Roger Giner-Sorolla @ 2019-06-02 23:32:36
#SWORDDREAM - yea, nay or meh? https://graverobbersguide.blogspot.com/2019/06/a-sword-dream.html I am "meh" - the acronym evokes someting different, and on expansion, this is clearly more than the "second wave" (fourth maybe - D&D and derivatives, Vampire and derivatives, storygames, this stuff). I prefer to look at "our thing" as environment-focused, with exploration and social interaction the focus of creative expression, and combat not absent or abstracted but encapsuled in a simple system with a few nods to realism. We are creating interesting places to be dealt with discursively, rather than intriguing plot lines that are scaffolded by mechanics, or stages to play out a combat game in between cut scenes. I want these aspects of the old school and the never-was school front and center, agree with the poster that OSR engulfs a lot of different preferences in old games and old-style-games, and agree to want something new that positively grabs the writing, art, and play aesthetic.
Richard G @ 2019-06-03 01:49:55
the comments are so on-brand they’re incredible, starting with “damn straight” and ending with phallocracy. “a movement rooted in a rejection of intolerance” look I sympathise, but _rejection of intolerance_ just seems like self-parody.
Richard G @ 2019-06-03 02:05:11
....I reject the idea that what we need is more and better labels. I agree with Roger. I think these things don’t have to be matters of identity.
Anne Hunter @ 2019-06-03 04:36:34
I think some people must be feeling a powerful sense of loss after cutting ties with "the OSR". I can understand that feeling, although I'm not sold on this as a replacement. I kind of like "adventure gaming" as a label for this style of play. I don't think it needs to be an acronym. "SWORD DREAM only survives as long as there is no 'official' SWORD DREAM" feels sort of impossible to me. To be able to define yourself, you need to be able to say what you're not. That might not mean fanatical policing of edge cases and boundaries, but it probably does mean being able to say that some things definitively "are" or "are not" part of your scene.
Paolo Greco @ 2019-06-03 07:13:06
What I love about SWORD DREAM: The name kicks ass. Nate's logo too. It upsets racists wankers. Cons: on twitter storygamers are already saying that sworddream is a wokewash.
Roger Giner-Sorolla @ 2019-06-03 09:42:28
That's a con? Wear it as a badge of honor. My preference is something like "weird RPG" to indicate independence from the GNS paradigm (yay). The emphasis is not on the game play, nor engineering a narrative story, nor simulating anything, but setting up and managing an emergent interactive environment that values creativity over cliche.
Brian Ashford @ 2019-06-03 13:12:37
Some people still think that the OSR is a credit, mostly thanks to the car crash self-proclaimed spokespersons we all love to hate. Some people think that old school implies looking backwards to a time when we didn't have to worry about inclusivinty, political correctness, or not being a horrible human being. We know that's bullshit, we know that that isn't the OSR, but do we really want to have to argue that point with people for the next term years? Sword Dream is one of many suggestions for an alterative title for our genre of gaming, if it's the one that sticks I'm ok with that. It's not my favourite, but it's evocative and new. That'll do.
Brian Ashford @ 2019-06-03 13:16:40
Also anyone calling Sword Dream a "wokewash" (which I'm guessing is like performative wokeness - correct me if I'm wrong) is going to be one of the same people who is happy to write off an entire community for the actions of a few. We were never going to win them over anyway.
M Nicksic @ 2019-06-03 19:30:05
SWORD DREAM is a wonderfully over-wrought acronym, I love them, but they make me think of spy networks from '60s movies. Those are excellent _brand_ logos, I totally want to play that game, but the long acronym introduces design problems that are not easy to solve elegantly. (For instance none of the logos shown actually indicate it is an acronym at all, though one does include the phrase...) A shorter, less 'cute' acronym is easier to work with from a design standpoint, and one that does not spell out a coherent word has the advantage of being more recognizable an acronym ie OSR, LGBTQ. The sword is a potent symbol, while one might upset some racist wankers, will the actual meaning (hidden in a convoluted acronym) be clear to someone not already aware of what it means. Beyond those modern associations, the sword has been a symbol of the ruling class in cultures throughout history, I don't personally associate the ruling class with the DIY ethic. There is also a tacit assumption of genre, the roots of which should be fairly obvious. TLDR: We need an acronym that your average street-level dissident gamer can turn into their own logo for stenciling onto edifices.
Alex Schroeder @ 2019-06-03 19:42:22
I don’t see myself switching the tag on my blog away from “Old School” to “Sword Dream” or “Adventure Game” anytime soon. But I do love Roger’s description up above! I hope you don’t mind me quoting it, Roger! https://alexschroeder.ch/wiki/2019-06-03_Elements_of_the_Old_School_Renaissance
Matt Strom @ 2019-06-03 21:20:00
As a name for an adventure it would be fucking sick, but as a label for a style of play it’s laughably obtuse.
Roger Giner-Sorolla @ 2019-06-03 22:24:05
Quote away Alex!
Alistair Langsford @ 2019-06-04 07:31:25
My answer would be ‘meh’ tending to ‘nay’. I don’t think it will help, or work, or catch on. If it does, well OK I guess, but it doesn’t particularly grab me. I think terms like DIY, Artpunk, Old School mean more and are still useful. If you follow that up with quality material and discussion, and be inclusive and respectful of your general audience - i.e. gamers and those who might stumble across all of this, I’d hope people get the right idea about who the people are involved, and the material they produce. If you stumble across some blog or forum full of haters of *any* group, you’re not going to find reason, tolerance or fairness there.
Necropraxis ☀ @ 2019-06-05 01:50:37
Let a thousand hashtags bloom. #NWS "never-was school" (thanks for that one Roger).
Humza K @ 2019-06-06 18:17:48
I'm open to SWORD DREAM because I've seen a bunch of folks going "you know, I didn't feel welcome in the OSR, but SWORD DREAM gets me excited." And that's something that I want to see more of - people who felt shunted out b/c of prior connotations and context feeling like they're welcomed in. (I don't care about the name. I am agnostic re: Sword Dream as a term, vs adventure game, TAG, CGA, Second Branch, sticking with OSR, whatever. My main concern is fostering an environment which allows for all interested folks to flourish and create there, especially marginalized folks.)
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