The OSR Should Die

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  1. Thanks for pulling this together - especially for that mighty collection of influential posts.

    I feel when I came upon the OSR (~2014, before its second dying) it already seemed to require a huge amount of knowledge of references, background, etc. that I bounced off it. Only when the bones were lying around ~ 2017 onwards was it possible to really pick over everything and get a grip on what was there. So, good that it 'died' for a while - it meant things were still enough that one could catch up.

    1. i think that's a comforting way to look at it! :) after all there's so much to read, it'd probably take a couple of years to get through what's been written in one (not to mention, hindsight is 20/20 in terms of what proves influential in the long run)

  2. That is not dead which can eternal lie, and with strange eons even the OSR may die.

  3. I still love what Patrick "False Machine" said: “I think the OSR as I knew it is basically a ruin, and its a strange moldering ruin in the swamp that other people from future gaming societies come to delve for its weird secrets. And they come to speak to the wizards and cackling ghouls that inhabit that ruin.”

  4. Clearly what we need is OSR 2nd Edition.

  5. One might also mention the "grotty" aesthetic that was shared and played with on a lot of OSR blogs in the 2010s, which had little if any precedent in Gygaxian times. It was a fun and original aesthetic created by an online social scene/workshop of ideas that identified, accurately or not, as old-school. You wouldn't mistake that stuff for anything published in 1974 or 1980.

    My feeling is that if the OSR is/was a group of creative bloggers, then it doesn't matter to me if they're no longer all following the same definitions. I always took a salad bar approach to their creations anyway, taking only what I wanted, and I'll continue to do so. If the OSR is/was an online social group, then it REALLY doesn't matter to me whether it continues as it was. There was plenty of toxicity there from the beginning (gatekeeping, bullying, picking fights with other groups, et al.). But more importantly, blogging and Google+ posts can't be more important to what the OSR is or was than actual playing of RPGs. That would be kind of silly.

    And if the OSR is/was people actually playing games in an old-school style, then surely nothing about the state of these blogs can matter that much. Even the most influential and productive blogger is just a blogger, and no one needs them in order to play, to be creative, or to be old school however they see fit. For me, if anything defines old-school play, it's DIY, the old spirit of filling in a pad of blank graph paper, and that's not going anywhere.


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