So, in light of some comments made previously on my blog about the original version of D&D (and a discussion I had with some friends on Saturday), I decided to go over all my older D&D books and figure out what I liked about each version, and for what reasons. I fully intended to outline specific rules, quirks, styles, etc., that appealed to me for each version. What I really discovered, though, was the Original D&D (OD&D) books sucked major ass. Presentation-wise, writing, content, pretty much just horrid pieces of crap. I honestly have no idea how OD&D became so insanely popular given this fact, but I do realize the many reasons Gygax et al made a serious push to support the game through rules clarifications and eventually Holmes' edited D&D and AD&D. It also became evident why many other rpgs came into being so quickly. I've read interviews with Ken St. Andre and he directly stated that Tunnels and Trolls came about because he couldn't decipher D&D. Plenty of other games cropped up soon thereafter, each essentially a response to the crappiness of D&D. My guess is this is why Gygax pushed so hard to get the Monster Manual out the door, because he knew the original game was popular simply because it was the first, not for any other reason. It had name recognition, not quality, and a professionally written and edited version was necessary lest another company take over in popularity.
My question, then, is why do so many people have weird justifications to defend a pile of crap? I'm not saying they shouldn't LIKE OD&D, nor ignore the nostalgia they feel for the game, but it sucks. It's historically significant and should be treated that way, but there sheer reverence I see for OD&D is fucked up. There's nothing wrong with liking something you know is low quality, at all. I truly enjoy Miller High Life, I admit it. It is my second favorite beer, even though I know it's awful. I'd never say it's a quality beer, however. The point here is "recreating the OD&D experience" seems pretty stupid to me. Why would I want to recreate a hot mess of inanity? Couldn't I simply play AD&D, removing all the parts that overcomplicate the game? Like I said, I've read OD&D and the supplements; AD&D took all that crap and made it readable. If you think otherwise, you're fooling yourself. I understand a game like Labyrinth Lord: it exists as a vehicle for people who want to play B/X but need something in-print. I suppose I'm at a loss to understand a game like Swords & Wizardry, though, because OD&D was terrible shit to begin with so why anyone would want to play it is beyond me. B/X came about because no one could decipher OD&D without having already played it, if that even makes any sense. I remember when I got the Redbox...laugh all you want, the examples of play seriously helped a lot. You cannot read OD&D and have the faintest clue of how to play whatsoever. Is there any need to duplicate this stupidity?