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Culling the Herd: The Conspiracy to Shrink the Player Base of Play By Mail
There is a conspiracy afoot! Surely, it must be a conspiracy, because how else could it be explained?

Ineptitude. Lack of awareness. Loss of concern. Distractions of life.

One of the things that I do, in the course of running this site and in the course of trying to come up with material for this site, is to visit other websites - particularly websites that pertains to play by mail gaming of the postal genre kind, or sites that sued to pertain to the same.

Some of these websites that I visit are the websites of commercial play by mail companies - the websites of those that I consider to be the Old Guard of PBM. There's aren't exactly a lot of new commercial play by mail companies erecting websites, these days, so for the most part, I am relegated to sifting through the debris of websites initially established years ago - back when the World Wide Web was a much younger entity.

Most of the commercial play by mail gaming companies of the past left very little, if anything, of their history scattered in the cosmic debris of the Internet. Most of them probably never even evolved as far as posting a website on the Internet. If they did, there's precious few traces of their existence preserved for mankind's posterity to find, even so relatively soon after their demise.

Player communities of play by mail games also exist on the Internet. In fact, they seem to be faring at least as well as websites run by play by mail companies, themselves.

What play by mail interest there is out there in Internetland seems to largely be a relatively focused affair. Some of it is quite intentional on the part of those controlling certain websites, and some of it is just the way that things evolved largely on their own over time.

Some sites cull the PBM player base by their respective approaches to controlling access to viewing PBM related materials, including online discussions pertaining to PBM games, while others cull the PBM herd by restricting participation.

Spam postings, particularly by automated spambots, certainly is at the heart of what drives some of these types of restrictions. Preservation of remaining vestiges of once glorious player bases may perhaps drive some of these restrictions, as well. Who knows?

In crafting this website and its accompanying forums, which form the very heart of this site, I strive to remain cognizant of restrictions, so that they can be kept to a bare minimum. If a new visitor to this site happens to find this infinitesimal site in amongst the cosmic bulk of the Internet's other offerings of all types, then they can browse at their leisure, and view pretty much everything that gets posted in the forums here, as well as the material that ends up getting posted as HTML format pages. They don't have to register. They can, if they want to. I would certainly take this opportunity to encourage them to do so - but only if it strikes their notion to do so.

If they want to post material on this site, then the quickest and easiest way for them to accomplish such is by registering, and posting in the forums, here. But, they also have the option of sending me material via e-mail, and I could then post it for them.

For play by mail to experience a resurgence of its player base, then I think that restrictions that I commonly encounter when visiting other websites are an obstacle of note to growing the player base for postal gaming. Comparatively speaking, though, it probably is not a greater obstacle than PBM moderators who have grown disinterested with their own craft through the passage of time.

If interest in play by mail gaming suddenly exploded, and we all awoke tomorrow to millions of new faces all clamoring for a chance to play games via the postal medium, the PBM industry, itself, couldn't handle such an influx.

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