Come gather around people
Wherever you roam
And admit that the waters
Around you have grown
And accept it that soon
You'll be drenched to the bone
And if your breath to you is worth saving
Then you better start swimming or you'll sink like a stone
For the times they are a-changing
- · DISCLAIMER
While I’m still on the wankgate mod list and occasionally pop in to do posts, I no longer consider myself a part of the staff and have no say in the way the community is run. Later on I might talk about my thoughts about wankgate and its current state, but that’s not an indication of any direction wankgate is heading or potential policy changes or whatever. IDK. I might not end up talking about wankgate. I’m making this up as I go along. This is formatted in bullet points because this is just word babble and me talking as I go along.
- · DREAMWIDTH RP IS DEAD
Every so often when I come back here I’ll see the occasional thread with people talking about whether DW RP is dead. Numerous people have tried to claim that it’s not based simply on the fact that people are still roleplaying on Dreamwidth. In that aspect, they are correct. From what I can tell there are a handful of games that still have an active player base and are doing well. Still upon close examination the signs abound that while DW might not exactly be dead, it’s on life support. If I were to be brutally honest, we’re on hospice and it’s only a matter of time before it finally kicks the bucket. This is evident from the fact that a lot of the major pillars of our community have started to fade away. ATP and RP secrets are dead. Anon communities such as Wankgate and RP Anons are almost nonexistent. I remember when at the start of this community I was making new posts twice a week. Now we’re making a post once every two weeks. The mega games of yore such as Mayfield are long gone. There is no way around it. DW RP as we know it is dying.
I’ve heard some float the idea that the anon gossip comms like Wankgate are the reason for this. To be frank, we’re not afraid to eat our own, and even insignificant shit like icon choice and shipping can result in a namedrop and a flurry of wank. We revel in the drama, and in other communities what is discussed in private conversations is brought out to the light and made public. I personally disagree with this assessment, because honestly you can’t take the wank out of DW RP. As stated earlier anon communities are a pillar of our community, and if they killed the community then there was no avoiding it.
Rather I would put forward that what is killing DW RP is the lack of fresh, new blood into the community. A lot of this stems from the downfall in Livejournal. I came in as an outsider recommended by a friend to get in on the Livejournal RP, but I understand that I am the exception rather than the rule. Back in the day the Livejournal fandom community provided a feeder system that allowed the roleplaying community to flourish with a steady influx of new players that enjoyed fandom RP. As it stands now, Dreamwidth lacks a strong fandom community that would allow new, fresh blood to get into the RP community. As more and more people stop RPing for various reasons, the RP community slowly starts to wither away. I am of the firm belief that there is no coming back from this. Without a strong fandom community, we’re just gonna fade away.
I don’t think this necessarily the end of fandom RP though. Take a moment and think. What’s another site with an incredibly strong fandom presence? One that has hundreds, if not thousands of people involved? One that is starting to support a budding RP community?
- · Oh fuck it’s Tumblr, isn’t it?
You’re god damned right.
I’d like to point out that I’m not advocating going and RPing on Tumblr. The ecosystem sucks for any kind of RPing because that’s not what it was intended for. However, we need to realize that the landscape is changing. DW RP as it stands is not sustainable. That’s not necessarily a bad thing. Things change, and I mean let’s be real here. I joined my first game six years ago. SIX years. That’s a long time. I know many that have been doing it longer than that. It sucks that the community is fading away, but that’s just the nature of the beast.
The main issue is that there’s no real alternative to DW/LJ rp. I doubt we’ll ever have a perfect equivalent ever. I think one of the main issues comes from the shifting nature of social media. Back when we were growing up, our communities were LJ, message boards, and IM. Now we have Tumblr, Twitter, and Facebook. The new forms of social media are not conductive to RP as we knew it, and honestly probably never will be barring some radical changes. While we can either attempt to move on to greener pastures that might not be ideal, or we can just ride off into the sunset as we still enjoy our DW RP.
It might seem like I’m trying to issue a mandate saying that stuff like Tumblr RP is the future and we should all go play over there, but that’s not my intent. I have no intentions of moving over to Tumblr/Facebook/Twitter RP. I abandonded my Tumblr account about a year ago because I just got tired of the community circlejerking itself over its social justice. I’m just trying to be candid and honest in assessing the health and future of online RP, and honestly DW RP is dead and social media style RP seems to be the future. Hopefully what we’re seeing right now is something akin to birthing pains, and eventually things will change that a true, amazing RP community can blossom on something like Tumblr.
Because I mean at the end of the day I love the DW/LJ style of RP. Some of the most fun I’ve had while RPing has been on this site, which is why I keep coming back and rereading the old logs and thinking about jumping into new games. It’s a unique, multi faceted style that I adore, and I really, really don’t want it to go away.
- · Alright. So where should I go if I want a more active RP scene?
This is gonna sound weird as hell, but honestly? F-List. Ironically furries are kind of in the minority, and you can find some halfway decent non-sexual RP if you scrounge around enough. Fair warning the majority of people on there are trash and just looking to get their rocks off, which is fine if you’re looking for some no effort fap bait. But if you look hard enough you can find some serious quality writers on there that are just lovely.
- · Okay you mentioned Wankgate at the start. What are your thoughts.
I’ve spent more time on this then I would like, and I’m getting bored . I’ll just list a few basic concepts. Might expand on them later. Basically wankgate sucks right now. The quality of the wank is in the trash. Like super fucking weak. Random thoughts. Move wankgate to once every three months and see what happens. Either we get glorious wank explosions like in the past, or the community dies out. Either way no big loss.