Electrifying thoughts about Elite:Dangerous and streaming
Striking out for exercise (within government guidelines) and peace to think had unexpected consequences. Staying in and playing games would have been safer..
Yesterday was our regular Discord 2pm UTC socially distanced walk where anyone who is interested can bring their mobile data and get their state-approved exercise with friends to chat with. The penultimate day of meteorological winter, I was filled with vigour and decided I would set out early on my bike to get to a bit of peace, nice countryside to show everyone and time to think a bit. A bit more about the thinking time later.
First of all - disclaimer. I have a Volt Pulse electric bike, just so we are under no illusions about how I got my flabby arse so easily up one of the tallest hills within five miles of where I Iive.
I got this bike back in Lockdown one when we decided to go from two cars to one with the prediction that returning to the office would not happen for us once the pandemic is over. It's a great piece of kit with safety features such as 'Power Cut' brake levers, which I SPECTACULARLY forgot to use as I tried to do a delicate turn on a muddy farm path while still on "fat-guy-cycling-uphill" setting. The bike gleefully boosted my precision manoeuvre and flung me into the mud. Yay. Thankfully, the watching horses seemed suitably disinterested to be too judgemental. I also failed to land on anything animal related or geological so pride and body were largely uninjured. Muttering ensued, and I trudged back to a suitable viewing point in my non-sensible footwear. Fallen tree located to park my arse on, I settled in for a bit of a think before our Discord chat.
Just Because You've Changed...
Thinking time was needed to have a good talk to myself about recent Elite:Dangerous and streaming community observations from the week passed. Elite:Dangerous famously has an excellent, helpful community with the usual slice of 'git-guds', edge lords or berks. Like all other parts of the content-creator maelstrom, it also has its negative sides too. I took a break from social media six months ago and stopped streaming; in fact I retired and was ecstatic to bow out raising £1,111.11 for SpecialEffect. But secretly, I have never closed the door on streaming again and with the new Elite:Dangerous content due to drop, the lure back has been gnawing at my creative soul. I have never played a game on stream that has let me interact with my audience so well, simply put. This week, I started afresh with Twitter and even dusted off Instagram - both brand new wihtout any contacts carried over from previous uses of the platforms. I am taking both slowly, avoiding drama and regulating my use, so I am not addicted to checking for validation every five minutes. I am in charge - RARRR!
But taking a break and changing the way you approach social media doesn't mean anyone else has. I know, I know - fecking obvious and that will be a theme that occurs a lot in this blog if you continue to read. I think it's a consequence of the terrible conflict between idealism and realism that goes on in my head. Anyway. It didn't take long for mutterings of shitty Creator practices reaching me, and it became clear that the nonsense that was affecting me before is still going on, if not more rampant. This isn't a blog to name names (although I reserve the right to go crazy, ape-shit mental at some later date) but with any streaming communities, in this case the Elite:Dangerous one, you have to make a decision whether to actively engage in that behaviour, passively participate in it or call it out. Calling out shitty behaviour rarely turns out well for the person shining the light and can have a high mental health cost. It's a big shit-sandwich, and we all have to take a bite.
So there we are - I went up a hill to take in some cold Highland air into my lungs, clear my head and consider my next steps.
I think I have decided that, if I do stream again, it is going to be just 1 day a week for a decent length of time, getting into the guts of Elite:Dangerous but, as anyone who has streamed will tell you, networking is key and that will bring you into contact with all corners of your chosen area of focus. Streaming has always been a leisure activity for me but if I go back to it, I don't want to half-arse it. I might only be on one day a week, but I want to make good content without necessarily shitting on my principles. I'm still cogitating and ruminating - what I need now is a jolt, a happenstance or an occurrence to point me in the right direction.
Speaking of Jolts
I soon joined up with Neil Boff, Hawker and OldCrow Express for our natter as they strode round or reclined in their respective manors. It was during our casual mutterings that I innocently leant on the wire fence surrounding the horse field as I admired the view. Now, I am not an expert, but I am pretty sure that the inner wire, held in place by metal stays, screwed into the fence posts with rubber bushes to isolate the live wire are supposed to be the only part of the fence that gives a playful shock to any animal considering escaping the enclosure. Not this fecking fence! Placing my hand on the outer-wire, the one that kiddies may cling to as they excitedly point at horses, I got an entertaining (for those on Discord) punch in the palm of my hand from an electric current.
I mean... what?! That's not supposed to fecking happen! Half jokingly I let everyone know that if I died that night, it was this bloody farmers fault.
Suitably affronted by the fence and with my 'friends' hilarity ringing in my ears I set off for home with enough battery power (in my bike - not me) to drag my fat ass up the hill of my street to get me home. Some sort of large Rottweiler type dog had a good old bark at me on the way, and it all adds up to being one giant metaphor for my current thinking on 'Content-Creator Communities'- write your own synopses and add as a comment below, if you like. Either way, despite the wonky farming segregation device, I am still patiently thinking and waiting on inspiration around what to do next. Stay tuned... if you like.