Prologue to Comments on Facebook Games

Strictly speaking this is pushing the boundaries of my bailiwick, but…

A while back I signed up for Facebook, but did nothing with it. Today I set aside some time to start learning more about it and maybe actually using it, so as to be set up to look at Facebook-based gaming. Patrick’s post about aging fandom really struck home with me. I had to get younger friends to explain a lot of what I was looking at. It wasn’t just “oh, this is how I go about doing this familiar task” but “what can I do?” and “why do I want to do that?” and so on—new ends and means, both.

So I feel sympathetic to my fellow aging readers, for whom the new stuff may simply not (as some Quakers put it) speak to their condition. And I certainly feel a fresh grasp of how the changes in sf/f/h in the ’60s and ’70s must have felt to folks who were then the age I am now. This isn’t a simple feeling of decay—it’s not like watching a loved group or institution slide down into pure mediocrity or, worse, active evil from my moral perspective. I can see the richness, potential and actual, in this kind of social networking tool, as I can in some kinds of new genre fiction. It’s just that it really is different, and while I want to get acculturated, it’s going to take time, with me no longer the rapid learner I once was.

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