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A Geek Paradise

by Kathryn Dragoste 12 months ago in humanity
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The Dream for DraxisWeb

Back in 2014 I had an idea. It was a simple idea to create a webpage where I could let my geek flag fly and just kinda share my love of Geek Culture with the world. You see, I've been a geek all my life. Being a geek has probably saved my life, to tell the truth, because, as I was growing up, I was bullied mercilessly. If you look at the kids that commit suicide and see how they were treated by their peers and it pushed them over the edge, well I fit that bill to a tee. However, I made my escape from the world by diving into a new one every day with comics, books, games, shows, and more. I wanted to be able to share this love of all things geek with the world and hopefully make the world a better place in some way through this. I wanted to be able to help someone the way I had been helped by all things geeky and nerdy.

When this idea first started all those years ago, it was kind of a side thing, just a "whenever I had time" thing. I had a two-year-old son, I was working from home writing or at least trying to, and so it was just a hobby. This took several forms from making YouTube videos to help teach simple magic tricks that anyone could do with the right equipment, to doing video game reviews and Top 5 lists. Problem is, a year and a half after I created DraxisWeb, life once again threw me a curveball that could have been the death of me. In June of 2015 a 14cm lump was found on my Kidney and I was diagnosed with Kidney Cancer. Then, with 3 months of Chemo completely destroying my social life, and very taxing and invasive surgery laying me up even more, it was all wreaking havoc with my mind and body. It was in this situation that DraxisWeb became my new outlet and in many ways my lifeline. See, depression had made it where it was hard to concentrate on things, Chemo made it where I couldn’t think clearly, so my writing suffered until I couldn’t do it professionally anymore. Even to this day, years later, my mental acuity suffers from everything I went through, and sometimes I just can’t write even when I desperately want to and need to. But when you have no clue if you’ll even see your son turn 3 because you may soon be dead, well you start looking to do things to get your mind off of this. For me, it was diving into social media and trying to bring my fellow geeks together.

I started a couple of Facebook groups that were promoted by my website. One was called All Things Geek where I would share my blogs but my main focus was to bring light to the projects my fellow geeks were doing. I wanted nothing more than to promote my author and artist friends. To do this, whenever I went to Conventions in 2015 and then after I gave out cards for All Things Geek letting people know that I had a small following here that I was trying to grow and that I wanted people to come and share their projects for free. It was free publicity for them and when they weren’t posting about their stuff well I would share news articles about anything going on in anything that someone could Geek Out about from comics to movies, to technology and music. This also became the home of my blogs for whenever something was put up on the website it was posted in this group right away. Somehow though, I ended up with what was probably the quietest shyest bunch of convention-going geeks ever, so most of the things were me sharing news articles and blogs.

My second group was called the Ultimate Comic Book Smackdown. The basis of this group was I kept seeing the Deathmatches on Youtube like what Bat in the Sun made videos for and a lot of the matches just didn’t make sense to me. Like why are we pitting Wolverine against Wonder Woman? What do they have in common? Nothing! I mean it was fun to think about sure and then to figure out the winner they had someone going to conventions and just getting a general consensus of who would win but never a reason for why really. I mean, whenever Batman came up like everyone would vote for Batman and be like “Well cause he’s Batman!” and that was that. I wanted to change this, I wanted to give an actual debate on the characters and make them matchups that made sense. Like Batman vs Moon Knight, or Doctor Strange vs Doctor Fate, or Ghost Rider vs Spawn, characters that would most likely never meet due to being in opposing companies. The other big change I wanted was to actually do a scoring system based on logical debate. So that someone couldn’t just say Batman they actually would have to be like Batman is Rich and Moon Knight isn’t as rich thus a point to Batman type of thing. At the end of a week of debate, I would go through all the comments to see who got the most and it was welcomed to be able to politely argue why someone else's point shouldn’t count. For example, some people said Aquaman should get a point against Namor because in a comic he threw a polar bear at some bad guys. The argument against this was that well isn’t that just animal abuse so shouldn’t that wash out to where he gets no points or even better gets a negative point? The biggest failing with this group is we had no real way of growing it back then, so it stayed small with a core group of people who you knew would argue for a character based on what company they were from instead of their actual merits. Without growth, and with little input outside a core group of members, we were forced to eventually shut it down.

