*
*
Home
Help
Login
Register
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
August 11, 2022, 07:42:07 AM

Login with username, password and session length
Forum changes: Editing of posts has been turned off until further notice.
Search:     Advanced search
275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4285 Members Latest Member: - Jason DAngelo Most online today: 70 - most online ever: 565 (October 17, 2020, 02:08:06 PM)
Pages: 1 [2] 3
Print
Author Topic: Perceptions of Civility at the Forge  (Read 20941 times)
Emily Care
Member

Posts: 1126


WWW
« Reply #15 on: May 12, 2004, 06:35:35 AM »

Hi Adam,

Quote from: AdamDray
Quote from: Walt Freitag

The barrier for new correspondents isn't learning the words, or even learning the definitions; it's learning the concepts.


I think it's impossible to separate a word's concept from its definition. Understanding one is understanding another. Words are symbols for ideas.

The barrier for new correspondents IS learning the words and what they mean.


Could we begin a new thread for the semantics of the question if need be?  This thread has already spent enough time discussing the issue of jargon, which is not the primary question.  Or we can participate in the question of jargon on the thread you began.

Thank you.

Emily
Logged

Koti ei ole koti ilman saunaa.

Black & Green Games
xiombarg
Member

Posts: 1183


WWW
« Reply #16 on: May 12, 2004, 11:55:04 AM »

I'm not sure I have much to add to what's been said before, but I got pointed to a link recently in another context that I think is relevant to this thread, and the hubris thread:

http://www.memecentral.com/L3Communication.htm

In essence, this is a communication model for how to politely disagree with someone without getting upset or making other people upset. I think there are some really good tips in there.
Logged

love * Eris * RPGs  * Anime * Magick * Carroll * techno * hats * cats * Dada
Kirt "Loki" Dankmyer -- Dance, damn you, dance! -- UNSUNG IS OUT
M. J. Young
Member

Posts: 2198


WWW
« Reply #17 on: May 12, 2004, 07:08:35 PM »

Quote from: Emily Care
Jason suggested leaving gns jargon (as much as possible) in the GNS forum.  I'd second that, especially in the Indie-games forum or at least when dealing with relative newcomers.  People should not have to become inculcated in the exploration theory in order to benefit from feedback here.  It creates that expert/newbie dynamic which turns people off.
While I'm inclined to agree, I find sometimes that newcomers insist on trying to use the jargon, even when asked to set it aside. Not so long ago someone was attempting to expound his theory using narrativist, simulationist, and gamist as terms. Several of us kept explaining to him that the way he was using those words was completely different from the meanings that they had here, and that he would do much better if he attempted to explain his theory without them because the conflict in meaning was only obfuscating what he was attempting to clarify. He would agree that it would be better for him to explain it without those words, and then he would launch into using them (incorrectly) again.

That may be an extreme example; but it is often the case that newcomers will specifically attempt to use the terminology they find here. If they've got it right, it can be very helpful to discusion; if they don't, it's almost necessary to explain why.

Sure, it's a good idea to put threads related to the Creative Agenda theory in the GNS forum and threads not so related outside it; but it's also certainly the case that this theory, being a comprehensive approach to role playing games, is going to appear in relation to a great variety of discussions which are not ostensibly about it, and the theory is going to inform those discussions in valuable ways. It's not always going to happen, but when it does, it's rather difficult to bring that in to the discussion without using the terminology.

--M. J. Young
Logged

matthijs
Member

Posts: 462


WWW
« Reply #18 on: May 13, 2004, 12:10:00 AM »

Quote from: Emily Care
Our theory creates a divide. This is not our intent, but it is a structural reality (...)


Speaking as a (relative) newcomer, and one who's been actively trying to get his head around RPG theory as presented here (which is made a bit more difficult by the fact that English is not my first language), I'd say Emily really hits the nail on the head here. I've felt dismissed and even patronized by replies from Forgeites, but realized after re-reading and re-thinking that people are trying to be helpful in pointing me towards existing threads, articles etc. Sometimes you get the feeling - which I don't think is intended by anyone - that newbies should come back when we've gotten our degree in Forge theory. While I'm not saying this is the fault of the Forge community, I do think there are things the community can do to create a different impression, if you want to do so.

