The Highest Power

Love. Faith. Family. Friendship. Money. Fame. Control. Influence.

All of these are key types of power, but for me, they don’t hold a candle to the highest power I know.

True power is service.

(Pope Francis said that. He’s a pretty good guy, in my book.)

I am here to serve others. The wake I leave is determined by how many people I have touched and brought kindness and solidarity.

 

inspirational-quote-renew-humanity

When I took over the House, I agreed to certain principles that Lauby and Dethtron felt were important.

The biggest was that the House of Paincakes was to serve and support the tabletop/gaming & hobby community.

This is an important thing to do- for reasons far beyond “it feels good, man”. Being the backing of a group or idea allows that collective a way to build and develop. Without the pillars, Houses could not grow and flourish.

Support means to hold up or serve as a foundation or prop for- holding up this hobby and the people in it is one of my strongest passions. It’s what I do at my store as much as I possibly can, it’s what I do in the board game design competition, and it’s what I am doing here.

Or at least what I WAS doing here.

 

636x460design_01

It’s been over a year since I have consistently done any sort of work for the House of Paincakes, and that’s a terrible shame. I had a passion for writing and discussing our hobby that I thought would never end- until it did. My interest in gaming is on a decline at the moment, and the community here is suffering for it.

There’s more power out there, but it’s not mine to give at the moment.

It might come back to me at some point- it’s happened before. I go through cycles where I am not involved, interested or innovating- and then at some point, my “mojo” comes back to me.

Mojo-jojo-powerpuff-girls

 

It can be a few weeks or months, or it can be years. I feel pretty strongly that the community of bloggers, hobbyists, painters and gamers deserves a whole lot better than a hope that maybe THIS is the week that Lo gets her shit together and the House starts producing regular content again.

I have ideas of what the community deserves, and at the moment, I am not delivering it. I am not recruiting new writers, or writing my own articles, or generating conversations. I’m not even paying as much attention to what happens here as I should, and I am the only person to blame for those failings.

failing_at_life_by_jamesy165-d4injke

I’m not living up to my standards, nor am I enforcing them. I expect certain standards from writers and contributors here at the House. I haven’t made that clear, nor have I upheld them to folks around here. All of you are worth more than a half assed effort, which is the best I can manage at the moment.

 

This isn’t a cry of pity or woe is me. This is something I’ve been sitting on for weeks- and very likely longer.

I am not making the decision today, but the likelihood that the House may shut its doors is very high, and I want you to be aware of it.

I am not serving you anymore, and I am not okay with that situation. I need to either step away or do something about it. I haven’t decided which yet- but I know myself and my situation. I’m being as honest as I can that I don’t know how or when that could change.

You may also like...

  • Thuloid

    Your absence has been felt. That may feel like accusation, but take it as embrace as well.

    One enormous caveat to this, and I’m sure part of why you put this in a post–we are not qualified judges of ourselves. I know we feel we are, but we’re wrong. Half the time when I write something I look at it, and think “This is crap.” But then, because I have little choice and a deadline is on me, I go with it anyway, and voices I trust more than my own say, “Thank you. I needed that.”

    So, yes, you feel your work hasn’t been up to par. And I’m not going to pretend that’s wrong. But maybe half your ass is still worth more than you think.

    • Hah. My half ass is pretty big, as I’m very ample bottomed. Hah again, I’m funny, see?

      • Thuloid

        Apropos of nothing, by brother-in-law gave a ride to the Dalai Lama today. Just wanted to share that with somebody.

  • Zab

    We all get burn out. Step away if you need to or share what is inspiring you at the moment. We’ll all be here when you are ready πŸ™‚

    • The Warlock

      ^This.
      Lo if you need to take a break, take a break- the House will always be here regardless and nothing good comes from trying to force yourself through a period of burnout/hobby wobble.

      Just don’t blame yourself for the lull in everyone’s hobbying- life happens. Life’s a thing and it’s like a cat to a keyboard- it just keeps getting in the way. What I guess I’m trying to say is that if you need a break, take a break. There’s no blame or judging as we all need some time away from the hobby.

      • It’s not just the hobby, though, it’s the blog as well. Do I take a break from that too?

        • The Warlock

          If you feel that you need to, then by all means πŸ™‚ Do what you need to do to recharge

  • I hear you. It’s hard to know what to say but I’ll try.

    Lo, whatever has been happening at the House is not your fault. It’s not anyone’s fault, but being the one who is ultimately responsible for the place I guess can easily make you feel… responsible.

    A place like this is a real grassroots kind of thing. When everyone is riding high and feeling good, it seems amazing and unstoppable, moving from strength to strength. But discouragement and apathy are catching just like energy and creativity are catching. A place that is, when you get right down to it, nothing more or less than a conversation, is going to fluctuate, and perhaps even end. But it can always start up again. I’ve had three blogs πŸ™‚

    I guess I’m saying do what you gotta do but don’t beat yourself up over it. And thank you for all the work you’ve done so far.

    • well the 3 blogs thing has me encouraged. sort of =)

  • Von

    James is right. You can hardly blame yourself for things like your authors suffering from hobby wobble, or from the gradual breakdown in tabletop gaming blogs – and I do think there’s been one.

