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Barrier to newcomers

Started by Larry L., July 28, 2005, 09:37:36 AM

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Larry L.

Quote from: Ron Edwards on July 27, 2005, 11:25:52 PM
But that sports analogy works really well. When we talk about seeing a CA, actually, and when we talk about satisfying it, then we gotta get social. The dialogue here moved past just saying, "Gee, I'm all Gamist, no wonder Bob and I are always at one another's throats about playing right." That was good, back then, and you benefited from it, and I did, and so on. But now we are past that. We are now talking about getting skilled at facilitating the CA to happen, and you know what? You can't just do it "for yourself." When it happens and when it's good, it has to have moved into that social space.

Does this shift in focus represent a barrier to entry for newcomers? 'Cause the standard answer often seems to be "Oh, that is so 2003. Just read these seventeen threads and all will be clear." The only "class" seems to be "History of the development of RPG theory." As the discussion moves beyond the essays, there doesn't seem to be a clear "Forge 101" point.

Not bitching, just making sure I'm tracking Nathan and Fred.

Ron Edwards

Hi Larry,

I'll preface this by saying that, through no fault of your own, you have hit one of my hot-buttons. Please step aside and let the Black Dragon Blast take out the henchmen behind you. I do not want this actually to hit you.

Let me tell you two somethings.

1. I am not paid to do this, nor do I exert any control over what anyone else tells anyone about these topics. However, the alternative to what's gone on here at the Forge is ... nothing happening at all. Although I'm sure there are many out there who'd be thrilled if I had never existed, or at the least, had never set any thoughts of mine on role-playing into any public space, others seem to like the idea of discussing this stuff as I've set it out.

Now! If anyone does want to discuss this stuff, and if you also want to "make it easier to get," then please set up your own space to do so. I will happily direct people there. Vincent does this. About a dozen blogs are out there doing this. What I'm not going to do is bother myself, for one instant, with any concerns of "Hey, I really like what you're doing, but you should do it this way."

There's a whole lotta that on the internet. To this day, people post about how the Forge would be so great if only Ron did this or said this other thing another way.

2. Very soon, this forum is going to change drastically. It will begin with links pointing to the essays, which will have dates on them. It will also have "topics" links for people to see groups of threads which address certain points. It will also have pointers, with any luck updated decently, about wherever else they can go to develop the ideas. The only talking in the forum will be like what I've been doing this last week, and enjoying - people asking me what I think about "how it works." It'll be an archive and an Ask Ron forum, regarding what has been written, and anyone including me who wants to develop and modify the ideas has lots of places to go to do it.

Wither, steam, smoke, corrode ... boy, those henchmen's bodies are a nasty sight. You're still with me, Larry? The dragon is satisfied with wreaking a little mayhem and will now be happy to converse.


Larry L.

Yowza! I'm still here. Give me some time to draft a tactful response to that.

M. J. Young

Quote from: Larry Lade on July 28, 2005, 09:37:36 AMAs the discussion moves beyond the essays, there doesn't seem to be a clear "Forge 101" point.
Odd you should say that. It happens that this complaint came up last year, and one of the results was the development of a Theory 101 series for the e-zine Places to Go, People to Be. I'm not certain if that's what you mean, but the two articles already posted attempt to provide something of a simple primer on Forge theory--There is a third article due in the next issue of the e-zine, Creative Agenda, which hopefully will help people with that aspect.

However, I should point out that there are a couple of stickies on some of the forums that sort out some of the important threads. One of them was called Recommended Reading, if I recall correctly. I don't remember which board that is, but it has a lot of useful material on it.

I hope that helps.

--M. J. Young


Paganini also wrote a couple of excellent introductory articles called Theory Without Jargon, the drafts of which were posted and discussed here:

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3


Ron, you old dragon, does that mean Actual Play is going too?
AKA Jeff Zahari

Ron Edwards

I'm taking that one to Site Discussion.

Also, this thread isn't really going any place, so we should close it. Basic point: if you want to write up any useful introductory material, do it. I have a really, really long list of stuff that other people think I should do, believe me. Additions or suggestions to that list aren't real high priority for me.


Larry L.


1) I'll take that as encouragement to set up a GNS FAQ or whatever, then.

2) Aww shucks, you went and spilled the beans. I've enjoyed reading this forum a lot more recently, particularly seeing what sorts of things new visitors are having trouble understanding. So the upcoming changes seem like A Good Thing.