The Patreon Thing

AggroChat 50 – Game Club 2 – Trine 2

trine2_32bit 2015-03-27 23-40-16-99 Last night we recorded our 50th episode of AggroChat and I have to say that is a bit staggering now that I think about it.  We’ve almost recorded a full year of AggroChat, and we only “missed” a single week.  In fact now that I think about it two weeks from now will actually be our one year anniversary show.  It is insane how an entire year of recording gets away from you like that.  Things are going to be a bit strange over the next few weeks as Kodra has accepted a new job and is moving out to Seattle to join Tam and some of our other friends there.  Everyone is joking that they are trying to recruit everyone to Seattle, but honestly  the cost of living difference would be horrible coming from Tulsa.  Besides according to the New York Times we are apparently this up and coming hipster hub.  It is shocking the number of smaller game conventions that are happening in this area.

In any case this week we talked about Trine 2, an exceptionally beautiful game about a Gluttonous Warrior, a Grumpy Wizard and a Larcenous Rogue.  Honestly this is one of the shortest shows we have recorded in a long while because there just wasn’t a whole lot to talk about  in regards to Trine.  We came down on multiple sides of the game with some of us enjoying it, others not feeling much of anything about it, and still others disliking it immensely.  From that aspect I feel like the first round robin title was a success.  From the aspect of giving us a lot of material to talk about, maybe not quite so much.  We also announced our third game club title, which would be one of my picks:  Darkest Dungeon.  Since that is a game about dungeons… and mental illness I have a feeling like it is going to create a lot of stories as a result.

The Paetron Thing

Yesterday I wrote a strange piece, and among many things that folks got out of it, at least one person thought I was talking at least in some part about the current Patreon trend.  I honestly didn’t mean it to come across like that, but it is proof that we can all read the same post but take vastly different messages from it.  Patreon and I have this odd relationship, where I think it is both really awesome… and worrisome at the same time.  The awesome part is it gives people who are creating a lot of really awesome content a way to actually do that as a living, providing them a semi-regular source of income from the creation of “stuff”.  The troublesome aspect is that I seem to see people who are NOT creating much content, throwing up Patreons left and right because it seems to be the latest way to get something for nothing.  Internet celebrity is apparently now a thing worth funding?  In the case of full disclosure I back a couple of different Patreons because the people involved are creating a regular stream of content that I value, so I don’t want it to sound like I am against the concept.

Where I end up wrestling with myself is that there are times I think “man it would be nice to have my costs offset”.  Within a few seconds a little voice inside me pipes up and says that if I did advertising or a patreon or any other way of offsetting my expenses that it would somehow “cheapen” the process.  I’ve always considered my blog a labor of love, and this whole getting up every morning to write something new is something I do… because I enjoy it, not because I am trying to profit from it.  All of that said there are some very real and concrete expenses to keep it all up, and if I did not have a good paying job I would have to stop doing pretty much everything that I do.  I added up some details this morning and for hosting and domain registration alone I am paying the equivalent of a little more than $60 a month once you factor in everything.  Then you tack onto that another $150 a month for really fast internet, and various game subscriptions and you quickly get into some real money.  So while part of me thinks that I should be creating a Patreon as a sort of Tip Jar, there is another part of me that says “don’t”.

Limited Funding

Patreon is an amazing thing for those who are creating the content and actually needing the money to keep the process going.  The problem is…  I don’t need the money in the strictest sense.  My fear is that as people start popping these accounts up for the fun of it, that they will dilute the money away from the people that actually need it.  The blogging and the podcasting and the occasional streaming… are all part of my larger hobby of “gaming” and I just view all of these costs as being part of that bigger habit.  If I were to lose my job or something drastic like that, I would actually have a real need for it.  I feel like setting up a Patreon now would be akin to “crying wolf”, and asking for the goodwill of my readers and listeners before I in the strictest since needed to.  Maybe I am odd in my point of view, in that I view this relationship between reader and writer as some sort of a social contract.  I provide for you, and you give me a reason to keep making content.  But like all relationships I feel like there is always the problem that one side might end up taking advantage of the other.

Setting up a Patreon page, because it is seems to be the popular thing to do…  feels like  taking advantage of that relationship.  Because honestly I know there will be people out there who do donate because they want me to feel loved and appreciated.  I have an exceptionally warm group of readers and listeners.  I appreciate every single one of you out there, and that is a big part of the reason why I have turned down every single person wanting to place advertisements on my blog.  I don’t want to cheapen that relationship, and I don’t want to tarnish our friendship.  That is not to say that at some point the expenses of my sites will grow to a point where I simply cannot weather the entire burden myself.  But that time is not now.  Until it reaches that point then I will continue avoiding trying to “monetize” what I do for my own personal enjoyment.    I will continue also suggesting people show support for the Patreons that DO need the funding, and are providing a wealth of content as a result.

Source: Tales of the Aggronaut
The Patreon Thing

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