Earlier this week, I was talking to my brother on the phone, just chatting and asking after his life up in Toronto, and he told me he was applying for a position at a video game company. Of course, I wished him luck. He then proceeded to describe the job responsibilities and requirements, one of them being strong knowledge of online forums and familiarity with social media tools like Twitter and Facebook. My first reaction: “Oh dear merciful God, you wouldn’t have to deal with the community, would you?”
Can you blame me? I mean, don’t get me wrong; these days, I think we’re very fortunate to have a bigger voice and so many avenues of communication with game companies and developers. On the whole, I feel this has been great for both sides.
But you know…we gamers can also be a pretty hard bunch to please.
Over the last two years of blogging, I’ve followed the news of many game launches with interest, and always, my first thought when picking my way through the zillions of rage-filled posts on official forums and Twitter feeds is, “Daaamn, I really don’t envy the community managers!” And especially not those involved with MMOs. Thankfully (or hopefully), much of the abuse appears to stem from a small minority of the fanbase. But some of it still makes me literally cringe in my seat to read. Honestly, I really don’t know how CMs manage to do their job and stay sane at the same time.
So this year for Developer Appreciation Week, I’m going to do something different. For the last two years that I did DAW, I gave my thanks and kudos to the development teams for the MMOs I’ve enjoyed over the last twelve months (along with plenty of mental hugs). But this year, because of time constraints — but also because I truly believe that as a group they deserve my utmost thanks from the bottom of my heart — I want to express my appreciation for the hard-working men and women who work in MMO community management.
So to all the community managers of the wonderful MMOs I play and love: I thank you for your dedication and your social interaction with the community, for your work in providing us with the news we want and relaying information to creators, and for coming up with new and fun ways for us to enjoy awesome games with our friends. And because I know I’m not above bitching and complaining every once in a while, I also thank you for putting up with the likes of me. Here’s to another year of DAW!