I’m a part of a community on the internet. That isn’t really much of a surprise these days, but it’s worth noting. This community centres primarily around the game Minecraft - a fact I’m not too keen to let many people know - and a lot of what we do involves small projects. These aren’t things that we’re forced to do - far from it, actually, since more often than not the projects erupt into life from a small idea that one of us had ourselves and can end up taking on a life of their own entirely.

An example of one of these projects was an attempt at a big, evening-long livestreamed gameshow. For this, a lot of work needed to happen behind the scenes, whether it was writing the storyline behind some of the more scripted parts for the host or making sure that the logic behind each of the games worked and all games has consistent logic with one another. All in all, I spent about 4 and a half months working on the project in my spare time (evenings during weekdays and practically all day for most weekends and during most of the summer).

That’s a lot of work. Even though it was all done through the internet and I was staring at a monitor the whole time, it doesn’t detract from the fact that dozens of hours went into making the night the success we felt it was as a team. It’s something that, as far as I hope, we’re going to be doing again and again for a while yet (this was the second “episode” that was created, I wasn’t involved with the first but was a lot more heavily involved in this second one).

I also run another website (amongst about half a dozen) which exists as a repository of animated GIFs of screen regions from a series of livestreams that the community has 3 times a year at the Insomnia Gaming Festival. The latest event, i58, took place from Friday of last week to yesterday and, with the exception of a few times it dropped, the stream stayed up for the entire duration. This means that, as the one that runs the GIF website, I spent 4 days watching, essentially, CCTV footage of the booth, waiting for someone to potentially do something funny. After the hall had closed each night, I spent an hour or several going back through a document, looking at different bits of footage, capturing moments and then uploading the necessary files to the website.

This, too, was a lot of work. Yet, it felt different, since the work done this weekend was a lot of relatively easy work. It’s just that there was an incredibly high volume of it and I felt that I needed to get the website updated as soon as I could, at the expense of other things like playing games or music.

And that’s why I’m now asking myself the question:

“Is this even worth the effort? Would people care if I just stopped?”.

And I think the answer is yes. Absolutely yes. One of the main reasons that I put so much work into this community is that I like to make people smile. It’s a wonderful feeling to see somebody smile, or to hear somebody laugh at something that you helped to create. It’s the reason that I helped to create the gameshow, and it’s the reason that I put myself through so much work 3 times a year. Even though I can’t attend the events, I love the fact that I can help to remind people of the fun that they had at these events.

If something that I’ve created can make at least one person happy, then I think that’s definitely worth it.

And, until next time, o/