Why We Blog

Posted by Sweep (8983 posts) -

Blogging is hard. 

It's time consuming, exhausting, and often your work is met with complaints, sarcasm, and worst of all; dismissal. 
 

The hardest thing about blogging is finding something to contribute

something to make the blog worth writing in the first place.

 The way I see it, there are two kinds of blogs. There are those that reflect the opinions and ideas of an individual who is content to flick his own two cents onto the existing heap of cents. Then there are those which are aware of the heap, acknowledge the heap, then walk straight past it. A good writer forms the words that you were too vocally clumsy to architect yourself, sometimes so succinctly that they become instant truths. A good writer deals in the definitive. It's a thin line down which few may walk. 
 

Nobody wants to sound stale. 

Nobody wants to repeat what others have already said, to live in the shadow of better more successful writers. So when it comes to something important, it's sometimes difficult to carve out your own corner of individual reflection. To make yourself heard in a world where everyone has a voice is difficult. To maintain that voice, to give it life and personality beyond the words it offers - that is the true test of ability. 
I like to write down my opinions because I often feel that, in the process of writing them down, I am awarded a fresh clarity. Blogging helps me organize my own inner insanity, my reasoning being that if someone else can understand what i'm talking about then I should be able to as well. However... 

I shall not be so arrogant as to deny the truth, having already discovered it.  
 

When Microsoft announced their new price plan for xbox live I was unimpressed. 


The list of issues, additional costs and general problems I have had with my xbox is already lengthy and continues to grow. It's not a matter of choosing the right or wrong console, it goes far deeper than that. It's about Microsoft treating it's customers like dirt time and time again and, sooner or later, a line must be drawn. This sentiment exists and has already been put forward far more succinctly than I could ever hope to achieve:
 

Penny Arcade:

"  It isn't really about ten dollars. I have ten dollars; you have seen to it. It's the tug of the reins I don't like, the steel bit in my jowls which denotes mastery. As I've said, I find the service worthwhile at a few bucks a month, and with the cards I grabbed yesterday I'll be paying thirty-eight dollars a year  for the foreseeable future . But God damn can I hold a grudge, God  damn ; and making me resent you is the first step to my courting another. "

 The message here is not that I shall burn my Xbox, boycott the next Halo game, stamp my copy of Gears Of War into the dirt. It's that when the next generation of consoles finally rolls around, in 5, 6 or however many years - I don't think I can ever bring myself to return to a company that consistently acts with such blundering inconsideration. Why should they be considerate? Well, they have all my money, for a start... 
 
So this blog is not a groundbreaking addition to the current debate, nor oil upon the raging console war. It is merely a recognition, a mutual understanding, and a nod of approval. It's my two cents.
 
I look forward to doing business with you, Sony. 
   



Thanks For Reading 
Love Sweep
#1 Edited by Sweep (8983 posts) -

Blogging is hard. 

It's time consuming, exhausting, and often your work is met with complaints, sarcasm, and worst of all; dismissal. 
 

The hardest thing about blogging is finding something to contribute

something to make the blog worth writing in the first place.

 The way I see it, there are two kinds of blogs. There are those that reflect the opinions and ideas of an individual who is content to flick his own two cents onto the existing heap of cents. Then there are those which are aware of the heap, acknowledge the heap, then walk straight past it. A good writer forms the words that you were too vocally clumsy to architect yourself, sometimes so succinctly that they become instant truths. A good writer deals in the definitive. It's a thin line down which few may walk. 
 

Nobody wants to sound stale. 

Nobody wants to repeat what others have already said, to live in the shadow of better more successful writers. So when it comes to something important, it's sometimes difficult to carve out your own corner of individual reflection. To make yourself heard in a world where everyone has a voice is difficult. To maintain that voice, to give it life and personality beyond the words it offers - that is the true test of ability. 
I like to write down my opinions because I often feel that, in the process of writing them down, I am awarded a fresh clarity. Blogging helps me organize my own inner insanity, my reasoning being that if someone else can understand what i'm talking about then I should be able to as well. However... 

