It seems that the poor Pundit is frustrated by the lack of a clear definition for the OSR. Of course, that was the entire point of my post. It simply is impossible to provide a precise definition for such an amorphous, diffuse, cantankerous group of people. If the OSR is a ‘movement,’ it is one in which the participants disagree with each other about what truly constitutes ‘old school’ (aside, perhaps from a few ‘core cases,’ such as 1974 0e D&D and, perhaps, Holmes Basic D&D; even 1e AD&D is probably considered too ‘new school’ by some participants). I consider the D&D Rules Cyclopedia and Chaosium’s Call of Cthulhu to be ‘old school.’ Some other folks would not. Amazingly, there is not ‘authority’ in the OSR to tell us who is right and who is wrong.
What’s puzzling to me is why the Pundit has such animus towards the OSR. Perhaps he is bitter over the relative lack of success of his own ‘old school’ game, ‘Forward to Adventure!’? Or perhaps he simply likes to construct new ‘enemies’ to be the targets of his rants?
In any case, I found this remark rather sad: “I, as someone who defines Old School as an aesthetic and not a mechanic, already feel like I ended up in the wrong side of the fence…”
Well, Pundit, nobody put you on “the wrong side of the fence” (whatever that means) except yourself. It’s only because you decided to construct an ‘enemy’ out of the OSR, and infuse that ‘enemy’ with a fictional consciousness and ‘ideology,’ that you are on the wrong side of some imagined fence. You could have been a participant in the OSR, Pundit, and you still can, if you like. Heck, I believe that Calithena even invited you to write an article on FtA! for Fight On! a year ago (I know that Jeff Rients positively reviewed FtA! in Fight On!).
Destroy that fence that you’ve built in your mind, Pundit. Join the OSR, if you like. Nobody is stopping you except yourself.