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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4285 Members Latest Member: - Jason DAngelo Most online today: 84 - most online ever: 565 (October 17, 2020, 02:08:06 PM)
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Author Topic: Lots of folks on the Forge  (Read 4986 times)
Jake Norwood
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« on: October 15, 2002, 06:40:17 PM »

Just thought I'd point it out, but we hit 900 registered forge people today. That's twice what it was in April, when I wandered in here.

Cool.

Jake
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"Civilized men are more discourteous than savages because they know they can be impolite without having their skulls split, as a general thing." -R.E. Howard The Tower of the Elephant
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Ron Edwards
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« Reply #1 on: October 16, 2002, 06:10:16 AM »

Hi Jake,

Yes, it is cool, but it's also going to require some help from "older" Forge members.

Everyone who was here in (say) August 2001: remember how I and one or two other people could help newcomers to get oriented? We'd point out a few essays or otherwise clarify a few points, over and over, for almost every person or few people.

Everyone who was here in (say) January 2002: there was a corps of folks who'd been through a variety of debates, including the FAQ-blowup, and who'd bulled their way through my big essay and debated about it. All of these folks would help orient newcomers, all the time (Mike, Ralph, Raven, Jesse, Josh, Paul, Gareth, etc).

Now, that "corps" is a little tired of doing this, and it's time for the Third Generation, so to speak, to step into the orienting role. People like Eric (Pyron), Jake, Walt Freitag, Andrew Martin, Christoffer, and many others ... when someone shows up here, there are a lot of things to learn about how we act with one another, how the various theories (not just one!) relate to what we do, and so on.

Leave the direct moderating to me and Clinton - specifically, if someone's being a bastard, don't enter into a "match" with them; also, if someone's posting to the wrong forums, just let me know through PM (some of you have been very helpful about this). But if you would, please encourage people to speak up, to clarify their points, and to focus their minds on the topics that will actually get places.

Not all of us agree on what we like best about the Forge. But I do think that the area of overlap is very recognizable and very well-defined. If we all help orient newcomers to that zone of behavior and intellectual focus, then the Forge can become much huger than it is, and still stay itself.

Best,
Ron
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Jake Norwood
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« Reply #2 on: October 16, 2002, 09:55:19 PM »

Ron-

I think you're right that we have a responsibility to do that. I'm also going to put my head on the block in saying that newcomers are warmly received until--sometimes--the get into "old topics" or GNS debate. They--and sometimes me--get bullied out or the discussion goes way over our heads. I don't feel very confident in introducing anyone to Forge-life seeing as I'm pretty timid about it myself. Often when I wander out of my own little corner in the TROS forum I feel that I'm not only unsure of what I say, but that I'm not received well. I think it's mostly a self-confidence issue, but I also think that there's a lot of jargon and views that I don't get. I know these things aren't the Forge, but they are a strong element of it.

I guess what I'm saying is that I'm happy to be part of the new welcoming party, but I have to feel comfortable myself...and I'm not sure I do.

Anyone else in that boat, or is it just me?

Jake
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"Civilized men are more discourteous than savages because they know they can be impolite without having their skulls split, as a general thing." -R.E. Howard The Tower of the Elephant
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Jason L Blair
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« Reply #3 on: October 16, 2002, 10:21:11 PM »

I want to raise my hand in agreement with Jake. As someone who has been here since the beginning (I'm member number six! Woohoo!), I've seen this over and over again. I realize the old guard has seen the same issues come up over and over again, but the new guard _hasn't_ and this should be kept in mind. Don't think for a second that this isn't exactly what people are talking about when they get down on the Forge for being "snobbish."
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Jason L Blair
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Christoffer Lernö
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« Reply #4 on: October 16, 2002, 11:06:17 PM »

Jake, even though I think I know approximately how the GNS and stuff is supposed to work I keep getting corrected.

Kinda makes me doubt that I can really explain things to newbies - since I haven't understood it yet myself it seems.
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Paul Czege
Acts of Evil Playtesters
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« Reply #5 on: October 17, 2002, 06:58:12 AM »

Jake,

Often when I wander out of my own little corner in the TROS forum I feel that I'm not only unsure of what I say, but that I'm not received well.

