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Gloom, Despair, & Agony
The old television show, Hee Haw, featured a skit where cast members would lie around surrounded by moonshine jugs and sing a song that began with the words, "Gloom, despair, and agony on me!" So, I have chosen the three main words in that line of the song as the subject heading for the first original editorial on the state of play by mail from this website for the new year of two thousand and eleven. It just seems an appropriate fit.

Rest assured, all ye hardcore denizens that abide throughout the play by mail realm, that play by mail isn't dead, yet - nor is it in danger of being absolutely dead anytime soon. Some play by mail games are still going strong, Hyborian War from Reality Simulations, Inc. being one that comes instantly to mind.

The Internet didn't really kill play by mail, as is often speculated. As a decentralizing force, the Internet has certainly facilitated the scattering of the PBM diaspora - to the extent that the pallor of death hangs eternally over all of play by mail.

Gaming has advanced to the point where players' imaginations are kept occupied and exercised to a degree sufficient to satisfy many of them ad infinitum. Also, the Internet makes it exceptionally easy to find games of all sorts and scopes, these days, so the PBM diaspora is inhibited from just jelling together, again. It's not that there is some sort of magical force field that keeps PBM gamers from reconnecting. Rather, their focus is elsewhere, and there are no real signs that this cosmic effect of the Internet is likely to abate anytime soon.

Ironically enough, the play by mail genre is continuing to attract new players, but the sheer volume of new converts to the play by mail industry is the equivalent of a trickle - or perhaps more accurately, the equivalent of a slow drip. Some are joining the PBM flock because it always intrigued them, back in the days of old of their youth. To others, the play by mail genre is simply something entirely new to them, so they try it on a whim, or they were led into the hobby by someone else who tricked or beguiled them into giving it a try, or it was a concept in gaming that they just stumbled into.

So, what are my expectations for this website? At the moment, I don't really have any. I'm not really out to accomplish anything. Play by mail gaming is an interest of mine, and that pretty much is the limit of it. I'm not here to save the play by mail industry from a final death, nor am I here as a harbinger of a revival of the hobby of postal gaming. From time to time, I will post, when I take a notion, and hopefully, a few others will join in, whenever the mood strikes them.
Intersting read.

PBM is still alive despite the internet (or webnet as my wife calls it) and if anything it seems to keep it alive, with wikipedia and wiki blogs about it and games every where.

I heard/read of a teacher that played PBM and brough it into the class room (he was a history) teacher and got the pupls to pick a nation from pe WW2 and see how they would cope as the government of the day and used his spare time to run it with a news paper etc. It apprently proved very popular and a very different history was brought forth about WW2! Some said that it made modern history "more exciting" as they actually got a feeling for the time and period.

So when actually involved with a reason to, PBM can still be fun and thats the problem the hobby has to contend with consoles and PC games, some thing lacking when PBM first started. You could say the same about radio and TV, or TV and sat or landline phones and mobiles to a certain extent...

just my thoughts....

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