I could send 10 friends to Disney World and get 10 descriptions of the place with areas of both commonality and vast difference. I'll lay odds I could send 2 people to Disney World who would spend the entire day together and yet still get 2 pretty different descriptions from them regarding the place. Today's post is inspired by statements from 2 men who both spent time playing D&D with Gary at the time of the original publication of the rules.
One tells in a very matter-of-fact manner of how players naturally evolved into the (so called) end-game of OD&D. Upon reaching name level or soon thereafter, players would naturally gravitate toward building strongholds, establishing realms, and joining the (ahem) game of thrones. This is sometimes accompanied by the rather snide observation of how modern day gamers (kids these days, I swannee) need everything spelled out for them.
The other insists the end-game is but a modern day fabrication of folks over-reading the rules and not making the game their own. Back in the day there was no expectation or even a trend toward building strongholds. Different opinion but, oddly enough, the same mildly condescending tone.
Which is right? Why, both of them, to my way of thinking. Oh, not in the way they look down, however subtly, on how others play the game. But I'm pretty sure both are giving an accurate accounting of how they perceived the game as played. They both sat at the table of the game's co-author. Perhaps not at the same time, but certainly within the general time-frame of one another. And both took away a different experience.
This is one reason I try not to look down upon how others play the game. It's easy to think we've got it all figured out and dispense our wisdom to others struggling to reach our level of familiarity with the rules set. I'm certain this 'blog sometimes gives persons that impression of me, which is why I struggle to keep my postings from sounding exclusionary. They are either my experiences with something from 40 years ago or my opinion expressed humbly. Well, as humbly as a great intellect and humanitarian such as myself can manage! Sorry, couldn't resist that last part.
By the way, the title of this post was taken from a seminar demonstrating the fallibility of eyewitnesses. Even to a recent, as in minutes ago, event.