... now with 35% more arrogance!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Undead Rebirth Commentary

I know yesterday's post about the so-called "death" of the old school renaissance was not especially arrogant and only mildly sarcastic, but hopefully it was arrogant enough to be a significant first step toward the 35% more arrogance that Spawn of Endra is clamoring for. But what I was getting at is not so much "fighting back" against people who claim that the OSR is dead, but really more of a complaint about people who treat the OSR as a thing. It's not a "things", not a movement, not an organization. It's a description of something that happened, a shift towards more old school play and more interest in old rules.

There were several times in the early days of the OSR where people started forum threads asking who was "in" the OSR, what is the OSR's goals. There were other threads where people said they were giving up on the OSR because they didn't get along with the "membership", or because they weren't welcome in the OSR. And eventually, after much flaming, someone would point out to the thread that there is no "OSR", in the sense of a group, either formal or informal.  There is no OSR, because the OSR is not a thing. We made the mistake of capitalizing "old school renaissance" or even abbreviating it to a TLA, which encouraged people to think of the OSR as if it were analogous to the WGA, or the SCA, or maybe the CIA or KGB. And yes, if the OSR were like one of those things, you could talk about who the members were, who's in and who's out, what it's up to, and whether it's been disbanded or not.

I'm belaboring this point mainly to explain the link between my post and Tim Brannan's post. His was one of several blog posts that immediately inspired my post, but of course Tim isn't really saying that the OSR is dead, only that certain goals were met and others will live on. I like Tim, I have no major beef with him, but he's playing into this whole way of thinking of the OSR as a thing, a group, a marketing trend, or maybe an art movement like Dada or the French New Wave. So OK, maybe I'm spanking him in public, but only a little.

1 comment:

  1. If it is only a little then no big.

    In many ways though the OSR is like an art movement or even a Zeitgeist. A lot of people had similar ideas and all started to do their things at once. In that respect there could be an end, even a death. We don't have too many Pre-Raphaelites running around these days BUT we can still enjoy their works.

    Just a thought.