Sermon: Magpies for memes

You don’t have time. You can’t be bothered. Why waste your time? Time’s too precious. Your attention’s overstimulated by tweets, snaps, slacks, grams, swipes, and Skypes. If you can’t consume information or distribute your thoughts in 142 characters or less, you’ll explode.

 

It’s pointless.

Where’s the joy in nurturing a character concept from the nugget of an idea to a memorable, fleshed-out hero, anti-hero, flat-out villain? What’s so fun about getting to know other characters? How amusing is it to riff creatively off other people, sharing a literary improv experience?

Can it possibly compete with dark zones, dungeons, and leagues? Isn’t your time better spent chasing colorful candy and jewels across a touchscreen?

We’ve stopped savoring silences. We don’t worship words. We’re too eager for the next stimulus. We’re magpies for memes. We crouch and slump at our glowing factory machines, churning out shipments of Orwellian misinformation for our like-minded echo chambers on Facebook to shovel into their righteously indignant marshmallow mouths.

It’s so much easier than luxuriating in language and entertaining each other with creative turns of phrase. Keeps us distracted.

Building a character. Sharing stories. Learning new things. It takes an open mind. Inquisitiveness. If you’ve got that kind of drive, I can’t stop you from hefting a lance and tilting these literary windmills.

Wouldn’t dream of it.

I used to be a real-time storyteller like you, but then I took a trollface to the knee.

 

I’ve been off my feet a while. It’s OK. The muscle memory’s still here. If I can’t talk you out of it, if you’re dead set on stepping up and committing raucous acts of collaborative fiction, then the best thing I can do is help make sure you don’t put an eye out.

 

That’s why I’m here. That’s why I keep Jointhesaga.com online.

So why are you here? And how can I help?

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Wes Platt

Lead storyteller. Game designer and journalist. Recovering Floridian.

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