Philosophy with the hammer

The Forge has closed its theory forums. The reasoning behind this decision is that the development of roleplaying theory will be more productive when it is done either in the direct context of actual play or actual game design, or on people's private weblogs.

I am skeptical. I am afraid that not having a central place to discuss fundamental theory is going to be detrimental to the development of good and helpful roleplaying theory.

But I want to be wrong about this. In fact, I want to try and make myself be wrong about this - which is why I have decided to start this weblog. May it be a place where theory - both applied and fundamental - is developed and discussed. Somehow, perhaps, this network of RPG theory weblogs will become a more fruitful version of the old forums.

It is also an opportunity for me to make a connection with another interest of mine: interactive fiction. Do you remember the text adventures of yore? We now call them interactive fiction - and they have developed and matured over the years. In terms of our beloved GNS-theory, there have been careful but intriguing steps towards Narrativism. But the theory of interactive fiction is woefully underdeveloped, which is hurting the actual making of games. I want to explore that field, and I want to look at the interconnections between IF and RPGs, both being media of interactive narrative.

Philosophy with the hammer. This alludes, of course, to The Forge: if I can't swing my hammer on the anvil there, I'll do it here. But it is also to stress that, contrary to what some may think of me, I am commited to a strong link between theory and practice. I recently wrote an RPG for the Ronnies. I am playtesting the new RPG of Paul Czege. I have written a big piece of interactive fiction that is currently being beta-tested. And I want theory to help me.

So let us hammer away. Welcome to my blog. Welcome to the Gaming Philosopher.


  1. Glad to see you've started up here in the blogosphere.

  2. Hey, looking forward to seeing what comes. You might be surprised at how well blogs work for focused discussion. I know I was.

  3. Thanks for visiting. :) I'll try to make it as interesting as possible around here, and I'm prepared to be surprised.

  4. I'll be around as well. More theory blogs from people who have good things to say=always a good thing.

    - Christian

  5. Hey Victor!

    I found your blog; yay!

    I just wanted to drop you a note that I've been digging really deep into IF theory lately, but for a surprising purpose.

    Tell me, have you read any of the issues of Interactive Fiction magazine? I've got all of them, if you're interested.


  6. Hi Fang,

    You've made me all curious about your surprising purpose. What is it? :)

    I've actually never heard of Interactive Fiction Magazine, which I kind of strange sicne I have been following both IF-newsgroups closely. Or is it a magazine that no longer exists? Please give me more information, as it sounds very interesting!


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  8. Are you quite sure "philosophy with the hammer" is just a reference to the Forge? No references to Nietzsche whatsoever? I'd be surprised.

  9. Jeroen - of course it is a reference to Nietzsche. Everything I say is a reference to Nietzsche. ;)

    (Although Nietzsche's metaphorical hammer, being a doctor's hammer used to investigate bowels, and the forge metaphor don't go very well together.)


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