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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4283 Members Latest Member: - otto Most online today: 69 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
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Author Topic: The five percent  (Read 6859 times)
Clinton R. Nixon
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« on: December 03, 2002, 11:23:29 PM »

This is my companion thread to Ron's latest of the Big Five threads, The Forge as a community. It's inspired by recent events here at the Forge, Ron's thought that "personal-vision RPGs" are, basically, how good games get made, and Rich's discussion of a "discourse community" in that thread.

(Aside: yeah, I know I'm oversimplifying Ron's view. That thought was the most liberating and exciting thing I've ever read on the Forge, though, and articulated everything I've thought about RPGs in a way I didn't know how to.)

As some of you may well know, I'm the Forge's "bad cop." That is, there can be a negative public perception of me as "what's wrong with The Forge," especially on other websites. That's not because I do the majority of the administration - in fact, I think Ron does - but because I deliberately make myself an open target. I'm a bit more fiery and sensitive. I take criticism very personally, and try to address every problem people say they have with my work.

In pondering all this today, especially in light of Ron's new thread, I realized why there always seems to be a "five percent" of the Forge's userbase that has a serious problem with it. It's all about agenda.

The Forge has an agenda. I think we're clear about it: "the creation and promotion of independent role-playing games." (This includes the play of them, for those wondering.) Everyone who comes here has an agenda as well. However, most of them integrate that into the Forge's agenda while they're here.

For example, my agenda is to ease the creation and promotion of indie RPG's by making technology accessible. My article on creating an indie game for low cost (both here and in Donjon), the new Forge Bookshelf, and the Forge itself are the works of this agenda. Some people, like Ron, have an agenda of helping creation and promotion by establishing a lexicon in which we can discuss games easier. Some people have an agenda of helping indie games by challenging that lexicon. Others might have an agenda of helping indie games through discussing religion in them. All of these people enjoy the Forge, even when they don't agree. They may get angry or hurt sometimes, but the idea of the community doesn't offend them. Because of that, we have a 95 percent of very diverse viewpoints who contribute in different ways, but have a cohesive whole.

That five percent I mentioned: their agenda comes first. Their agenda might be a certain belief, or the self-esteem that comes with dominating an argument, or attacking the Forge lexicon (without trying to help indie games first). It could be anything. The point, though, is that sort of agenda tears apart the cohesiveness - and respect - of the community. It very literally threatens the life of it. A web-based community forum, like the Forge, becomes a hive of separate communities when the agendas are not wove together like a rope made of multi-colored strings.

I don't have a question for anyone to answer, besides the rhetorical. (What is your agenda, and how does it tie into the Forge's?) I don't expect nearly as many replies to this as to Ron's threads. I do have a point, though: The Forge isn't for everyone. It's for those who love it, who love debate, who love new thought; those who love it enough to work with those who they disagree with in order to build it stronger.
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Clinton R. Nixon
CRN Games
C. Edwards
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Posts: 558

savage / sublime


« Reply #1 on: December 04, 2002, 12:08:55 AM »

My agenda is simply to expose myself to all the intriguing and creative ideas brought to The Forge and to see where they lead my game design and how they  help transform my own thoughts in a variety of areas outside of game design and play.  I can only hope that the contribution of my own ideas and the eventual physical embodiment of a game born of a melding of my creative energy and the pool of thoughts that The Forge embodies will be sufficient payment for all the wonderful insight (and Actual Play!) that my time at The Forge has brought me.

I think the sense of community wouldn’t exist without the very diligent and focused attention of the moderators.  Without the attention they give to pulling the weeds the garden would soon be over run.  Thank you Ron and Clinton.  When The Forge reaches 2000 registered users you can call me if you need another set of hands at the moderation wheel. ;)   Actually, I think the list of volunteers for that responsibility would be impressively long.

-Chris
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Sidhain
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Posts: 160


« Reply #2 on: December 04, 2002, 09:13:02 AM »

I've a threefold agenda:

1) To get my games published--hence part of why I am here is to get information from those who have done it, and use that information to aid me.

2) To discuss neat ideas and games, not just my own--but admittedly not everything here interests me (For instance I don't care for Sorcerer--that doesn't mean it isn't a fine game, and in fact it is definately intriguing, its just not the subject matter that I'm interested in--yes I know you can alter the primary elements, but that means a lot of the backdrop is lost or has to be written by me--and in that case I'd rather write my own entire game, than take someone elses and tinker. )

3) To chat, yes I'm a social person, and while not all Forge chatter/ideas/people think the same as I--that is ok; although admittedly I don't feel I fit the Forges "clique" (and that's the closest word I have for what it is *L*)

However bleeds back into the Forges /stated/ agenda as you put it---to promote indie games--that's why I keep coming back even if I'm coming from a distinctly different angle of perception of gaming.
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Ron Edwards
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« Reply #3 on: December 04, 2002, 10:38:31 AM »

Hello,

Great post, Clinton. I hadn't really articulated any of that material to myself, and your breakdown of the primary agenda makes a lot of sense to me. I especially like the idea of constructive disagreement founded on a shared, valued priority.