I shall not be so arrogant as to deny the truth, having already discovered it.  
 

When Microsoft announced their new price plan for xbox live I was unimpressed. 


The list of issues, additional costs and general problems I have had with my xbox is already lengthy and continues to grow. It's not a matter of choosing the right or wrong console, it goes far deeper than that. It's about Microsoft treating it's customers like dirt time and time again and, sooner or later, a line must be drawn. This sentiment exists and has already been put forward far more succinctly than I could ever hope to achieve:
 

Penny Arcade:

"  It isn't really about ten dollars. I have ten dollars; you have seen to it. It's the tug of the reins I don't like, the steel bit in my jowls which denotes mastery. As I've said, I find the service worthwhile at a few bucks a month, and with the cards I grabbed yesterday I'll be paying thirty-eight dollars a year  for the foreseeable future . But God damn can I hold a grudge, God  damn ; and making me resent you is the first step to my courting another. "

 The message here is not that I shall burn my Xbox, boycott the next Halo game, stamp my copy of Gears Of War into the dirt. It's that when the next generation of consoles finally rolls around, in 5, 6 or however many years - I don't think I can ever bring myself to return to a company that consistently acts with such blundering inconsideration. Why should they be considerate? Well, they have all my money, for a start... 
 
So this blog is not a groundbreaking addition to the current debate, nor oil upon the raging console war. It is merely a recognition, a mutual understanding, and a nod of approval. It's my two cents.
 
I look forward to doing business with you, Sony. 
   



Thanks For Reading 
Love Sweep
#2 Posted by mylifeforAiur (3489 posts) -

A far as I know the price for Xbox Live isn't changing in Australia, so I can't really feel everybodies pain concerning the price raise, but paying more for the same is always bad- that I understand ;)

Also, great blog Sweep. it's always a fun read ;)

#3 Posted by Video_Game_King (36272 posts) -

Finding a subject is hard? I manage to find subjects all the time. Wording them? OK, that's kinda hard, as I'm seeing in my new blog (how do I stretch out Golden Axe to four paragraphs?).

#4 Posted by Sweep (8983 posts) -
@mylifeforAiur: Aw, thanks dude. Makes it all worthwhile :D
#5 Edited by Mikemcn (7021 posts) -

Thanks Sweep, once again you have reminded me how terrible I am at Blogging relative to you, if only i could have your blog powers! I could be a king! 
 
But seriously, great blog!

#6 Posted by Sweep (8983 posts) -
#7 Edited by Claude (16254 posts) -

I have an Xbox 360. I have a Wii. I don't have a PS3. My name is Blue. I play PC games too.

#8 Posted by Sweep (8983 posts) -
@Mikemcn said:
" Thanks Sweep, once again you have reminded me how terrible I am at Blogging relative to you, if only i could have your blog powers! I could be a king!   But seriously, great blog! "
Thanks mate :D And don't worry about it, Video_Game_King managed to become a monarch and his blogs are rubbish! 
 
(Only kidding VGK, I love you and your blogs really ;)
#9 Posted by Red12b (9085 posts) -

  
Good blog, fuck I need to start going to Penny Arcade, whenever I see one of the strips I'm always like, I should favourite that site, I should go and read their stuff it looks good, 
 
It's been a year since I first said that,  
 
fucking procrastination...
Hang on I’ll be right back and I'll finish this sentence, I gotta do something   

#10 Posted by thedj93 (1237 posts) -

And here I was, about to get into Gold for the first time in years. 
Now I just want my ps3 back...

#11 Posted by Video_Game_King (36272 posts) -
@Sweep: 
 
I think I can squeeze a max of one sentence from each of those subjects. I already got the dwarf milked.....ew....
#12 Posted by Sweep (8983 posts) -
@thedj93:  Don't worry about it yet! I think my xbox is great and, if it came without all of microsoft's bullshit, it would be perfect. Just remember all this, next time you have to buy a console. Remember.
#13 Posted by Sweep (8983 posts) -
@Video_Game_King: The bikini doesn't need a sentence, it just needs a jpeg ;)
#14 Posted by buzz_clik (7026 posts) -
Yeah, I always have that thing where I'll feel some way about a topic, but figure it's something people have read (roughly) a bajillion times before in other blogs. I'm not saying that to make out like each of my blogs that does stumble into the spotlight is the proverbial beautiful and unique snowflake. I just find it hard to convince myself to write a blog if I don't think I've got something interesting to say; if I've read it before, chances are that so has every person, especially those who are on the internet far more frequently than I. It sucks, because I've actually got saved blogs that I've written and not posted because I've typed them out and then wondered "who really cares about this?"
 
But no matter. Even those blogs that get buried in the Drafts box go some way to honing my writing style. Learning from failure FTW! I mean... wait, what? Shit, I just confused myself.
 
Thanks for always giving me a blog to consistently check out, though, Sweeper! Even your spammy ones push the entertainment-o-meter into the red.
 
@mylifeforAiur said:
" A far as I know the price for Xbox Live isn't changing in Australia..."
I know, it's weird that we're not getting dicked over. I mean, obviously the US side of things has more features and general cool shit, but I'm pretty sure a lot of Aussie peeps won't really care that they're missing out if it means no price hike.
Moderator
#15 Posted by Hamz (6846 posts) -

My general feeling about the XBL price hike is this. 
 
Why complain about the raise in price for XBL when after all you've already shown to Microsoft you're willing to pay for what should, arguably, be a free service to begin with. 
 
I'm sure someone will lambaste me for that comment with an intricate list of details explaining what exactly XBL gives and how much it costs and why the subscription fee is necessary and so forth. 
 
But at he end of the day the benefits for XBL are fairly minimal from a gaming perspective. Even from a media and entertainment perspective they seem minimal, especially to those who don't live within the USA and may not get the exact same feature set as residents of the USA would.

#16 Posted by mylifeforAiur (3489 posts) -
@buzz_clik: Yeah, I'm too bothered about the lack of features (despite the fact that I dont have a gold subscription anyway), it's strange, considering the fact that we pay so much for video games and hardware ( I can only imagine that games cost slightly more in New Zealand). I just hope that Microsoft don't end up adding some useless features to Xbox Live, I like how it is! ;) 
#17 Posted by Sweep (8983 posts) -
@buzz_clik said:
"Thanks for always giving me a blog to consistently check out, though, Sweeper! Even your spammy ones push the entertainment-o-meter into the red. "
Ha, you're welcome. 
 
To be honest I think if you are saying the same thing but in an interesting way, that's almost as good as saying something interesting about the same thing. You should always stick up what you write. It's not like you have anything to lose, and constructive criticism is probably the best way to improve. If in doubt just stick a few images in of Jeff doing a barrel roll.
#18 Posted by Sweep (8983 posts) -
@Hamz said:
" My general feeling about the XBL price hike is this.  Why complain about the raise in price for XBL when after all you've already shown to Microsoft you're willing to pay for what should, arguably, be a free service to begin with.  I'm sure someone will lambaste me for that comment with an intricate list of details explaining what exactly XBL gives and how much it costs and why the subscription fee is necessary and so forth.  But at he end of the day the benefits for XBL are fairly minimal from a gaming perspective. Even from a media and entertainment perspective they seem minimal, especially to those who don't live within the USA and may not get the exact same feature set as residents of the USA would. "
I'm thinking of it as adding "Insult to injury".
#19 Posted by Video_Game_King (36272 posts) -
@Sweep: 
 
I'm not gonna mention the bikini in my blog, so I'll post one in yours:
 
 
#20 Posted by Diamond (8634 posts) -

I also have more of a hard time thinking of subjects to write than the actual writing.  I'm pretty obsessed about finding something that really does need to be said, one way or another, however.  I have a much easier time thinking of ideas for short stories (which I write down ASAP these days).
 
I feel like the general inconsideration of corporations will continue forward.  Gaming is definitely a harsher place in some ways today than it used to be.  The Xbox Live price hike is just one such inconsideration by a single corporation.

