This conversation runs parallel to the recent post-play conversation among the participants of my Lamentations of the Flame Princess game. Jon wanted to discuss similar things in terms of his own decisions about titles to play, so we took some time for that.
For orientation, here’s my position: that the cultural presence of “D&D” in the hobby has created a play-space, or perceived how-to and what-about, that exists above and beyond any texts, and even above and beyond play-desires and play-experiences. Therefore when playing a game tagged with that title or closely associated with it, e.g., the recent branding of such an association via the initials “OSR,” people display specific limitations, focus, and standards for their activities in play.
I’m focusing on some of those which are (i) evidently confused or intrinsically murky and (ii) may be observed in others or, for a given player, from time to time, but which are more present across more people when playing a game tagged in this way. Significantly, as well, these features are not particularly called for or necessary given the specific rules nominally being used, and may even contradict the texts – but are effectively perceived as “the way to do it” and obviously highly internalized as such.
Anyway, Jon lays out his interests very clearly right at the outset of the video, so check it out. This is a nice conversation – it has an unplanned and rather heartwarming happy ending.