Friday, January 13, 2012

"Viva Passion?" or "The War on the 'Edition Warriors'"

When it comes to games, passion is good. Really, really good. The best.

In fact, I'd venture to say that if you're not really passionate about the game you're playing, no matter what game or what type of game it is, you'd be doing yourself, the game, and the world a favor by setting it aside the moment you realize this and heading off to find one that makes your blood boil and your heart sing.

Passion makes the gaming world go round.

At least that's how I used to feel. But if you believe some authorities, such as the venerable Steve Winter (and you should!) passion is the enemy.

Enter the gaming boogeyman de jour, the Edition Warriors! This legion of soulless, twisted monstrosities has the nerve, the sheer gall, to believe that Dungeons & Dragons is one of the great games of all time. Not only that, but that the storied D&D name itself actually means something and has some sort of precious but somehow non-monetary value (an obvious contradiction in terms!) and that products bearing the name can betray, subvert, or otherwise fail to be worthy of it. But what's worst of all, what really keeps these guys up at night, is that these Edition Warriors are also known for their aberrant belief that they should be wholly unashamed to admit this in public. The most unholy among them even feel they have a very real personal obligation to do so!

Clearly, Armageddon is at hand, for the Edition Warriors are not content with merely causing WotC's brilliant D&D 4E reinvention to fail through no fault of the company's own and despite being a peerless design copied directly from the pages of Leonardo da Vinci's fabled Lost Codex. Oh, no. They've already set their sights on WotC's next big project: "D&D Next." Yes, these heartless savages plan to nip this one in the bud, not caring one whit that the millions spent collaborating with Pepsi's ad agency on a name will then go completely to waste.

For the love of God, you degenerate monsters: Can't you just stop saying how you feel for once!? Can't you see that you're ruining everything with your stupid caring and self-expression!? Just sit down, shut up, open your wallet to WizBro and keep it open and everything will be fine. Gaming without passion isn't so bad. You'll see. After all, many of the "pros" have apparently been doing it for years and they must know better than you. I mean, they're pros!

Can't we all just not give a fuck get along?


  1. As a consumer with more dollars than sense, WOTC did a poor job of prying my money away from me during the 4e reign. And I don't see too much in the way of olive branches extended to the OSR and Pathfinder communities.

  2. Will; I'm not quite sure how to interpret this. Maybe the sarcasm is a tad too much for my brain to penetrate. (I'm not criticizing your use of sarcasm; it's one of my favorite tools. But I'm not sure where it begins or ends here.) As I clarified on my blog, I'm not telling anyone to shut up and take it. I'm pointing out that turning unending vitriol against fellow D&D players is a no-win gambit. Passion is great; hooliganism is lousy.

  3. If you're not sure, it's probably because I'm not. I just might have a slight tendency to write more from the heart than the head. :)

    But I guess two things come to mind:

    1. 4E's reception and marketplace performance are completely, 110% WotC's responsibility (or fault, if you don't feel like being charitable). The audience did not do the product a disservice by not being willing to overlook its lack of quality and fidelity to the D&D tradition. Rather, it's the product that let the audience down.

    2. One man's "hooliganism" or "attacking" is another's "honest, passionate disagreement" or "sincere attempt at dialog/debate."

    I don't believe in attacking players of a particular game, either. But is that really a that common a problem, or are some defensive fans engaging in the classic geek fallacy of equating criticism of their hobbies to criticism of their persons?

  4. Yes, the edition warriors are here to save us from WotC brainwashing us and taking all our money. They're never aggressive idiots who are ignorant of the history they claim to love.

    Passion isn't good when it puts you completely out of touch with reality.