A few things have happened recently and the results of these experiences have merged in my mind.
Firstly was going to that large Con in Birmingham;
- seeing James Raggi and All Rolled Up co-operate
- seeing Lost Pages and Melsonian Arts Council down at the back in their crappy table
- seeing the large number of passers by who don't know anything about RPG's & who look vaguely interested in the art
- seeing a number of media opportunities for podcasts and youtube pass by
I was considering something we could do to help each other.
My idea was a sort of cartel, grouping or informal arrangement between OSR-associated publishers and creators.
The boring capitalistic reasons for this would be;
- Getting better tables at cons.
- Getting unified table groupings at cons - so if you walked down the corridor we would all be together in a big block.
- Getting some kind of unified, well probably not 'unified' but perhaps synchronised 'message' or presentation at Cons so that, if a blogger, vlogger, podcaster or anyone else is wandering around saying "What's all this then, I don't know anything about it" then we have something to tell them. And if one person isn't available for a podcast or interview, then someone is. Instead of being a bunch of patchy separated tables spread out from here to there we would be a Big Thing with a story about innovation, intellectual and creative ferment and Bold New Directions.
- Same thing with fans. Many of us have a small number of fans. If there was one place at a Con where fans of the OSR could go to shake hands with a creator, or get a book signed, that seems like it would be useful.
- My primary reason is that this would mean a lot of meetings, largely face-to-face meetups.
- It's not just a tool to gain capital advantages, it’s a social structure. Not one purely based on the internet but one where we can reasonably meet up at regular times and interact in 3d. We are all on this relatively small island together and it seems to me that we should make the most of that.
If we do not actively create and deliberately sustain an actual face-to-face social structure, then I think the convenience and immediacy of the internet will trap us in a glass cage.
- Paul and Fil of All Rolled Up are the experts in Cons, to some extent all the smaller creators would be riding on the coat-tails of their knowledge, experience and professional organisation. Its been suggested to me, and I think it a good idea, that we find some way to be useful to each other to help support them.
- Everyone is producing their own rulesets and, to some extent, is in creative and capitalistic competition with each other. So any group action would depend on whether, or how much, people were willing to potentially compromise on an independent advantage.
- Some of you may or may not be pissed of with each other for political/social/culture war reasons. It's up to you how much you want to co-operate with each other. My personal 'hard limits' are outright self-declared racism on one end and recommending the deaths of police officers on the other. Anything between those two and I can work with you, though I may not agree with you.
- Everyone in this scene is kinda fucked in the head so even if it works its going to be like that bit in 'One Flew Over The Cuckoos Nest' where they all go out in the boat.
- Whoever the fuck I missed out of this because I don't know about them.