25 October 2020

In Memory of Fan Sites

One of the things I really miss about the 1990s and the early 2000s was the proliferation of dedicated RPG fan sites. Before the blogs, gaming hobbyists built their own sites through which they could share their house rules, settings, and variants, and they often reached their audience with the help of Web rings whereby sites could link with other sites of the same interest. Fudge was one of those games that benefited from the creativity and prolificacy of its fan-maintained sites, and my own Fudgery.net was my modest contribution (unfortunately close to the end of the Golden Age of RPG fan sites).

Fan sites were surpassed by Web logs, and link pages were rapidly made obsolete by broken links, just as Web logs were, in time, eclipsed by Google+. Now that Google+ has been relegated to the dustbin of bittersweet nostalgia, blogs are making a comeback. I recently started a fifth gaming blog (as if trying to post regularly to four of them were not difficult enough), and although I enjoy the medium (even as I acknowledge that I am really just whispering into the hurricane), I still find myself yearning for those oases of the Internet where hobbyists shared their lore, their expertise, and their passion with likeminded explorers. Most of those well-loved sites are gone, like the fanzines of yore, but they are not forgotten. Rest in peace, Fudge fan sites in particular. You were Superb.

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