You probably deserve an explanation of why this has all been stirred up in this way, Retro. It's really very simple, but if you're not a regular to RAIF - and I don't recall seeing you there - you're bound to have missed it.
Basically, RAIF has lately been a place of flames, mostly due to the usual suspects. It got so unpleasant that many people started talking about migrating elsewhere, or dealing with the problem some other way. Many people recommended this place over RAIF because, at the present time, it's much more likely to be reasonably flame-free and welcoming.
And so soon in the heels of a very unpleasant situation in RAIF, concerning the development and release of Inform 7, comes a very unpleasant situation here. This whole thing is being stirred up because, simply, this place doesn't have to be like RAIF, because it's moderated, and works differently, and basically Merk and everyone who has been to RAIF lately is trying to stop what we've seen happen over there.
DISCLAIMER: RAIF and RGIF remain great places for visiting, though.
Now, something that's been on my mind. Since I started this post, I might as well say it.
There's some concern regarding the need for thoughtful, insightful, interesting conversation about IF. I would also like to see it. It's also been said that the best way to have those conversations is to start them. Naturally.
But let me tell you what I saw when I first came here. In fact, what I saw when I first got to AGS - it was very much the same thing.
Everything had already been said, mostly. There were always smaller interesting issues, but there were already reams of discussions on the really interesting stuff. I mean, how can I hope to contribute to a discussion when all I can give is my player's input, as valid as any other people's, when present in this discussion are people who have really thought this through, and have a heftier background on the mechanics of writing and storytelling? I have fairly strong feelings about possibilities of conversations in IF, but what's the point of bringing it up if I'm in the same room as Emily Short, who's written games and bled litres of virtual ink on the subject? Also, I heavily respect Emily Short and her views. When I find a review, like Heavy Rain's, where her opinion appears to differ from mine, I feel daunted, because I feel as though she *got* something from the game I didn't get, due to her vast experience and knowledge of how a story works/can work/should work.
What I mean is, the new generation of interested people are finding that a lot of ground is already covered, and may not really want to bring it back up, especially if it means reading tons of background material which goes way beyond the scope of their interest (I often see considerations that go beyond what I care about. I then refrain from posting because I'm clearly not in the same league as those people).
Or maybe it's just me. At any rate, this is what I wanted to say. I used to be the sort of person who wanted to discuss, to find how to improve the medium, to see what can and can't be done, to see what makes a game good or bad, and whatnot. Then I found out it'd already been covered extensively, and I was hardly likely to add anything to the discussion, which was already an old discussion, old news, unlikely to interest anyone if it were revived by someone with no past knowledge of the previous discussions (and that past knowledge would have to be extensive). So I just lurk around. I read every single post, and find myself able to reply to very few.
Just, you know, two cents.
EDIT - Oh, and I'm not particularly singling Emily out. She's simply the first person I always think of, along with Andrew Plotkin.