Friday, June 03, 2005

Prolegomena to Any Future Snark

This is Ed talking about Ed talking here, not Joe, just for the record.

I use this space to snark and rant and stuff, and I often snark and rant about Forgite RPG theory, that is, GNS theory and everything about it.

One might get the impression from this that I particularly dislike GNS theory and Forge games, that I wish they didn't exist or something.

That's completely the opposite of the truth. about 95% of the RPGs I've bought in the last 4 years have been indie RPGs whose creators frequent the Forge. About 90% of the RPGs I've played in the same time have been those. To pull numbers out of my ass, I have about ten times as much fun playing or running the average Forge/Indie RPG than the average traditional RPG.

I love this stuff. I'm really happy it exists. I might not care at all about RPGs if it wasn't for the Forge and its habitues.

So why diss it? Well, we always hurt the ones we love.

No, seriously, it's not you, Forge, it's me.

As I've mentioned, I am by nature a theory junkie and a movement toady. I tend to want to find a theory to explain everything, and act and think in terms of the theory, and I tend to want to find a group of cool like-minded explorers and theory-creators and groove on what they're doing. The Forge tempts me so much on those issues, and I don't want to get too deeply sucked into it.

So I seize on things where it seems not to work, or alternate ways of looking at things, or really deviant takes on it -- like this thread Paganini started about G, N, and S being less big a deal than people may imagine, things like that.

For my own sake, I set myself against the theory because I am inclined to just swallow it whole. My snarks and questions and doubts and objections may be irrelevant to someone who doesn't share these concerns, or share my own theory-oriented character flaws, or who does share them but is not interested in challenging them at this point.

I just wanted to let this be known in this space cause I think it would be really easy to give totally the wrong impression from the adversarial stance I tend to take towards the Forge and GNS theory. I in fact value it immensely. And that's why I want to keep its value in perspective.

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