Yes, I know it’s a click bait headline. But it kind of sums a lot of stuff. So, one of the things I’ve been doing during this time of work from home and the entire world had gone crazy is that I’ve been listening to a lot of “old” music. I know there are a lot metal heads out there in RPG land. But me? Well, I cut my teeth on punk and new wave stuff. I grabbed this headline from Chicken Shit Conformist by the Dead Kennedys. Just read the first part of that song and think about it.
Punk’s not dead
It just deserves to die
When it becomes another stale cartoon
A close-minded, self-centered social club
Ideas don’t matter, it’s who you know
If the music’s gotten boring
It’s because of the people
Who want everyone to sound the same
Who drive bright people out
Of our so-called scene
‘Til all that’s left Is just a meaningless fad
This is what I’m getting at here. The concept of the OSR and punk rock have a lot in common and I think it’s pretty important now with all the craziness going around. Here’s some excepts from Wikipedia on Punk subculture.
Although punks are frequently categorised as having left-wing, revolutionary, anarchist or progressive views, punk political ideology covers the entire political spectrum. Punk-related ideologies are mostly concerned with individual freedom and anti-establishment views. Common punk viewpoints include individual liberty, anti-authoritarianism, a DIY ethic, non-conformity, anti-collectivism, anti-corporatism, anti-government, direct action and not “selling out”.
A lot of that sounds pretty familiar right? I know not all of it and it varies from person to person and group to group. And it ain’t about safety pins and spiked Mohawks. It’s about attitude.
Let’s face it, a lot of the OSR folks fit into that older demographic and, in our own little way, we kind of think of ourselves as “The Establishment” or old guard. Those old games are fringe now. Admit it. Old school games are now more like the punk or underground comic scene. We aren’t following any “Comic Code”. We aren’t following the mob. So embrace it. Embrace the individuality. Play your own game.
There’s no marketing budget. There’s no celebrity endorsements. Sure we can sit on our asses in our basements and play the way we want to but to keep the old school scene alive, we need to make stuff and share stuff. Hell, share your thoughts on other people’s stuff. Like a product. Tell people. See a cool blog post or video. Share it. Have fun at a game session. Spread the word. Support who you want and how you want. And I leave you with this: