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Old 04-03-2012, 05:49 PM   #21
combatmedic
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Default Re: Culture Clash: Modern Gamers and Keep on the Borderlands

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Originally Posted by sir_pudding View Post
So mid to late 30s? In which case I'm the same "generation" as you, but I'm pretty sure we have very different gaming styles.
I'm 34, and I have played Moldvay /Cook Basic D&D off and on for about half my life. I own a mound o' stuff for AD&D in both editions, although 2E is the one I actually played a lot. I'm currently running a 'Black Box edition' Classic D&D campaign.

IME, D&D in various editions has been the common, shared gaming experience for nearly all the RPGers in my life. Even non-gamers I know have heard of D&D, but most of them ask 'what is a gurp?' when they see my wife's 'Dummy's Guide to GURPS' book on the shelf.


Of course, my experinece may vary greatly from Jeff's experiences.
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Old 04-03-2012, 05:53 PM   #22
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Default Re: Culture Clash: Modern Gamers and Keep on the Borderlands

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I'm 34, and I have played Moldvay /Cook Basic D&D off and on for about half my life. I own a mound o' stuff for AD&D in both editions, although 2E is the one I actually played a lot. I'm currently running a 'Black Box edition' Classic D&D campaign.

IME, D&D in various editions has been the common, shared gaming experinece for nearly all the RPGers in my life. Even non-gamers I know have heard of D&D, but most of them ask 'what is a gurp?' when thy see my wife's 'Dummy's Guide to GURPS' book on the shelf.
Basically my experience, too (although for me CP2020 was extremely significant, as was RIFTS and WEG Star Wars). But I wasn't really talking about Jeff's gaming background but rather his attitudes towards what "modern gamers" prefer.

It mainly seems to me that Jeff likes a more wargamey beer-n-pretzels approach to games than I do, and I don't think that has anything to do with age. Bill Stoddard is older than almost all of us and runs games that focus on serious worldbuilding and deep characterization almost exclusively. Meanwhile I've met (and gamed with) lots of younger gamers that seem to share Jeff's tastes. It's not an age thing, it's a preference thing, IMO.
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Old 04-03-2012, 06:16 PM   #23
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Default Re: Culture Clash: Modern Gamers and Keep on the Borderlands

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Okay, that stings. (Really it does.)

But seriously, the generation of OD&D and Holmes Basic set and Fantasy Trip gamers... they are just so different from my generation that came of age when AD&D was long in the tooth and a dozen companies were scrambling for slices of the non-TSR market. The goth/magic/werewolf/vampire spasm of the 90's was totally different again.

70's gamers were mostly war gamers and cargo-cultists. 80's gamers saw an explosion of different and innovative game companies-- Steve Jackson Games being my favorite, of course. The 90's saw the market contract and shift as new attempts to monetize gaming fell together. The 00's have been the long defeat with the homogenization and monetization intensifying. The 10's have so far been about the rise of the "long tail" and the revival of old school gaming-- as witnessed in the "death" of 4e and the reprinting of AD&F 1e.

Most people changed with the times or faded away. My tastes were pretty much set in the eighties, though.
Jeff, I, too, have noted a difference between the OE guys and the 1E guys, but I've noticed a major shift later, too...
  • OE Group A: GM is God; Wargame with narration; often minis-based combats
    MAR Barker's convention games; Some of Dave Arneson's games.
  • OE Group B: GM is God; Story with narrative combat; often trap heavy puzzle game
    Apparently, Gygaian play (but not written advice). Also, T&T fits here.
  • Classic Traveller & 1E era: Rules-as-contract, GM as referee and administrator of the sandbox, houserules often documented. Combats could be any of Minis-on-map, narrative with map, or abstracted mapless narrative.
  • 90's Player Empowerment - fate points/hero points, refillable expendable pools, Ads and Disads, Story-over-rules. Some shared GMing, a few games with group as equal to GM for rules interpretation.
  • late 90's Return to the Minis: - Rules as contract, combats minis-based, crunchy and tactical, GM as judge and opponent, emphasis on fair and balanced
  • Late 90's Rise of the Storygame: multi-GM or even GM-less games, rules as contracted, players highly empowered, Story-first
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Old 04-03-2012, 07:05 PM   #24
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Default Re: Culture Clash: Modern Gamers and Keep on the Borderlands

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It mainly seems to me that Jeff likes a more wargamey beer-n-pretzels approach to games than I do, and I don't think that has anything to do with age.
I don't think you realize how big of a deal micro-games were. If you were a kid at a particular time, these were an incredibly huge deal. You could buy one with your lunch money, carry them in your back pack, and... most importantly... you didn't need a referee or a dungeon master. There were a lot of kids that were too young to really get the role playing thing down. As they came of age, role playing systems saw their complexity rise exponentially too meet the needs of older gamers and convention crowds. Micro-game kids are sort of a lost generation in that respect-- orphaned by the way things played out.

The people that supported CAR WARS could not understand why kids like me were so crazy for "official" rules. We needed them desperately because we played competitively without a referee. But this made no sense to the older, convention going gamers that supported and developed the game. It really aggravated them. They were initiated into gaming by people that already knew how to do it. Micro-game kids had to be able to get a game together without the benefit of an expert gamer and with only the rule books to go by. (Actually... thats not quite true-- I actually learned to play from the ADQ&A, Backfire, and AADA tournament columns from Autoduel Quarterly.)