    INDIVIDUAL blogs may be lively as ever, but I feel there’s less of a connected scene than there was when HoP first launched. I put it down to the gradual decline of ‘competitive’ 40K, and the concurrent ‘Golden Age of Wargaming’ in which we now live. Back in the Day (by which I mean 2009-ish), there was a uniting factor, something in which most of us had some sort of stake (even if it was kicking against the majority viewpoint, there had to be a majority viewpoint against which to kick). Blogs were often a ‘competitive’ or ‘not competitive’ 40K blog which also talked about something else – hobby tutorials, the side game of choice, the background, RPGs etc. etc.

    Nowadays, I think 40K is a memory or a side game for the majority of us. Spoiled for choice, we’re more into whatever individual game takes our fancy, currently playing Malifaux or Frostgrave or Saga. We talk amongst ourselves, as the Malifaux people or the Frostgrave people or the Saga people, but the universal locator, the thing that gave all those different crowds something about which to talk with each other, is gone.

    Plus… I forget where I read this, it was in some “how to start up a good blog” piece I was reading for work, and the first point was “go back in time to 2008 before everyone and their dog had one”. The inference I took from this is that blogging has peaked and is now in decline – we have a lot of outlets delivering not a lot of content. The conversation has drifted onto social media – you’re nobody in UK Warmachine if you’re not on Twitter, and Facebook communities are more active than comments sections by a long shot. The same thing has happened in the RPG community – a mass migration onto Google Plus, where it’s possible to start a hangout and actually play RPGs with each other as well as talk about them.

    Bottom line: it’s not all your fault. Keep the bigger picture in mind.

    • Thuloid

      “You can hardly blame yourself for things like your authors suffering from hobby wobble…”

      Of course, the trick is that you absolutely CAN blame yourself for these things. On my worse days I feel as if human language developed as a means to self-accusation, and all else is accidental. In any event, it’s a very highly developed skill.

      So while it’s undoubtedly true that this isn’t your fault, Lo, I’m going to be contrarian and argue as if it were. That’s right–the entire decline of hobby blogging. It’s on you. But I’m feeling generous, so you’re forgiven.

      Now that that’s settled, where do we stand? Things must be pretty awful, right? Well, no. I’m happy, plugging away at a post that’s already too long, and I have several more easy ones planned. Others are doing the same. This isn’t a soul-sucking grind for me. I’ll let you know if it becomes that–I promise.

      • I can, and DO, blame myself. A lot. I have a lot of guilt. For reasons.

        • Thuloid

          Yeah, I see that. It’s a rough place to be, and there are always reasons. Familiar territory.

      • Von

        I try to avoid the word ‘shouldn’t’. It often suggests a moral dimension that isn’t there. In the interest of clear phrasing I ought to have said something like “Don’t blame yourself for the impact of forces outside your control. It’s stupid and you’re not stupid.” I don’t really care if it’s human nature or not – it’s still stupid. See what’s really there and yourself in relation to it before you start feeling feelings. I try to do this. It’s not always easy, but it’s the attempt that’s important.

        • Thuloid

          It’s a terrible puzzle. Understanding the mechanics of guilt and self-recrimination is something of a specialty area for me. My favorite is that it’s quite possible to feel guilty for feeling guilty, because I have no good reason to feel guilty.

    • I’ve been thinking about a post called “Is Blogger Dead” or something like it for a LONG LONG time. I was thinking that much of the hobby is over on Tumblr now, at least the painting side of it. I’ve no evidence for that yet but, it’s my thought.

      • Just had a quick visit over to BoLS, and there are only 10 comments on a week-old post about new Space Wolf Wulfen models. That would have been unimaginable 6 or 7 years ago – there would have been hundreds of comments and all sorts of trolling and name-calling and nonsense. I think you and Von are right, blogging has definitely peaked and is well in decline, and minigames blogging in particular because of the decline of the two GW big ones.

        I was hoping to read some interesting comments about the weird prancing wolf-man, but was disappointed πŸ™

        • Thuloid

          Dear Lord that figure looks like shit. I’m gobsmacked by the awfulness of some of the new GW sculpts.

          • Yes he’s not very easy on the eyes is he? Sort of a hideous 1990s wolfman striking a gymnastics pose, of all things.

          • Thuloid

            I was thinking Karate Kid. Pat Morita has taught him the Crane Kick.

          • *shudder* you’re right. And he has wolverine claws too. It’s just horrendous.

          • Von

            Age of Sigmar has so far presented one model I’d consider technically accomplished. It’s one of the new Khorne lads – the priest character who doesn’t have a giant, slabby, carrot-shaped torso.

    • Cedric Ballbusch

      I’m been chewing on this lately myself. Whatever the great wargaming internet blog boom was, or could have been, it seems to has passed away all at once. Like everyone the world over lost interest one day.

      The lose of Warhammer (Fantasy is dead and so it 40k, it just doesn’t know it yet) means we’ve lost are central point of discussion and comparison. the common point of reference is starting to disappear.

