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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4285 Members Latest Member: - Jason DAngelo Most online today: 94 - most online ever: 565 (October 17, 2020, 02:08:06 PM)
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Author Topic: Publishing theory  (Read 16207 times)
Callan S.

Posts: 3588

« Reply #30 on: November 04, 2005, 04:44:52 PM »

I think you say it yourself, the site 'also' creates stuff usuable for pure theory. It's kind of a side effect Drawing from life, golden opportunites for X do often come up as a side effect while in the process of doing Y. Because it's a golden opportunity, the first reflex is to pursue it. But just because it's a golden opportunity, doesn't mean you actually have to pursue it at all. Because when you start pursuing one thing, you often don't have the resources to pursue the other things your originally did. Golden opportunities can trick you out of what was originally important to you. Or so I conclude, anyway.

You've said that there is material that really deserves to be used in academic discussion. I agree, but that by itself is not an entire arguement for pursuing that.

Philosopher Gamer
Thor Olavsrud

Posts: 349

« Reply #31 on: November 06, 2005, 11:13:33 AM »

Hi Markus,

Sorry for popping into this thread late, but I think there's an important point that may not have been expessed as clearly as it could have been.

The Forge is a collective of individuals engaged in an ongoing process. If you want to see finished conclusions based on that process of discussion, you're not, for the most part, going to find it in the forums. Instead, you need to get games produced by participants of The Forge and play them. Play them a lot. And talk about your experiences in the Actual Play forum.

That's not to say you shouldn't read liberally from the forums and the articles sections. You should. I would recommend going back and reading many of the articles again after you've played lots of games by designers that frequent The Forge.


Posts: 21

Googletary phrases: "3-iron", "sky above hell"

« Reply #32 on: November 07, 2005, 02:21:20 PM »

RPG Theory and the GNS forum may be axed at some point in the future anyway.  One negative consequence of this would be a lack of further refinement of the theories discussed here.  Having a more disciplined, results based approach might allow continued work on the Big Model etc without the problem of undirected discourse that would help cause these forums to be dissolved in the first place.

Hmm, "the problem of undirected discourse"... I'm not altogether sure this the crucial problem with theory discussions here, or that more directorial control would solve the potential problems. If there is a danger of getting bogged down, I think it's much more a Freud's disciples -style of scenario.

As you may know, Freud repeatedly emphasized the developmental character of his theories: They were anything but finished, merely sketching up the future work on the human mind - babysteps. While one could criticize Freud of not living up to this principle (based on how he reacted to those that deviated from his basis), at least the general necessity of surpassing of what he had envisioned is present in his work, prevalently and repeatedly.

As you may also know, this vision of future development did not exactly come to pass - in fact, quite the contrary. Many of Freud's pragmatic solutions became elements of psychoanalytic theory and practice more or less cast in stone, and those who proclaimed themselves Freud's disciples often wrote works that present themselves as mere affirmation in the guise of refinement of this or that Freudian model. (For example, I have here Theodor Reik's book Ritual - yet I would not recommend it to anyone interested on the topic... too many forms of idolatry present).

Generally, if you take the approach that general theoretical discussion should be interchanged with a "continued work on the Big Model etc" you flirt with dangers of ending up with an inbred inside circle (sorry for not mincing words - this is a general problem for communities of theory). Furthermore, these dangers are already strengthened by the fact that the community knowledge is heavily ramified by nature, as discussed in this very topic.

To create a lively culture of theory, whether article- or forum-based, one generally needs a fairly critical approach to the "powers that be", whether they are persons, theoretical models, etc. I'm not altogether sure that cutting down "undirected discourse" will help to create this type of atmosphere. Conversely, I think it might move Forge to an unnecessarily inbred scenario, at least in the long run.

The goal of the site is to enable people to create independent RPGs. As you say, we do that just fine. We've met out goal. You're assuming that we have some need to have our ideas picked up outside this community. Why would we want that? I mean, I don't think it would hurt, but what does it do for us?

As a community, we have no academic aspirations, publishing is our focus. We don't care if people learn the theory because theory isn't neccessary for writing or playing games. It helps, but isn't neccesary.

Who's this "we"? What are you implying with it, each of you?

For example, Christopher Lehrich, at least when he wrote here, certainly seemed to have theoretical aspirations - yet, Timothy, you are clearly implying here that he (nor anyone else with these aspirations) is not part of the "community" for this reason - what is your incentive to do this?

And Mike, why resort to "us and them" division as regards to Eirik? Is there something specific Eirik needs to do to become "one of you" (or "us" - I personally have no idea in which camp I fall in this division)?


pekko koskinen
project: [kind of hard to pronounce, really]
Ron Edwards
Global Moderator
Posts: 16490

« Reply #33 on: November 07, 2005, 03:01:56 PM »


This thread needs to be closed. It's raised a lot of questions, but they should be addressed in the Site Discussion forum.

Whoever is interested, please begin those threads as you see fit.

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