Please do not mistake this article for an “attack.”
By definition influencers hold sway over an audience. It’s somewhat easy to forget those massive follower counts when you see them on YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and even LinkedIn every day and they talk to us as if we’re all friends. Or rather it’s easy to forget those follower counts represent people (and probably a percentage of bots, alts, or fake accounts (which is everyone, not just social media influencers.)
God help you if you get on the wrong side of one of these people! Nothing like having even 1% of their rabid fanbase angry at you on Twitter. By that, I mean it sucks. Don’t even use their names if you can avoid it. It’s not worth the hassle, trust me.
You can heap praise on them all day and never even get noticed. You can defend them publicly and no one will bat an eye. But Lord have mercy if something you say with an influencer’s name on it can even be construed as “attacking them.” I guess disagreeing with someone or asking people to use some discernment is an attack nowadays.
No one is being attacked here!
Now, if I had to guess somebody is probably already freaking out because I’m “attacking content creators” for accepting WotC’s gifts and getting paid to go to a Summit, etc. Which is absolutely NOT the case! I’m not even saying “bad Wizards of the Coast.”
Have fun hanging out in Washington. Rack up a massive bill on WotC’s corporate dime. Eat prime rib and a big salad for me. Enjoy it. Seriously, I wish I was going. Who wouldn’t?
Honestly, are a lot of us “little people” rotten, stinking jealous? Yeah, probably. Full confession: I know I’m jealous. (*But I wouldn’t want to get accused of “building a platform based on misery.”)
It’s not a bribe, okay?
Someone famous said, “I can’t be bought off with a box of toys.”
Great. That’s true. WotC sends their gifts and perks out in good faith with no overt expectations that any Content Creator will act on any future information they might receive. Seriously. It’s always a choice. That is fact, not criticism. Ask any professional in PR, marketing or advertising.
Again, who doesn’t like getting a big box of free stuff in the mail? I don’t know any gamers that would turn that down. If worse comes to worse, accept it and donate it to someone. Or just have fun with it.
Wizards wants good public relations.
Yes, I’ve acknowledged previously that the big companies in the entertainment industry hand out goodie bags, trips, dinners, and so forth all the time. I used to hang with an employee of Ingram Entertainment. Trust me, I get it. There’s nothing new here.
WotC gives me the impression they’re trying to make nice with the D&D Community after the whole OGL debacle. That’s every corporation in America, right? Every company wants us to like them and their various products from alphabet soup to Zambonis. Sincerely, nothing wrong with that.
But hey, I’m one very small voice barking in the dark out here. I took plenty of Public Relations as part of my BA in Journalism. I know what Wizards of the Coast is likely doing, and they’re succeeding at it. Good for them.
There is not a damn thing I’m going to say on this blog, social media, or anywhere that’s going to even be a blip on the friggin radar to anyone involved with WotC, their PR people, or even YouTube celebs. (I know this from all the times I’ve mentioned all the above on this blog, and no one gave two shitz then, either.)
What does all this mean?
Wizards of the Coast, the big corporate cog in an even bigger corporate machine (Hasbro) controls the narrative on D&D. They’re attempting to reign in a bunch of Content Creators aka Influencers to extend their control over the narrative even further. The one who broadcasts the loudest at the largest crowd of fans is going to be all that is heard.
Seriously, does anyone think what I have to say stacks up against someone with 100,000+ followers on Instagram? Or 10,000+ followers on Twitter? Why would they even care? I’m 0.000,001% or less of an Influencer’s audience. That’s like being the kid who sneezed in line outside of the movie theater showing Star Wars in 1977. Who cares?
You think anybody in the D&D community cares much what I have to say? It’s all WotC’s narrative. The people that are squarely in the WotC D&D camp are going to continue to shout down or have dozens of rabid fans shouting down anyone who dares disagree with WotC’s narrative.
That’s not a poke at any influencers, either. That’s what Public Relations does. It’s just part of the cycle. It’s how large corporations behave. They want to influence public opinion of their company.
I love my small, humble audience. You guys rock. But we’re not a community. We’re more like a very large family and I mean that in the nicest way possible.
So, I’ve worked it all out. I’m going to take a big old step back from talking about Wizards of the Coast, the Content Creator Summit, the movie, and any kind of “Influencer.” Someday, I might very well look back on this whole situation and know I was right about what was going to happen, but we’ll see.
I’m going to go back to writing more about games than gamers, influencers, whatever. If you don’t like my monsters, items, spells, or plot ideas, umm,,, Don’t use them? My social anxiety is much better for not engaging when I know better.
I’m going back to eating junk food and playing Fortnite now. I’ve got monsters to build and articles to write about magic items later. Hope you all have a good weekend, too.
Thank you for being here. I appreciate all of you. If I ever hit 10K, I’ll still be here for ya.
I was of two minds when writing this article. First was the voice saying, “Let it go.” The second was the gnawing in my gut that felt there was more to say about the whole topic.
All of us in the #ttrpgcommunity are seriously passionate about our games and even the industry. Much like every other community, we don’t always see eye-to-eye on everything. It happens.
Wizards of the Coast is the single largest company in the TTRPG industry. D&D is still top dog in terms of sales and brand recognition. Given that we’re all really passionate, is it any wonder many of us tend to go off on WotC? Unfortunately, we sometimes blow up at one another, too. It’s natural.
It is just my opinion. If you don’t agree, that’s cool. If you DO agree with what I’m saying, that’s great, too. I’m always open to a dialogue about that. If you don’t agree with me, please- write your own opinion, go on your channel, put your opinion on social media. I respect that even if I don’t necessarily agree. You can also contact me directly on social media or via email. I’ll do my best to listen with curiosity.
For those who may not know me, I’m not a huge fan of authority. I especially don’t like large corporations. Unfortunately, this ain’t my first rodeo and I know how large corporations like to operate.
Honestly, this whole controversy with the Creator Summit along with all of the arguing has been a bit too much for me. Yeah, I’m envious of people going to this thing, or conventions, or even leaving the house sometimes. I miss running games and meeting people occasionally…
I wish WotC would do more about the D&D game and for the fans. That’s the heart of the whole matter. Some of us just have different ideas about how to make D&D more awesome than ever.