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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4283 Members Latest Member: - otto Most online today: 51 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
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Author Topic: Off-the-cuff Forge cultural analysis  (Read 16509 times)
Clinton R. Nixon
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Posts: 2624


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« on: December 04, 2002, 06:53:34 PM »

Moved by some of Irmo's discussion in Ron's "The Forge as a community" thread, I decided to look and see where the Forge is succeeding and failing in relation to the cultures that make it up. I looked at the first two pages of the memberlist, organized by the number of posts, which seemed to the most accurate method.

Instantly, I realized that we have no women there. That doesn't surprise me, but does sadden me a bit. We also have no African-Americans that I noticed, which also saddens me. (I note that women and African-Americans to tend to be heavily marginalized in gaming. This is not a good thing, but also not something I have to fix alone. Women and African-Americans get equal time in my games, though.)

On the positive side, I saw the following:
 - People from Taiwan, the UK, and New Zealand
 - Caucasians, Asians, and Native Americans (didn't know that about me, didja? It's a small amount, but legally correct, and something I'm very proud of.)
 - People from the West Coast, East Coast, Midwesterners, and even some Southerners. (I'm glad to know I'm not the only one.) Within the US, we seem to be very culturally diverse. (For those who don't know it, the US is a very diverse place.)
 - Protestants, Catholics, Mormons, atheists, pagans, and perhaps some Wiccans, as well as a mix of people I got no idea about. I'd put money on some Buddhists. I was surprised to not see anyone I recognized of the Jewish faith.
 - Goth kids, punk rockers, classic rockers, and some hip-hop kids.
 - Capitalists and anti-capitalists
 - People who like narrativism, gamism, and simulationism. I like this one a lot.
 - People who started posting the day the Forge opened, and people who started posting two months ago. This is also exciting.

I see a pretty damn diverse tapestry in the first 40 top posters. While it could be improved - as always - it's pretty exciting, if you ask me.
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Clinton R. Nixon
CRN Games
Irmo
Member

Posts: 258


« Reply #1 on: December 04, 2002, 07:42:28 PM »

Quote from: Clinton R. Nixon
Moved by some of Irmo's discussion in Ron's "The Forge as a community" thread, I decided to look and see where the Forge is succeeding and failing in relation to the cultures that make it up. I looked at the first two pages of the memberlist, organized by the number of posts, which seemed to the most accurate method.


The top posters hardly show you who feels NOT welcome here. And looking at the countries alone is not an accurate method to identify culture. It is no indication whatsoever if the person is a native, or part of the native gaming culture. There are, for example, plenty of US roleplayers in Germany, not all of which are integrated in the german roleplaying community.
It also doesn't tell you how much they contribute to the general Forge forums as opposed to restricting their discussions to specific games. If you look at some of the international posters, you will see that some of them don't get involved in GNS discussions, or discussions of gaming community.

Quote
Within the US, we seem to be very culturally diverse. (For those who don't know it, the US is a very diverse place.)


Yes, GMC and Chrysler make pretty diverse cars, too. That doesn't change the fact that there's a wholly different order of magnitude of diversity if you look outside.

But hey, what do I know. I just happened to discuss the other day with the publisher of the english translation of a French RPG how entirely different the feeling is we both get from reading most french RPGs than from reading RPGs originally written in english and wondered if the French language itself is a factor in that or whether it is more a cultural issue. But thanks to you, I know by now that neither can be considered in any way relevant, and both factors can happily be ignored.
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C. Edwards
Member

Posts: 558

savage / sublime


« Reply #2 on: December 04, 2002, 08:53:49 PM »

Quote
But thanks to you, I know by now that neither can be considered in any way relevant, and both factors can happily be ignored.


There's really no call for that kind of attitude.  Clinton was not purposefully slighting your opinion or input and taking his post as such is just really... well, it's very small of you.  

That said, there are a lot of factors involved which Clinton doesn't seem to take into account in his post.  Could The Forge be more diverse? Of course.  That doesn't make the diversity that The Forge does exemplify any less impressive, in my opinion.  

-Chris
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Valamir
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Posts: 5574


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« Reply #3 on: December 04, 2002, 09:06:31 PM »

Irmo, I have to say I am saddened, disappointed, and frankly disgusted by your commentary.

