In this thread on The Forge, Ron Edwards attempts to further expand on some of his more recent remarks about RPGs that cause “brain damage.”
In terms of role-playing technique, at the group level, the inability is expressed in two brands – the ones who persist in rolling dice periodically, often not especially correlated with any importance to what’s going on, and the ones who make a big point out of abandoning the dice, claiming a thespian ideal of “getting into it.” As story-facilitating techniques, neither work. This is the roll/role dichotomy, which I see as the distinction between syphilis and gonorrhea, or perhaps, having had one’s legs blown off by a land mine, pulling oneself along on the ground by one’s left arm or one’s right arm. Which is to say, not much distinction at all. Both are the rather appalling result of trying to carry out a social, creative activity in the absence of the above three principles.
When I first starting reading The Forge a couple of years ago, I thought Ron was pretty cool. He had some really insightful ideas that talked about aspects of RPGs that I’d never really thought about before, and I personally have a liking for people that are ornery. Lately though, I don’t know, I think I’ve just gotten tired of his schtick. He still has plenty of good ideas to share, but the way he presents them has started to grate on me, and it’s gotten so I’m happier hearing his ideas translated by someone who is trying not to sound like a jerk.
I’ve read all the comments about how that’s just the way Ron is, and how he’s a really cool guy to sit down and discuss things with in person. I’ve seen the comments by Ron himself about how he doesn’t really care how he comes off, and how he’s not trying to be liked, and how he doesn’t see himself as some sort of representative for a gaming movement. That’s all fine. I’ve just decided that I, personally, have reached a point where I tend to find his posts and comments annoying more often than not, even when I agree with his underlying ideas.
ETA: I pretty much agree with Clinton’s comments in this thread.