Your analysis of Fvlminata was exceptional. You've got absolutely nothing to be insecure about. Your comments about design coherence related to skills and spheres were brilliant and constructive. Knowledge of GNS theory isn't an end in and of itself, but an aid to understanding and talking about coherence in design and play. Your contributions at that level are where it's at, not the other way around.

I'm far from consistent in my own use of GNS terminology. I may use "vanilla narrativist" one time, and "rules-light Sim with mechanics that protect PC protagonism" another. I'm sure my posts don't rigorously avoid using "authorial power" and "author stance" interchangeably. I don't have an academic mindset; the terminological construct isn't the desired end product. The point is communication, and provoking folks to question assumptions. In any given post I choose the terminology I think is going to make my point to my indended audience. You've got nothing to worry about.

Paul
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Jake Norwood
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« Reply #6 on: October 17, 2002, 07:34:08 AM »

Paul-

Thanks for the vote of confidence. Let me try this another way...

I'm not sure what one does when "introducing" a newbie to the Forge. What's the GNS goal here (ha ha ha)? Is it just "Welcome to the Forge!" Or is there somekind of mentor-ship that we're looking for here?

Jake
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"Civilized men are more discourteous than savages because they know they can be impolite without having their skulls split, as a general thing." -R.E. Howard The Tower of the Elephant
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Ron Edwards
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« Reply #7 on: October 17, 2002, 08:19:00 AM »

Hi there,

I can think of a couple of key individuals who, in my view, contribute to this "bullied out" effect. I am going to take some action regarding them now, through private messages.

Welcoming new people to the Forge pretty much consists of the following:

1) Just say "hi," if no one else has. Actually read what the person wrote, and even if it's not something that really fascinates you, find something that either is itself quite nifty or (in its flaws) lends itself to quality discussion.

2) Stay sensitive to particular widespread "interaction flaws" that people bring from their previous internet or other experience - these include among others (1) instant-authoritative but uncritical statements, (2) over-sensitivity and easily-roused anger, (3) line-by-line brief responses (which may or may not be snippy), and (4) using catch-phrases instead of critical thinking ("balance," "realism," "roll vs. role," etc).

3) Encourage courteous and focused debate, through positive questioning and (if necessary) flat refusals to enter into internet-style argument. Our standards may all differ regarding details of the parameters, but as I said before we do share a region of overlap about this that keeps us here in the first place. Help people to focus on what you perceive as the shared standards of conduct and intellectual discussion, through example.

As a final point, no one has to be a "Ron-ite" to participate here, so reading my essay isn't any kind of requirement. I recommend it to people because I agree with its points and think its vocabulary is on the whole helpful, but don't consider yourself to be obliged to do that.

Best,
Ron
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ethan_greer
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« Reply #8 on: October 17, 2002, 09:47:32 AM »

You people are talking about me, aren't you?  :)

As a certified newbie, what's been helpful for me is when people link to relevant past discussions.  There is a wealth of RPG theory discussion in the Forge that can be easily exploited.  IMO, this is the easiest way for more experienced Forgers to help out.  If you remember a useful conversation, point it out to a newbie.  It doesn't take long and chances are it is going to be helpful.

Of course, this is mentioned in the forum guidelines but I'm not sure how many people read those thoroughly...

- Ethan, on his tenth day as a Forger :)
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Eric J.
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« Reply #9 on: October 17, 2002, 01:24:37 PM »

Silkworm, I don't think that is nececarily true.  The Forge's population has doubled since April, so you aren't the only "newbie."  As a member of the "third generation," I formally welcome you to the forge.
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Jake Norwood
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« Reply #10 on: October 17, 2002, 02:06:09 PM »

Quote from: Pyron
Silkworm, I don't think that is nececarily true.  The Forge's population has doubled since April, so you aren't the only "newbie."  As a member of the "third generation," I formally welcome you to the forge.


By Ron's dates I'm a 3rd-Gen kid, too.

Jake
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"Civilized men are more discourteous than savages because they know they can be impolite without having their skulls split, as a general thing." -R.E. Howard The Tower of the Elephant
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