Monday, February 15, 2010

New Study on Youth and Social Media, and Some Thoughts on How it Affects RPG's and the OSR

Came across this while reading an interesting blog article, wherein Black Diamond Games noted that its blog has become a feeder for its Facebook page. The facebook page gets far more activity.


http://blackdiamondgames.blogspot.com/2010/02/shifting-mediums.html


The study he cites to which supports his personal experience is here:

http://pewinternet.org/Reports/2010/Social-Media-and-Young-Adults.aspx

I've been thinking lately about my own changing RPG-related online reading habits. I used to go to at least 4-5 boards a day just a couple years ago. Now I pretty much go to TheRPGSite.com daily, and maybe once a week I go to Dragonsfoot and ENWorld.

Most of my actual reading and commenting seems to be on blogs these days. I've created a good list of about 300 blogs, and get notified if they are updated.

I have a twitter account, but I use that more to let me know of any big news that people are yapping about.

Anyhow, one of the big data points in the survey is that blogging has dropped significantly among kids and young adults, and has gone up with older adults.

As a business you want to be everywhere your customers are, so you want to be on every medium. As for hobbies though, unless you have a specific goal, you just want to be where fellow hobbyists are. For RPG's, that seems to still be boards and blogs.

Which makes me think there may be even more of a growing disconnect in the ability of the hobby to attract newer younger gamers, unless there is some sort of concerted effort to get a meaningful presence on places like Facebook.

Regarding the OSR, where the style of game due to its simplicity would be a natural attraction to younger gamers, it seems to exist in cyberspace in mediums in which membership of the younger audience is shrinking--namely blogs and boards, not Facebook.

How much does everyone use Facebook for their RPG-related social interactions? Do you use it for some types of interactions but not for others? I used to have in my friends list a ton of RPG industry people, but deleted them because I wasn't that interested in their personal lives, just their gaming thoughts and perspectives, which I didn't get a lot of through Facebook. Does anyone find it useful for RPG-related social interactions or as a forum for an exchange of RPG ideas?

Food for thought...