It is absolutely devoid of anything constructive.  I'm not sure why you feel the need to voice your concerns so venomously, but I, for one, don't appreciate it.  You will find the Forge is about as open a community as you're likely to find on the internet discussing a fairly narrow topic, and thereby limited by the population that already exists which is interested in that topic.  You will also find that your points will be taken much more seriously and with people actually interested in honest discussion about them, when they are presented logically and rationally.

Your last few posts have been nothing if not spiteful.  Whatever chip you are carrying around on your shoulder, leave it home.  I suggest that you attempt to make your points and raise your issues without resorting to snide and vicious attitude.

Clinton has gone above and beyond to give your concerns serious concideration despite the manner in which you made them.  But your response, instead of seeing the attempt at dialog and participating openly in it; is nasty, absurd, and completely inappropriate.

I suggest you take a good hard look at the posting habits you've learned on other internet sites and reevaluate them.  They don't belong here.
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Clinton R. Nixon
Member

Posts: 2624


WWW
« Reply #4 on: December 04, 2002, 09:23:30 PM »

Ralph and Chris - thanks for watching my back.

Irmo - I'm sorry that you felt hurt by this thread. It was started because I was moved by your comments - in a positive way - and wanted to at least start an analysis as to who makes up the Forge.

Two small points:

1) I forgot to mention one other thing about the top 40 posters - most of them are friends, and the rest are people I like, even if I don't agree with. To be honest, I think this defines the Forge more than anything else, and I realize why it makes the Forge seem exclusionary: when you're new, you're a stranger in a group of friends. I find we do accept new people as friends pretty quickly when they act like one.

2) I think you think I'm someone I'm not, Irmo. I do have a wide range of cultural experience: I've not only been in many different US cultures (which I still think are more diverse than you think), but been an active participant in Korean culture, which has had a tremendous influence on me. Also, I'm not particularly academic or intellectual. I'm a blue collar worker (I spent all day working as an antiques mover today), a college dropout, and a former farmer from a dirt-poor part of the nation. I like to think I'm bright, but I speak like my roots. I apologize for when that devalues your academic discussion.
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Clinton R. Nixon
CRN Games
Irmo
Member

Posts: 258


« Reply #5 on: December 04, 2002, 09:35:08 PM »

Quote from: Valamir

It is absolutely devoid of anything constructive.  I'm not sure why you feel the need to voice your concerns so venomously, but I, for one, don't appreciate it.  You will find the Forge is about as open a community as you're likely to find on the internet discussing a fairly narrow topic, and thereby limited by the population that already exists which is interested in that topic.  You will also find that your points will be taken much more seriously and with people actually interested in honest discussion about them, when they are presented logically and rationally.


Quite to the contrary, my points have been ignored, and instead things have been put into my writings that had no place there, by several different posters.

Quote

Your last few posts have been nothing if not spiteful.  Whatever chip you are carrying around on your shoulder, leave it home.  I suggest that you attempt to make your points and raise your issues without resorting to snide and vicious attitude.


How has my post to Rich been spiteful? I suggest you try and look at what is cause and what is effect.

Quote

I suggest you take a good hard look at the posting habits you've learned on other internet sites and reevaluate them.  They don't belong here.


What I have learned on other internet sites, Ralph, is that the minimum I can expect of other people is to read the posts they reply to and reply to the points made, not something completely unrelated to what the poster said. If I have to reevaluate that for here, if that doesn't belong here, that doesn't speak very well about the Forge. It is neither fair nor honest to attack others for positions they never held, yet no less than two people have done so today alone. I suggest you take a look at the actual thread and reevaluate who said what. It might be that you missed that Clinton actually apologized for some of his comments in the other thread.
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Irmo
Member

Posts: 258


« Reply #6 on: December 04, 2002, 10:12:34 PM »

Quote from: Clinton R. Nixon
Ralph and Chris - thanks for watching my back.

Irmo - I'm sorry that you felt hurt by this thread. It was started because I was moved by your comments - in a positive way - and wanted to at least start an analysis as to who makes up the Forge.


I apologize if I misinterpreted your intention. As I pointed out, interpretation of intent when dealing with non-native speakers is sometimes difficult -in both ways. Obviously, it was my turn this time.


