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Issue # 4 - PBM Editorial - Charles Mosteller
Compared to the original Suspense & Decision magazine years ago, and to the PBM Unearthed newsletter, more recently, these PBM Chaos e-mail mailings are more akin to PBM stuff in microdoses. Less stuff, but a more frequent pace. It’s not a set pace, but at the moment, it’s looking like a couple of times a week. I don’t know exactly where I’m going with the PBM Chaos series, so nothing about it is set in stone, yet.

I, myself, am a source of PBM chaos. The natural instinct is to crave order. Order allows one to make better sense of life, and all that goes with it. Just look at Carol Mulholland’s long and unchallenged reign as editor of the old PBM magazine, Flagship. Yet, if she were here, today, Carol could tell you, herself, that publishing and editing a PBM magazine is anything but an exercise in never-ending order. Missed deadlines, having to continuously nudge people for articles or other input, trying to round up advertising - I can’t help but to laugh, as I sit here writing this, the day after Chaos Issue 3 was sent out.

On the one hand, it’s important (I guess - you tell me what you think) for PBM gaming to have some kind of PBM-oriented “media.” Ideally, there would be several different ones, from several different sources. If you ever want to create your own PBM-oriented magazine, newsletter, podcast, vlog, mailing, etc., just keep in mind that there are no guaranteed sources that will go out of their way to provide to you material for inclusion. Zero. Zip. Zilch. Nada. None.

People are busy. They’re focused upon their thing, and not upon your thing. Which probably a large chunk of what drives within me to just do my own thing, regardless of what the status quo is, or what PBM gamers and GMs grew accustomed to in the old days. By doing my own thing, I am free to do whatever I want, whenever I want, and as much or as little as I want. Yep! Chaos.

If these PlayByMail.Net mailings ever get to be too much for you, you can always unsubscribe (there’s always a link at the bottom to do that), or you can just not open the e-mails, or just open and read these mailings whenever you take a notion or get around to it. There’s certainly no obligation on your part to read all of it, nor even any of it - unless you want to, of course, but always at your schedule and convenience, not mine.

I like PBM gaming, and I like to write, so I kind of merge the two interests, and you and others with a shared interest in PBM gaming end up getting to be witness to my PBM parade of horribles. David Webber had Paper Mayhem, and Carol Mulholland had Flagship, and Rick Loomis had Flying Buffalo, and I have first one thing and then another, it seems. You know, nothing requires any of us to love PBM gaming, forever. Nothing compels us to participate in any aspect of PBM any longer than we really and truly want to. You can’t force anyone to love PBM. No one should ever feel a burden to be a part of play by mail gaming any longer than they actually prefer to.

Me? I just prefer to, I guess. Be a part of PBM, that is. Trying to cover PBM, and in today’s environment and with prevailing attitudes, is a goad-awful thankless task with no real hope of succeeding. Me? I much prefer to just talk about PBM, than trying to cover it and bring the so-called “PBM news” your way. Sometimes, the “P” in PBM feels an awful lot like “pulling teeth.”

At various points in time, I’ve considered going the audio route, and if I did, then the “P” in PBM would likely stand for podcast. What happened to David Oliver Kling’s Combat Conditional: A Turn Based Podcast, though? It’s still stuck at just four episodes released, with the last of those four episodes being published (is that the right word?) almost a year ago. But who am I, of all people, to complain, huh?

Even at just four episodes, I consider David’s podcast to have been a seminal event in PBM gaming’s history. Is it completely dead, though? That, I just don’t know - which is why I am asking that question here and now. I invite David to drop me a note, and give us all an update.

I’ve even considered going the video route with my PBM interests, but were such a curse to ever strike the whole of PBMdom, I suspect that the “P” on PBM might end up standing for “profanity.” And who needs that, right? Guilty as charged, but to me, words are words, and while there are things that I do view to be profane, words aren’t one of them. Feel free to feel otherwise, though. To each their own, where the words that comprise human languages are concerned.

Al things considered, the “P” in PBM has long been viewed by myself to possibly stand for “promote.” Promoting PBM has nothing to do with just endlessly singing the praises (another “P” word) of play by mail gaming. Even criticism of PBM helps to promote it. Not everyone may realize that, of course, though. What’s far, far worse is for no one to be talking about PBM, at all. That’s what I think, anyway.

Wat about you, though? What do you think? Be sure to write in and let us all know. The e-mail address to write to is right below.

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