One of the inevitable consequences of preferring what some have patronizingly called "legacy D&D" is being treated like an exhibit in a natural history museum: "And here we have a fine example of Primitive Gamer, mussitor crassus barbatus, who thrived between 1974 until 1983. Unable to adapt to the changing environment of gaming, his numbers dwindled precipitously. Though scattered tribes of Primtive Gamer still exist, their vitality is sapped, their gene pool shallow. It is only a matter of time before he becomes extinct, taking with him his strange ways, most notably spending his spare time not actually gaming, as one might expect, but complaining about more evolved forms of Gamer."
For reasons I don't fathom, it's a common stereotype that grognards don't in fact game. I'm not sure where this myth came from, because my experience is that old schoolers are no different in their gaming habits than most other gamers. That is, we game as often as we're able to do so, given the demands of our real lives. Certainly we don't game as much as we used to when we were teenagers, but then who does? From what I have gathered, wanting to game and not having a group with which to do so is a pretty common problem, not restricted either to old schoolers or to D&D players in general.
Yet, for some reason, there's this perception that grognards never actually get together with their friends and roll some dice together. All one would need to do is read old school blogs and forums to see this for the lie it is. The most active blogs in our community are filled with discussions of the author's ongoing campaigns, not to mention events at conventions. I'd never argue that old school play is common or that its numbers are as great as those playing the latest and greatest, but since when did quantity becoming the determinant of whether grognards actually game? Our numbers are but a drop in the wider ocean of gaming. Consequently, measuring how many fewer 1e events there are at GenCon compared to 4e and then using it to opine that grognards don't play strikes me as the height of idiocy.
I suppose, to some extent, this misperception is based on the fact that grognards spend a lot of time talking (or writing) about gaming. As a rule, I'd wager that our blogs and forums are, for wont of a better word, much more verbose than those of other games. We spend a lot of time dissecting the rules, divining wisdom from lacunae, and constructing esoteric philosophies of play and design from our sacred texts. Of course, I'd argue that so do most gamers. It's just that old schoolers do it in a particular style that might lead outsiders to misunderstand what we're doing or why.
My own blog, for example, has what at least one detractor has termed "a pseudo-intellectual" style and, while there's no doubt that my chosen idiom is a lot more extreme than that of many of my fellow bloggers, we are all cut from a cloth you can't buy in the big box stores. We're an idiosyncratic, eccentric bunch and our discussions probably aren't easy to pentrate if you're not already steeped in the old school midrash. Because of this, perhaps it seems as if we're more focused on gaming in the abstract than we are in actually gaming. It's a polemically useful stereotype, to be sure, but that's mostly all it is. Believe it or not, grognards do game and some of us game quite a lot.
To that end, if you're currently running an old school game and talk about it on your blog, state this in the comments section of this entry, particularly if you do so on a blog or forum I don't have linked to the right.