The other night, while discussing the upcoming game for Monday nights, I had a spark of thought, and wanted to share it. Credit for the spark goes to +Kyrinn S. Eis, though I cannot say if the thoughts I present below are in line with hers.
The term Kyrinn used was "a post-dungeon person." I like this term, it has a nice ring to it, and gets to the point: a post-dungeon person is someone who does not play RPGs thinking that a dungeon crawl is the only type of game out there, or (more likely) they avoid dungeon crawls altogether.
My disclaimer here is that, I think, everyone enjoys a crawl every now and then. I probably don't crawl as often as some of the old grognards, but I do love a good dungeon crawl. Emphasis on "good." The other thing about me is that I enjoy more types of games than a dungeon crawl.
So what's my point? Well, I think a key distinction between gamers should be less about "old school" and "new school" styles, and more about what game we are playing.
I often hear haters, on all sides of every fence, complaining that "such and such just isn't D&D" or "<xyz> ruins <abc> about the game." What if, instead, we recognized that we are playing different games with the same name? D&D, and all RPGs, really, are usually more versatile than we give them credit for being. Yes, the original D&D games were written for dungeon crawls and wilderness hex crawls. That means that "dungeon crawl" and "hexploration" are the games you are playing--not D&D! (Rather, it's more important to identify what game you are playing outside of the name of the rule set.)
This is a big part of why I try to name every campaign or game I run, even if that is a name just for me. It allows me to separate MY game from the rules set I"m using to facilitate the game. So, if you choose to only play a "traditional" or "old school" game, that's great. Use D&D, use a retroclone, use True20--whatever you want. But keep in mind that no matter what rules you use, someone else is using those same books to accomplish a different goal; they are trying to play a different game.
My point here is not to cause dissent or to upset and offend. These are thoughts I have, and you are free to respond to help me reshape them, and I am free to keep/discard/change them during the discussion.