In the slugfest, there was no end of bullshit, and it became clear just how desperate all the Forge people are to try to re-write history and portray the Forge as though it had been a bastion of tolerance, openness and defense of regular Roleplaying, when of course it had been anything but. You'd think from how they describe it now, the Forge had spent all its time singing the praises of D&D, to which you'd wonder where they would have then found the time to present game 'theories' that suggest D&D is inherently flawed and creates an experience that makes gamers 'secretly miserable', as Edwards suggested in his earliest Forge documents?
Oh, and of course, they dragged out the old canard that we all need to thank the Forge because they somehow "invented" self-publishing, so without them we would never have had any small press games ever because they invented it!
Here's the real truth: Forgists had nothing but contempt for regular gamers, and this obviously included D&D. Again, I was there. I never ever saw anyone associated with the Forge making any positive comments about D&D or old-school play, ever, until around the time Dungeon World came along as their big move to try to subvert old-school.
As to the second, the reason I said "positive" is because I suppose someone could make an argument that one factor that contributed to the rise of the OSR was regular and old-school gamers growing increasingly sick of the pretentiousness of the Forge and being demeaned in public forums for liking the type of games they did. That's pretty much the only sense in which one could say the Forge helped the OSR come into being, but it's hardly something to "thank" Forgists for.
As for all that bullshit about 'creator-driven design', that's actually something that the Forge constantly takes credit for but NEVER INVENTED. Ask Kevin Siembieda if it was the Forge that gave him the idea to publish his own books. Or Steve Jackson. Or Gary Gygax.
The OSR owes them nothing. Not the Forge in general, or Ron Edwards as its architect in particular.
Even the arguable resurgence of self-publishing in the last decade was not 'thanks to' the Forge, it was thanks to the invention of the PDF, the kindle, and Lulu/Createspace (that is to say, the rise of self-publishing in general).
I've also had several Forgists or Storygamers, in arguments with me, claim I'm "not a game designer" because the OSR is just imitative and not "real design", since I don't use jenga blocks or whatever.
And I've spoken to several publishers of small press games who expressed their frustration at the way that the "indie game" crowd created a little coterie that shut out anyone who made games from an ideology that they didn't like (i.e. regular RPGs, rather than storygames). If you're one of these, and brave enough to say so, and to comment about how you were shut out, I'd sure like to hear it - I know you're out there, because you've said it to me before, but I don't want to be the one to out you.
Their attempt to exaggerate their own prominence and shut out other publishers including using tactics like citing each others in ways to get totally obscure micro-game publishers from the Forge their own wikipedia articles while much bigger self-publishers can't from "lack of citation", or stuffing the "indie gaming awards" to the point that they're a fucking joke; while reporting non-forge publishers that tried to get more notice.
The Forge movement pissed all over any game that wasn't GNS. And now you're acting outraged that we dare to remember that, rather than just pretend along with you that you all loved D&D from day one.
I'll just close, then, by sharing a link that gives a fairly accurate perspective on just what Edwards, and the Forge, was really about back then, and why it sucked. Note that the article doesn't come from me, nor does it even paint me in a particularly good light, making the argument that I helped make the Forge famous by my very opposition to it (which is a legitimate kind of point, I recognize):
Pretty well everything Ron Edwards did in the hobby up until very recently was directly harmful to the hobby as it traditionally stood. He was not a supporter of regular RPGs or of D&D. He created an exclusive elite club of pseudo-intellectual hipster-authors that would denigrate anyone else's self-publishing, so claiming he opened that up to the general public is bullshit too (the Forge wanted 'everyone' to be a self-publisher, but only if 'everyone' embraced GNS theory, kissed Ron's ass, and acted like pretentious pseudo-intellectual twats). His ideas ruined D&D when they were embraced in 4e. His ideas were ultimately proven WRONG in every respect. And because of what he did and how he did it, not only did the level of conflict and acrimony increase in the online communities related to RPGs (and its no small surprise that many of the forge/storygamer crowd are now part of the pseudo-activist crowd staging witch-hunts against people who aren't part of their cool-crowd; though I will recognize that Edwards himself seems to have taken a strong anti-censorship stance and has been on the right side of several recent controversies), but it also made it almost impossible for people to talk about the root-concepts of RPGs without starting a flamewar or in some other way evoking the ghost of his shitty theories.
So I have a problem with his coming along now and pretending like he was the Champion of Traditional Play and did no wrong in the past 15 years, much less claiming that we owe him something.
Currently Smoking: Lorenzetti Volcano + Gawith's Balkan Flake