The lights are on
Veteran Member - Level 13
Do you feel a bit giddy when you post something (whether a blog post or a forum post that's not just a request for help) and somebody from GI actually responds to it? Or, maybe not even giddy, but just a small "whoa, this is much cooler than when somebody like hist responds to me" kind of feeling?
It's amazing how the concept of "celebrity" works, even in smaller cases. When people we like and respect, and who produce things that we like to consume, actually give us some acknowledgement that *we* exist and that they have noticed us. This could be true of the biggest celebrity ("Brad Pitt just stopped me on the street and said I looked almost as handsome as him!") all the way down to what might be considered a niche area, like gaming. I'm not belittling gamers or the gaming culture, by the way. I'm just acknowledging that gaming is certainly a smaller area than worldwide celebrity.
Within that subset of society, there's still a hierarchy. Those who are near the "top," so to speak, who are well known throughout the field. In gaming, it can refer to both the more famous developers (Warren Spector or Cliffy B, for example) as well as those who are prominent in the gaming media (Game Informer people, Games Radar, etc).
I find it interesting how we react to these "celebrities" and their interactions with us, the consumers (both consumers of the games as well as the consumer of what these people are writing).
It came to me when I was listening to the latest GI podcast, where they had the Reader Mailbag. I saw the blog post asking for questions because they were going to be doing a Reader Mailbag segment and thought "hey, it would be cool if I asked a question and they answered it on the podcast." So I submitted a question.
And it didn't get answered. And I remember feeling just a quick burst of disappointment. I'm intelligent enough to know that there were *lots* of questions asked, and that they had only a short segment to answer them in. So the feeling quickly passed. But it was definitely there.
Then I go to the podcast post on the GI site and see the reactions and comments of quite a few people who were similar. "Darn! My question wasn't answered!" was a common refrain. Yes, I'm sure some of them were joking (I almost posted something humorous like that myself until I saw how many people already had), but I'm sure there were some who were serious too.
You see the same thing with Annette's weekly blog herding post.(such as this week's). People wanting that acknowledgement from the "celebrities" (in this case, Annette) and being disappointed when it doesn't come. Again, for many of us who are more secure in ourselves, it's a fleeting thing. But again, it's still there. Every week I look at the Blog Herding post, hoping to see my name in there (even when I know I haven't written anything herd-worthy that week). And I feel that slight disappointment when I'm not. Then I'm quickly over it.
When an editor comments on my blog out of the blue, I get that "Wow, I've been noticed!" feeling as well. When I had some constructive criticisms of the podcast in its early days, there were a couple of staff comments, and I was *really* pleased that they took notice of it.
When I contact Dan Amrich (formerly of Official Xbox Magazine and now Community Manager for Activision) and I get a quick (and *detailed*!) response, I get a warm shiver. Or when Dan actually responded to a tweet that wasn't directed at him, I was floored.
Or how about when Chris Antista from Games Radar actually responded to one of my tweets and we bantered for a couple of tweets.
It's these kinds of things that give us the "wow, *that person* has actually noticed me!" feeling.
I think it's hardwired into us that we classify people into different groups. Those people who are in the "celebrity" group (whether it's worldwide celebrity or celebrity within a certain subset of society) have a different effect on us than the rest of the group. We put them on a bit of a pedestal, though some pedestals are higher than others. Of course, the higher the pedestal, the further that person can fall if they end up disappointing the masses.
But even so, I don't think any of us are immune to it. We may be able to minimize it (again, my disappointment is usually fleeting as I quickly collect myself), but I think it's always going to be there.
And that's not a slight against anybody else. The community here is wonderful, and other communities I've been in have also been wonderful. I love getting *any* response to something that I write.
But to be honest, it's not *quite* the same as if somebody "famous" decided to respond as well.
I don't like that feeling, because I don't like separating people like that.
But it just may be impossible not to.
Or maybe this rambling is just my way of dealing with the crushing disappointment of not getting my question answered.
That's also a possibility.