#21 Posted by MarkWahlberg (4610 posts) -

No matter how good a blog is, it's still called a 'blog', which is a really dumb fucking word. 

#22 Posted by Sweep (8983 posts) -
@Video_Game_King: Great. Awesome. I look forward to this fresh batch of nightmares.
#23 Posted by buzz_clik (7026 posts) -
@Video_Game_King said:
" @Sweep: 
 
I'm not gonna mention the bikini in my blog, so I'll post one in yours:
 
  "
I was thinking about posting a whole unused blog of mine in here.
 
INCEPTION - in cinemas now.
Moderator
#24 Posted by buzz_clik (7026 posts) -
@Video_Game_King said:
" Finding a subject is hard? I manage to find subjects all the time. Wording them? OK, that's kinda hard, as I'm seeing in my new blog (how do I stretch out Golden Axe to four paragraphs?). "
See, I've got drawers and drawers and cupboards and drawers full of old games, but I feel like if I start writing about that guff I'll be treading on your toes. Actually, it's only recently that I've thought about doing a very specific blog series on my Mega Drive / Genesis games. I've got hundreds of them, and was considering trying to beat one every week. Of course, the downside to devoting that much time to beating old games is that my gamerscore will come to a jarring halt. I'm so torn!
Moderator
#25 Posted by ArbitraryWater (12123 posts) -

I blog because I can. And because I need some sort of focal point to discuss all the obscure 1990s RPGs that I play. Is my blogging relevant, the same way your's, or even VGK's is? I sure as hell don't know. If I get 10 posts other than mine out of a blog, I count it a success. But I do it anyways. It's a way to vent.

#26 Posted by Video_Game_King (36272 posts) -
@ArbitraryWater: 
 
My writing's relevant? To what :P?
#27 Posted by ArbitraryWater (12123 posts) -
@Video_Game_King: On a video game website, all discussion of video games is relevant in some way. However, the overall relevancy can be shown in terms of audience. I have exactly 69 (how kinky) followers. You have 383. That has to do with the content presented (you have at least one relevant game every other week or so, whereas I couldn't tell you a man on this site other than Dave Snider who even knows what the fuck Wizardry 8 is) but it also has to do with the fact that you bloggerize more often than I do, and now that school has started I have even less time to play games. Do I resent that? Not really. Not everyone can stomach a 50+ hour RPG from 2001 (and frankly, I'm at the point where even I can't unless it really grabs my interest).
#28 Posted by Llama (180 posts) -

you're wrong, shut up

#29 Posted by Video_Game_King (36272 posts) -
@ArbitraryWater: 
 
Similarly, not everybody can stomach almost-as-long strategy RPGs from 95, I think. That's why I don't have my Tactics Ogre blog up yet.
#30 Posted by bonbolapti (1626 posts) -

The two things I like about blogging, is to do it for myself and in spite of others.
 
So naturally. I don't blog that much, but when I usually do, I have a different site for that kind of thing lol

#31 Posted by ajamafalous (12161 posts) -

You pretty much hit the reasons I don't blog, and, in addition, the reasons my posts are rarely more than a few sentences.

#32 Posted by emkeighcameron (1876 posts) -

I made a couple blogs but I don't have the slightest clue what happened to them.
 
I remember that it was hard coming up with topics that were worth a damn.

#33 Edited by jakob187 (21762 posts) -
@Hamz said:

" My general feeling about the XBL price hike is this.  Why complain about the raise in price for XBL when after all you've already shown to Microsoft you're willing to pay for what should, arguably, be a free service to begin with."

