Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Are you feeling SAD?

There seems to be a very melancholic mood in the Old School blogosphere of late. Frustration, anger, missed deadlines, lack of postings are all contributing. Indeed, though I have no proof, I think there has been a distinct downturn in the number of posts per week by us all.

It made me start to think, do Gamers suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder? But the opposite to how this condition is traditionally conceived, whereas the rest of the community get depressed in winter, we get down because it is summer and there is not enough indoor gaming time?

Now, I'm from the southern hemisphere, an Australian living in England. I also come from a warm part of Australia. For me there was only two seasons: hot and stinking hot.

So I don't understand seasons, but around me in England, the psyche of the country is linked to the seasons. Upbeat and optimistic in April, frustrated in July, bitter in October and miserable through winter.

But if this is all true and we gamers are all feeling SAD, because the sun is out and like vampires we can't take it - why is Austrodavicus in the doldrums - he is from Tasmania?


  1. I am not sad. I am working hard on several projects, things are going well, my post volume is up.

    But then again, considering how everything went FUBAR the past couple weeks for me versus quite a few OSR people (present company not on that list, of course), I don't think I am really in the OSR camp anymore. I pooped in the tent, I guess you could say.

    But even that nastiness didn't depress me for more than a few days.

    People need to listen to some groovy tunes and get rockin'

  2. I got me some Happy Trees so everything is cool on my side of the forest. If the blogs get cranky I just keep doing my thing. If people want to argue I'll go watch some Big Bang Theory and post something goofy. As if I had a choice.

  3. @JP - with Tasmania at 40 degrees latitude, SAD is a real issue here. Talking to my GP the other day and recent medical findings is that vitamin D deficiency is a major problem in Tassie during winter, with a corresponding spike in depression issues.

    As for the gaming scene, there's definitely been a bit of a lull the last few weeks, but then I think things tend to go in cycles. Of course perhaps you guys in the northern hemisphere are too busy out and about enjoying summer.

    @Greg - since I don't believe there is any actual form of membership in the OSR, I'm not sure you can opt out or be booted out. You're either involved and doing stuff in the scene, or you're not.

  4. I know what you're saying, JP, yet I personally feel that dissent is healthy, and so I have trouble identifying with the frustrated / depressed feelings some folks experience in the wake of a ruckus like the one Greg refers to. I EMPATHIZE with those folks, but I guess my particular perversity is that I get invigorated or galvanized (rather than depressed) by conflict.

    As for SAD, I know I used to get it during Pacific Northwest winters. I grew up in Washington State, USA, and lived the past 8 years in Oregon, and it gets very dark and grey out there during those months. But now I am in upstate NY, a much sunnier place, and summer is here, so I'm feeling pretty good right now.

    But again, I totally empathize with those who feel "down" due to blogosphere spats and external atmospheric conditions. And I agree with austrodavicus that all these things do tend to occur in cycles -- so maybe happier times for all lie ahead?

  5. @ JP: I can't speak for others but I've definitely felt a bit of frustration lately...mainly that there's so many good things gaming-wise (books to read, books to write, games to play) and so little time to do it. Your thoughts on the reverse SAD be right on the money.

    Or maybe, I'm just exhausted (*yawn!*).

  6. @Greg: bah. It'll blow over.

    I have my own reasons for posting less these days: super busy and harassed this summer. Things will, I guess, change in September so I'd fit your data profile, but for me it's an intensified case just this year and not reliable data.

    If people seem cranky that might be about how they're feeling about screen time (I bet loads of blogging happens at work).

    I used to get wicked SAD when I lived in London, though: I know exactly what you mean.

  7. I've never really thought about reverse SAD, mainly because we academics have our own sorts of rhythms. I have noticed the blogging lull lately, though.

  8. Thanks everyone for your comments.

    My reduction in posts is just life keeping me very very busy.

    Keep blogging...

  9. In my case I have been unemployed since I started my blog and it really started to catch up with me in recent weeks. Fortunately, I managed to land a job today. So things will be looking up after I get myself an apartment and moved next week (10 hour drive, whee!). I've had a few ideas for blog posts, just haven't managed to get around to them.

  10. Hey David. Congratulations on the job. Must be a relief!!!!

  11. Here in the U.S. it feels like a cycle that started last year. Harsh weather kept folks inside and blogging bloomed.

    Then the weather changed. If it's not flooding or blowing away it's burning. This has been the worst run of harsh conditions here in forever.

    Between that, health issues, and spending time waiting on contractors for repairs the scene here is now in crunch time for GenCon. Holidays are coming. I know I'm behind. Even as recent as last night (our second water main burst in the neighborhood in 6 months-last time it took over a week to clear all the water lines of mud and ruined a hot water heater. Luckily fast action paid off and I cut the line at the street before it had a chance) it was still happening. I've had 47 seconds of sleep-then the lawn crew showed up at the crack of dark-I'm an hour into the day when the wife informs me that the storm that hindered the water main repairs took out half the railing on the back deck .

    And then there's the economy...jeeez...

    Thank god for gaming. Working on my project is the only moments of sanity most days :)

  12. I am sad you haven't posted lately.

  13. Hi imago1
    I'm still here, just drowning in work and family life.
    Got some stuff I want to blog about and will do so soon.
    Thanks for noticing.

  14. Nah, Priest. Take care of the family--I'm crushed under deadlines myself. Got your b/x screen downloaded and primed for my next Greyhawk campaign. Thanks for your work--if I can ever send you a pdf of something in return, lemme know.