I love all the old school renaissance / retro-clone games out there. They are great fun to play AND are very clever adaptations of the very flexible OGL. There are some neat game-design choices too, such as Spellcraft & Swordplay's alternate evolution of OD&D or Basic Fantasy's middle ground between Basic D&D and Advanced D&D. I love these games.
It's the people I am not overly fond of.
Now to be fair, it isn't everyone, or even a majority, but rather a very, very small but very, very vocal minority that seems to have this "it's my way or the highway" mentality. Or that somehow the design changes of *D&D were done not to improve gameplay but rather some nefarious plot to screw Gygax, Arneson, or whomever or screw the players out of more money, or insert crazy conspiracy here. But there have been a few dust-ups of late on what the OSR "Really" is or what "playing D&D is really about". As a gamer and a designer I pay attention to these things, they are the pulse of what the customer likes. It is the closest thing I have to market research, but as a fan they really irritate me.
I LIKE the old school games. I liked them then and I like them now, both the originals and the clones. I like the divergent evolutions, the what-ifs and the thought experiments that we get in game design from the OSR.
I DO play them out of nostalgia. Don't know why "nostalgia" became such a bad word in the OSR, but I play these games because I enjoyed them when I was 10.
I DO play new games. I love D&D 4e. And to me it plays great, I have a wonderful "D&D experience" (what ever the fuck that is supposed to be) with it. I like minis, they make my game fun. And I used them back in the 80's too. So to me, they ARE old school.
I like to write for both. Every game I work on serves a different need, different function for me. If I am not going to quantify which one is "better" to me as the creator, then why should I expect the player to do so?
Lots of people would love to play these old games too. Why? Because they were fun, and still are. But trying to get a gamer to play by telling him or her that they should play this way or that way and the game they are playing now is for idiots isn't going to win you any fans. And if you are publishing then fans > customers, so the less you have one, the less you have of the others and customers mean sales.
I am not naming names at all, cause that is tacky (but man are there plenty of good examples), but we have some people in this movement that will be the death of this movement due to their own inflexible thinking. Which is odd, cause one of the reasons they claim to like the OSR was because the rules are more flexible. Actually it's not that odd at all come to think of it.
I just don't follow the logic of "the old-school/70's games were fun, therefore the newer games are crap".
It doesn't help that many of the OSR member are all up in arms about something that doesn't even exist: people playing new games calling their style crap. News Flash: The vast majority of gamers out there are not even aware of the OSR, and those that do I'd say the vast majority of them do not have an opinion.
Plus Edition Wars are the lowest form of Nerdrage. Better off arguing who would win in a fight, ninjas or Jedi.