I was attempting to shine a light on how intricately intertwined game design was with not only playstyle, but the community as a whole. Instead, I got hung up on design theory, and chased that darned red-herring halfway across the ocean. The answer was right here under my nose the entire time.
You are doing it wrong. My game IS better than your game. Your game sucks.
That's right. You read my english correctly. I don't care what edition you are playing. I don't care what system you are using. I don't give two shits about you optimal build, OR your STR 8 fighter "for the RP Lulz". I simply do not care. In fact, You are an idiot for even TRYING to do it any other way than I do. Don't argue - I'm not listening, and will only mock you for daring to waste my time with your obvious stupidity.
I am absolutely right.
For the absolutely wrong reasons.
Or maybe the other way around.
Allow me to explain.
First off, my main goal of writing the last two posts was to attempt to demonstrate that most of the labels and schools and other silliness, are simply human nature. An excellent example of this is the big, abusive step-parent of GNS Theory - The Big Model. The big model is the entire framework used by Ron Edwards to unify the whole RPG design model. Love it or hate it, this appears to be the only model anyone seems to even care about. There are others, but having never heard of them, their influence is irrelevant to me - simply restatement of the same recycled words and concepts. I am not going to bore you for 1200 words or so recapping it, that's what the link is for. Instead, I will utterly destroy the entire modern theory of gaming using one wikipedia link.
QUALIA!!! I CHOOSE YOU!
In short, Qualia is the term used to explain subjective experiences, i.e. the reality of your experience as perceived by you - and only you. This is why men are from mars, and women from venus. This little term is the sawdust in the mortar that renders all edition wars and schools completely moot and devoid of anything but the part with monkeys banging on their chests for a mates or bananas.
The mere existence of Qualia is the reason why there is more than one RPG on the market. It's the reason we have to listen to overly loud gangster rap music in traffic. It is the reason why your wife's ex-husband thinks you are insane.
I pose to you, that this makes all game comparisons in any way moot. This is why even your favorite reviewer is never 100% right. This is why you liked battlefield earth on the big screen. This is why you gave up on lost. This is why Firefly got cancelled.
In gaming, Qualia works a little like this: As avid RPG players, most of us have a lot of experience playing D&D, as well as many other systems and various editions of said systems. Yet we all have distinctly different tastes, based on our subjective experiences we had while playing them. This includes WHO, WHERE, WHEN - hell, it includes what cartoon you used to watch back in the day.
I mention this, because we see here the ludicrous nature of the edition wars. Two sides that cannot be wrong, opposed by sides that cannot be right, arguing and debating the relative merits or a SUBJECTIVE EXPERIENCE!!!!!!!!!!!!! Notice the Caps there, please.
For those who would scoff, I direct you to the english language. (And a big shout out to Merriam-Webster!)
1: of, relating to, or constituting a subject: as aobsolete : of, relating to, or characteristic of one that is a subject especially in lack of freedom of action or in submissiveness b: being or relating to a grammatical subject ; especially : nominative
2: of or relating to the essential being of that which has substance, qualities, attributes, or relations
3 a: characteristic of or belonging to reality as perceived rather than as independent of mind : phenomenal.
b: relating to or being experience or knowledge as conditioned by personal mental characteristics or states
4 a: (1): peculiar to a particular individual : personal
(2): modified or affected by personal views, experience, or background.
b: Arising from conditions within the brain or sense organs and not directly caused by external stimuli.
c: arising out of or identified by means of one's perception of one's own states and processes.
1 a: direct observation of or participation in events as a basis of knowledge
b: the fact or state of having been affected by or gained knowledge through direct observation or participation.
2 a: practical knowledge, skill, or practice derived from direct observation of or participation in events or in a particular activity.
b: the length of such participation.
3 a: the conscious events that make up an individual life.
b: the events that make up the conscious past of a community or nation or humankind generally.
4: something personally encountered, undergone, or lived through.
5: the act or process of directly perceiving events or reality.
Read it and choke. No really, can anyone defend the practice of arguing subjective experiences and "feelings"? Anyone? Please comment - I am all ears : )
I submit to you, dear readers, that this is why the edition wars, schoolism, and GNS theory is nothing more than a steaming pile of dragon dung. I don't LIKE playing older editions. You don't like playing in newer ones. That's fine. There doesn't need to be a debate. We CAN agree to disagree - as opposed to the endless posturing and accusations we see - why? - because neither side has the same subjective experiences.
What you call "old school sandbox style" gaming, I see as a swingy, overblown, snoozefest. What I see as a WHAM-POW action movie done right with dragons, you see as a box full of crap studded with ritalyn. This will not change simply because you point out another broken mechanic, any more than you will suddenly wake up and realize that with Gnomes back as player races - you can play it for reals this time!!
It IS alright to leave it at that. We do not HAVE to agree. In fact, it is impossible for the aforementioned reasons to have even a reasonable discussion on the topic - there can be no winners...so it just keeps going on...and on....and on...and on...
What edition / style wars are:
Don't DM like me? You suck.
Don't play like me? You suck.
Don't like edition ___? You Suck
Don't agree with me? You suck.
What they should be:
Gaming is fun
Play how you want.
What's THAT game like?
I'll try it out.