The Fallacy of Punk
Lukas’ comment on Jonathan’s blog made me think about this yet again. People talk about “being punk” with making role-playing games. It’s used to talk about the DIY aesthetic, which I can dig on. I was involved in the Ashcan Front’s first year, and have done my own bookbinding. I loves me getting hands on.
But that said, “punk” is a word people use in order to exclude others or belittle the efforts of others. The punk ideal of “you don’t need the man” is all fine and good…until you start becoming an authority telling new creators how to act. Then you’re suddenly in the position of being “the man telling other people they don’t need the man.”
So, people who keep throwing this word around: tell me what the hell you mean. Because it’s sounding like a lot of exclusionary, ghettoized talk I have heard before. It’s not a word used nearly as often positively as it is negatively.
Because of that, I find it all to be a load of crap. What is “being punk” anyway? Not being edited? Selling out of your backpack? Telling people who have years of experience and like talking about a craft to go fuck off? Seriously, what is this thing you’re talking about? Or is it just “being the thing I want you to be”?
P.S.: And I think the analogy falls apart when you suddenly realize that music is consumed entirely differently than media meant to be interpreted and played. Because everyone knows how to use a CD or MP3, but not everyone knows how to use your game unless you make that possible. I’m all for grungy-looking things, but my brain is the media player, and it needs to be formatted for my brain. Once you’ve got that, do whatever presentation you want. Rock out with your cock out, as it were.