On Friday, I saw a really crappy post on Twitter:
Massively is closing down, folks. Finally, we can talk about it. http://t.co/oU5EaBylOv
— massively (@massively) January 30, 2015
After reading the linked article, I realized that three of my favorite places to spend time online are closing down. That sucks, but that’s not the worst part. No, the worst part is that people I know and respect are losing their jobs.
Sure, three video-game blogs shutting down is hardly the most important thing going on in the world, but there are roughly 150 people who are losing their jobs, and that is important.
These are real people who really cared about what they were doing. These are real people who fostered a community that they should be proud of.
In this niche and industry, that kind of thing is damn near impossible to do.
The online gaming community can be a cesspool–just look at the garbage that is #GamerGate, or pretty much anything associated with Xbox Live. And don’t get me started about WoW‘s LFR or shouts in FFXIV’s Mor Dhona. Gamers are notoriously terrible on the internet. You know it, and so do I.
But somehow, despite all that, the people at Massively, Joystiq, and WoW Insider managed to make a place online feel above all that. These people cared about gamers and our hobbies. It showed, and it was awesome.
They wrote both news and op-eds, and while I might not have actively participated in comment discussions, they were moderated well enough that I would read them daily and not want to strangle someone.
At least, most of the time. It is the internet, after all.
And now, for one reason or another, the sites are being archived on February 3, 2015 (tomorrow), and those dozens of talented, passionate, and caring people are going to be out of work.
Again, let me say how much that sucks. Not because we’re losing three gaming blogs, but because we’re losing easily accessible places on the internet where positivity and sheer love-of-gaming was apparent, where community and a shared interest was the most important thing.
In the quagmire of the internet gaming community, that’s altogether too rare.
The silver lining in all of this, however, is that I know there was entirely too much talent in those sites for them not to keep that positive spirit going for very long. These people were simply too awesome to rest on their laurels and let the community and friendships they fostered just peter out.
I hope that somehow by AOL squashing these “enthusiast blogs” that there is a cry for an independent gaming network that’s free of all the corporate BS and awfulness that pervades so much of the feeds and timelines we all see every day.
[Tweet “We need an independent gaming network that’s free of corporate BS and internet awfulness”]
I hope these people I know and hold in such high regard bounce back from this to do something amazing with the outpouring of support that has come from the community they have fostered for the last decade.
Even more than that, though, I just hope they know we appreciate the work they’ve done and will do.