For those of you who read my blog otherwise (Hi, Mom--I know you're my only reader)... just ignore this post or something. Sorry. The post I'm responding to is here: http://talesofthegrotesqueanddungeonesque.blogspot.com/2013/01/martin-brown-on-appendix-n.html#comment-form
I liked watching (or listening, I admit that I opened up some other windows on top of it and did some work) for it's own sake. Sure, reading and listening/watching are two different experiences. But seriously; is anyone worried about slow or metered connections anymore to the point where they can't watch Youtube? What is this, 1996? I think at this point, if someone can't watch a youtube vlog, then they'll just have to accept that they're going to miss out on stuff. Youtube's a pretty darn mainstream format for content delivery these days.
To make a post that's a little less light on meaningful content, I think that this type of vlog discussion is part of the reason that the OSR is often stigmatized by many for being too reverential, and going through a kind of "this is the way Gary did it, so it's the One True Way to play the game." Whether or not that's fair (and it probably isn't, really) vlogs like this still perpetuate that view. It's one thing to like the same kinds of stories that Gary did, but to pronounce that their PRIMARY MERITS are that Gary liked them and based some element of D&D on them doesn't inspire a lot of confidence in the analysis of the books.
I DON'T like a lot of the material that Gary liked, and that he used to base elements of the game on. I like a lot of stuff that Gary couldn't have read, because it didn't come along until long after he wasn't involved in D&D anymore. Then again, maybe I'm not the right person to be commenting here, because frankly, I don't know how much I like D&D itself really. I love fantasy gaming, but D&D--as you say in the vlog--is very specific about a lot of things, and those are often the things that I dislike, because they don't resemble the things that I like in fantasy literature, which was ultimately my avenue into gaming. HOWEVER, I think it's perfectly within the Old School way of thought to houserule the heck out of my games to get them to provide the experience that *I personally* want from the game.
But I guess that's where I often find myself--not exactly at odds, because it doesn't bother me in the least that people do this--but scratching my head at commentary from the OSR. There's not necessarily a lot of discussion that goes something like this: "I'm doing this because I like it, and it brings xyz to the game that I think is really cool." Rather, there's more commentary like this than I expect: "I'm doing this because Gary did it this way, or because the sword & sorcery literature that Gary liked was done this way. No comment whatsoever on what I like or why. Not clear if I'm gaming because I like it, or if its some kind of ritualistic recreation of my best estimate of a Gygaxian gaming ideal." Again; I'm probably vastly overstating that tone from the OSR. The OSR is clearly a big, sprawling thing with all kinds of people who like it for all kinds of reasons. But I'm a bit surprised that that sentiment exists at all, sometimes. I just can't figure out why it's relevant. I don't care what Gary liked or what Gary read. I care about what *I* like and what I've read. I'd like to see stuff discussed on its own merits, not simply held out as "this must be good *a priori* because Gary liked it, or because it was foundational to D&D" or whatever.
Again to clarify; I don't mean this as a complaint. Even if someone is merely joylessly and ritualistically trying to recreate Gary Gygax's prototype 1974 gaming experience from right as the game was being published or whatever; that's fine, if that's what they want to do. However, I just don't find that a very compelling argument on why to do something or why to read something, or why the game should be carefully maintained a certain way, or whatever--and I do think that there's a surprising amount of that tone in OSR discussions, which I find turns me off somewhat.
However... I do find it amusing that two grognards are arguing on how to pronounce grognard. For what it's worth, I know that in French it's pronounced somewhat like groan-YAR, but I also agree that in ENGLISH it would be pronounced as it looks--grog-nard. :)