A couple of weeks ago the subject gatekeeping reared its ugly head, again. But this got me thinking and thinking and thinking. So here’s a post.
I’m one of those folks who remember the crazy days of G+. It did a lot for the OSR. Sure there was drama, flame wars, and trolling but since there was easy integration with Blogger and Blogger was the OSR go-to blogging platform then it was natural that folks congregated there.
At the end, things had really started to turn into utter crap and Google pulled the plug on G+. The great scattering of people began. Many went to MeWe. Some focused on Facebook. Discord became a favorite. Reddit gathered folks. And I’m sure there are some other social platforms that I don’t know about.
While it’s good that many use a spectrum of social media platforms, it is a bit difficult to have some ideas make the transition between platforms. Some folks refuse to use a particular platform for a variety of reason. I’ll be honest. I like MeWe. I tolerate Facebook. I deactivated my Twitter account because it was totally worthless. IMHO, Reddit becomes a popularity contest with up and down voting. And I just haven’t gotten into Discord. I’m trying. But when I have time, there just doesn’t seem to be anything happening on the servers that I’m a member.
If anything all these various groups across platforms are their own little things. Each one of these communities or groups or whatever you want to call it have their tone, written and unwritten rules. So when I hear someone talking about “gatekeeping” in the OSR because somebody somewhere on the Internet was a jerk, my usual first reaction is “Who? Where’s that?” Sure some groups are more popular and have more members than others. But there is no magic gatekeeper. No one wields that power. A few have tried and failed. A few are accused of it but from what I’ve seen it turns into much ado about nothing.
Here’s the thing. The way things are across the Internet in general, I don’t any one wants to the gatekeeper or the face of the OSR. Even being too popular is a recipe for disaster. There’s always somebody with too much time on their hands who will dig through years of blog and social media posts looking for something that just maybe construed by some one as just might, may be offensive to someone, somewhere, somehow. It’s just putting a target on your forehead.
It’s a good thing that there’s nobody like that. You are beholden to the design philosophies or sensibilities of any body. Sure, there are assholes out there. Just don’t deal, interact, or give them a place in your head. Like I say, “Roll dice, kill monsters, take their stuff, and have fun.”