Whitehall ParaIndustries: Flaws of GNS- Part I: The Appeal

ArcologyBrian Gleichman has written a series of critical blog articles on GNS/”Big Model” game theory, the first of which is here: Whitehall ParaIndustries: Flaws of GNS- Part I: The Appeal. Some of the commentary is both instructive and amusing as well.

I have to admit, a few years ago I was very interested in GNS. Over time, I tired of the elitism and almost religious fervor that emerged with regard to Ron Edwards (the author) of said theories. I still find game design that focuses on one of the GNS triangle corners to be an interesting idea, but firmly reject that this is the only way or even the best way of categorizing games or game-play.



Its been several years since Brian Gleichman departed the net. I thought he’d be back by now.

Brian was at one point quite active in the rpg online community and posted quite prolifically on The Forge, rpg.net, and other online fora. And then, quite suddenly, he announced his intent to withdrawal from net and remove any online presence “to attack”.

To be sure, his style of play and his way of looking at games was not typical and he often was at odds with others. He did have a sharp tongue, but also a sharp wit to back it up. Whether or not his feeling of being “attacked” or not was justified, I don’t know. I wasn’t involved in direct discussions with him.

But I did appreciate his positions, especially given his gaming goals. As he states in the designer notes of Age of Heroes, “requiring some roleplaying in my wargame”.

At one point in my gaming career, I was decidedly in the same camp. I’ve since drifted into what some might term as more “narrativism”-based goals. Whatever. I miss Gleichman’s perspective.

When he left, I said to myself, “he’ll be back…no one as passionate as him can stay away from this stuff.” But alas, he has not returned….and its been years now. I tried to email him a while back, but all the addresses that I have are bouncing. If someone does still have contact with him, please let me know. And Brian, if you are reading this…isn’t it time to come back to the table?