Kevin Weiser of the Walking Eye podcast interviewed Ron Edwards last November. They talked about a new development at The Forge, from which a non-controversy had sprung on a few forum threads. This would normally be of little note (and Ron, to be sure, seemed rather perplexed at the idea of giving time to the controversy, only speaking on it at Kevin’s request). But something emerged tangentially from the discussion that hit me like a ton of bricks.
Ron had announced that The Forge, an instrumental site in promoting self-published, creator-owned RPGs, was entering a new mode, a “winter phase,” having accomplished the main goal of its “spring” and “summer.” The way Ron stated it was: “…bluntly, I (and Clinton, and Ed Healy, and a lot of other people active at the founding) have unequivocally won the battle we wanted to win.”
With such a turn of phrase, it was easy for people to take offense—just who did he think he was winning a battle AGAINST? It’s obvious from context that the “battle” Ron and the Forge fought was not over GNS Theory or Narrativism or any such thing, but for the recognition of creator-owned RPGs as a widespread, viable artistic and financial choice. But the question remains. Who was the Forge’s enemy in this fight?