CAR WARS was as big as Dungeons & Dragons when I was in middle school. Maybe bigger. Battletech was the first game to give it a run for its money. Magic the Gathering's deckbuilding aspects crowded CAR WARS out of the "design a thing" game market. The last nail in its coffin was when the multiplayer first person shooter games took off, taking over the "every man for himself in some kind of arena" niche.

Look at the AD&D hard backs and show me the 11 year olds that could run that without having someone around to mentor them. Yeah, they exist... but CAR WARS, Autoduel Quarterly, and scads of cheap "expansion sets"... that was massively more accessible. Even as an adult, I can only understand Basic D&D with the assistance of several fanzines and dozens of OSR bloggers carefully explaining all the things that the Lake Geneva gamers did but that were completely unelucidated in the horribly written rule books of TSR!
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Old 04-03-2012, 07:12 PM   #25
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Default Re: Culture Clash: Modern Gamers and Keep on the Borderlands

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Basically my experience, too (although for me CP2020 was extremely significant, as was RIFTS and WEG Star Wars). But I wasn't really talking about Jeff's gaming background but rather his attitudes towards what "modern gamers" prefer.

It mainly seems to me that Jeff likes a more wargamey beer-n-pretzels approach to games than I do, and I don't think that has anything to do with age. Bill Stoddard is older than almost all of us and runs games that focus on serious worldbuilding and deep characterization almost exclusively. Meanwhile I've met (and gamed with) lots of younger gamers that seem to share Jeff's tastes. It's not an age thing, it's a preference thing, IMO.
Ah, I like Star Wars. :) I've been running an online WEG SW game, in fact. It should wrap up pretty soon.

I ran a RIFTS game, back in the day. Great ideas, but I'm not in love with the mechanics as written.

EDIT- I also played and sometimes ran CP 2020. Not sure if I'd rate it as 'significant' but it was fun.

I also played a good deal of Call of Cthulhu.

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Old 04-03-2012, 07:13 PM   #26
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Default Re: Culture Clash: Modern Gamers and Keep on the Borderlands

I do recall playing Car Wars as a kid, for a little while. It was fun, but not a major part of my gaming experineces.
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Old 04-03-2012, 07:14 PM   #27
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Default Re: Culture Clash: Modern Gamers and Keep on the Borderlands

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Jeff, I, too, have noted a difference between the OE guys and the 1E guys, but I've noticed a major shift later, too...
As fastidious and comprehensive always, AK. Thank you! (And yeah... I remember the hero point type thing coming out in James Bond and being very shocked to see a game where the rules were on the player's side.)

This blog post explains more of how things really changed in the past 15 years.
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Old 04-03-2012, 07:14 PM   #28
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Default Re: Culture Clash: Modern Gamers and Keep on the Borderlands

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I don't think you realize how big of a deal micro-games were.
Dude. I was there. I'm the same age as you, basically, as far as I can tell.
Quote:
If you were a kid at a particular time, these were an incredibly huge deal. You could buy one with your lunch money, carry them in your back pack, and... most importantly... you didn't need a referee or a dungeon master.
I always separated boardgames from RPGs in my mind and I played a lot of boardgames as a kid (not just Microgames either), my dad was a huge wargamer (and hated RPGs the way that RPG players often hate CCGs).

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CAR WARS was as big as Dungeons & Dragons when I was in middle school. Maybe bigger. Battletech was the first game to give it a run for its money.
Not where I was. Battletech and Star Fleet Battles were big though.

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Look at the AD&D hard backs and show me the 11 year olds that could run that without having someone around to mentor them.
I started running games at about that age.

That's not really what I'm talking about though. I like wargames. I like beer-n-preztel games too.

I'm talking about your attitude specifically to role-playing games. You seem to dislike RPGs that are more in-depth and theatrical. Which is cool, but I'm saying that's a tastes thing, not an age thing.

Last edited by sir_pudding; 04-03-2012 at 07:18 PM.
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Old 04-03-2012, 07:15 PM   #29
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Default Re: Culture Clash: Modern Gamers and Keep on the Borderlands

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I do recall playing Car Wars as a kid, for a little while. It was fun, but not a major part of my gaming experineces.
Did you have a gaming mentor?

Were you initiated into an existing group or a community of gamers?
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Old 04-03-2012, 07:23 PM   #30
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Default Re: Culture Clash: Modern Gamers and Keep on the Borderlands

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Did you have a gaming mentor?

Were you initiated into an existing group or a community of gamers?
Good questions, Jeff. Both my older brothers gamed, but neither really gamed much with me as a kid. They did get me started, though, and they gave me some D&D books. I really started gaming around 8th grade and into 9th with friends my age. I still game with the several of that group from from high school, but long distance/PBP.

I played a little Car Wars in 7th grade, I think.
I did some Lone Wolf and Fighting Fantasy books, too, and I read a lot of Choose your Own Adventures as a child.

I played outside or stayed home and read, more than I gamed, as a young boy.
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