Quote

2) I think you think I'm someone I'm not, Irmo. I do have a wide range of cultural experience: I've not only been in many different US cultures (which I still think are more diverse than you think), but been an active participant in Korean culture, which has had a tremendous influence on me. Also, I'm not particularly academic or intellectual. I'm a blue collar worker (I spent all day working as an antiques mover today), a college dropout, and a former farmer from a dirt-poor part of the nation. I like to think I'm bright, but I speak like my roots. I apologize for when that devalues your academic discussion.


Clinton, I live in the US, and while I agree that there is a lot of cultural diversity, there is also a whole lot of bottom line. It seems to me, however, that frequently, to people sharing a bottom line, the diversity between them is more obvious, since they take that bottom line as obvious, self-understood, and unremarkable. As such, it is frequently more obvious to outsiders, who don't share it, than for those who participate in it. Notice vice versa many Americans speaking of "the Euros", despite a diversity that includes a multitude of different languages.

I never expected you to be academic. Several posters, in a variety of threads, declared the discussion of roleplaying at the Forge, with respect to the GNS model, RPG theory etc as semi-academic. That's what I was referring to, in part. On top of that, I was referring to the goal of academic work: Gather and analyse data, and draw conclusions from it.  Academic procedure is good at it, because that's what it was developed to do. Diversion from it happens (even many academics divert), but that frequently changes the chaff vs. wheat ratio in an unfavorable way. If one is fine with that, that's ok. That's what I tried to point out. As much as we cherish our friends, we should be realistic enough not to generalize from them.
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C. Edwards
Member

Posts: 558

savage / sublime


« Reply #7 on: December 04, 2002, 10:14:10 PM »

Quote
It is neither fair nor honest to attack others for positions they never held, yet no less than two people have done so today alone. I suggest you take a look at the actual thread and reevaluate who said what. It might be that you missed that Clinton actually apologized for some of his comments in the other thread.


Precisely Irmo, which is why I think you need to apologize for your attitude in your initial post of this thread.

-Chris

*Edit to note the cross-post with Irmo.
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Kester Pelagius
Member

Posts: 508


« Reply #8 on: December 04, 2002, 10:21:31 PM »

Quote from: Clinton R. Nixon
Moved by some of Irmo's discussion in Ron's "The Forge as a community" thread, I decided to look and see where the Forge is succeeding and failing in relation to the cultures that make it up. I looked at the first two pages of the memberlist, organized by the number of posts, which seemed to the most accurate method.

Instantly, I realized that we have no women there. That doesn't surprise me, but does sadden me a bit. We also have no African-Americans that I noticed, which also saddens me.

...



Wow, I had no idea one could discern so much just from looking at the member list!

Wonder where I fall into your categories.  I mean, can you really tell the crunchy bits about me just by looking at the member list?

Clinton, as always, your insights about the board are fascinating.

Just thought I'd take the time to let you know that, case no one else said so.
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"The darkest places in hell are reserved for those who maintain their neutrality in times of moral crisis." -Dante Alighieri
Kester Pelagius
Member

Posts: 508


« Reply #9 on: December 04, 2002, 10:26:01 PM »

Greetings Irmo,

Long time no post, relatively speaking.

Quote from: Irmo
Quote from: Clinton R. Nixon
The top posters hardly show you who feels NOT welcome here.


True.  Then again there are many reason why a person might not feel "welcome".  Me, I've seen the high and lows from behind the scenes when I ran a BBS so I know that a person can post, get no responses, but that doesn't necessarily mean that people don't care.  It's about having something worthwhile to say.

Wonder how many have come here, posted, gotten no response, or not as much of a response as they hoped for, and went away thinking they weren't welcome.

Something to think about.


Kind Regards,

Kester Pelagius
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"The darkest places in hell are reserved for those who maintain their neutrality in times of moral crisis." -Dante Alighieri
Kester Pelagius
Member

Posts: 508


« Reply #10 on: December 04, 2002, 10:30:57 PM »

Greetings Valamir,

How goes your Christmas shopping?

Quote from: Valamir
Irmo, I have to say I am saddened, disappointed, and frankly disgusted by your commentary.


