If you want a conversation, I do that too, now at the Adept forum. I’ll talk about any ideas and theories and stuff, or anything to do with my games, or Adept Press as a publisher, or geeking out about whatever we find mutually interesting, as long as there’s a gaming connection.
This is where I’ve archived my website writings, and provided some marginal notes and reflections as well (see links to the left). And I think it’s a good place for a mission statement about all the subheadings under this topic.
1. Theory means “rigorous ideas.” It doesn’t mean “opposed to fact,” “not empirical,” “vague,” or anything stupid like that. I do propose and critique theory, which means, everything has to be as sensible, as rigorous, and as consistent with real experience as we know it, as we can get.
2. Each of the archived essays and thread interactions is a historical document, written in the context of a contemporary debate among known participants. Nothing is yet compiled into a teaching text for the newcomer reader. Please don’t read anything by me as a dogmatic done deal.
3. I strongly advise you to consider me a mad old man, mumbling in a corner, very likely with body fluids dried into his clothing. If everything I’ve written or said that you’ve seen seems crazy and wrong to you, then clearly, your best bet is to avoid all contact with such a person. If you do engage, then be aware that my baseline assumption is, you’ve read or heard something I’ve written or said that to you, has value.
4. Ideas deserve full intellectual consideration, including uncompromising critique and being jettisoned when they’re wrong. Feelings are your business, not mine. I’m no one’s guru. “Follow me” and you’ll be upset and frustrated; I speak from much experience here.
5. The last fifteen years have shown that I was correct about two important things in choosing my publishing and design path: (i) independent publishing is on the average more profitable and makes better games than otherwise; (ii) what came to be called “Creative Agenda” is indeed a primary design consideration when making better games, whether you process it directly or not. Doesn’t mean I’m right all the time, and I don’t pretend to be.
6. As far as I’m concerned, when you contact me in a forum or by email, it’s a conversation, not an internet event. (i) Do me the courtesy of at least using some of your real name. For my part, I’m Ron, not “Sir” or “Mr. Edwards.” My doctorate concerns my career and has nothing to do with gaming, so don’t call me “Doctor” in the context of the hobby. (Shit, I don’t let anyone call me that outside of work anyway.) (ii) I am a role-player who happens to design and sell games, not a “game designer” in the sense of a special social role. Please don’t approach me as if I were, for instance, a movie director or a comics creator, and as if you were a fan.
7. Do a personal honesty check: if you “heard” about something heinous I wrote, and have been directed to some particular post of mine, then bluntly – don’t waste my time by posting to me about it. I’ve been through this too many times, and I’ve concluded that whenever people arrive at an internet page in an already-established emotional state, and/or in a spirit of solidarity with someone who’s upset, then they don’t think, and whatever they write at that time is worthless. Don’t be someone else’s puppet.