I hesitate to publish this post, given the high likelihood it will give rise to outrage, but it is my earnest belief that this current, overweening predilection for dividing ourselves into competing camps and seizing each other by the throat is only going to be overcome if sensible people continue to attempt to engage in rational, good faith discussion in the centre ground. I will provide the (sadly, necessary) caveat that nothing contained in this post is designed to excuse or justify - only to explain, in order to suggest ways forward. So, here goes:
I was not there at the very beginning of OSR blogging, but almost: the first post I wrote was in May 2008, and I was involved on rpg.net and in commenting on OSR blogs for some months before that. So, while not perhaps there at the big bang, I was present to observe the sun and inner planets forming.
So it was with some interest that I read Zedeck Siew's reminiscences about the phenomenon:
That community was ugly. Many alt-right-leaning white dudes. It sheltered abusers, like Zak S – a person who, to my shame, I’d been a fan of.That community was good. Many key figures were queer / trans. More so (to my impression) than any other RPG community (even other indie groups). Non-white folks, like me.The popular TTRPG eye remembers the OSR for its ugliness, not its inclusivity. Probably because the assholes were loud. And because the non-white / cis / het-ness of folks was rarely advertised as a community selling-point: “Look at how diverse we are!”