Whoa!  I must be missing something 'cuz Irmo's post didn't seem all *that* negative to me.  Just read like a bit of commentary, possibly slightly aserbic.

Hmm..   I mis-spelled aserbic, didn't I?

No matter.  We're still all friends here.  Right.


Kind Regards,

Kester Pelagius
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"The darkest places in hell are reserved for those who maintain their neutrality in times of moral crisis." -Dante Alighieri
Kester Pelagius
Member

Posts: 508


« Reply #11 on: December 04, 2002, 10:38:16 PM »

Quote from: Clinton R. Nixon
Ralph and Chris - thanks for watching my back.

Irmo - I'm sorry that you felt hurt by this thread. It was started because I was moved by your comments - in a positive way - and wanted to at least start an analysis as to who makes up the Forge.


See, I knew I was missing something!

Amazing how that works.

Yes, I know I could just read the thread in full.  Not bother to post.  But that becomes a bad habit.  The more we read thining "maybe I'll post later" the less we post.  Thus giving less for others to read when they come along.

Does that mean anything?

Not really.  Or maybe it does.

Certainly it proves that no one's posts are being ignored.  Even by those of us who wander into conversations a bit late.  Personally I like most of what I read here.  Otherwise I would A) take the time to read it; B) come back to read the things I read in the first place.

Does that mean I read every post, or think others should read every post?

Nope.

Shadow Government's withstanding this is still a free country.


Kind Regards,

Kester Pelagius
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"The darkest places in hell are reserved for those who maintain their neutrality in times of moral crisis." -Dante Alighieri
Clinton R. Nixon
Member

Posts: 2624


WWW
« Reply #12 on: December 04, 2002, 10:53:25 PM »

Quote from: Kester Pelagius
Wow, I had no idea one could discern so much just from looking at the member list!

Wonder where I fall into your categories.  I mean, can you really tell the crunchy bits about me just by looking at the member list?


Kester,

I apologize if I'm wrong, but you sound a little sarcastic. Anyway, I could tell all that only because I get to know the people who post here - especially those who post a lot - pretty well. I've met 14 of the top 40 posters, and the rest I've known online anywhere from 1 to 3 years.

Best,
Clinton
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Clinton R. Nixon
CRN Games
Kester Pelagius
Member

Posts: 508


« Reply #13 on: December 04, 2002, 10:57:59 PM »

Greetings Mr. Nixon,

Great weather we're having, is it not?

Quote from: Clinton R. Nixon
Quote from: Kester Pelagius
Wow, I had no idea one could discern so much just from looking at the member list!

Wonder where I fall into your categories.  I mean, can you really tell the crunchy bits about me just by looking at the member list?


Kester,

I apologize if I'm wrong, but you sound a little sarcastic. Anyway, I could tell all that only because I get to know the people who post here - especially those who post a lot - pretty well. I've met 14 of the top 40 posters, and the rest I've known online anywhere from 1 to 3 years.


Ah, the joys of posting!  *smile*

Wasn't being intentionally sarcastic.  Maybe subconciously, but I really am interested to know how you came to your conclusions.  Of course it has been a while since I looked at the member list so it could just be I've forgotten all the wonderful information contained therein.  *shrug*

Of course that you've actually met some of those people, well, that's just cheating isn't it!  *wink*



Edit:  Hmph.  I'm not even in the top 50! (was #51)  Didn't write much either about myself, did I?  Ah well, I still say your insights are fascinating friend Nixon.

Kind Regards,

Kester Pelagius (still wondering how Mr. Nixon would classify him)
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"The darkest places in hell are reserved for those who maintain their neutrality in times of moral crisis." -Dante Alighieri
Fabrice G.
Member

Posts: 206


« Reply #14 on: December 05, 2002, 02:39:23 AM »

Hi Conton,

I can give you the reason why I don't post more than I do, even if I feel welcome here.

My main problem is that english is my second language (learned in school) and that I consider myself no very good at it. The highly theorical discussions are just hard for me to contribute, even as I anderstand them, because I mostly reason in french at that level of discussion.
So if you combine that and the quite powerfull minds at work here, it can explain the behavior of some of the non-english native member.

Anyway, those people seem to be a minority around here (am I alone ? :) ).

Fabrice.
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