This is a post prompted by Shimmin, who was asking after a simple introduction to subjects surrounding the Forge. I realised that I couldn’t think of many that weren’t highly biased one way or another; certainly, the Forge itself isn’t much use for this, since a lot of their explanations of their ideas consisted of either a) articles which were working documents for ongoing conversations or b) extensive forum conversations.
So, here’s my attempt to summarise the points Shimmin seemed to want clarifying about the Forge. This isn’t going to be especially neutral, because I have my own well-developed opinions about all this stuff, but I’ll do my best to try and present the points in question with as much context as possible. If you have a different understanding of the Forge’s work or disagree with my conclusions, I’d welcome comments that’d either illuminate points I don’t explain adequately or provide corrections.
What’s a quick explanation of all this?
Once upon a time a now-defunct web community – the Forge – spent a lot of time trying to elevate tabletop RPG criticism and theory to academic levels. They ended up coming up with a bunch of contentious theories that on the plus side led to the development of some interesting games, and on the downside led to some inflammatory statements being made, including some truly abhorrent stuff about brain damage and child abuse.