Look, there’s been a lot of talk lately (especially over at theRPGsite) about the Old School Renaissance (OSR), and how people either don’t get what it’s all about, or dislike some portion of it, or are turned off by some attitudes.
Forget your idea of what TARGA is or isn’t, forget the idea of a Old School Pope, and forget anyone who tells you are or aren’t Old School. It’s about supporting and enjoying (did we forget the enjoying part?) classical games and their near cousins. There is no monolithic entity deciding what is and isn’t old school. If you want to get involved, want to see what’s quality, submit an idea for an article or an article to Fight On! Post your crazy homebrew rules. Make charts. Slap a bunch of 2e stuff together with your Rules Cyclopedia. Gut the crap out of 3.5 and return to something simpler. Play Hackmaster, Castles & Crusades, or Microlite74. Dig out your old Red Box copy of D&D, or the Little Black Books of Traveller. Put an idea together for an (Semi-)Organized Play program with you and a few "penpal" groups out there. Make modules for AD&D 1e, or run those put out by other. Make a hex map and post it online. Run games, run games, run games.
Bottom line, that any sort of Old School Renaissance is what you make of it. It shouldn’t be a bunch of people bragging about how they’re Old Schoolier Than Thou because they played Kriegspiel with Kaiser Wilhelm himself. It can be about reminiscing, it can be about analyzing, and it can be about creation and play. Again, there is no monolith. There are dozens of little communities that interact on occasion. If something catches your eye and it turns out a community is helpful or inspiring to you (as Fight On! was for me), then by all means, participate. If not, don’t. There isn't an all-or-nothing movement here you have to swallow whole.
Guys (and gals), the opportunities are there. Opportunities to have your classic games supported, opportunities to support them yourself, opportunities to run games for people starving for classic D&D, Traveller, Tunnels & Trolls, or whatever. Opportunities to have your work published in magazines like Fight On! and Knockspell. Opportunities to have something you made bring enjoyment to someone else’s gaming table. And yeah, there are jerks out there—is there any single game or genre or fan following in this hobby that doesn’t? Snark is snark, whether it’s someone defending Exalted at RPGnet, or some dude whose claim to fame is an article in Dragon #24. You’re going to have that. Being old-school doesn’t make you infallible, and it doesn’t make you a nice person. Just like anything else in life, if you think it’s worth it, ignore the creeps and focus on the fun.
And if at any point it becomes not fun or not fulfilling for you, let it go. Life’s too short to get worked up over a game too much, right? I understand people like to argue, but if I can get all John Lennon here for a minute, imagine if we spent the time we do arguing on making gaming material instead? I don't know about you, but I know I'm guilty on that last count. Little less talk, lot more action.
Use what works, trash what doesn’t. I don't care about making points, I don't care about proving anything, and I don't care any of the other peripheral crap that impedes the DIY ethic or people writing new material for me to play with. No more discussion on it--let's get to creating stuff.