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Why oh why do we constantly have to have a new edition of a rule set? Really? You mean you don't know the answer to this one? No it's not to improve the game, though that is the reasoning given in many interviews. It's not just because the game is so popular it's had to be reprinted and in the process it's had the rules changed. It's because once you own a set of the rules you don't need to buy another copy - period. So how does a company that sells games exist if everyone has bought a copy? If no more people are flocking to buy the game to justify the corporate body and expenses? It can't, so it's like the university crowd dogma - publish or perish, it's that simple!
So maybe I've oversimplified this and there is more to it than what I've made apparent, but this is how the world exists today. If you cannot produce a product that needs to be constantly bought, or continue to produce new lines then you will not exist long in business. Hence people will tinker with rule sets and games, sometimes for the better, sometimes with questionable results.
As you can see from my previous posts I've been cataloguing my collections. One of my earliest joys when I started my gaming life was role playing games. I look at the game mechanics of the 1970's and 80's and see them as enjoyable, testing and some ground breaking. Yet at the heart of the game was the premise of role play, the mechanics were secondary to playing and acting the roles of the imaginary characters created. We used our minds, pencil and paper to plot out how events happened. In the early days miniatures were slowly being made and utilised by some within the community.
I admit I have not done any role play in over a decade, my group has died off (literally for some) and from what I see the shape of role play is not what it was or how I remembered from the early days when role play first hit the scene. It's been commercialised, accessorised, compartmentalised to suck as much cash out of you as possible. Certainly when it comes to the named role playing games that people know and associate when you mention the hobby.
It is like everything today which has any hint of age or being out of date, it has no relevance to today's generation. I see it in those who review, for instance board games, where they are extremely critical of most old games. Rather than enjoying the essence of gaming and association, people prefer to denigrate them as out of date or superfluous. Yes the game may not be as tricked out as current trends dictate, but there is still a charm to be found in an old game, even if it is only my generation who may appreciate it.
So play the game not the system.