Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Robin Laws on RPG Theory

Robin Laws weighs in on the Forge community and its RPG theory.

Laws is very leery of theory (bleary, even) but the fact that the Forge RPG theorists have gotten out there and designed so many games and are out there selling and playing and having fun with them, makes him happy about this particular movement.

A lot of commenters weighed in, many of them angry with the "elitists" at the Forge with all their "indie" RPGs.

It's funny -- I see all the elitism, if there is any, on the other side.

We've got two groups of people, one of which wants lots of people to be designing games however they want, and another of which wants people to play only the games which are sold and marketed by professional game designers in big corporations.

And the people who think anybody can and should be able to design and sell a game, and therefore talk about principles of game design publically rather than behind closed doors -- those are supposed to be the elitists! Because they dare to try to do it themselves, their own way, rather than sitting down, shutting up, and doing it the way it's already been done, I guess...

But of course there is a truth there -- the Forge itself has, according to Ron, Clinton, and other founders -- gotten to the point where the weight of its own history has rendered it nigh impossible for someone new to the community to really join and contribute. So they're going to shut it down soon, and let the movement continue in other venues (various livejournals, the glorious lumpley blog which I always get behind on cause it has no RSS feed, etc), wherever people want to continue it, no longer with one big ol' centralized uberforum for everybody to butt heads in.

1 comment:

Joe said...

Robin Laws... bah!

It's funny whenever the call of "elitism" comes from "mainstream" gamers. I remember ths same thing about 12 or 13 years ago when the Amber Diceless RPG was getting popular. The idea of dicelessness was poo-pooed. "It's not a real game!" they would shout. Of course, it never really caught on. There was what, Theatrix and Everway?

I see the Forge, and "indie" games in general as being the next alternative to the mainstream games. There is nothing wrong with mainstream games. I like some of those games, but I also like new stuff, new idea. Is that so wrong? Will indie games catch on and become huge? That would rock, but I'm not going to hold my breath. I will cross my fingers, play they, and promote them as best I can.

What I can say is that I was burned out on gaming, and didn't really play or run anything for about two years. Then Ed introduced me to the Forge and some games, like the Pool and Trollbabe, and gaming actually started to seem interesting. Then I bought Nine Worlds, Primetime Adventures and Dogs in the Vineyard. I'm eagerly awaiting Mountain Witch.

The "newness" of these games hooked me and got me back into gaming, and that is a good thing.