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Sunday 31 May 2015

10th Anniversary Classic Rant: If You Don't Like What They Say About Dear Leader...

...Stop Drinking the Kool-aid.

Not everyone who goes onto the Forge will agree with or be representative of everything Ron Edwards said. I'm aware that a tiny few gave him some mild criticism for his "brain damaged" comments. Most Forge-ites did not.

In fact, what I've seen from most Forge-ites since then is "it's pointless to go and argue with Ron about something like that, because that is simply his position, so let's move on". Or "If you have a problem with it, go argue with him on the forge" followed quickly by "He won't argue about it with you".

So basically, The Forge-ites (which keep trying to claim they are NOT a cult, despite all clear evidence to the contrary) are themselves scared shitless of holding Edwards accountable, and are using the same rhetorical prestidigitation they have used with any and all criticism of GNS theory in order to draw away from these statements, right up to and including "if you're against what he said, it's because you don't understand it". Utter bullshit.

You're upset about how people treat RPG Theorists? Then FUCKING DISTANCE YOURSELF FROM RON EDWARDS. It's that fucking simple. And by "distance", I mean, soundly and utterly reject him and his every bankrupt idea. Because up till now every fucking thing that GNS has produced has been a massive failure, and Ron himself has been singlehandedly responsible for giving RPG Theorists in general a far worse name and reputation than they could otherwise possibly have. It's his fault.

So no, its not enough to "not explicitly agree" with his statements. Because you see, to you people, and in the perceptions of the rest of us, Ron is the fucking Pope of Forge-town. Now, if the fucking Pope stands up and says "All Buddhists are just spiritual narcissists engaging in mental masturbation" (which, indeed, the real Pope Rat has said), it's not enough for a catholic to simply "not explicitly agree" with that. If he doesn't want people to assume that he, as a Catholic, also believes this about Buddhists he must explicitly disagree very strongly indeed. Hell, he pretty well has to stop being a Catholic. Until he does, I'll have to assume that he either agrees with or at least condones the shit-headed statements of his leader.

The fact that you might just be a "Sunday catholic" doesn't really mean fuck all to the rest of us. You're still one of them. If you want to be Martin Luther and make a fresh start of the whole fucking thing, then that's well and good and then you'll be judged on your own merits.

But until then, for well or ill ALL Gaming Theory has come to be inextricably linked with GNS theory and Ron Edwards, in no small part because of the sloth, Swinery, and cowardice of the so-called theorists who are more interested in looking smart to the self-styled cognoscenti (getting the head patted by "Ron"), and making up total and abject bullshit to try to explain away why most people think they're stupid cocksuckers, rather than say, actually create a theory about RPGs that people actually really play.

JRients has set the bar now: Any theory that does not specifically center around D&D cannot call itself a really significant theory of RPGs. If you ignore the universal center of RPGs, your theory cannot be correct. Its like trying to do physics but ignoring gravity.

So go, be a man. Go and make a theory that actually works, that's actually productive in some sense; one that will produce successful RPGs or that would in some real, tangible way help D&D players have a better game, rather than explain why D&D players are ignorant fools who don't actually Roleplay right.
Fuck, make a theory that doesn't assume that of 90% of all gamers are secretly-miserable fools who don't understand what they like and need to be re-educated. That in and of itself would put you heads and tails above anything that Ron Edwards has come up with so far.


(Originally posted March 1st 2006)


  1. Has anyone ever applied the Isaac Bonewits cult evaluation checklist to the Forge?

  2. To be honest, the few Buddhists I have met were spiritual narcissists engaging in mental masturbation. That may have to do with living in California for twenty years, though.

  3. I just took a look at the cult evaluation checklist, and most of it seems to assume physical isolation is possible. That simply wasn’t the case on an online forum. I’m not saying an online forum can’t be a cult, but that the Bonewits checklist isn’t going to be able to detect them. And if there was any sexual favoritism going on among the Forge, I don’t want to know about it. I met several of the people on the forum at two of the Madison get-togethers, and that’s not a thought I want to encumber myself with.

    Note, though, that besides being Catholic, I also took part in the Forge forums for several years. I I didn’t post a lot, but what I did take part in were some pretty cool discussions, with people like Greg Porter, Calithena (it’s possible this is where I heard about Fight On!) and others whose names I no longer remember a mere three years later.

  4. That Jeff Rients link is hilarious.

    The comparison to Catholicism is apt. My family is nominally Catholic except none of us believes in gods or goes to church or prays or any of that nonsense and none of us give a damn what the pope says or does; my wife's family is the type that will make excuses for anti-gay, anti-woman, anti-child, anti-human stances taken by the church.

  5. Just for fun I visited the forums and scanned their discipline section where they archive warning and bans for posters. Good times.