Comments on 2018-10-22 Indie or not?

Hey, please add

To the OSR list.

Charles 2018-10-23 03:32 UTC


– Alex Schroeder 2018-10-23 07:13 UTC

For a different perspective, see Brad J Murray’s post on categorization. I think I understand where he is coming from since I would not label myself as a this or that gamer. I like them all. But that doesn’t mean that all games are equal, or that all cliques or design sensibilities are equal, and just because the edges are fuzzy doesn’t mean that the categories themselves are useless.

In my blog post I wrote about the connotations the terms have for me, and as such, I find them to be useful shorthands. I find them to be useful terms for people to self-categorize.

If your response is a simple “it’s all good” then there’s no point in having this discussion, of course. But if you think one or the other is important to you, then having more words — labels! — is a benefit. Labels invoke context and associations and they make our vocabulary richer. Just don’t let them dictate your thinking.

So, to come back to Brad’s point about categories being needlessly divisive: as I find myself in both camps, I don’t experience it as a us vs. them dividing line but rather as a shorthand when talking about games. But yeah, it can be (mis-) used for us vs. them, too.

As for tags to describe games, I sort of liked the system of referee and player badges that some people talked about in 2011.

– Alex Schroeder 2018-11-02 23:22 UTC

I find it a little disturbing that the top item for categorizing games there is how one feels about a particular person. That disjunct is exactly the sort of thing I’m talking about: it’s impossible to keep it about the games.

Brad J Murray 2018-11-02 23:51 UTC

That’s true. All I can say is that we’re talking about people, there will always be groups of people. They share some values but not others, and they need words to describe themselves. I agree: it’s impossible to keep it about the games.

– Alex Schroeder 2018-11-03 08:14 UTC

Unrelated to the discussion about the benefits or drawbacks of categorization, I was recently reminded of this series of blog posts by Zak S.:

How Much Do You Want To Be A Wizard?: “in the most interesting and original indie games I’ve seen, the players are all put on the spot at one point or another to come up with some interesting and creative story elements.”

And in the same post: “In other words, D&D supports several playing styles simultaneously (assuming the DM’s any good). In a good game, everybody’s playing the game they want to play, even if it’s eight different games.”

– Alex Schroeder 2018-11-06 14:20 UTC

Hey, Alex! People have recommended OSR Planet to me ever since I started blogging again. Could you add my blog?

Thanks! The OSR Planet does seem like a good idea!

Talysman 2018-11-14 00:33 UTC

I like very much that you promote so many individuals’ creativity in one place, a place which you are kind enough to build and host yourself.

Would you be so kind as to include my Coiled Sheets of Lead blog in the OSR section, too?

p.s. Thank you so much for creating and improving and hosting Gridmapper! It’s fun and easy to use, and I admire your generosity in allowing people to use it for free. However, would you be interested in installing a Tip Jar feature on one of your pages? It would be nice to have the option of contributing something to help defray your cost for hosting or subsidize the costs of what you like to drink.

Karel 2018-11-14 06:23 UTC

Hello Talysman and Karel – sure thing! Both are added.

As for a tip jar: thank you for the offer! For a while I had a PayPal link but then I figured that it makes no sense. I don’t need the money so if all I end up doing is support other people, then all we have done is pay PayPal or the credit card companies (or both). Donate the money to somebody else, somebody who needs it. :)

– Alex Schroeder 2018-11-14 06:35 UTC

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