December is a special time in small countryside communities around here where it’s customary to not just buy advent calendars stuffed with chocolate and toys for children, but to turn an entire town (for reference) into one big calendar with a different house participating every night until Xmas. Participants draw a number and decorate a prominent and visible window on the house they live in, to be lit through the entire night when it’s their turn in December (and onward from there until the 24th). It is a wonderful sight on a cold winter’s night to walk through such a town and discover what people have done with their windows, whether you celebrate Xmas or not. It’s one of those orchestrated displays of community that still work on some level, or so I have always found, and everyone is welcome to join for this tradition regardless of religion.
Advent window in Toggenburg / toggenburger-zeitung.ch
The MMO Blogosphere XMAS Countdown
December is almost here and constitutes the end of another year of blogging in the blogosphere as well as the end of a quarter that was difficult for gaming culture as a whole. We’ve been reminded that mainstream media still think fairly low of our pastime and that gamers are not one community. Some have stopped to identify with this label altogether, as is their right.
And yet, if we dig deeper past superficial labels, there is still a community of sorts between an ever growing number of individuals – a community by choice of active members in this here blogosphere and elsewhere, among gaming bloggers on twitter and G+, sharing daily quips or friendly advice, joining forces on cooperative events and seeking exchange and respectful discussion week after week while holding to similar standards of communication. At yesterday’s Blizzcon, Blizzard revealed a down memory lane documentary on WoW and their worldwide fanbase which was full of feels and nostalgia for this MMO. It was hard to watch without being reminded of that great idea(l), that promise of acceptance and belonging that virtual worlds still hold for so many players across the globe, no matter where they come from. To claim that it’s all just a sham would be overly cynical – every day, online gaming brings some people together.
Blogging buddies, twitter friends, kindred spirits – they exist. To many of us, they make writing about games that much more special and enjoyable. Nobody likes to blog in a vacuum. This is where the MMO Blogosphere Xmas Countdown comes into play and I call participants from all corners of the gaming blogosphere to join for this merry event through December! Sign up and turn your blog into a community window on a random day that will be assigned before the end of November! Join the calendar that is blogosphere town!
My thanks go to Belghast from Tales of the Aggronaut for graciously assisting me with the logo to this merry little event! Bel has been the host of the Blaugust blogging event this year and I am happy to be part of a community that has people like him in it.
How to join the blogosphere Xmas Calendar: Q&A
How do I create a “window”? What’s the topic?
Your “window” is a blogpost dedicated to the topic of ‘gaming and community’ which goes up on your assigned date in December. Form and content of this post are completely up to you: whether you include a number of pictures/screenshots or the official event logo, whether you write an essay or even a poem.
As for topics, the sky is the limit: write about how gaming has impacted on your life in terms of meeting new people, or what community means to you personally! Share the story of how you met a special person online, about your time in the blogosphere, times spent with your gaming buddies IRL or your guild online. Alternatively, you could take a more analytical approach as to why community building matters in MMOs and why it’s important to you. Either way, the point is to share something positive that has come from gaming/blogging for you as an individual and that involves others in some way.
Who can join?
Anyone who runs an active MMO or gaming related blog and has something to share on the topic of community! It doesn’t matter if you’ve got a dedicated WoW blog or write about different MMOs or mixed games, game design or gaming culture. The more, the merrier!
How do I join?
You can sign up by adding a comment below or by dropping me a quick line via email or twitter. Please leave a link to your blog if required.
When do I get my date / number?
Dates will be rolled out and randomly assigned to participants. An official XMAS “calendar” with all participants will be published on MMO Gypsy by November 24th including a link to your blog, so make sure to check back for your slot then!
Do I use a specific post title?
To identify posts participating in this event, the first part of your post title should read: “Bloggy XMAS <number>: ……” the rest of the title being all yours!
How long does it all last?
I am am positive that we can make the calendar go all the way up to at least December 24th, with hopefully many bloggers up to join for some merry reminiscing! More sign-ups can always be accommodated – this event being about community more than the actual holiday, I’d like to keep it flexible and go up all the way to New Year (Dec 31st) if required.
Like for the poetry slam and other blogosphere events, all entries will be rounded-up on MMO Gypsy (and potentially more sites!) by December 31st. I look forward to some great contributions again and hope to see some new faces joining the ranks! Thanks for helping to spread the word over the coming two weeks, so we can fill this December in the blogosphere with some happy stories on gaming and community.
Sign up now – and get ready to light your own window!