On the D&D OGL Debacle

April 21, 2008

Cross-posted from Story Games.

As I was telling John Harper earlier today, I think this is the kind of mess that inevitably happens when forward-thinking people convince a large company of the merits of a newfangled hippie idea (I say that with lots of love) like open source or Web 2.0; the company wants all the advantages of these newfangled hippie idea, but doesn’t really accept the values, consequences, or new ways of doing business that come with the newfangled hippie idea. Overall, the company still continues to do things in a more traditional fashion, doing “what’s best for the company” instead of being satisfied with doing “what’s best for the industry / community” and being a part of the general success that brings to the entire environment. I suspect Wizards, like many folks, is trying to make a play that is both “daring” and relatively “safe,” which lands them in this mess of being sorta open source, but not really, because they’re not really prepared, as a company, to operate and compete in a truly open source environment, because, like most folks, they’re still not entirely sure what that environment would look like. Still, the post-IP all-Open horizon is slowly approaching and roleplaying seems uniquely poised, in many ways, to take advantage of it.

One Response to “On the D&D OGL Debacle”

  1. rpgchat Says:

    Gah, I’m torn about this. [tabletop] Gaming shouldn’t have become the commercialized monster that it is…

    The idea was to buy the books, but for it to be free to play. The disappearance of hardcovers is depressing, and the lack of openness in the tabletop world is also hindering its growth.

    It would be vastly beneficial to observe real copyright. You should have the ability to copy and use, as long as credit is given to the copyright holder. You want goods, or want to make money using this copyrighted content? You need to give it to the owner.


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