Reading The Hickman Revolution and the Frustrated Novelist over at Monsters and Manuals got me to thinking about that dark time in the 80's when it was like someone had just switched off the light.
Speaking from being there when the double punch was delivered-Dragonlance and the Satanic Panic - it literally wiped me out...as a player, DM and shop owner.
Those who joined the hobby around that time are the direct ancestors to the modern gamer.
Folks get mad at me for saying so but it seems to be the best descriptions of both camps:
Old Schoolers bought things as inspiration, to be ripped apart and used piecemeal with individual additions and ideas.
New Schoolers are like baby birds who have to have their food chewed for them and deposited in their beaks. I suggested once to a 4e fan, mad about some rule that WotC had recently released in a book, and said 'why don't you just change the rule or not use it'...the response...'If I wanted to write my own f****** rules I wouldn't have bought the book'...and that's a quote.
Thank God I never looked for the 'perfect' game...I would have missed a lot of great gaming.
It is said that the early modules for D&D are the bane of gaming history because these items usually meant for tournament play were looked upon as the only proper way to play D&D...with TPK and Killer DMs around every corner.
But I say it was Dragonlance, the pre-generated characters riding the railroad, that brought us to where we are today, the end of the industry and the birth of the OSR.
Every subject that separates players today goes back to these fundamentally opposed philosophies.
The 'homebrewer' vs. the 'RAW'.