Thursday, November 13, 2014

Editionism

The internet age hasn't been all good. Ask anyone who knows what gamergate is. Is it more good than bad? Probably. But there have been some ugly spots.

One ugly spot that I notice in my own hobby is the amount of soapboxing going on over one's gaming decisions. For lack of a better word, I'm going to call it editionism. Yes, I am talking about D&D mostly, but it can (and does) apply to other RPGs, too.

Editionism is the deep-seeded need for a gamer to proclaim that the edition he's playing is the best edition of the roleplaying game in question...or, alternately, that the edition he's not playing is the worst edition. It's backed with numerous status updates, blog posts, forum posts, the whole nine. It comes from our new social media-driven instincts to have to proclaim our beliefs, as if there is some silent majority out there that's wondering "What does <insert name of random person> think about this?" It can come in the form of mild, passive-aggressive dismissal ("I don't play X edition because I just don't care," a proclamation which begs the quesiton "If you don't care, then why are you writing about it?"), or rampant, unbridled hatred. 

It's unfortunate that the world has gotten itself into the mindset that everyone cares about everyone else's opinion. They don't. Nor should they. And don't tell me that you don't care, because if you took the time out of your day to write something, then you do care. At least a little. It's really unfortunate that all this energy is being spent on proclamations of beliefs, on editionism, instead of on actually playing the game.

Because, as Robert McKee famously said, "Action is character. You are what you do." So if you really think X edition is better than Y edition, don't waste your time and mine posting about why X edition is better than Y edition. Show me a recap of your great X edition game. Write me an analysis of the strengths of the X edition book. Post a podcast about your X edition campaign. Live your life. That says more loudly, more clearly, and more concisely what you believe, moreso than any rant.

I'll end this with one clarification: although editionism is sad and irritating to me, I have no issues with hypocrisy. That shit's just funny.

There's no particular reason I'm using the Dark Sun Campaign Setting for D&D 4E as an image. I'm just tired of seeing my face in all these blog posts!



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