I'm getting old. Today is my birthday and now I find myself firmly entrenched in my late 20s. As is typical for someone celebrating a milestone, I've started to take stalk of things. Among those things is where I fit in the Gaming Community.
You have the new school, those who have migrated on to 4th edition D&D. They play video games, and MMOs and don't mind when they spill into their table top gaming. Well I don't fit in here. I love video games as much as anyone but my WoW days are far behind me, and even when I was playing it I had no interest in a table top version. Nah, 4th edition isn't for me and neither is a membership card in the "New School"
Then you have the "Old School." These are guys who love their old D&D, especially first edition AD&D and retro-clones like Labyrinth Lord and Castles & Crusades. These guys are likely to be in their 30s and 40s, and have been playing for a long time. Well I don't fit in this group either. It's a closer fit, but I still don't think I get in. The biggest reason is that, though I've played AD&D and I think it's a great game, most of my play has come at conventions and one shots. I haven't played any retroclones unless you count Hackmaster 4th edition (which people should, but often don't). Nope I guess I don't have the Old School Cred to apply for my Grognard membership card.
So where then does that leave me? I don't fit into either of the two extreme ends of the spectrum I'm somewhere in the middle. I've played (and enjoyed) far too much 3rd edition gaming to be old school, but I won't touch 4th so I can't be new school. I like Pathfinder, but I don't like many of their changes especially the unnecessary power boost. I really like the new Hackmaster, but Kenzerco has made so many changes and innovations that I'm not sure it counts as old school anymore, and I certainly wouldn't classify it as a retroclone. I also love Kenzer's Western Aces & Eights, and I have no idea where that falls on the scale. I'm really enjoying Chaosiums Call of Cthulhu (6th edition) that we are playing now. CoC seems to be a game that appeals more to the old school crowd. It is very rules light which is something that probably appeals to that audience.
So as you can see, I just don't fall neatly into either camp, but somewhere in between. I'm sure I'm not alone, I'm sure there are many other Gamers out there who find themselves caught between the two more easily identifiable Gamer subgroups. Maybe it would help to have a scale laid out that people can place themselves on, I might just make one. Until take just take my word for it, I'm a Gaming Moderate. We might not have a cool name (yet) but I'll think of one.