Moving through the most obscure realms of postmodern entertainment, we find the identity politics and artistic branding of Scandinavian roleplaying subcultures. While these have little importance outside of the rarefied circles of the game designers of the utmost North, to them, these things can sometimes seem to have meaning.
So, yeah. I’m not a Jeepformer.
Sometimes people will explain my games, or my friends’ games, by saying they’re Jeepform. But they’re not. None of us make Jeepform games.
What does that even mean?
Well, you see: Jeepform is a brand. It’s not, I believe, a unique design philosophy (nor is Nørwegian Style, or games conforming to the Hippie Method Manifesto). These are mostly just subsets of the huge monstrosity called “freeform”, and not very stable subsets at that. If I were to design a game that was, word for word, a remake of a Jeepform game, I wouldn’t call it a Jeepform: It wouldn’t have been made by a member of the Jeepform community – a jeeper. In the same way, if a jeeper wrote one of my games, it would be a Jeepform, by definition.
I don’t know what the Jeep policy on, or attitude toward, all of this is. There’s a lot of games being labeled “jeepform” these days; in Poland, they run “jeeps”, which appear to be improvised freeform games, though I couldn’t say for sure.
So, yeah. While I steal liberally from anyone, from any school of game design; and while some of my designs are probably compatible with the design goals of the jeepers, and might look like Jeepform to an outsider – I get slightly annoyed when people claim I’m part of a collective I’m not in. The jeepers I’ve met are cool people, and the (very few) Jeepforms I’ve played are good. If I were a jeeper, I’d happily confess to it. However, I’m not; and just like a catholic probably won’t like being called a protestant, I prefer it when my games aren’t called Jeepform.