Sunday, December 15, 2013

Change & Vision

"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has." - Margaret Mead
Today marks a very first for both Holy Shock and the Game Slayer Nation. It is the first time that I have written a post directed to both communities. Usually around this time of year I begin to sit down and write up a forum thread for our staff where I take count of what we have done well and what areas that we have opportunities in. This year is no different, but instead of only addressing the staff of the Game Slayer Nation, I am instead addressing all of our community members here, and all of the readers of Holy Shock.

This past year has been one of the single most trying years of my life. I have dealt with physical health issues and personal matters that by all accounts should have me sitting in the corner cursing life as a whole. Instead, I choose to accept these changes and embrace the challenges that they all have presented. In the end, I feel stronger than I have in a very, very long time. Yes, my life has certainly been a crazy ride the last twelve months, but it is a ride that has served to remind me of who I am and where I want to go. The thing is, I do not want to go there alone. I want to take each and every member and reader along with me! So today, rather than pay homage to one of the worst years in my life, I am instead going to share with all my vision for the future and challenge all of you who see this post to embrace this vision and join in with me. I promise you that it is going to be an exciting time!

I want to first address the readers of Holy Shock. Last year I had such big plans for the site. I had laid down a solid concept of what I had hoped to accomplish throughout the course of the year, but in the end I fell so far short of the goal that it is not even funny. To all of you that have stuck with me through thick and thin, I truly thank you and though things have been silent of late, you are not forgotten at all; however, I have to recognize that I only have so much time in a day. After having spent a lot of time reflecting on the issue, I have decided that Holy Shock will be continuing on, but under the umbrella of the Game Slayer Nation. How will all of this work? Well, in truth I am not quite sure of that just yet. I am currently working with haqzore to figure out the best way to accomplish this. What this does mean is that all of the work that I have been splitting between the two will now become much more focused as Holy Shock will now align itself to the community as a whole. This means that content will become much more frequent and hopefully lead to a much higher quality of content as well. It also means that there will be an influx of new readers between both Holy Shock and the Game Slayer Nation. Expect more details to come on this over the course of the next couple of weeks.

Now let me turn my attention to the Game Slayer Nation. I want to tell you all how excited I am to finally be able to put my attention completely on the community here. Over the course of the last year we have changed just about everything about the community, including our name. It has not been easy and there were several drawn out discussions both online and in person between several members of our staff, but in the end we firmly believe that we have positioned ourselves to really grow this community into something more than just a mere forum. So you may be asking yourself exactly what can you expect around here?

Well for starters I am going to begin to focus on making this community an actual community. I have been preaching this to many of you via mumble and in person over the last several weeks. I want this community to embrace the concept of true community. If one of our members becomes involved in something, then I want it to be as if all of us have become involved in it. Whether it is hitting a like button on a YouTube video or supporting a member's live stream over on Twitch, I am calling for all [SLAYR]s to join me in helping to raise each other up. Do not sit idly by and figure that someone else will do it. If you see a post that someone has written, then make a comment on it. You may say, "But Ru, that post sucked." Then I would counter and say provide some constructive criticism (that doesn't kill the discussion) about what could be done to improve or introduce a different perspective into the discussion. In other words, I am calling on all members to become more involved in your community.

Another thing that I plan to introduce is actual meet and greets at local establishments. We all game together and for the most part we all get along. Why not take that spirit out into the real world. For that part I have been spending some time talking with dandebacle about different locations that embrace the concept of gaming. The initial plan will be to schedule such events once per month. These events may simply be getting together at a location and hanging out for a couple of hours all the way to getting groups together and attending local conventions together. Once again, it is all about building that sense of pride in our community.

So you may be asking what opportunities are there right now to support the community? I would say just look around. Start visiting each other's profiles. Under your profiles are the abilities to place links to outside resources such as Deviant Art, YouTube, Twitch, and other such venues. Go and show your support to your fellow community members. In the future, it is our hope to add the technology to the site that will allow us to host your different projects. Once again, it is all about the community and not about any one person.

You see I have a dream (and I am not alone) of making the Game Slayer Nation a premier site for gaming news, discussion, and other forms of entertainment. That is only going to happen if myself, haqzore and the rest of the staff can get the rest of you all to join us. I cannot tell you how many times I have heard one of our community members talk about a video card going out or a power supply needing to be replaced, and wished that we had the resources to assist our members. Well, I am declaring 2014 as the year where we change that. I am challenging all of the community to join in with us and let's together build this site up to the point that we can generate revenue from sponsors so that we can help our members out. It starts simply with one person joining with us and saying I want to see this dream come to reality. So how does this happen?

It happens right now by taking baby steps. Right now, haqzore has told me about several different pieces of software that will allow us to do more with this site. The problem is that the software costs money. We have talked often about this and a few weeks back I made the decision that I would skip one day of eating out each pay day and instead donate that money to the gaming community in order to help provide funds for what we need. I would like to challenge each of you to search your hearts and if you truly believe in the concept of this community becoming something bigger, then join in with me in donating to help support your community.

Perhaps you may be sitting there wishing that you could afford to donate funds, but you simply do not have the extra money available. I understand that completely, but what do you have that can help improve our community? Perhaps you are an artist? We have several things that we could certainly utilize your skills for. Perhaps you are well versed in coding and internet website design? Well, I know for sure that we could put those talents to use. Perhaps you enjoy writing? Then why not begin writing perhaps a weekly or monthly post where you cover a specific topic? Perhaps you love playing new video games? Then why not start writing reviews and then continuing to share your experiences in the game? Perhaps you are a streamer or video creator? Then why not join your videos to that of the community and together we can build each other up? Perhaps you already have a blog or site that you are working on? Then why not bring it to the community the same as I am Holy Shock? 

I think I would simply like to close by saying that the [SLAYR]s are my family. During the hardest times in my life, many of you have rallied around me and offered words of encouragement and I will forever be in debt to you and I will forever bear the standard of this community so long as that is what the community wishes. What I am asking of all of you is to embrace this vision, join with me, and together let's reach new heights together. As always please feel free to reply with any comments or questions. Thank you all for taking the time to read this, now let's get out there and make 2014 the year of the [SLAYR]s!

For more information about joining the Nation, please visit us at the Game Slayer Nation! For the link to the shared version of this post at the Game Slayer Nation, click here!