(Note: this entry isn't really directed at Dtoid, any specific Dtoiders or strictly (but also) videogame related. It was, however, inspired by some things I've read from people here and in other forums, on top of my own experiences in other communites)
"The first season was good, but then it started to go down the shitter."
"I love their first few albums, but now their music just sucks."
"This place was really cool, but now it's just full of assholes."
I think we all know sentences like this. We might have said them at some point. I know I sure as hell did. There are bands I liked quite some time, but then evolved into a direction I can't stand. There are communities, multiple ones, I was eagerly a part of and contributed a lot of them, where as opposed to know I barely post in them at all. I put work into these communities, hours over hours of actual stuff that was exhausting. Nowadays... well, I can't say I don't care of them, I just don't like it there anymore.
Pictured: New and Old. Not pictured: jarring conflicts.
See, being part of something is pretty cool. When you are part of something over a long time you'll likely start to make friends and acquaintances. You might even get something out of it. But the ugly truth is this: things will most likely always change at some point. Bands or directors will evolve their skills, go into new directions and try out new stuff. Communities will grow and grow, more folks will flood in and thus people you don't like. Companies will grow bigger, thus trying themselves on bigger projects with larger target audiences, which changes the style of their products. And when that happens the "old ones" will be alienated, at least pretty likely.
The reason, I figured, was that the things you once cherished change. One forum I was posting in a while back was a small, tight group. We all knew each other. Nowadays there are so many users and postings, I can't keep up with this anymore. Literally. And these users, ugh. So much stupid posts. So much idiocy. Almost everything I loved about that community is once gone, including my love for movies.
Wait, wat? Yes, that's right. I have also changed over the years. Everybody does. Opinions and viewpoints on grander things evolve and change. I think that when we get beyond a certain point the changes become slower and less drastic, but when I look back on the past ten years, I'm 28 now, quite some things have changed. Almost all of them for the better, I might say. But my focus on certain hobbies has changed too. Gaming was never as big for me as it is at the moment. At this point it's eating up a good chunk of my time and I game as much as I can because I just fucking LOVE gaming. Dead Rising 3 has just proven it to me again.
That said, I also get pretty nostalgic and melancholic at times when I look on the "old" communities that don't mean anything to me anymore. I was there so long ago, was part of something and now I'm not anymore. People I had contact with have become names of strangers again, I've went from being a contributor to being a silent reader.
Being one of the "old guys" is kinda cool, because I was part of something nobody of the new guys else will. I've met great people because of this and with some I still have good contact to this day. Heck, I'm living with one of these together at the moment. It's great.
But it also sucks. You have only two choices: accept that changes happen. Because they WILL happen. Nobody will ask you and most likely nobody gives a shit if you want them to happen or not. It's the nature of things and usually nobody owes you anything. The creators of content don't own it to you to stay true to their roots and other people don't owe it to you to live up to your standards, whatever those may be. You can try to adapt to the new circumstances, if you want. I for once don't want to deal with 16 year old shitheads who only care for getting their movies/games uncensored because "Duhhh, blood, gore, tits!". I just don't want to deal with it and that's, for example, the majority of a community I'm now part of. So I chose the other thing: I left. Sort of. I'm still reading, posting here and there, but that's it. At first I kinda felt that I'm abandoning things, leaving them behind without trying to make them better. But the thing is: I did try. By being around, amidst all the change, just to end up being a stone that's swept over the flood. There is nothing I have to blame myself for.
Some things can never be taken from you.
That said, I'm happy that these communities got bigger and more successful. Even if it means it creates an environment I don't want to be a part of anymore, I'm happy to see these things have success. And I just don't want to become one of those begruntled "oldies", sitting in "their" communities, only nagging on how everything has turned to shit, how exhausting all the new guys are and basically just shitting on everything that is new, because I don't like it. Instead I still try to do my service to all the things I once liked and don't like anymore. Shove new people into their direction if I deem them a good fit and preserve the memories of the good times. Have a beer with the folks from back then, try to stay in contact, stay with each other. Things will always change, maybe not to your liking, but nothing can take the goods time you had away. Just as much as you can't stop change.