The glossary posted by Ron is an immense help. Having all the terminology in one place is so much better than having to read four or five entire threads for each concept I don't immediately understand.

When pointing people towards existing threads etc, try to say something like "Good point! Some people have talked about it here and here", rather than "That's already been discussed here and here". When people misuse a term, saying "That's wrong" sounds more dismissive than "I see what you mean; usually people use the term to mean this and this, however".

I don't know if this is helpful advice - but I think people here might like to hear from "the other side". This is an active and enthusiastic community, and I'm happy that people here are thinking of how to make people feel welcome.
Logged

Jonathan Walton
Member

Posts: 1309


WWW
« Reply #19 on: May 13, 2004, 07:12:17 PM »

Here's where I stand.  

I've been a Forge regular for a while now, but boy do I hate new terms.  I spent most of my first few months here trying to understand what Ron (and many others) meant when he said X was Y.  When somebody decided to coin "Vanilla" and "Pervy," I wanted to shoot myself in the head.  More distinctions that I had to understand, distinctions that might not even be useful or interesting to me.

The Forge seems to have a strong deconstructionist streak.  Let me explain what I mean by "deconstructionist":

1. Someone posts a new game idea/concept.
2. Forge regulars pick apart said idea/concept.
3. Forge regulars label parts with the terms they've given to them
4. Forge regulars say, "Oh, you're talking about X."
5. Original Poster says, "Really?  What's X?"
6. Forge regulars point them to old threads or give long explanation.

So, basically, there's an effort from the very beginning to educate people about Forge jargon and encourage them to use it.  When I first came here, I posted my ideas using whatever description I thought appropriate, but I also really wanted to know what people meant when they said "Oh, X is Y."  When Mike is posting in a thread to Ralph or Vincent or Ron or even me (at least now), he can use language that is completely unintelligible to the casual reader.  So, in order to get the most use out of the Forge, you have to be able to understand the jargon.

Moving on from that point, support for newbie posters ranges from nothing to gentle encouragement to social darwinism, depending on who reaches out to make contact.  Lately, it's often been other newbies who respond to first-time posters, because they're on the same page and can talk about whether percentile skills are a good idea without addressing the assumptions at the core of their game (which most regulars would probably encourage them to do).

Honestly, I think Forge regulars get a kick out of trying to rock the world of newbie posters.  Somebody says, "So I'm trying to decide between trying to have 4 or 5 different attributes."  And then we ask them, first thing, to reconsider everything they know about roleplaying, set it aside, and ask very difficult questions that we ourselves aren't always good at doing.  "What are you really trying to do here?"  "Why would somebody play this and not Fudge?"  These questions sound really innocent, but they tend to stonewall people.  It's like saying, "I'm not going to address your question; I'm going to do the Zen master thing and ask you completely different questions that will lead to self-reflection."  Some people, I would suggest, may not be ready for that kind of self-reflection.  Heck, I'm not sure that I am.

Finally, I'd like to suggest that our existing informal policy of "tough love" for new posters is counter-productive in many cases.  People often defend this kind of behavior with "I don't have time to suffer fools" or the like.  Look.  You obviously had time to write a response to a first time poster.  If you're just going to make them feel terribly unprepared to tackle their game concept, I'd honestly prefer it if you just didn't post at all.  Let somebody else do it who does have time to actively encourage up-and-coming designers.  Hell, I'm an up-and-coming designer (with 0 published works, as of yet).

Just my take.
Logged

Jonathan Walton
Member

Posts: 1309


WWW
« Reply #20 on: May 13, 2004, 07:37:58 PM »

One more thing, while we're doing the self-criticism thing...

