Being in the Main the Mouth of Olde House Rules

Tuesday, February 6, 2024

No Clouds Above, No Men Below...

Ageism might be the last acceptable predjudice; and given the young/old divide implied by the OSR, you definitely see this in the gaming community. Case in point: last week on Facebook (because it's always Facebook), some grognard posted a meme waxing nostalgic about their younger days and marathon sessions. No putting anyone else down, no ugly edition warfare, just reminiscing about a happy childhood. Well along comes the inevitable contrarian, who suggested it sounded like "old man yells at cloud" stuff...

Really? Also, absurd. So here goes. Simply (1) being old, (2) preferring older editions of whatever system, and (3) enjoying happy memories doesn't make you the proverbial old man (or woman) yelling at clouds beyond the rather thoughtless imaginations of some. By this reasoning, every grognard should immediately burn their rulebooks and rend their garments over these false memories of happiness. If you're denigrating the younger generation and their rulebooks, you are this guy. But simply liking your favorite stuff is far from it.

I get it (and rather suspect it's tit for tat). The young are denigrated ad nauseum for being born decades too late. Their games, famously forgiving, are too soft (as though generation X stormed the blood-stained beaches at Normandy). It's Marxism. Storygamers are entitled swine (take that, Forge). This is old man vs. cloud multiplied, and every bit as ridiculous as the reverse. Games are played for fun, and each offers a different experience. Unless a ruleset involves bona fide homicide, it's hardly Hitler's invasion of Poland...

But it's not all bad. Last year (also on Facebook) someone posted a gag module called Against the Grognards. I pointed out that grognard implied the aged, broad brushing them as stereotypical Boomers who resist everything. What they meant was Gatekeeper, a sadly universal phenomenon transcending generations. And you know what? My Facebook friend agreed, changing the title and making it all the funnier. Laziness is easier than nuance, accounting for much confusion. But preference and nostalgia alone are no offense.


  1. "Ageism might be the last acceptable predjudice" - very true - my uncle was laid off, and despite many, many years of experience in his field, and not angling for senior-level positions (or senior-level pay) he has not had much luck getting back into it - his age is cited as the biggest reason. Sad to see in this day & age.

    Sorry to hear about the facebook jerks. Not an old man yet, but will hopefully get there someday, and being able to meet and befriend people of all ages and backgrounds has been one of my favourite parts of this hobby. Mixed-age socializing in general seems to be one of those things that's dropped off since... whenever that started happening.

  2. People nowadays is funnelled into paranoia and searching for enemies constantly; to the point that stating that you have a happy childhood makes them think you are insulting their imaginary collective. Its a global thing, happens everywhere. Can happen to us too. And happens much more on Facebook hahahhah

  3. Back in the days we didn't have the internet, so we didn't have a lot of discourse about playing - outside the articles in Dragon and other hobby magazines, which we never thought we could publish in ourselves.

    I credit internet buzz and discourse with reviving my interest, giving me lots of great ideas, and being able to share my own ideas to some good effect. I take the good with the bad, and accept that this has also brought a lot of needless opinionating, shading into personal drama and moral one-uppery. But lately my focus is more on the people at the table, what I can do to make their experience more fun, and if you enter into the discourse with that goal firmly in mind you will never go wrong.