Lots of people have worked this out with me or with others, individually, over the years so far, but I think getting it out in the open is going to make a big difference in the future.

Best,
Ron
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b_bankhead
Member

Posts: 259


« Reply #4 on: December 04, 2002, 04:59:49 PM »

My agenda is to figure out how to  create a wholy different rpg culture independent of the traditional hobby shop centered status quo.  I realized about six years ago that I didn't need a new rpg group as much as a new culture.  I have mostly hung fire as I dont know how to create it...however I think the Forge is a good place to figure out how.
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jrients
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« Reply #5 on: December 05, 2002, 09:12:07 AM »

Quote from: b_bankhead
My agenda is to figure out how to  create a wholy different rpg culture independent of the traditional hobby shop centered status quo.


The campus club has always existed as an alternative.  Heck, doesn't the club as a gaming institution pre-date the game store?

Can we develop an alternative similar to the campus club without tying it to an outside body like a school?
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Jeff Rients
Irmo
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Posts: 258


« Reply #6 on: December 05, 2002, 09:36:58 AM »

Quote from: jrients
Quote from: b_bankhead
My agenda is to figure out how to  create a wholy different rpg culture independent of the traditional hobby shop centered status quo.


The campus club has always existed as an alternative.  Heck, doesn't the club as a gaming institution pre-date the game store?

Can we develop an alternative similar to the campus club without tying it to an outside body like a school?


Well, as I pointed out such alternatives exist in other countries. One club I was part of in Germany was local, on a regional level, coveral several mid- and small-size cities in regional proximity. The other covered large parts of the nation, with local chapters. Both clubs negotiated with cities, youth centers, community halls and pubs for locations to game in, and engaged themselves more or less in roleplaying advocacy.
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Clinton R. Nixon
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« Reply #7 on: December 05, 2002, 10:19:35 AM »

Since this thread has strayed a lot from its topic in new, but great, directions, can I ask you guys to create a new thread? In particular, Irmo, could you expound more on how this club in Germany was developed, and how it operated? (RPG Theory would probably be the best place for this.)
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Clinton R. Nixon
CRN Games
Irmo
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Posts: 258


« Reply #8 on: December 05, 2002, 11:27:31 AM »

Quote from: Clinton R. Nixon
Since this thread has strayed a lot from its topic in new, but great, directions, can I ask you guys to create a new thread? In particular, Irmo, could you expound more on how this club in Germany was developed, and how it operated? (RPG Theory would probably be the best place for this.)


Give me a couple of days on that one, since I joined both clubs well into their history of existence. However, I have current email addies of a longtime member of one and a founding member of the other, though I might start with something about the organisation of the large-scale one, since I have access to the charter and know how it worked (at least in theory ;) )
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xiombarg
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« Reply #9 on: December 05, 2002, 11:41:42 AM »

Quote from: Irmo
Give me a couple of days on that one, since I joined both clubs well into their history of existence. However, I have current email addies of a longtime member of one and a founding member of the other, though I might start with something about the organisation of the large-scale one, since I have access to the charter and know how it worked (at least in theory ;) )
Take your time, but I wanted to pipe up and say I was extremely interested in hearing about this as well. (I figure having one of the two admins express interest was enough, but just in case...)
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Ron Edwards
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« Reply #10 on: December 06, 2002, 08:07:25 AM »

Hi Irmo,

Yes, let me add my plea for as much information as possible. This sounds like something everyone needs to know about.

Best,
Ron
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Irmo
Member

Posts: 258


« Reply #11 on: December 06, 2002, 11:38:37 AM »

Quote from: Ron Edwards
Hi Irmo,

Yes, let me add my plea for as much information as possible. This sounds like something everyone needs to know about.

Best,
Ron


Cf. my "large-scale RPG club" post in the RPG theory forum. It may look a bit messy so far, but believe me, due to German legal requirements for registered clubs serving the public good, it's in truth a lot messier ;)

In the meantime, I got replies on my emails regarding the early days of the clubs, details on which I will post later, though there's also a few things I want to get back to my contacts on.
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