Yeah, for me abandoning a game is very different from and independent of finishing it. Abandoning a finished game means stuff like letting it go out of print, stopping playing it at cons, stopping entering into conversations about it, pulling it from PDF sales, stuff like that.
How often do I crack open the game to look something up? Do I think and feel about the game in present tense, past tense, or future tense?
"No downside" is exactly why I'm still publishing In a Wicked Age, Poison'd, and kill puppies for satan. Why not, right?
In DitV's case, there's come to be a downside after all. It's basically this: Westerns can go to hell. Don't get me started.
I wish DitV had spawned the variety of hacks and kind of movement AW did. The default setting is interesting, but so niche, and 'problematic'. Banthas in the Vineyard etc never seemed to really get off the ground beyond some forum posts, unless I've missed something. And Afraid was abandoned quite quickly, as you've noted in your graph. But the actual mechanics are (mostly) *so good*.
I think the presence or absence of (published) hacks is more a function of historical, social, economic, etc factors than necessarily the game's inherent potential. Not just with DitV, but in general. For instance, the existence of Kickstarter has made it a lot easier to fund the production and release of a hack. Theoretical hackability is just one factor that determines actual hackedness.
@jburneko Here's a bit of a start. I think that Westerns, including Dogs in the Vineyard, are actively implicated in all these kinds of violence:
https://preview.tinyurl.com/y7fh742j (New Republic)
https://preview.tinyurl.com/yacejwe2 (Washington Post)
https://preview.tinyurl.com/ybhbur43 (Washington Post)
@jburneko At this point, honesty compels me to add:
I'm also not in the mood these days to publish a game that's respectful to Mormons. Orrin Hatch's defense of Roy Moore was just one damn thing too many.
@Halfjack Okay. I'm always curious about that because I know a lot of people who claim that's their "favorite" part of the game. It has literally never happened in any game of Dogs in the Vineyard I have ever run.
@jburneko I'm surprised to hear it's common. I think it only arose at our table because we were curious how amenable the system was to PvP.
@Halfjack My assessment is that it happens when someone thinks the game is about being self-righteous the point of parody. "I'm going to act like a fundamentalist ass until someone decides to shoot me. Hilarious!" I don't have any real proof of that. It's just my gut feeling around some of the conversations I've seen trend that way.
@Halfjack So I was wondering if that's what you meant by "indictment of mormonism" because the Dogs must be fundamentalist monsters. I don't think they need to be that. I think the game is better when they aren't.
@jburneko No I read it as an indictment of Mormonism because the Dogs are given absolute moral authority in any situation, which is absurd but also consistent with Mormonism as I understand it.
@jburneko Never seen that.
@jburneko That's interesting because one of the reasons I see it as a perfect (like just a paint job away) vehicle for Star Trek is that it plays best when everyone is honestly trying to do the best they can but with this underlying moral authority to "fix" anything that seems broken.
The best game irony is when they fix something not broken and everyone is sad forever after they leave. And I think some Star Trek episodes need that coda on the end as well.
@lumpley Ah. Gotcha. How do you feel about people taking the systemic components of Dogs in the Vineyard and using them in their own work these days?
@jburneko Oh, fine, same as always.
As a Brit, I don't really understand the real meat of the Western genre (as opposed to superficial Western tropes or aesthetics), and am not very good at identifying it. I find it weird that you'd think of AW as a Western, personally. Also relevant: I don't think I've ever really liked a Western. Maybe the culture gap is too big, maybe it's the politics Vincent mentioned...
Westerns are amazing!
Not every one, obviously. There are plenty of stinkers. But nobody should pat themselves on the back for having never liked a Western.
I love Westerns the most. Well, second most, after Horror.
Anyhow, the real-world violence that makes me condemn Westerns now, despite my love for them, directly follows English colonial policy. Don't be too eager to claim a culture gap.
I'm not suggesting that never having liked a Western is a good thing—it's just a relevant factor that probably has a causal relationship (one way or the other, I'm not sure which) with my utter disconnect with the genre. I just genuinely don't even understand what makes something Western in genre (as opposed to 'a film about cowboys'), even after consciously trying to.
@paulczege @Halfjack @jburneko @lumpley Nor was the claim of a culture gap intended to imply that Britain (England more specifically) doesn't have a ghastly past and present, and more specifically a direct causal historical role in the violence you're referring to.
It's just that for whatever reason 'the Western' does not resonate with a (White?) British audience in the same way it does with a (White?) American one, IME. I could speculate why, but I don't want to bombard you with 20 toots.
@lumpley @jburneko @Halfjack @paulczege And I don't think it's just squeamishness about our past, because people over here fucking love the Empire. Nor do I think there's the same disconnect with stuff like Zulu, Lawrence, Gandhi, A Passage to India, etc.
I think it's something about the specific form colonialism took in the British Empire vs the Westward expansion, and the psychology that imbued, etc.
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