Disclaimer: Self-Descriptors

Idk this is kinda like a disclaimer that I don't identify with any of the below terms and I get frustrated when people apply them to me:

  • Academic: I am literally not an academic. I graduated! And was never a graduate student. Reading books doesn't make anyone an academic. Writing about books doesn't make one either. I studied humanities in school as a side thing because I had a scholarship that afforded me the extra credits. Reading, synthesizing, and applying 'theory' is not a super unique thing; sure, some people overstate either how accessible or inaccessible it is, but it's something anyone can do if they're motivated and have what they need to learn.
  • Indie: I think of "indie" as short for independent production or publication, and as such I think it boils down to someone producing and selling things in an economic sphere but not owning or being employed/contracted to a large firm. So, I'm not indie, because I'm not like a small business owner or a content creator. I'm just like do-it-yourself or whatever.
  • Intellectual: Same as "academic", though I think less relating to concrete skills like reading/writing and more about like abstract thought and knowledge (?). Again, I don't really value that stuff as something unique or skilled; I think people who identify as or want to be intellectuals are annoying. By extension, I think anyone and everyone is capable of deep conversations, but also that deepness in itself is not like an end. The important thing is empathizing and connecting with other people. That's kinda the whole point.
  • Nu-OSR: I have basically only seen weird-ass people use this term to distinguish between 'true' OSR and people from a later time period (post-2010? post-2015? post-2019?) who have different emphases or goals. You know what I'm going to say: the OSR is not real. It's a shibboleth whose meaning changes depending on whatever the speaker wants 'old-school' to mean. "Nu-OSR" implies an awkward, almost judgemental distance between myself and someone who calls me that; why?
  • NSR: No beef with the NSR per se, but I feel like it is pretty centered on 'indie' 'game' 'design' as opposed to like DIY hobby participation. As a result, I tend to feel kinda external of their ecosystem as well as whatever conversations take place there. I just don't think it's descriptive of me.
  • OSR: I actually have the least amount of problems with this because, again, "OSR" doesn't really mean anything in particular but to some people it does mean working within a DIY tradition of running or playing fantasy tabletop games. I'm fine with that and basically accept it, but don't like the leap from "DIY hobbyist" to "fantasy chauvinist". Besides having a target on my back from people like that (or from a society looking for bodies to bury), I also don't particularly care for their aesthetics or play style or nostalgia. I try to avoid identifying with the OSR.

I'll call myself a DIY enthusiast. I'll call myself a communist. I'll call myself a feminist. I'll call myself a mathematician, a Freudian, and a friend of Ovid. But I won't call myself any of the above, and it feels weird to be called those things.


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