Playing with other folks online should be free, sure.  That's not what you pay for with Xbox Live, and it's the thing that baffles me about most complaints with XBL.  This list isn't geared directly at you, despite your comment that someone will point it all out.  However, it's the general way I've always looked at an XBL subscription, and if I may share:
 
My $50 a year right now is paying for unified friends lists, no matter what games we are playing.  It's the ability to have access to things like Last.fm, Twitter, Facebook, and other forms of social communication on one device.  XBL allows me VOIP with its Party Chat system, as well as Netflix Instant Streaming.  Are some of the services I would use things that I'd pay additional for, like Hulu+ and Netflix Instant?  Sure.  However, that $50 A YEAR is something that goes towards the amount of bandwidth that Microsoft has to use, the development of ways to make all these things work on their platform, etc.  It's about paying the employees that are building this infrastructure. 
 
When we break it down, even this price hike of $60 a year means we're paying, what, $5.00 a month?  That's up from $4.10 a month.  People are literally bitching about 90 cents.  Congratulations, you have an extra $1.00 burger from McDonald's per month!  It's a stupid thing to complain about, having to pay for a massive infrastructure that people work hard to maintain and continue to develop new ideas for.  Here are a few things that $5.00 a month is cheaper than: 
  • A pack of cigarettes
  • A meal at Burger King
  • A six-pack of beer
  • A copy of Sea Bear vs. Grizzly Shark (well, it's close)
  • The exact price of ONE HOUR at my workplace for PC or Xbox gameplay
 
Think of every single one of these things and realize just how SMALL $5.00 is.  Now realize how much people are complaining that $5.00 a MONTH is going to give them this huge setup that Microsoft has built in order to push the way we interact in games and with gaming consoles forward.  I have no problem paying that price, and if anything, I think that $50 a year was asking quite little of its users for premium access to many of its features. 
 
Sure, we can talk about the theological ideals of Microsoft showing their control over the users, but fuck...we're using THEIR console and THEIR service and THEIR bandwidth and THEIR servers.  The LEAST we can do is give them $5.00 a month for the service.  Mind you, I'm in the States, and from what I'm to understand, this brings us closer to the pricing structure that overseas users have been at for some time.  I don't know what the truths in those are. 
 
I simply know that I'm more than fine with the feature set they have on the console, as well as being willing to pay for the employees working on it to keep improving it in as many ways as possible.  It's not perfect, but fuck...it's better than Sony's setup in so many ways to me. 
 
Great blog as usual, Sweep.  Also, I fall in the former category of blogging, but that's because I rarely have anything important to say other than what I think about stuff.  Whether they stack onto a heap of cents, it doesn't matter.  I'd like to think that my writing style makes those opinions something a bit more unique, despite how much they would match up with someone else's.  It's definitely some food for thought, though.
#34 Posted by wefwefasdf (6729 posts) -

Always like reading your blogs Sweep.  
 
And while I'll still pay for XBL. I'm in the same boat as you for the next generation of consoles.

#35 Posted by owl_of_minerva (1455 posts) -
@Video_Game_King:  If only more people played Fragile Dreams so they could be as haunted by this image as I am.
#36 Posted by WatanabeKazuma (989 posts) -

I find myself writing for similar reasons sweep, I just enjoy it.
 
Nice to do it with a group of like minded people, been a member of GB for a while but only recently started to blog and post often, should of done it sooner.

#37 Edited by Red12b (9085 posts) -
@MarkWahlberg said:

" No matter how good a blog is, it's still called a 'blog', which is a really dumb fucking word.  "

I agree man 
@Llama
said:

" you're wrong, shut up "

Wait why am I wrong I am just agreeing with someone! 

@Llama

 said: 

" you're wrong, shut up "

Why just because I have the right to read and say what I want! I don't like your attitude, You seem like a real nice person. 

@Llama

 said: 

" you're wrong, shut up "

Geez dude, you should calm down, you know that it raises your blood pressure to be angry all the time 

@Llama

 said: 

" you're wrong, shut up "

No, it's scientifically proven that anger releases stress in short bursts, but, if you are in a constant state of anger, stress levels go over a rate that your body can cope, In turn making the brain release hormones and chemicals to keep your body in a fight or flight mode, long exposure to these powerful chemicals can have serious effects to your over all health and well being  
 

@Llama

 said: 

" you're wrong, shut up "  

Well, I've treid, it seems there is just no getting through to some people 
 

@Llama

 said: 

" you're wrong, shuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu----------------------------------- "

   
Llama?  
 
Llama?! 
 
LLLAAMAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!
#38 Posted by Cincaid (2959 posts) -

Feel bad for me too. I live in Sweden, and our yearly fee have always been around $87 for Gold, not to mention there's a TON of games that never even gets released outside of the US and Japan. One of my favourite games to the PS2 was Culdcept, and when I heard Culdcept Saga was going to be released I cried of joy. Only to sit here two years later and realize it'll never be released in EU.
 
Woe is me. :(

#39 Posted by Sweep (8983 posts) -
@jakob187 said:
"When we break it down, even this price hike of $60 a year means we're paying, what, $5.00 a month?  That's up from $4.10 a month.  People are literally bitching about 90 cents.  Congratulations, you have an extra $1.00 burger from McDonald's per month!  It's a stupid thing to complain about, having to pay for a massive infrastructure that people work hard to maintain and continue to develop new ideas for.  Here are a few things that $5.00 a month is cheaper than: 
  • A pack of cigarettes
  • A meal at Burger King
  • A six-pack of beer
  • A copy of Sea Bear vs. Grizzly Shark (well, it's close)
  • The exact price of ONE HOUR at my workplace for PC or Xbox gameplay
 Think of every single one of these things and realize just how SMALL $5.00 is.  Now realize how much people are complaining that $5.00 a MONTH is going to give them this huge setup that Microsoft has built in order to push the way we interact in games and with gaming consoles forward.  I have no problem paying that price, and if anything, I think that $50 a year was asking quite little of its users for premium access to many of its features.  Sure, we can talk about the theological ideals of Microsoft showing their control over the users, but fuck...we're using THEIR console and THEIR service and THEIR bandwidth and THEIR servers.  The LEAST we can do is give them $5.00 a month for the service. "
I'm not saying the service is worthless, which is why I have paid for it for all these years already. I understand it's value and I understand that it's something unavailable elsewhere. The fact of the matter is, microsoft have handled this poorly. They haven't explained why they are upping the price, they havent explained why they now need more money - don't they already have infinity dollars?? - so to the end users like me it almost seems like they are doing this out of greed,  because they can
 
As previously stated: it's not about the money. It's not that I can't afford to keep handing over whatever they want the price plan to be - it's that I don't like the way Microsoft handles it's announcements and I don't like the way it treats it's customers. The point is that they have pissed me off. I am not some fucking drone mindlessly handing over money, I'm a loyal customer. I don't deserve to be treated like a chump.
#40 Edited by Rowr (5824 posts) -

Are we so quick to dismiss the shameless arrogance of sony over the past 5 years? 
 
Remember that time they released the new dual shock 2 FOR 100 DOLLARS EACH like controller vibration wasnt a FUCKING STANDARD. It's only in the last year or so that sony hasnt seemingly had the customer paying through the nose for their early mistakes.
 
Anyway, until i can purchase a ps3 in this country for less than 500 bucks (for the love of god why does it still cost so much here.) I'll just roll with microsofts punches.

It's really not going to make a difference who you decide to align with as far as this shit goes, your best hope is pc.
 
As someone who has payed 80 bucks a year for live for the last 4 years i'm finding it hard to have much sympathy for your regions price hikes anyway.

#41 Posted by Llama (180 posts) -

haha, that was directed at Sweep, because he's always wrong and needs to shut up :>

#42 Posted by Sweep (8983 posts) -
@Llama said:
" haha, that was directed at Sweep, because he's always wrong and needs to shut up :> "
I love you, llama.
#43 Posted by Oni (2113 posts) -

A price hike for something that's been priced the same for the last 8 years isn't really that shocking, don't know why everyone's so upset. YEarly subs in the UK aren't even affected, so why are you angry? As long as Sony's online doesn't come close, they can get away with it. The ball is still in their court, but they can't seem to manage what MS is doing. Which is in that same PA editorial you quoted. I don't play any online games on the PS3, and there are myriad reasons for that.

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