Lately, I've taken a break from the Forge to focus on other things (like graduating and more reading in art theory) and I've GREATLY appreciated the amount of perspective it's allowed to me to gain.  Those of us who spend many of our waking hours at the Forge often get lost in it (and I'm speaking of myself primary here) and, to tell the truth, I think our behavior and game designs suffer for it.

Honestly, for all it's qualities, the Forge, like any large body of people can be so frickin' traditional about so many things.  There are days when I think, "If I see another fortune-mechanic-with-a-twist I think I'm going to scream."  For all the "advances" we've made, there's still a huge focus on dice-based games where we quantify the traits of characters and run around adventuring under the guidance of the GM.  Yawn.

Another Forge weakness: drawing from other disciplines.  Roleplaying is not this totally unique thing, unrelated to the larger social and cultural context.  I would LOVE to see more discussions take an interdisciplinary approach, but not one that would involve pedantically quoting academics to prove your points.

I worry too about the Forge becoming static.  I mean, in any environment where you don't constantly have new blood coming in with new ideas and perspectives, things eventually get entrenched and then you can't change them.  I can see myself, maybe no more than a year or so down the road, looking back at my time here as a critical learning experience, but not really feeling like I would gain much more by sticking around here any longer.  Not a good thought, certainly, but one that does trouble me.  I feel like the jargon issue and accessibility issue are VERY critical components of this, as well as the defensiveness that many people have shown.  When we're unable to look at ourselves and our own assumptions critically, that's when the Forge's usefullness has outlived itself.

Just a few more thoughts.
Logged

Emily Care
Member

Posts: 1126


WWW
« Reply #21 on: May 14, 2004, 05:08:48 AM »

Hey there,

Kirt, your link hurt my computer's brain so I wasn't able to access it, but the point is well taken that paying attention to how we say what we say--especially in an all text medium--is important.  

Matthjis, thanks for sharing your experience. I think its helpful for folks on both sides of the divide to at least be aware of it, in order to learn better ways to help each other cross.

Jonathan, you're personally doing a lot to both make the Forge itself more accessible, and to make these concepts available to a wider audience.  Gracias, mucho. More power to your points: interdisciplinary thought, not feeling like we have to rock newbies worlds', and responding without defensiveness.  

yrs,
Emily
Logged

Koti ei ole koti ilman saunaa.

Black & Green Games
greyorm
Member

Posts: 2233

My name is Raven.


WWW
« Reply #22 on: May 14, 2004, 11:13:58 AM »

Quote from: Jonathan Walton
still a huge focus on dice-based games where we quantify the traits of characters and run around adventuring under the guidance of the GM. Yawn.

Just a point to consider -- I find the above quote quite interesting, especially in light of your previous post. They seem somewhat incongruous, and while I can respect the ideas behind both posts seperately, the clash here sort of threw me for a loop.

I mean, "Let's be nice to newbies and not go all Zen on their designs and how they could be improved from the ground-up because it's off-putting...but, really, enough of those designs because they're passe and boring."
Logged

Rev. Ravenscrye Grey Daegmorgan
Wild Hunt Studio
Jonathan Walton
Member

Posts: 1309


WWW
« Reply #23 on: May 14, 2004, 11:25:05 AM »

Yeah, Raven, I noticed this too, actually.

My point is this:  It's stupid to try to rock newbies worlds when the majority of what gets turn out here (including most stuff by the Forge regulars) isn't rocking anybody's world most of the time.  I mean, it certainly isn't rocking mine very often.  Fortune-in-the-Middle?  Um, neat.  Can you come up with something new?

So yeah, be nice to newbies if you don't want me to start pointing out how mindnumbingly traditional many of your own games are (the "you" in this sentence is general and not pointed at Raven).  Everybody has to start somewhere and everyone has their own comfort zone in which they are exploring new ideas.  If the pots start calling the kettles names, then we have issues.
Logged

greyorm
Member

Posts: 2233

My name is Raven.


WWW
« Reply #24 on: May 14, 2004, 11:34:21 AM »

Yeah, I agree. And hey, I personally think my games are more-or-less traditional, really nothing cutting, bleeding, razor-thin edge. But they float my boat.

