I regularly visit a site called "gamerswithjobs" and while it's still a great site filled and visited by really nice (and generally intelligent) people i'm finding myself growing more and more distant to it. Maybe it's just me and where i am in my life at the moment that's making it worse but there's always been a large gap there and for most other gaming sites out there which are primarily US-orientated so there's that aspect that drives a stake between my interaction with the members there.
However, for a few months now i'm feeling a larger disconnect with the actual site itself. The content and podcast content. It's as if they've somehow transitioned from being a site run by geeks and nerds (of which cloth i am also cut) with content to match to slowly becoming a "lifestyle" site which tends to those who want to be included rather than those who are already practising 'the lifestyle'.
I know it's not a very good way of saying it and i'm still a bit confused over the whole thing but i don't get the same excitement from the podcast anymore and the front page articles are just.... well, bland. It's as if the site is slowly becoming a more broad version of gamerdad - and certainly some of the old contributors to their front page content were also cross-pollinating that site in its original form (gaming with children? When did that happen?). It doesn't speak to me in the same way and perhaps that's part of the site's growth...... but i'm beginning to find myself without a home on the internet once again as i did when i moved from the Anime Community Boards (before the pay per use) on IGN and then the boards over at 3D Realms.
Each place has a special hold on my heart and as Jim Rossignol states that special experience can never be rekindled no matter how hard you yearn for it. It's purely a product of who and where you are in life combined with who visits the site and where it is in its growth. I miss the ACB and the 3DR people and community i knew (and a certain other blog circle/support group i stumbled upon during the period between my activity on those two boards that i've since forgotten the name of)... some of them are still about but there's no ties between us. They don't know who i have become and vice versa.
My problem now is that i've reached a zenith in my board participation on gamerswithjobs and while i am thankful i was able to do so, where do i go from here? There, quite frankly, is no better place i've ever encountered and certainly no better and generally civil and intelligent people..... but i need something closer to home. Something British or European.... it doesn't exist. RockPaperShotgun? Good site but lousy forums (and unruly users too!). Eurogamer? Decent site but more aimed at the mass market review side of things and quite crappy forums/comments threads.
I tried to create my own little side universe in the Eggmen.co.uk (European Gaming Group) but we don't have any exposure and i need more third party involvement to get my ass in gear.... i'm pretty much resigned to the fact that it's a dead end for now - we don't have any big names or interviews and what-not. I'd love to continue to do a podcast but organising it and keeping the audio and subject quality high is a tough order.
So my search continues..... where will i settle next?