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The Infamous Five

Started by Ron Edwards, February 13, 2004, 08:35:46 PM

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Ron Edwards


A while ago, I initiated a series of threads which came to be known as the Infamous Five. Each one spawned numerous daughter threads. Although each had a distinct topic addressed to its specific forum, their sequence was designed to constitute a larger argument as well. Those of us who participated in these threads enjoy a certain relationship and shared goal, here at the Forge, which is hard to explain - it's about knowing why we're here and considering what the Forge is relative to the rest of the hobby.

Why post them now? Because often I find myself referring people to one or another piece of this immense web of posts, and it's usually because I think the insights are central to participating here, for that person. So I'm putting them up as a big set of unified links. Are anyone required to read them? No, but I think a lot of people might like reading them, or might like to see what context a lot of smaller points are being made within.

For each forum, the list below leads off with the one that started the process, after the forum title.

#1: PUBLISHING: Mainstream: a revision
Production value
Active vs. passive entertainment
The Store
What would make a non-role-player buy your game?
The game that would sell to non-role-players
The importance of play
Accessible? To whom?

#2: ACTUAL PLAY: Actual play in the stores
Mainstream media

#3: RPG THEORY: Social Context
Gay culture / Gamer culture
Christian gamers and self-esteem
What does role-playing gaming accomplish?
Sexism and gaming

#4: GNS MODEL DISCUSSION: Vanilla and Pervy
Pervy in my head
Combat systems
Cannot stand cutsiepoo terms
Pervy Sim, points of contact, accessibility

#5: SITE DISCUSSION: The Forge as a community
The five percent
The Forge and cultural bias
Off-the-cuff Forge cultural analysis
Relationships at the Forge


Good idea.  Thanks for the compilation.

Kirk Mitchell

Thanks for the compilation. Really helpful. Now I need some time to read through them all...

Teddy Bears Are Cool: My art and design place on the internet tubes.

Kin: A Game About Family



Would this then be required reading for getting started around here?

I'm trying to get a grasp of the basic things I should know to be able to converse competently on basic game design, even as it pertains to writing settings or expansions for pre-existing systems (my usual method).

Ron Edwards


Nothing's actually required. Also, even if anything were, the Infamous Five threads aren't about game design particularly, more about the business identity of the hobby, the subculture of gaming, and the Forge as a community.

If you're interested in a summary of my thinking about game design, and bear in mind that's one person here and not "Forge ideology," then check out The Provisional Glossary, an article linked in the Articles section (top right of the page you're reading right now). The first two pages aren't a glossary but a useful short essay.

Aside from that, if you were simply to abide by the stated purpose of each forum and begin posting wherever you'd like, then I think things will go fine. There is no "you don't know enough to post here" culture here. If someone ever does give you any static that seems like that to you, send me a private message and I will take action that will surprise you (and them).

I do recommend keeping an open mind and reading others' ideas or what seems like instruction with at least some willingness to consider them.

Best, Ron