When I used to go spelunking, if the cave was large enough / shaped right, you could get an echo chamber going. It was very strange, just a couple of you talking could set off a series of echoes going back and forth, making it sound like an entire roomful of people were talking. Due to the way the acoustics worked you even sounded different, which would make it seem even more bizarre.
In real-life, it’s harder to tell when you are in an echo chamber; hearing the reflected opinions of a few individuals. It’s too easy to find yourself listening to the same opinions over and over and convince yourself (or others) that what you hear / say is the truth and the only truth. It’s easy to take an opinion as gospel, as the unvarnished truth (or worst, fact).
Talk to publishers and you hear that game stores don’t do enough to promote games, that they are a ‘necessary evil’. Talk to brick & mortar store owners and online stores are the bane of existence, providing little to the gaming community. Talk to the BGG crowd and B&M stores are the enemy, over-charging for little to no service.
Sit in any one echo chamber long enough, and you’ll begin to believe what each side has to say. Ignore their opinions though, and you’ll find yourself run-over when their angry tirades reach you.
If we ever want to reduce the volume of opinions and beliefs-masquerading-as-facts, we need to have real conversations. Those conversations have to backed up by facts – but no one is willing to provide their data because the walls between each chamber has grown too thick. And so everyone sits in their own chambers.
And somewhere along the way I’m sure my metaphor broke down. Heee.