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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4283 Members Latest Member: - otto Most online today: 74 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
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Author Topic: [A GNS STORY] The Stroll  (Read 7780 times)
John Kim
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« on: December 01, 2005, 11:00:44 AM »

Little Johnny looks around a grassy field. 

He sees a bit of commotion over to his side.  Some other kids there have a nice-looking playground and forts which they built.  Suddenly he screams out "Look out!!  Dive for cover!!"  Johnny strolls over and says "What's going on?"   The kid screams back "Get down!!  There's a bloody war on!!  Look over there -- bomb-throwing anarchists?  Bloody System-Doesn't-Matter savages!!" 

Johnny looks that way and walks on over.  He finds some other fellow kids over there.  "Hey, watcha playing?" he asks.  "Amber" says a girl, who's climbing around on the tree.  Johnny sits in the messy sandbox under the tree and plays with them a little.  He asks "What about those kids over there?  They've got a really nice fort set up."   "Well," says the girl, "It looks kind of nice, but they say nasty things about us."  Johnny takes out some of the toys from over there to show her.  "Actually, their playground stuff is really nice, and they've got plenty to spare.  See?" he replies.  "Well, I'm not sure, but thanks for playing with us." she says. 

He then gets up and walks around some more -- looking across the stream at the kids he'd played with earlier.  They're running wildly around a big meadow, and every so often sitting down in a circle and chatting. 

Then he walks back over to by the forts, where some more of the kids are now talking to each other.  He walks past one kids who is crawling along through the grass.  "Watcha doin'?"  Johnny asks.  "Staying low so the bullets don't hit me.  My god, the humanity!  We're barely surviving." the kid replies.  Scratching his head, Johnny goes and sits on the swings.  He waves to some other kids who are wandering around from play area to play area.  Then another kid gets his attention, "I'm sorry" the kids says.  "What?" asks Johnny.  "We can only spare a few crusts of bread for the Simmer kids.  I know they'd like to have nice toys, but I can only give them the bare necessities for life."  he says, waving a hand roughly to the right.  "Which ones are they?"  Johnny asks.  "You know," says the other kid, "*Them*!!"    Johnny looks around and then shrugs.  "Er, I'm not sure they need the crusts, but I'm sure they appreciate the thought."  he replies.  The other kid sighs, and says, "Yes, I'd like to do more, but with this terrible war on everyone is suffering." 

Johnny scratches his head again.  "Well, you don't mind if I stick around here, do you?"  he asks.  "No," says the other kid, crouching low, "but for god's sake watch yourself.  The dead are piling up, and there's no end in sight to this violent madness." 
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- John
John Kim
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« Reply #1 on: December 01, 2005, 12:17:35 PM »


Just to be clear -- in case this is misread.  Like Ron's story, this is a metaphor.  It's not a contradiction of his, but rather a different perspective which reflects my experiences. 

I've been talking about RPG theory for over ten years, and for the most part all I've encountered is friendly people.  I like it here at the Forge, but I have also gone and played with, say, the author of the the Turku manifesto -- and I found them to also be perfectly friendly people.  They have different classification schemes and ideas, but I don't feel any war.  I do feel some strife here and there from individuals, but the war metaphor completely misses me -- and I wanted to express that. 
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lumpley
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« Reply #2 on: December 01, 2005, 12:24:15 PM »

Yeah...

Thing is, the war in Ron's stories isn't between "Forge thinkers" and "non-Forge thinkers" at all. That's just not what the metaphor is - and if that's what you look for it to be, of course it'll completely miss you.

-Vincent
if I may speak as a veteran.
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John Kim
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« Reply #3 on: December 01, 2005, 01:12:56 PM »

Thing is, the war in Ron's stories isn't between "Forge thinkers" and "non-Forge thinkers" at all. That's just not what the metaphor is - and if that's what you look for it to be, of course it'll completely miss you.

Well, I'm not claiming to speak for Ron or be an official interpretation of him -- I'm just posting a metaphor of my own feelings.  What are your interpretations of his "war" post and my "playgrounds" post? 
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Mark Woodhouse
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« Reply #4 on: December 01, 2005, 02:29:09 PM »

Well, I'm not claiming to speak for Ron or be an official interpretation of him -- I'm just posting a metaphor of my own feelings.  What are your interpretations of his "war" post and my "playgrounds" post? 

I know what mine is - as one of those twitchy, shellshocked kids in your metaphor. It's all very nice for you. You don't even see it. Nobody ever did it to you. You see a playground. I see the places where my friends are buried, where people I never approached with anything but friendship turned on me and wrecked everything I cared about because it wasn't right and good and proper.

I'm done fighting. All that ever does is make more hurt. But I am building myself a sandcastle with my friends, and if anybody wants to come play with us, great. But they better not be coming to press-gang us into building a nice house for them and then kick us to the curb, because we aren't going to let that happen. And they most especially better not be coming with candy in one hand and a club in the other, because we're wise to that crap now.
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John Kim
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« Reply #5 on: December 01, 2005, 05:16:39 PM »


I see the places where my friends are buried, where people I never approached with anything but friendship turned on me and wrecked everything I cared about because it wasn't right and good and proper.

I'm done fighting. All that ever does is make more hurt. But I am building myself a sandcastle with my friends, and if anybody wants to come play with us, great. But they better not be coming to press-gang us into building a nice house for them and then kick us to the curb, because we aren't going to let that happen. And they most especially better not be coming with candy in one hand and a club in the other, because we're wise to that crap now.

Thanks, Mark, for the input.  I'm not sure if I fully grasp your metaphor of press-gangs by the sandbox, but it expresses your view and I'll try to process it.  Can you elaborate on how you feel about the press gangs and the clubs they use?  That's the part which clashes with my experience. 


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Ron Edwards
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« Reply #6 on: December 01, 2005, 05:44:08 PM »

Hello,

John, the "war zone" I'm writing about refers to the economic and social conditions of publishing role-playing games. It has nothing to do with discussing theory.

Discussing the theory would be hunkering around the Coleman lanterns in the night, in the trenches, when combat wasn't going on.

You have missed the point of the stories entirely.

Best,
Ron
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John Kim
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« Reply #7 on: December 01, 2005, 08:22:14 PM »

John, the "war zone" I'm writing about refers to the economic and social conditions of publishing role-playing games. It has nothing to do with discussing theory.

Ron, I already said that my story stands on it own.  It is not an interpretation of your story -- it is an alternative metaphor which expresses my own feelings about GNS.  Regardless of your story, I get a strong sense of "us vs them" and fighting here at the Forge and specifically about GNS, which is what my metaphor refers to. 

So perhaps these stories can just stand as two different views.  My story is indeed about theorizing and role-playing categories.  That's why it's called "A GNS STORY" and is posted in the GNS forum. 
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- John
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