Michael "Chgowiz" Shorten contacted me last week and asked if I'd be willing to allow him to post a letter here to the Old School community in regards to his decision to take down his blog. I readily agreed. I think a general clearing of the air is best for the overall well-being of whatever it is we're trying to accomplish. Take it away, Chgowiz.
It's been a month since I yanked my blog and I've been feeling pretty damn conflicted about it.The whole deal was pretty fucked up. I'm not going to lie and say I had noble intentions - I didn't. I hit the end of my rope literally and figuratively and I was just done with it. The whole kit and kaboodle. Raggi hit the right notes, my #3 and #4 hit #1 and #2 and after the hard work and all the crap that happened, I was just done. But there's something I need to say.
There's a metric crapton of good memories and really cool things that I learned, shared and did with you all and I thank you for that. Thank you for your support and the kind things you did during the really fucked up 2009 that was. Dad dying, @thePrincessWife (Angie) getting diagnosed with lupus, almost losing my son, watching my finances go down the toilet - it was tough but I found some true blue friends and that's the best part of all this. Thank you to my buds at THM, my friends through the cons and OPDC. Thank you for the kind words and for buying my little game things and enjoying the stuff I handed out for free. Even those of you who royally pissed me off, you guys challenged me. One thing my Dad always taught me was to listen to both sides and come up with the best conclusion that I could match with my own sense of values. So I tried to do that.
By pulling back, I've taken a look at what is important to me in the gaming world and that is the games I'm running/playing and the local gaming scene. The on-again/off-again solo game with @thePrincessWife, the tabletop AD&D campaign and the online Google Wave game are all still chugging. I'm still playing in Alexis's online game. Once I'm through this really hectic April/May (which are always hectic with the volunteer and social groups I'm a part of outside of gaming) I'm hoping to get involved more in doing things locally related to Classic D&D. There are some cool events, like the 3 to 4 times a year Chicago GameDays, the RPGChicago.com meetup group and various deals there, and Winter War convention and GaryCon convention. After running a really fun B2 11 hour marathon, I know the interest in Classic D&D is there locally, so I'm going to continue doing what I can to put asses in chairs. I'm just going to do it more locally - where I can deal with people face to face and sit down and have a beer after and feel a good positive energy feedback for what I put into it.
It probably doesn't hurt that I've started increasing my volunteer activities towards the GLBT community and some other personal interests. I have friends and some family members who are GLBT and I've had friends who've died from AIDs and those are things that my fundraising can really help with. So I'm investing my energy there.
Oh yea, the new Harley kinda is distracting me too...
I don't know what I'm going to do in the future. I'm not really interested in blogging for/about the "OSR" anymore. It's been a month and the anger is still fresh. I have developed a serious distrust of people who I haven't met face to face. Blogging and being part of the incestuous Internet circle is not worth having shit tossed my way from some assholes sitting behind their keyboards. That anger/distrust is not going to go anyway anytime soon. The whole deal (blog/TARGA) got turned into something other than what it was by people with agendas or axes to grind. The fallout was just really awful to me on a personal level and I've just got no interest in repeating that. I've got too many other things that matter in life. I'm really glad that the whole deal has died down.
I know I pissed people off with yanking all my stuff, but it was a question of responsibility. If I have stuff out there, I have to support it, it's my responsibility and it's a constant reminder/danger of it all happening again. It's like being burned at the stove - I've got no real interest in feeling the pain again and the only way to avoid getting burned again was to back off completely. So I did. I don't know if I'll be interested in doing it again. Life goes on, the Internet has another 3 day cycle and my stuff wasn't all that unique - there's so much creativity going on right now.
I'm really glad that $350 will go to GaryCon 3 and that the One Page Dungeon Contest is still a positive thing. It tickles me to no end to hear of people getting their spouses into solo games. If nothing else, I can say that my goals of leaving the gaming world as enriched as I was from being there came true.
So thank you. And in the words of Rick Krebs, who really inspired me with his words, "Go have fun!"