Saturday, December 3, 2016

CCSF Blog Carnival 7: Community

I just realized that this is my 50th blog post! It doesn't change today's post any, it's just a neat milestone. Today's prompt was basically why do like the Creatures series and why do you keep coming back. It was also the hardest prompt to answer. My poor notepad file has three mostly complete drafts, and yet I'm writing a another one. I tried talking about how I'm still in the community because it's to creative and welcoming for me to want to leave forever, but then I remember that I have wanted to leave before. I tried talking about how I'm still playing mostly out of habit, and, while that's partly true, it isn't the whole reason I continue to play the games. To actually answer the prompt, I still play because because there isn't another game like this and the community is amazingly creative.

Creatures is a unique series and fills a niche in the virtual pet genre I didn't even know I wanted until I discovered the series. Despite it's age, it's still fun and surprisingly educational. It's taught me the basics of programing, how to organize projects and fight off procrastination, and it's helped keep my writing skills sharp. Add a wonderful community to that, with creativity only bound by time and motivation, and you get people like me hooked on a 20 year old series. It's the community that has brought out the potential in most of the games through addons and inspired people to take a second look at their norns through fan fiction and art. I can't help but keep coming back, I might miss something amazing if I don't!

It also doesn't hurt that I haven't had to change computers in almost four years. My machine is still running Windows 7 and still runs all of the games nicely. So technical problems aren't really a factor for me right now. That's going to change eventually, especially considering my hard drive is old and heavily used. I'll also eventually upgrade to Windows 10, even though I still hate it. And I can't say I'll be all that motivated to play the games if it means dealing with frequent technical issues or whatever it throws at me. Then again, old habits are hard to break, and playing Creatures off and on has been a habit for years now.

These guys are from CCSF 2012.
And I couldn't leave this post without salvaging one thing from my old drafts: my history with the CCSF. I honestly can't separate my personal history with the Creatures series from my experiences with the CCSF, both the older ones and the ones from the past few years. A part of the reason I'm still here, and even in the community at all, is because of the CCSF. One of the first Creatures websites I found was the old CCSF 2008 site, and I found the idea of a festival for an ancient game to be absurd and amusing. I thought it would be the last year,  but they kept happening. So I kept coming back. It was like a beacon from the community to the rest of the world saying that there was still some life left and new things being made.

By 2012, I wanted to be a part of it and so I submitted some creatures. I did the same for 2013 and almost did the same for 2014. That year, though, it looked like it wasn't going to happen. So I stepped in and coordinated it. It was stressful and Creatures Caves died right in the middle of it, but I'm glad I coordinated it. Hosting it helped me realize what an amazing community I had stumbled into. It's not perfect, we don't always get along and it's not the thriving community is used to be, but there's something just something about the combination of weird niche game and tiny, creative community that keeps me coming back.

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