Tuesday, August 28, 2012

More Thoughts On The Death Of The OSR

Perhaps it's just me, but I've always viewed OSR to mean Old-School Renaissance, as demonstrated by the Old-School Renaissance Group booth I ran at GenCon 2011. I've always preferred Renaissance over Rules, Revolution, Reformation, or any of the other "R's" that others ascribe to the an acronym, because renaissance implies a return to an older gaming aesthetic as interpreted through a modern aesthetic. I think that's an apt description - we admire the things we view as good in the older material, discard the things we think are bad, and argue with each other about what falls into those two categories... :-)

The OSR is not a business model - it's not dependent upon market forces - because *every one of us* is a creator and a critic. We can both sculpt and critique the sculptures, we can both paint and critique the paintings. The OSR is a very egalitarian endeavor - which is what original gaming was about - making up your own stuff using the rules as a framework for the shared creative experience.

I am in "the industry" of gaming, but I am no different than any other participant in the OSR. There is no barrier to participation in the OSR, and there are limited barriers in presentation of new materials. I commercialize the OSR material I produce (because I like to eat!), but the commercialization that I do *does not* have to be done by others. My interest in running a profitable business has *zip* to do with the OSR. Nada. Nilch.

The OSR isn't an industry - it's thousands of people getting together, playing face-to-face (or virtually so), and having fun being creative and social.

The OSR will only die when we stop playing, when we stop teaching others how to play.

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