      • I totally agree. The loss of 40K is good in that we get to do other things, but it also means we don’t have the same things to talk about anymore.

    • Yep, blogging is a bit old-fashioned these days. Why lovingly hand-craft bespoke fake journalism when you can just dive into the social media sea of witty comments and gifs?

      • Thuloid

        For the record, blogging here got me an unpaid gig on another (non-hobby) blog, which has netted me an (unpaid) speaking gig in April and, ultimately, a grad school recommendation I could never have swung otherwise. Believe it or not, HoP is helping my career.

        • Von

          It’s helped me too; years of maintaining GAME OVER and contributing here (and to Capture and Control and Lurking Rhythmically and Corehammer and anywhere else that would have me) built a portfolio, and when I finally started taking pride in those many, many thousands of words and telling people about them, I managed to secure a paid content writing gig… and then another…

          It’s not been useless and still isn’t – companies want blogs and most of them don’t have decent writers – but I don’t think we could START something like the House of Paincakes now and have it take off.

          I’ll have you know my witty comments on social media are lovingly hand-crafted. Pearls before swine, I tell you…

  • MerryVulture

    Lo, and all the rest of you contributors to the House, I have Something To Say.

    I love you all. I suspect that what you all have done, and are trying to do, is hard. Ennui makes it even harder. And (grammar be damned) if ennui is not hounding you, it will. Or you are lying, either to us or yourself. I say suspect because I cannot say I know, as I have been too lax or lazy to even try what you all have been doing, here and on your own, for years.

    That being said, I cannot forgive you your faults as to the running of this blog, as forgiving requires fault. I do not believe any of you have failed us, the lurkers, watchers, sometimes commenters, contributors or others. To write when you have nothing that you feel needs writing is a bigger lie than the absence of content.

    I will look here, daily, for ever. If there is new, know I enjoy it, though I likely will not comment. If it is antiquated, know that I remember fondly and likely delve deeply the past.

    TL:DR Whatever, I’ll be here when you get back. πŸ˜‰

    • It’s acceptable to start a sentence with “and” when it’s a compound sentence. It’s a rule. (Maybe a rule that I just made up, but a rule nonetheless.)

      also, the thoughts you bring are quite appreciated.

    • Von

      “To write when you have nothing that you feel needs writing is a bigger lie than the absence of content.”

      Indeed. Opening your mouth and letting your belly rumble for the sake of putting something up on Content Day has never struck me as good practice – but I believe we’ve trod that circle many times before.

      That’s another factor, of course. How long can you spend gobbing off about the hobby before you realise you’ve said it all before?

    • Thanks Merry πŸ™‚

    • WarsmithFaustus

      I (another of those weird lurking fellows) actually had to rediscover my disqus login just to second this. All of you.. thanks for what you do (or have done). Forgive my not-so-eloquent post, but I always check the house anytime I need a break from all the crap that goes on in the world and want to read a discussion where everyone is at the very least civil with each other. Honestly, the topic hardly matters, but seeing all of you interact and treat each other the way you do restores a little of my faith in humanity.

      • Dragons Claw

        Thanks that just made me go awwwwwwww

  • Dragons Claw

    The thought of the house not being is a genuine lump in the throat moment for me. I am as guilty as any. lost enthusiasm for talking on the Internet about the hobby which has coincided with an increased amount of time spent actually playing and painting i don’t think that’s coincidental I can honestly say it’s the people here that keeps me coming back I love this community each and everyone of you.

    • Von

      They who blog much game not. They who game much blog not. This has always been true. (corollary: there are always outliers. some people do have time to google themselves every hour, respond to every mention, pump out two blog posts of min. 1500 words and still get four hours of D&D in before bedtime, but these are a rarity.)

      • Dragons Claw

        Yes I think that’s true and I was a pretty unreliable blogger when I wasn’t doing much hobby πŸ˜…

  • Knight_of_Infinite_Resignation

    the HoP serves a great purpose even without any content by maintaining the most diverse wargaming blog roll on the internet. I can’t tell you how much I would miss it if you closed it down. Far better just to keep that feature rolling even without any new content.

    • Von

      This is crucial. The House’s focus is on member-generated content (bringing blogs to the attention of new readers) AND on in-House content (fostering discussion between blog owners at a central point). If the House were stripped down to the Top X, the New Member Monday and one opinion/thought/tutorial piece a week, it would still be worth having around.

      (The Top X, of course, is beset by the lack of a universal locator and common language. For instance, I have no way of identifying quality Malifaux content, save by the rather crude metric of “a couple of pictures and a paragraph is not very much content”. If I were still doing the Top X there would be many, many games left uncovered, simply because I’m not into them, not reading posts about them, and not able to identify the posts that merit greater attention.)

      • Knight_of_Infinite_Resignation

        agreed, there is good bathwater as well as the baby, so don’t chuck either out!

  • Benderisgreat

    To be fair, Pope Francis is generally full of shit. Don’t listen to that guy.

    If you have life stuff and other real-word things preventing you from posting, don’t worry about it. People generally understand, because most of them have lives too. Post when you can. We still appreciate it.