Back at the end of 2013, this blog came very close to dying. I was writing up a bunch of the games that had just come out at that year’s Spiel, and I just felt like I didn’t care any more. I had reached a point where what I was doing wasn’t fun, and I felt like I was checking a box so I was putting some content out there.
I feel like I’m getting to that point again.
I’m not thinking of discontinuing the blog. But I am feeling an incredible amount of burnout right now. Part of this is because I have a new baby at home and am not getting enough sleep. But part of it is that I’m just not playing games right now. I do occasionally. Just yesterday, I got together with a friend to play a game that I’ll be reviewing soon, and that was nice. But most of my plays lately have been solo or with my five year old, and obviously I can’t play a lot of the games I want to with her yet.
And, honestly, part of it is the amount of negativity I see in the board game hobby right now. There’s an element of people who are bringing their racist, sexist, homo- and transphobic attitudes out and trying to keep the hobby as the white male paradise they thought it traditionally has always been. Then there are those who are rightfully calling that other group out, fighting the good fight, and all that. The trouble with this second group, however, is that as they feel empowered to speak out against every single injustice, and then end up fighting amongst themselves. It’s just…it’s super toxic out there right now.
I don’t get into political issues here as a general rule. I’m of the opinion that it’s impossible to change anyone’s mind on the internet, and all you can succeed at is getting a large number of people mad at you. But I will say this: the pandemic has gotten everyone down, and if we eat each other alive, there’s not going to be anything left at the other end. We need to practice repentance and forgiveness. If I do or say something dumb, then I absolutely need to be called on it. I then need to repent and no do or say said dumb thing again. But here’s the thing – I also need to be forgiven. If I can’t see that there’s any way back from the mistake I made, then what motivation do I have to be better? If people are just going to hold my mistake over my head for the rest of my life, then I should probably do what I want instead of what is right. After all, if I do what is right, people will just say, “But he still made that mistake! Crucify him!” And if I do what I want, people will just say, “Well, what do you expect from that guy who made that mistake? Crucify him!”
I’m not speaking from personal experience, by the way. This is just something I’ve noticed out there lately. It doesn’t matter how many times some people apologize or try to do better, there are those who will hold it over their head forever. All I’m really trying to say is that repentance and forgiveness go hand in hand – for there to be true repentance, there also needs to be forgiveness. If we want things to get better, we have to believe that someone is going to do the work to be better. At the same time, in order for there to be true forgiveness, there also needs to be repentance. If we don’t want our mistakes to haunt us forever, we have to do the work to be better.
So, circling back to this blog. I’m feeling like what I’m saying lately has just been space filler. I’m not excited about games that are coming out, and I’m not really playing what I have. I’m feeling mental exhaustion from interacting with the board game community right now, and don’t really feel like I have much to contribute to the conversation – I’m a straight white Christian male, and therefore don’t have much experience with the persecutions going on out there with people of color, with LGBTQ+ issues, and so on. I’m trying to listen more, but it’s really hard with all the poison out there. I wish people would spend as much time building each other up as they do tearing each other down. Because this hobby really should be for everyone.
I’m not about to transform this blog into a political space. Sorry, this stuff has just been on my mind lately, and it’s affecting my work here. I want to talk about games, and I want to think of new ways to present things because I don’t want this blog to just fade away. Honestly, this post came about because I had nothing else I could work myself up to writing about. I do have a couple of reviews in the works, and am looking into some ways to present material differently.
Glad you made it through all of my ramblings today. I’ll get back to games in the next post, I promise. Stay safe out there, and thanks for reading.