I think my lack of education may hamper that prospect. I only did small stints in college and graduated from a high school that had a larger ratio of animals to students.”

    Yanno what “they” say – if you think you can’t, then you can’t.
    I hold a master’s in education (adult learning). I’ve gone to 4 bastions of higher education, taught at 2 of them and I’ve come to realize this: organized education, for the most part, is crap, and stunts creativity. The bureaucracy is stunning. Most teachers are mediocre. My undergrad was graphic design, and it absolutely killed my inner artist (I had a very dysfunctional advisor, I know realize). I watch in horror as the marketers promote parents paying for their kids’ education (a way to get into your pockets) and everyone thinks that if you don’t go to college, you are nothing. Now we have troops of people, all lockstepping thru college, and then into the MBA track. “Check for pods!!” (Invasion of the Bodysnatchers)

    Not everyone should go to college! There’s scores of people who didn’t and did great things!

    I happened upon a blog post yesterday on girl gamer. It talked about what gaming teaches you, and the part about learning not to sit outside the monsters lair, shivering and whimpering, but to go in there and GET IT, rings so true about so much in life. What’s the worst that can happen? You “Die” or fail..and you learned a few things..and when you try again, you are more successful. Great post, and I think relevant to your wanting to do something ‘powerful’ but feeling not up to the task.

    See what happens when you talk about yourself? You get some silly lecture from Me. :)

    Comment by LadyPao | November 29, 2007 | Reply

  5. Thanks so much Pao for the advice, I will truly take it to heart.

    @ DM – I agree that Tobold is probably not a conglomerate of writers and I’m not really pointing just at him in this. He was just the one that Brent mentioned as a beacon of the community in which we may know little about in real life.

    @ Luci – You know, i run into the same thing with podcasts too! I frequently find myself rewinding to the beginning when people are introduced. This weeks SUWT was a little easier with Hallower (Aaron) as he seemed to have a southernish accent in there that helped.

    Thanks you guys for the great replies.

    Comment by brackishwater | November 29, 2007 | Reply

  6. I guess I am a bit different. I never actually have anything in mind for any post over on my blog. I have no agenda and no set method. I don’t consider myself reporting the news of the MMO verse or anything else. I just type out whatever happens to come to mind whenever I open a blank sheet.

    By habit, I don’t put a whole lot of myself on that site. From time to time, I’ll slip in a story that is real and not about gaming and I’ll make references from time to time in the midst of a gaming entry. When you put all of the pieces together, you end up with a very incomplete puzzle. It just so happens that I am the same way in real life too. If you haven’t known me for years and years, you don’t really ever get to know much about me. There are just certain details I will reveal to keep people from asking questions.

    It is a bad habit, but one that I picked up through bad experiences. I used to trust much more than I do now… and those that I trusted turned around and used what they knew to better themselves and to bite me in the ass. I just don’t do it anymore because I have a really hard time trusting anyone any longer.

    I seriously wouldn’t worry about your “lack of education.” Some of the most idiotic people I have ever met have years and years of higher education. By the same token, some of the wisest and most intelligent people I have ever met never stepped foot in a college classroom. I look back at my years of college and, professionally, I view those years as a complete and total waste of time. If I had it to do all over again, I’m not sure that I would change the fact that I went, but I would certainly not cling to the lie that a degree is a ticket to get ahead in life. To me, all a degree is is a large bill that I am still trying to pay for 15 years after the fact. :p

    Comment by rao | November 29, 2007 | Reply

  7. [...] On an unrelated note, if you don’t usually read Brackish Waters, you should definately go check it out today.  Very interesting read. [...]

    Pingback by So much hate… /em bursts into flames « Gestalt Mind | November 29, 2007 | Reply

  8. Thats interesting Rao, because I feel that for the amount of time I have been reading blogs, it is your blog that comes to mind when I think of how some people are melding themselves with their posts. You do give a lot about yourself and yet still post about games in the same discussion. I feel I know a good deal about you and yet I get a lot of information from you about the game you are playing.

    Atleast, more than others.

    Comment by brackishwater | November 29, 2007 | Reply

  9. Heh. There are just some things that I am more verbal about than others. Some of the things that I openly speak of are things that a lot of people probably wouldn’t be comfortable talking about. I guess it is a form of venting or self-therapy or something. In nearly all cases, however, the events that I speak of are things that took place 10 years or more ago in the past.

    On the other hand, I probably am a bit more free with information these days than I have been in recent years. Back when I was in college, I took a creative writing class that was taught by a lady who has actually had more than a dozen books on the NY Times best sellers list. She said over and over again, “A good writer draws on what he or she knows… which is their own life. You don’t have to write about yourself, but you have to put a part of yourself into everything you write. It can be painful and it can be embarassing, but that is part of the price you pay when you choose to write.” As I have started to get back into my old love of writing, I have had to come to grips with slowly cracking the shell and taking a peak at the outside world again.

    Comment by rao | November 29, 2007 | Reply

  10. Writing is the best form of personal relaxtion I have. Better than games, movies, books, music… to me writing is when the honest to God “true me” comes out. Why then, do I do most of it at work and on my blog about what games I play?

    Because at work, I’d like nothing more than to be home playing said games.

    Cool to read this, Brack. Maybe I’ll follow suit.

    Comment by Bildo | November 29, 2007 | Reply

  11. I don’t think Tobold is more than one person but I do think he spends a good percentage of his working day blogging, where the rest of us would be ‘working’.

    Right on the money, and one of the reasons why I wouldn’t want to reveal enough of myself for my employer to find out who I am. :)

    And no offence meant, but do you really think somebody is more interested in whether I like sirloin steak than in my opinion on some feature of WoW? The reason why so many of us hang out in virtual worlds is that our virtual lives are so much more interesting than our real lives.

    Comment by Tobold | December 5, 2007 | Reply

  12. *** I would love to be able to create something as powerful as that someday but I think my lack of education may hamper that prospect. ***

    You are seriously talking nonsense here! This is the first post I have ever read of yours. I meandered over from Tobald’s site. You have a style to your writing, it comes across as clear and engaging! I read from start to end and will be back as a result.

    Want to write a book then make time for it! It’s not education but having a story to tell that drives you.

    Whats an average novel? About 70,000 words.

    Write about 500 words 3 times a week (that’s slacking) and you have got a novel in about a year!

    Comment by Eldric | December 6, 2007 | Reply

  13. I still love coming here and reading over this stuff now & again

    Comment by Colin | September 17, 2010 | Reply


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