That said, I'm always open to improvement thereof, though not simply for the sake of dubious "improvement" towards "being more unique." Not everyone and everything can be unique or ground-breaking. Lots of things aren't, but that doesn't devalue them.
Logged

Rev. Ravenscrye Grey Daegmorgan
Wild Hunt Studio
AnyaTheBlue
Member

Posts: 187


« Reply #25 on: May 14, 2004, 11:49:32 AM »

Johnathan,

You have far more eloquently and completely stated my own opinions than I could have done myself.  And probably more effectively, since I still don't entirely 'grok' the Forge Lexicon.

Thanks for posting all that.
Logged

Dana Johnson
Note that I'm heavily medicated and something of a flake.  Please take anything I say with a grain of salt.
Valamir
Member

Posts: 5574


WWW
« Reply #26 on: May 14, 2004, 12:09:48 PM »

Quote
My point is this: It's stupid to try to rock newbies worlds when the majority of what gets turn out here (including most stuff by the Forge regulars) isn't rocking anybody's world most of the time. I mean, it certainly isn't rocking mine very often. Fortune-in-the-Middle? Um, neat. Can you come up with something new?


I'm going to have to call you on this Jonathan.  Since when does "it certainly isn't rocking my world" translate to "isn't rocking anybody's world"?  I'm thinking perhaps your design sensibilities may be a little too far out on the bleeding edge to be useable as a barometer for measuring Avant Garde.   That's not a bad thing, but I don't know that its a good standard to judge Forge design by.

Bleeding edge for the sake of bleeding edge is about as pointless as tradition for the sake of tradition.
Logged

Jonathan Walton
Member

Posts: 1309


WWW
« Reply #27 on: May 14, 2004, 01:53:41 PM »

Quote from: Valamir
I'm thinking perhaps your design sensibilities may be a little too far out on the bleeding edge to be useable as a barometer for measuring Avant Garde.


This is quite possible.  However, I feel like my design sensibilities are closer in line with people who aren't hardcore roleplayers, and I've intentionally tried callibrate them to be that way (by running games, for the past 2-3 years, almostly exclusively for a mostly-female, non-roleplayer crowd, just to get away from the traditional scene).  So I guess "traditional" is relative here.  Roleplaying's bleeding edge, I imagine, would look much more accessible to a non-roleplaying audience.

Quote
Bleeding edge for the sake of bleeding edge is about as pointless as tradition for the sake of tradition.


What about bleeding edge for the sake of challenging ourselves, both as designers and players?  I just see people, more often than not, taking the well-worn or familiar path when other more exciting (and difficult) options are available.  I definitely agree that what may be world-rocking for one person isn't necessarily for someone else, but I guess I'm wary of complacency among the old-timers.  It's like, once we bite the bullet and get all the jargon down, we just coast, since we have all the tools to solve problems with.  Um, no.  There's always new and interesting tools out there.  Don't keep reaching for Fortune-in-the-Middle when there are new things to play with.

YMMV, of course.
Logged

greyorm
Member

Posts: 2233

My name is Raven.


WWW
« Reply #28 on: May 14, 2004, 03:18:11 PM »

Here's my problem with doing that, specifically...I'd LOVE to create new, cutting edge designs. But I'm clueless. I'm lost. I couldn't tell you what's bleeding edge, innovative design if you threatened to set my shorts on fire, much less make one (at least by anything but accident). Sorry.
Logged

Rev. Ravenscrye Grey Daegmorgan
Wild Hunt Studio
Jack Spencer Jr
Guest
« Reply #29 on: May 14, 2004, 03:26:05 PM »

Bleeding edge is so transitory. What is bleeding edge today is old hat tomorrow, pathetic the next day, but nostalgically retro-cool the following week. Seriously, only time I worry about bleeding edges is if I cut myself.
Logged
Pages: 1 [2] 3
Print
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.11 | SMF © 2006-2009, Simple Machines LLC
Oxygen design by Bloc
Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!