Over the last seven years though I have kept up my blogging and my site is actually pretty active with views. Because of this, I keep trying to evolve what we do. My Top 5 Lists became Top 10 Lists, I started reviewing more games and books and I even struck deals with local comic shops to review brand new comics for them every week and give their shops free publicity in exchange for the comics to review. That worked out well until Covid hot and turned the entire world upside down. At that point, I ended up going from weekly comic runs down to monthly so the deals kinda fell through at that point.

During lockdown, however, I had to do something. I may not have gone out much before but I was now going out never. I mean when you have cancer and have had Chemo for over a year and a week of radiation and then a pandemic comes along, well let's just say I didn’t trust my immune system further than I could throw an elephant. So once again, I reinvented DraxisWeb. This time I started streaming games, seriously. As in I used to stream maybe once a month just through my Playstation to twitch and had no clue what the hell I was doing. Now, however, I got a capture card and got photoshop so I could make game-related graphics and I got video editing software. I never liked Twitch because there was too much competition and I found out that YouTube kinda isn’t the easiest place for a new gamer to get started. So after some friends convinced me to try Facebook for my streams and I got my first 100 followers, I found out that Facebook at least puts the videos in front of a lot more eyes than YouTube ever did for me.

So now, I have some hobbies in the geek world I work on like Cross-Stitching Wrestler logos and making geek-themed chainmail dice bags. But I also do game streams and while I have been away from blogging for a few months now I want to start to get back into my writing. I would also love to get the Ultimate Comic Crossover Smackdown back on its feet on my website now that I have a good amount of people that come to my gaming pages and a good amount of views that come to my website. This is the type of future I see for DraxisWeb but there’s one thing I think would make this future so much brighter and that is a membership section. Maybe I will make a Patreon page or something similar, but I think if we can get this moving and keep things organized and flowing, I think something like this would be perfect for driving DraxisWeb into the future. The potential is there and it is my hope to get more traction and growth by giving people a way to steer what we do but also by funding us in a way that we can do bigger and better projects, make new merch and bring new games in to review.

See, I would love to make DraxisWeb totally interactive with the people that follow us. I would love to give people the choice of what games we stream each month. I would love to expand DraxisWeb Gaming from just streaming games to selling merch like the Chainmail Dice Bags but to perhaps even expand to making Dice Towers or Custom Card Boxes or full RP Kit Holders. I would love to bring the Smackdowns back and have the people who debate on the characters be the ones telling me which characters to match up next! I would love to begin doing review videos of board games as well as my video game live streams and reviews for as many things as I can. The biggest hurdle to all of this though is money. Disability won’t let me pay my own bills with what I make, much less buy a new game every month, or add to the board game collection. It’s hard to write book reviews when even e-books can cost up to $10 a pop. I’d love to branch into TV and Movie reviews as well as bring my comic reviews back and do both new and classic comics or full comic arcs for people to find out about in case it influences what they want to read or watch. However, it all costs money. I would love to bring another part-time writer onto the team for my website, but that too costs money since free promotion won’t help them put food on the table either.

But I think a well-made membership plan could let us do all of this. I think it could let me get the things needed to make DraxisWeb Gaming merch as well as make better videos and expand the game lineup for reviews. I think it would be awesome to give the people who follow us a way to direct where we go with things and at the same time benefit us as well instead of us always working at a loss. I mean I wouldn’t mind streaming any game out there and doing reviews on it if someone wants to buy them for us, which we could do with a membership program. Also, if we had business tier memberships that could see advertisements or banners and such appear on our website and in our social media and as credits in our streams I think something like that may be possible.

The biggest thing with this whole thing is I want to see DraxisWeb grow. I want to always push forward with our message of inclusiveness and friendliness. I always want to bring the Geeks and Nerds together in a toxic-free environment where we can band together to fight against things like Cancer by doing charity streams or raising money through building a team for Extra Life so we can raise money through gaming for the CMN Hospitals. I also want to do this in a way that won’t break my family that already has financial problems. It would be a nice change to help others and at least break even for a change and maybe even grow into a wonderful, happy, safe fanmade community where all people are welcome.

That's my dream for DraxisWeb!

humanity

About the author

Kathryn Dragoste

Kathryn is the prefered name of the founder of Draxisweb.com. She is a cancer survivor. Kat has been working on DraxisWeb for over 5 years, is an avid crafter creating many geeky treasures. She has been writing since the 90's.

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