[Theory] Threads Issue

Oddsod Blok'ed

Revolution In Apt 29.
Validated User
I'd like there to be a special MyForum for Forge-style theory discussion. While I don't typically read Levi's threads, his at least fall into the realm of reality - mostly because they refer to how to fix an issue with a game that already exists. I don't mind those. Then there are threads like these:

http://forum.rpg.net/showthread.php?t=249647 - A rehashing of "role-playing" versus "roll-playing" that is being tied into the GNS "model".

http://forum.rpg.net/showthread.php?t=249488 - A semantic debate over what a character sheet is.

http://forum.rpg.net/showthread.php?t=249042 - A discussion of how to apply the Myers-Briggs personality test to figure out who will like what game.

http://forum.rpg.net/showthread.php?t=249169 - A discussion of how to apply something called the "social skills model of communication" to understand communication in role-playing games.

http://forum.rpg.net/showthread.php?t=248948 - A "model" created to replace the GNS "model". Even some of the theory fans wondered what this is supposed to be good for.

http://forum.rpg.net/showthread.php?t=248529 - I'm not sure what the point of this thread was apart from someone saying he didn't understand how anyone else could like playing in a way as defined as such-and-such by Forgeites.

And http://forum.rpg.net/showthread.php?t=248951, which has already been locked but is included here for the purposes of completeness.

There are also threads like these, which insult people who don't like "game theory":

http://forum.rpg.net/showthread.php?t=248944 - A semantic discussion of what to call games that are like soap operas, with the added perk of an insult in the first post.

http://forum.rpg.net/showthread.php?t=249201 - This is already locked, (thank you, JonA), but again is included for completeness.

I'm already sensing that someone is going to say, "It's just a few threads out of however many on Open. What's the problem?" The problem is the principle of the thing. As I recall, the mods said that they didn't want the overflow from the Forge after the Forge shut down its Theory section. Most of the threads listed above have little or nothing to do with anything apart from "games" in a wide-ranging and quasi-mystical sense. I don't particularly like the threads about how to use Forgeite "theory" on Forgeite games to the exclusion of everything else, but I can at least tolerate them. I'm also seeing the same three or four names cropping up repeatedly in these threads, which says to me that there is a small group of devoted fans and some people who are "dabblers" - the word is in quotes because I don't think it's exactly the right one for the situation, but on the other hand I don't know what else to call them to distinguish them from people like me, who care nothing for "game theory" and the people who are devoted "theory" fans. This looks to me like a prime subject for a private forum, especially when considering that Other Games Open and Other Media were split off from Tangency because of the core of people who liked to talk about things like Warhammer Fantasy Battles.

Obviously I can't write a list of magic words and ask the mods to push every thread with one or more of those words into the supposed MyForum. Writing this rule in a short, concise manner is also tricky, because "theory" can and would be interpreted to cover just about everything if it was used in the writing of said rule. Instead, I'm asking that there be a MyForum and that the mods exercise discretion in moving "Theory" threads that are mostly about other "Theory" threads and how to apply, ehm, "left-field" concepts to one thing or another but nothing in particular into said forum.
 

Killfalcon

Reasonably Phosphorous
Staff member
Moderator
RPGnet Member
Validated User
Oddsod Blok'ed said:
I'd like there to be a special MyForum for Forge-style theory discussion. While I don't typically read Levi's threads, his at least fall into the realm of reality - mostly because they refer to how to fix an issue with a game that already exists. I don't mind those. Then there are threads like these:
I strongly suggest you stop reading threads with [theory] tags.


I'm already sensing that someone is going to say, "It's just a few threads out of however many on Open. What's the problem?" The problem is the principle of the thing. As I recall, the mods said that they didn't want the overflow from the Forge after the Forge shut down its Theory section.
This is untrue. First, the forge re-focused their theory section on Actual Play, and theory discussion continues there.

Second, we have never said we don't want the forge's ex-posters or theory. We've said we expected to get a lot of them, and have taken steps to ensure that the increase in theory is met with a reduction in flames.

Most of the threads listed above have little or nothing to do with anything apart from "games" in a wide-ranging and quasi-mystical sense. I don't particularly like the threads about how to use Forgeite "theory" on Forgeite games to the exclusion of everything else, but I can at least tolerate them. I'm also seeing the same three or four names cropping up repeatedly in these threads, which says to me that there is a small group of devoted fans and some people who are "dabblers" - the word is in quotes because I don't think it's exactly the right one for the situation, but on the other hand I don't know what else to call them to distinguish them from people like me, who care nothing for "game theory" and the people who are devoted "theory" fans.

The option of a new forum has been considered backstage, extensively. We've thought about moving Theory to other games, creating a My Forum, or creating a forum akin to Other Games for it. All such options have been rejected, repeatedly.

Leaving theory in Open doesn't harm disscussion there. Thus, it remains.
 

Patrick O'Duffy

Man I hate fractions
Validated User
Oddsod Blok'ed said:
I don't particularly like the threads about how to use Forgeite "theory" on Forgeite games to the exclusion of everything else, but I can at least tolerate them. I'm also seeing the same three or four names cropping up repeatedly in these threads. I'm also seeing the same three or four names cropping up repeatedly in these threads, which says to me that there is a small group of devoted fans and some people who are "dabblers" - the word is in quotes because I don't think it's exactly the right one for the situation, but on the other hand I don't know what else to call them to distinguish them from people like me, who care nothing for "game theory" and the people who are devoted "theory" fans.
So you care nothing for game theory, but felt compelled to go into each of these threads that you didn't like to find out what they were about?

The problem is not that these threads exist, in that case. It's that you're somehow unable to resist looking at them and getting all worked up about their existence.

Speaking as someone who doesn't have an invivisble gun to my head forcing me to read threads I know I won't enjoy, I'd like them to stay exactly where they are. They don't hurt me by their existence, I ignore them for the most part, and I'm not filled with horror that 'three or four' people (and a few 'dabblers') feel like talking about something that doesn't interest me.
 

Thunder_God

Shortchanging Hell.
Validated User
Your post also shows what a problem it'd be. The "What is a character sheet" isn't a semantic discussion, but is related to "Flags", it's about what purpose it serves and how it can be a map of the player's desires.

Regardless, this was covered what, not 2 weeks ago, you voiced your opinion then. If you do not succeed at first, try, try again?
 

Guvmint Helper

Starbelly Geek
RPGnet Member
Validated User
I also disagree that there needs to be a separate forum.
Unless we also can put Exalted threads into a separate forum. And all of the other subjects that I don't read but that crop up frequently.
 

Killfalcon

Reasonably Phosphorous
Staff member
Moderator
RPGnet Member
Validated User
Guvmint Helper said:
I also disagree that there needs to be a separate forum.
Unless we also can put Exalted threads into a separate forum. And all of the other subjects that I don't read but that crop up frequently.
If you've seen the guidelines recently, you'll have noticed that game-specific sub forums are one thing we will not consider. IIRC, that was ShannonA's call, put in when we started the 'my forum' stuff.

Exalted is the reason for that line being there. ;)
 

Brantai'sPuppet

The following is canon:
Validated User
Patrick O'Duffy said:
So you care nothing for game theory, but felt compelled to go into each of these threads that you didn't like to find out what they were about?
Or he was citing specific examples, which I am given to understand is the proper way to frame a percieved problem when talking to the mods about it.
 

Thunder_God

Shortchanging Hell.
Validated User
Brantai'sPuppet said:
Or he was citing specific examples, which I am given to understand is the proper way to frame a percieved problem when talking to the mods about it.
Except he seems to have taken the plunge and read them as well.
 

Jim Bob

New member
Banned
Killfalcon said:
I strongly suggest you stop reading threads with [theory] tags.
Dude! That's like, oppressive and stuff!

Killfalcon said:
... have taken steps to ensure that the increase in theory is met with a reduction in flames.
The two may be incompatible;) People are coming from a closed section of another board, with quite another style of posting and discussion, and trying to start that up here. Forge-style discussion fits about as well into the current rpg.net style of discussion as, say, the Wizards boards fits in here. It's just a different style, and the clash of style produces flames. Were Wizards to close down their boards, the posters coming here would generate flames because of their poor spelling and simple language; likewise, the Forge posters coming here generate flames because of their long words and complex language. There are other issues, of course, but they pretty much come down to "style." The styles clash.

Killfalcon said:
The option of a new forum has been considered backstage, extensively. We've thought about moving Theory to other games, creating a My Forum, or creating a forum akin to Other Games for it. All such options have been rejected, repeatedly.
And I can see why. It'd be very difficult to draw the line as to what was "theory," and what not.

I think Oddsod is wrong. Certainly the flamewars are inevitable, but it's not because of rpg theory itself, simply it's a clash of posting and discussion styles. Forge threads are rather tightly-controlled. People are almost never banned, but threads are locked, and the mods keep a close eye to ensure that Thread X stays exactly on Topic X; but in rpg.net, thread drift is expected and not worried about. In The Forge, semantic discussion is encouraged (by practice), but in rpg.net, it pisses most posters off. The Forge has far fewer active posters, and so they can have a more controlled and structured environment than rpg.net.

It's difficult to say much more without turning it into some sort of cross-forum war, which we don't want. It just comes down to "different styles clash."

Certainly I think that the recent rules changes about theory discussion are the wrong way to go; but I also think that a separate forum for theory would also be ineffective.
 
Top Bottom